Bersih Chief challenges travel ban

maria-chin-1KUALA LUMPUR: Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah filed a judicial review on July 28 to challenge a travel ban imposed on her. She is seeking a court order on the government’s decision to blacklist her, preventing her from going abroad.

Chin said in her application that she only knew about the government’s decision when she was scheduled to fly overseas.

She named the Director-General of Immigration and the Home Ministry as respondents in her judicial review application.

Among others, Chin is seeking a declaration that the decision to stop her from going abroad was in breach of the Federal Constitution. The Immigration Department and government had also exceeded their jurisdiction, she added.

“There’s nothing in the Immigration Act or any laws to bar a citizen from flying abroad.”

The decision had breached her fundamental right to travel abroad, stated Chin.

“I was not informed beforehand about being banned from travelling abroad.”

“I have a valid passport.”

She also pointed out that the decision against her “had also breached the principles of natural justice as it was made before being heard”.

The registrar fixed September 6 for the next case management.

On May 15, the Bersih committee announced through Twitter that Chin was barred from leaving Malaysia for South Korea. She was scheduled to receive a human rights award in Seoul.

Bersih strongly condemned the government preventing Chin from going overseas.

Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua also filed a judicial review last year to quash a travel ban decision. He was barred from leaving Malaysia for Yogjakarta, Indonesia.

The High Court dismissed Pua’s challenge bid last month and ruled the ban was valid.