After travel bans, Suhakam insists everyone has right to travel

Razali suggested that the federal government reform immigration laws in line with international standards. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Razali suggested that the federal government reform immigration laws in line with international standards. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PETALING JAYA, May 16 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has reminded the Immigration Department today that every Malaysian has the right to freedom of movement, including to travel overseas without prejudice.

“While understanding the complications of the current situation and matters relating to national interest, Suhakam further advises in the public interest that the circumstances justifying the prohibition to travel will need to be provided, to underline the commitments of the country since the epochal change it has undergone,’’ its chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said in a statement.

This comes after a travel ban was imposed on former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor on Monday by newly-minted Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Several other inidividuals such as on-leave attorney-general Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Irwan Serigar Abdullah and former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad were also believed to be barred.

Razali added that although the Immigration Act 1959 and 1963 does not establish conditions under which the right to freedom of movement may be limited, the authority to bar any individual from leaving the country is left solely to the discretion of the Immigration director-general.

He also suggested that the federal government reform immigration laws in line with international standards.