Where is this Law that Stops Penghina-Gomen from Leaving Malaysia?
(Cilisos) – So if we the rakyat are expected to follow the rules, shouldn’t the government be bound to the same agreement? Or in this case at least make sure these rules exist in the first place?
Whenever we decide to take a trip overseas, the main thing on our minds is stuff like whether we remembered to bring our passport, or if we remembered to pack enough underwear for the trip. What we don’t usually think about, however, is whether or not we can leave the country.
Unfortunately, some people have made it all the way to the airport only to be told that they’ve been barred from leaving the country. This was something that’s recently happened to Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah, who was prevented from boarding her flight to South Korea to accept a Human Rights award on May 15th. There was no reason given for barring her other than it was “orders from Putrajaya“. Before this, activist Hishamuddin Rais was also barred from boarding his flight out of the country in December.
When pressed for further details, it was revealed in an exclusive by The Star that the immigration department recently enforced a ruling that anyone who made fun of of the government or made the government look bad can be barred from leaving the country for up to three years, in an effort to jaga our country’s image. This was also confirmed by the Immigration Department’s director-general Datuk Sakib Kusmi within the same article.
But the question is…. can the Malaysian Immigration actually do this? We spoke to epic lawyers Syahredzan Johan and Eric Paulsen for more info and as it turns out…
Yes, the Malaysian Immigration CAN stop you from leaving the country!
Original image from Mothership.sg.
…But they need to tumpang somebody else’s legal power do it! ← What talking you??!
One of the things that Eric and Syahredzan pointed out is that the Immigration department – or more specifically the director-general of Immigration – relies on other laws to stop a person from leaving the county. The Immigration Act and Passports Act doesn’t give them such a power.
“There are no general powers given to the director-general to stop a person from leaving.” – Syahredzan, in phone interview with CILISOS
“The immigration has wide powers to stop people coming in or going out, but none to stop people from going out without a reason.” – Eric, in phone interview with CILISOS
In other words, they can’t stop you because they don’t like your face or because they feel like it 🙂
Instead, how it works is that other government agencies or departments will use their laws to ask the director-general (We’ll just call him D-G from now on) to stop a certain group of people. For example, the Department of Insolvency uses the Bankruptcy Act (Section 38A if you’re interested) to ask the D-G to stop a person who’s been declared bankrupt from leaving. The same applies for people who don’t pay back their PTPTN loans, under the PTPTN Act. You can read a pretty epic story of a girl who kena stopped for not paying her loan here.
Soooo… what law are they using to prevent people who memalukan negara to leave? Don’t hold your breath for an answer because when we asked Syahredzan and Eric – they’re still, um, looking for it.