SEBERANG PERAI, Oct 19 — A technician was left in a state of uncertainty when his attempts to extend his heavily pregnant wife’s social visit pass was rejected.
The 23-year-old man, who wants to be known only as Albert said he was told to send his wife back to Indonesia as her pass expires next Monday but she is now eight-and-a-half months pregnant which makes it impossible for her to travel long distance.
“I went to the immigration department to ask if there is any way for us to extend her pass until she delivers and I even produced a doctor’s letter from a government hospital to certify that my wife cannot travel long distance in her condition,” he said.
Albert said the immigration officer did not only turn them away but also rudely told him to send her back “guna kapal layar” (by ship) when he said his wife could not travel on an airplane.
“I thought of taking her to Thailand or Singapore by land but the doctor said she can’t travel long distance,” he said when contacted today after municipal councillor K.Jason Raj held a press conference to highlight his case.
Albert, who is a Malaysian, said his wife is due to deliver the baby on November 29, so it is dangerous for her and the baby to travel long distance at this point.
“We don’t want to break any law, all we wanted was a way for us to extend the pass until she delivers the baby,” he said.
Albert added that his wife has been travelling to Medan almost every month to renew her short-term social visit pass since her work permit here expired in February this year.
Today, Jason said the reason he called for a press conference was to highlight Albert’s case and the way a senior immigration officer handled the case.
Jason told reporters that he was with Albert and his wife at the immigration office yesterday when the senior officer rudely told Albert to “kenapa datang sini, hantar dia balik negara dialah” (why come here, just send her back to her country).
“The officer also accused me of trying to use my position as a councillor to help Albert and his wife and told us to leave,” he said.
Jason said he only went with the couple to help them ask about the procedures to extend the visit pass as the couple did not know what to do.
He lodged a police report against the immigration officer after the incident as he believed the officer had wrongly accused him of abusing his position as a councillor.
“The state immigration director contacted me today and we will be meeting with him to discuss this case,” he said.
Penang Immigration Department director Meor Hezbullah Meor Abd Malik could not be reached for comment.