KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 — The 25-year-old Bangladeshi man sought by the Immigration Department for speaking up on alleged mistreatment of migrants has had his work permit revoked, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said.
Harian Metro quoted the top cop as saying that the Immigration Department had informed police of the man’s permit revocation, and the latter’s status is now that of an undocumented migrant that will be deported home.
“Therefore he needs to surrender himself before being deported back to his home country,” Abdul Hamid said.
He courted the authorities’ attention after he appeared on an episode of Al Jazeera’s 101 East programme on the alleged mistreatment of migrants during the recent lockdown.
Locked Up In Malaysia’s Lockdown was aired on June 3 by the Doha-based agency.
Al Jazeera’s 101 East segment, titled Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown, on July 3 highlighted criticism by human rights groups who accused the immigration authorities of serious violations when raids were conducted in red zones.
Ministers, the Immigration Department, and the police had all reacted to the documentary, with Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob demanding an apology from the news agency.
The programme has since led to a sedition and defamation investigation by Malaysian police on the Qatar-based news channel.
Immigration director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud has warned foreigners that making negative statements about Malaysia could result in their passes being revoked, a day before his department released the Bangladeshi’s personal details as it sought the public’s assistance in locating him.
The authorities’ move to go public with the Bangladeshi’s personal details also sparked a fresh round of xenophobic and anti-migrant sentiment on the department’s Facebook page, and was widely criticised by civil society organisations.
Malay Mail also reported lawyers saying while the threat by the Immigration Department was legal, it was also an 'extreme'.
On July 10, at least six Al Jazeera staff were summoned to Bukit Aman to facilitate investigations accompanied by their lawyers.