Pua eyes suit against Putrajaya over travel ban

Press conference by DAP leaders at the DAP headquarters today on PJ Utara MP Tony Pua (second right) being barred from leaving the country. ― Picture by Kamles Kumar
Press conference by DAP leaders at the DAP headquarters today on PJ Utara MP Tony Pua (second right) being barred from leaving the country. ― Picture by Kamles Kumar

KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 ― DAP’s Tony Pua is considering his options to sue the federal government for barring him from exiting the country.

Pua, who was stopped by the Immigration Department earlier today from leaving to Yogyakarta, Indonesia, said the move was clearly an abuse of power to deny him his right to leave the country without a valid reason.

“I would be consulting my lawyers and looking to filing a suit against the authorities for preventing me from leaving the country without due process,” he told reporters at a press conference at the DAP headquarters today.

The PJ Utara MP also said he now expects to be arrested, but maintained that he will not stop exposing dubious government dealings.

“Being on this side of the fence, nobody is prepared to be arrested. But, if it comes because we are standing for the truth, certainly we will continue the fight,” Pua said.

DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang, who was present at the press conference, said the government must give clear justification for the unexplained travel ban on Pua and possibly PKR’s Rafizi Ramli.

He also demanded to know which other individuals have come under the travel restriction.

“What happened is an outrage. There are no words adequate enough to describe it. We want to know who is responsible for this decision.

Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong asked if prohibition against Pua from leaving the country was the sign of an impending crackdown on the opposition, pursuant to Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar’s claim that there was a plot to overthrow the government.

“Is this a precursor to a crackdown especially in light of what IGP said this morning? IGP must now answer to what he meant by a conspiracy theory,” he told reporters today.

Pua was barred from leaving the country by authorities today when he attempted to board a flight at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2).

Rafizi subsequently claimed that his name has been flagged by the Immigration Department, based on a check on its website.