Govt lifts travel ban on ex-AG Apandi

Former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali has withdrawn his legal challenge against the government’s travel ban following Putrajaya’s decision earlier this month to lift the prohibition barring him from travelling abroad.

His lawyer M Visvanathan said the Immigration Department had informed him of the decision in a letter dated May 8.

“There is nothing to bar him from travelling now.

“On behalf of Tan Sri, we thank the Pakatan Harapan government for the decision and for ensuring that individuals’ right to travel is guaranteed,” he said outside the High Court here today.

He added that the federal counsel representing the government, Istisyhad Ismail, had confirmed the matter to judge Mariana Yahya.

“After receiving the letter, he (Apandi) went to the Immigration Department a day later to apply for a passport so he could travel to the UK to attend his stepson’s long call to the English Bar,” he added.

Apandi had filed a judicial review to challenge the government’s decision to deny his application for a passport and prevent him from leaving the country.

He claimed the ban was unconstitutional as he was not given the right to be heard before the decision was made.

He said he was verbally informed of the restriction against him on Feb 22, when he went to apply for a passport at the Jalan Dutamas immigration office.

In the affidavit for his judicial review, he said: “Until today, I have not been prosecuted for any criminal offences or faced any legal action.”

He added that he was not running away from Malaysia.

Apandi, a former Federal Court judge, sought a declaration that the restriction imposed on him was in breach of his fundamental rights under Articles 5 (1), 8 and 9 of the Federal Constitution.

He also sought a declaration that the Immigration Department and government were acting beyond their powers.

He said the government did not have unfettered discretion in imposing the restriction.