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Gerakan demands reasons for Najib travel ban

Gerakan demands reasons for Najib travel ban
13 May
7:46

Andy Yong cites a decision by federal court judge Gopal Sri Ram that fundamental liberties include right to travel.

Najib Razak wanted to take ‘a short break’ but was stopped before he could leave from Subang airport.

PETALING JAYA: A Gerakan member has questioned the legal basis for the federal government’s action in imposing a travel ban on ousted prime minister Najib Razak.

Andy Yong, deputy head of Gerakan Youth, said: “It is untenable for the prime minister or immigration authorities to restrict an individual’s right to travel without giving any written reason.”

Yesterday, newly-appointed Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he had given instructions to prevent Najib from travelling abroad. Najib was stopped hours before he was to go on “a short break” to be with his family after a bitterly-fought general election campaign.

Yong also questioned the silence of organisations such as the Bar Council and Bersih, who had previously protested against travel bans as a violation of the Federal Constitution.

“Why are they so quiet now? Didn’t our new prime minister say the need for rule of law must be followed?” he said.

He also cited a Federal Court decision by Justice Gopal Sri Ram in 2009, in which he said the judge had held that “personal liberty” included the right to travel abroad.

He said: “Failure to provide a reason for barring travel would imply that none exists and give rise to the perception of abuse of power.”

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