NOW HE SAYS THAT HE CAN’T STOP YOU FROM COMING BACK, SO HE’LL KEEP YOU FROM GOING OUT AGAIN!
HOWEVER, HE LATER CLAIMED HE HADN’T SAID THAT.
Bersih calls for release of 6,564 names on immigration blacklist
Published on Jun 4, 2013
Bersih 2.0 steering committee co-chair Ambiga Sreenevasan says the group will attempt to meet Immigration Department Director General Alias Ahmad next week after failing to do so today. The group is calling for the names of the 6,564 Malaysians who will have their passports cancelled for tarnishing Malaysia’s image abroad to be released as well as further clarification on the legal reasons they’ve been blacklisted
DAP will fight in court for Malaysians overseas whose passports had been revoked for opposing alleged BN corruption and abuse of power, said its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
“DAP will not stand idly by and watch Malaysians persecuted and victimised merely for exercising their fundamental human rights of expressing their political beliefs,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Last week Immigration Department director general Alias Ahmad reportedly said that his department will cancel the passports of 6,564 Malaysians who have been blacklisted.
According to him, most of them were convicted of drug-related crimes or other crimes, as well as those contravening immigration laws overseas,.
However, those who participate in demonstrations abroad had also been included.
He added that the two Malaysians who had their Singapore work visas revoked after participating in a demonstration there have been found guilty of contravening Singapore’s immigration laws.
Lim described Alias’ (right) statement as a mockery of the rights of Malaysians and any attempt to revoke Malaysian passports who are overseas is unlawful.
He cited former Bar Council president and Bersih 2.0 co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan who has pointed out that the immigration department has not been bestowed with that right according to a 2009 Federal Court ruling that had disapproved of such a decision in 1979.
“Although Alias has now promised to make further clarifications next week, DAP demands that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak immediately make the government’s stand clear and reassure Malaysians that their rights will not be revoked simply for dissenting peacefully.
“Such a threat is not only against natural justice, undemocratic and an act of political retribution but also goes against the very grain of national reconciliation that has been proposed by Najib himself,” said the Penang chief minister.
Lim said he will direct the DAP legal team headed by Puchong MP Gobind Singh to get the party’s lawyers to take up cases of any Malaysian whose passport had been revoked for supporting Pakatan Rakyat or for their opposition to the BN.
Bersih was unable to meet Immigration Department director-general Alias Ahamad today to discuss the cancellation of passports of 6,564 ‘blacklisted’ Malaysians abroad.
Co-chairperson S Ambiga said the election reform pressure group was told that Alias was at a meeting this morning when she and steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah went to his office.
Speaking to the press later, Ambiga said Bersih had sent letter last Friday and again yesterday, seeking an appointment for today.
“We had been told that we would be contacted and given an appointment and we hope that we can meet with (Alias) next week to seek an explanation on … passports which will be cancelled,” she said.
PM Najib must act as passport revocation threat escalates dangerously GLOBAL Bersih demands that Najib Razak… http://fb.me/2aRH2cjvK
Alias was reported to have said the Immigration Department was tracking Malaysians abroad including students who attempted to topple the government and bring down the country’s image and warned that they faced stern action under section 8 of the Immigration Act 1959/1963.
“Malaysians who break the law and shame the country can be blacklisted, their passport can be cancelled between three and five years,” he was quoted as telling Malay daily Berita Harian in its report dated May 27.
However, Alias had refuted he had made such a remark on his Twitter account, @KP_Immigration, on the same day.
“Its totaly [sic] wrong reporting by BH reporter..sorry,” he said, in response to a tweet post, citing several lawyers as saying the Immigration director-general had no powers to revoke any Malaysian’s passport.
Referring to the Federal Government vs Loh Wai Kong 1979 judgement, he (the DG) said that the government has the right to “issue, not issue, delay the issuance of or revoke a passport”.
Immigration DG should read this – FC in Lee Kwan Woh v PP, on the case he cited as precedent to revoke passports. pic.twitter.com/yyvZYj1RUt
Lim Kit Siang for Malaysia
Immigration DG Alias Ahmad should be censured for professional negligence and ineptitude for allowing six days to pass before clarifying misquote
The Immigration Director-General Alias Ahmad should be censured for professional negligence and ineptitude for allowing six days to pass before clarifying that he had been misquoted about invoking a non-existing law to revoke passports of dissenting Malaysians.
Six days ago on 27th May, 2013, Berita Harian reported that Malaysians living abroad who participate in anti-government activities and activities to tarnish Malaysia’s image may be barred from returning home.
Alias was quoted as saying that his department is obliged to do so under Section 8 of the Immigration Act 1959/1963 and that actions that can be taken include blacklisting those involved in such activities and cancelling their passports for a period of three to five years.
Responding to Berita Harian’s question on actions to be taken against Malaysians studying abroad who participated in demonstrations to protest against alleged fraud in the May 5 general election, Alias said: “We are waiting for Wisma Putra’s report regarding Malaysians doing such things while abroad”.
When the Berita Harian report of Alias’ statement was picked up by Malaysiakini on the same day, I checked Section 8 of the Immigration Act 1959/1963 and found that the Immigration Director-General was talking rubbish, as Section 8 was about “Prohibited Immigrants”.
I found it totally irresponsible, unprofessional and unethical that Alias never sought to clarify the mischievous Berita Harian report in the ensuing days, not only that Section 8 of the Immigration Act does not empower the government to cancel any Malaysian passport from three to five years of any dissenting Malaysian abroad, but failing to correct the impression that the Malaysian government is cruel, callous and heartless to the extent that it could willy-nilly cancel passports of Malaysians abroad to render them “stateless” in foreign lands!
Compounding his professional negligence and ineptitude six days ago, Alias gave another interview to Berita Harian two days ago on May 30, declaring that 6,564 Malaysians will have their passports cancelled to prevent them from leaving the country, among others, because they had “tarnished the nation’s image abroad”.
Alias never sought to clarify that he was wrong or was misquoted in Berita Harian on Monday about invoking Section 8 of the Immigrant Act 1959/63, which was about “Prohibited Immigrants”, to cancel Malaysian passports from three to five years.
Instead, Alias aggravated his professional negligence and ineptitude by seeking to give the impression that some 6,564 Malaysians overseas have been blacklisted for exercising their constitutional right to show their support for Pakatan Rakyat in the recent 13th General Elections.
It is only today that Alias had denied a news report quoting him as citing Section 8 of the Immigration Act 1959/64 or the Passport Act to support the decision to cancel the passports of blacklisted Malaysians.
Alias told Malaysiakini that he was misquoted by Berita Harian and that the daily “will make corrections soon”.
This clarification further underlines Alias’ unfitness to hold the post of Immigration Director-General, for he showed neither responsibility, concern nor remorse at giving a totally wrong impression in the past six days that the Malaysian government would be punishing Malaysians abroad for their dissent with the ruling Barisan Nasional government by cancelling their passports from three to five years.
It is also as a terribly adverse reflection on the new Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamid that he could allow a departmental head in his Ministry to behave in such an irresponsible and unethical manner.
Would the new Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi censure Alias for his professional irresponsibility, negligence and ineptitude, or was all these egregious misconduct done with the knowledge or even encouragement of the new Home Minister?
Immigration DG Alias Ahmad shld be censured 4professional ineptitude 4allowing 6 days 2pass b4 clarifying misquote http://goo.gl/CCwGr
Immigration Department director general Alias Ahmad has denied a news report quoting him as citing Section 8 of the Immigration Act 1959/63 or the Passport Act to support the decision to cancel the passports of blacklisted Malaysians.
Speaking to Malaysiakini, Alias said he was misquoted by Malay-language daily Berita Harian, and that the daily will make corrections soon.
“The report is untrue and absolutely inaccurate. I did not even mention the Acts when speaking to the reporter.
“I am not a law expert but I know the law that the Immigration deals with and it is clear that Section 8 of the Immigration Act only applies to non-citizens,” he said when contacted.
However, he said, the Immigration will indeed take action by cancelling the passports of 6,564 Malaysians who have been blacklisted.
He said that this was upon advice from police and Wisma Putra, and is supported by case law which says the government has power to cancel passports.
He, however, added that the decision to revoke the passport was done justly and would largely only effect those convicted overseas.
“They are mostly those convicted of drug-related crimes or other crimes, as well as those contravening immigration laws overseas. Not simply those who participate in demonstrations overseas.
“But it is noted that the two Malaysians who had their Singapore work visas revoked after participating in a demonstration there have been found guilty of contravening (Singapore) immigration laws,” he said.
Referring to the Federal Government vs Loh Wai Kong 1979 judgement, he said that the government has the right to “issue, not issue, delay the issuance of or revoke a passport”.
This is at the government’s discretion. The passport belongs to the government,” Alias (right) said.
“The government has discretion whether or not to issue, delay the issue of or withdraw a passport; for instance, if criminal charges are pending against the applicant.
“The exercise of this discretionary power is subject to review by a court of law,” it reads.
Members of the bench were the Lord President Suffian Mohamed Hashim, and Federal Court judges Raja Azlan Shah, Wan Suleiman Pawanteh, Chang Ming Tat and Syed Othman Ali.
Electoral reform pressure group Bersih will request in writing a meeting with the Immigration Department director general Alias Ahmad over his statement that 6564 Malaysians will have their passports cancelled, among others for tarnishing the nation’s image abroad.
According to its chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan (below), they hope to meet Alias next Tuesday (June 4) to “ascertain the legal basis under which he is acting and to get a copy of the list (of those whose passports will be cancelled)”.
“As far as I can see from the Immigration Act and the Passports Act cited by the DG, (the department) have no power to cancel passports for the reasons given…
“Is the DG honestly saying that Malaysia, that purports to be a democracy and which is a member of the (United Nations) Human Rights Council is actually threatening Malaysians abroad for exercising their fundamental rights to free speech and assembly?” she asked.
In a text message to Malaysiakini, the former Bar Council president said that the Home Ministry, under which the Immigration Department falls, should better concentrate its efforts on more pressing issues, like crime and deaths in custody.
Instead, she said, the ministry is abusing its powers by intimidating Malaysians overseas who are merely expressing their views.
‘No moral right’
“In a matter of weeks, the administration has shown its hand in clamping down of dissenting views.
“They (the ministry) have no moral right to assert they are upholding the law. Instead, they are upholding the rule of tyranny,” she said.
The Passports Act 1966 does not provide for the cancellation of Malaysian passports as claimed by Immigration Department director-general (DG) Alias Ahmad, lawyers said.
“Looking at the Passports Act, I really cannot find which provision allows (Immigration to revoke passports),” lawyer Syahredzan Johan said.
In fact, he said, he does not know of any law which allows the government to cancel a Malaysian passport.
“As far as I can find there is nothing to allow the cancellation of passports. But individual laws do provide powers to bar people from leaving Malaysia, for example under the National Higher Education Act (PTPTN) 1997 and Bankruptcy Act 1967, and also if you are bailed for a criminal offence,” Syahredzan (left) said in a text message to Malaysiakini.
However, he stressed that these Acts only allow barring individuals from leaving the country, but not the revocation of valid Malaysian passports.
David Matthews, who specialises in the area, said that the barring of individuals under these separate laws, however, cannot be done administratively by the DG but must be through an order of the court.
“The Passports Act is really an administrative law and does not deal with citizenship, etc. It only allows the DG to remove non-citizens who have unlawfully entered Malaysia, and does not apply to citizens,” he said when contacted.
PKR: Immigration has no legal right to revoke passports of critical Malaysians
KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — The Immigration Department has no legal or administrative right to revoke the passports of citizens who criticise Malaysia’s government, opposition party PKR said today.
PKR was responding to the reported remark by the department’s director-general Datuk Alias Ahmad that those engaged in anti-government activities overseas could find their passports revoked, condemning it as an “utterly misguided statement” that would infringe a Malaysian’s “most fundamental rights as a citizen”.
“The Immigration Department has no business to comment on what Malaysians do overseas and use the government’s administrative power to curtail the rights of citizens,” PKR communications director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said in a statement today.
He then went on to say that there was a difference between criticising the government and the country.
“Criticism of the government does not equate to criticism of the country. More than at any time in history, Malaysians across the world are expressing their desire for democratic reforms and free and fair elections. That should be celebrated, not shunned.”
“It must be noted that the Immigration Department is under the purview Minister of Home Affairs Datuk Seri Dr Zahid Hamidi who has been cracking down on dissent since he took office this month. Thus this latest statement by Alias shows a disturbing pattern that can be seen under Zahid’s regime that totally contradicts the notion of a national reconciliation advanced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak,” he said, appearing to echo Global Bersih’s statement yesterday.
6,564 Malaysians will have their passports cancelled to prevent them from leaving the country, among others, because they had “tarnished the nation’s image abroad”.
According to Immigration Department director general Alias Ahmad, those involved will be barred from leaving the country for three to five years in accordance with the Passports Act 1966.
He told the Malay daily Berita Harian that those affected also include those who contravened a foreign country’s immigration laws or had committed other crimes while abroad.
“They have been identified and when they return, we will cancel their passports to ensure they cannot leave Malaysia,” Alias (left) said.
Though there are no provisions in the law to stop Malaysians from returning to the country, but the government can stop them from leaving once they have committed an offence abroad, he added.
However, Alias was not reported to have mentioned a specific section of the Act which will be enforce to stop the 6,654 from leaving the country.
He had also been reportedly have contradictorily said, in the earlier Berita Harian article, that the government can use Section 8 of the Immigrant Act 1959/63 to stop the Malaysians from returning home.
Meanwhile, Global Bersih, the international chapter of electoral reform group Bersih, has called on police and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to take action against Alias for allegedly threatening national unity.
“Global Bersih demands that the DG immediately withdraw his recent statement that Immigration will revoke the passports of Malaysians abroad who undertake anti-government activities,” it said in a statement.
“To equate loyalty to government with loyalty to nation and patriotism is the sign of a dictatorial regime with designs on extending its rule into the realms of tyranny,” it said.
WE’LL STOP YOU FROM RE-ENTERING MALAYSIA!
Immigration director-general (DG) Datuk Alias Ahmad was quoted as saying that action could be taken under Section 8 of the Immigration Act 1959/1963 to revoke Malaysians’ passports from three to five years for protesting overseas.
Global Bersih wants action on Immigration D-G over alleged ‘revoke passport’ threat
KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — Election reform group Global Bersih is seething with fury over Datuk Alias Ahmad’s reported remark to revoke the passports of Malaysians abroad found to have taken part in anti-government activities, accusing the Immigration director-general of threatening national unity besides ignorance of the law.
Section 7 of the Immigration Act explicitly provides that a citizen is entitled to enter Malaysia without need for permits or passes, except to Sabah and Sarawak.
Blogger: I have highlighted the more important parts.
No passport, IC will do, say lawyers