Maria Chin gets court’s nod to challenge travel ban


KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court on Tuesday granted leave to Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah to challenge a travel ban imposed on her.

Justice Nik Hasmat Nik Mohamad allowed Chin to question the validity of the ban. “She is clearly entitled to get leave,” said the Judge. “The case can be ventilated on its merits.”

Justice Nik Hasmat added that the human rights advocate has a very “contentious” case. “The court will be interested to hear the constitutionality of Section 59 of the Immigration Act,” she said.

Gurdial Singh Nijar and Ambiga Sreenevasan represented Chin.

Senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan appeared for the Immigration Department.

Chin filed a judicial review on August 16.

She is seeking a court order to revoke the government’s decision to blacklist her from flying overseas. The Bersih 2.0 Chief named the Director-General of Immigration Department and the Home Ministry as respondents.

Chin only knew of the government’s decision to stop her from leaving the country when she was at the airport.

Briefly, Chin wants a declaration that the Immigration Department and government was in breach of the Federal Constitution by stopping her from going abroad.

Bersih 2.0 announced through Twitter on May 15 that Chin was barred from leaving the country for South Korea. She was scheduled to receive a human rights award.

The NGO strongly condemned the ban.