KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 ― Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today urged Putrajaya for an explanation in Parliament on its reasons for prohibiting Bersih 2.0’s Maria Chin Abdullah from travelling abroad.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is also PKR president, pointed out that Chin had only wanted to leave the country to accept the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights in South Korea on behalf of the polls watchdog she chairs.
“This latest move is another act of desperation of Barisan Nasional in inhibiting Malaysians to travel freely, and willfully.
“Instead of the government standing in our way in building a better country, I urge our government to join us and build a better Malaysia,” she said in a statement.
Today with the start of Parliament, I shall call for a protest for this shameful desperate act and demand a full explanation on the reasons for denying Maria Chin her constitutional right of travel,” she added.
Dr Wan Azizah noted that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would not be in attendance today but said this would not stop her.
“What I am looking for is for the government to work with me in making this country better,” she said.
Yesterday, Chin was stopped by airport officials when she tried to board a flight to South Korea.
“Breaking: BERSIH Chair, @mariachin just been barred from leaving the country. She suppose to receive Gwangju Award from Korea,” Bersih 2.0 said in a tweet.
In another tweet, Bersih 2.0 added that no reasons were given for barring Chin from leaving the country.
The group also condemned the move and urged for an explanation from Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
It was reported last month that the group won the award for its efforts in pushing for electoral reform in Malaysia.
According to the Bersih 2.0 steering committee, the award was to commemorate the spirit of the democratic fight by the people in Gwangju on May 1980 when they stood up against the military regime in South Korea.
Bersih 2.0 said back then it will send representatives to receive the award on May 18 at the Memorial Foundation in South Korea.