After a month behind bars, court grants Singaporean chance to challenge deportation

Louise was detained by the Immigration Department at his house in Johor Baru on October 9 together with four others said to be foreigners. — Reuters pic
Louise was detained by the Immigration Department at his house in Johor Baru on October 9 together with four others said to be foreigners. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 — The Kuala Lumpur High Court today allowed a Singaporean activist, Gilbert Louis, to challenge his detention by the Malaysian Immigration Department.

He was granted an interim temporary stay against deportation earlier today.

His lawyer, Arun Kasi, said the court granted an interim stay after Louis filed an application for a judicial review on his detention. The court will hear on Thursday if there is merit for a judicial review.

Louis was detained by the Immigration Department at his house in Johor Baru on October 9 together with four others said to be foreigners. Three of them allegedly had no valid visas, according to the Immigration Department.

Since his arrest, the Singaporean has yet to appear before any magistrate, according to Arun. 

“He has not been charged with any offence. Immigration intended to deport him to Singapore at any time,” the lawyer said.

The Singaporean’s visa would have been valid until November 7, according to Arun.

The lawyer said the case is a serious intrusion on personal liberty guaranteed by Article 5 of the Federal Constitution, irrespective of any other law authorising Immigration to do so or exempting them from being judicially reviewed.

Arun Kasi also informed the court that Louis will file a habeas corpus application for him to be produced before the court and released.

* A previous version of this story contained errors which have since been corrected.

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