Malaysia bans oversea travel for those who criticise government

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Malaysia Bon VoyageA new law in Malaysia came into force that allows authorities to bar citizens who “insult,” “discredit” or “ridicule” the government from traveling overseas, The Star reported. Under the law, Malaysians can be banned from going abroad for three years for this reason.

It will also apply to those who disparage the Malaysian government while they are abroad. Once they return to Malaysia, they could be barred from traveling overseas for three years as well.

According to immigration department director-general Sakib Kusmi, it was “a privilege” to be able to have a Malaysian passport “rather than a right.”

“The Malaysian international passport is a travel document issued by the government,” he said.

“So, the government has the discretion to either issue, defer or revoke the travel document,” he added.

He, however, noted that Malaysians have the right to go to court and challenge travel bans on them.

The policy’s aim is to “safeguard the image of Malaysia,” the newspaper reported.

It is an addition to a list of other things that could get Malaysians banned from traveling overseas. These would be a criminal conviction in Malaysia or abroad, deliberately damaging passports or visiting Israel without approval. It also provides for a special blacklist for Malaysians found working overseas without a valid permit or deported for overstaying in another country.

However, the government does not have to explain why anyone is barred from leaving the country.

In one major case of enforcement of the law, opposition politician Maria Chin Abdullah, chairwoman of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, or Bersih, was not allowed to travel to South Korea on May 15 to receive a human rights award.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

A new law in Malaysia came into force that allows authorities to bar citizens who “insult,” “discredit” or “ridicule” the government from traveling overseas, The Star reported. Under the law, Malaysians can be banned from going abroad for three years for this reason.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Malaysia Bon VoyageA new law in Malaysia came into force that allows authorities to bar citizens who “insult,” “discredit” or “ridicule” the government from traveling overseas, The Star reported. Under the law, Malaysians can be banned from going abroad for three years for this reason.

It will also apply to those who disparage the Malaysian government while they are abroad. Once they return to Malaysia, they could be barred from traveling overseas for three years as well.

According to immigration department director-general Sakib Kusmi, it was “a privilege” to be able to have a Malaysian passport “rather than a right.”

“The Malaysian international passport is a travel document issued by the government,” he said.

“So, the government has the discretion to either issue, defer or revoke the travel document,” he added.

He, however, noted that Malaysians have the right to go to court and challenge travel bans on them.

The policy’s aim is to “safeguard the image of Malaysia,” the newspaper reported.

It is an addition to a list of other things that could get Malaysians banned from traveling overseas. These would be a criminal conviction in Malaysia or abroad, deliberately damaging passports or visiting Israel without approval. It also provides for a special blacklist for Malaysians found working overseas without a valid permit or deported for overstaying in another country.

However, the government does not have to explain why anyone is barred from leaving the country.

In one major case of enforcement of the law, opposition politician Maria Chin Abdullah, chairwoman of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, or Bersih, was not allowed to travel to South Korea on May 15 to receive a human rights award.

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