Zahid Hamidi should tender apology to Maria Chin and Tony Pua and take immediate action to restore their fundamental democratic right to travel freely overseas


The ban on Bersih Chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah from travel overseas confirms the age-old maxim “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” and the need for constant vigilance as well as effective checks-and-balance against abuses and excesses of power.

But what has come as a surprise is that the former PAC Chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed should be afflicted by this human failing so quick and fast less than a year after his appointment as Deputy Home Minister when he said yesterday that the government need not have to give reasons for barring Maria Chin from leaving Malaysia.

The ban on Maria Chin from travelling overseas is wrong on three grounds.

It is

(i) Undemocratic – raising the question whether the Najib government is committed to democratic principles and practices;

(ii) Violation of fundamental liberty on freedom of movement – an utterly retrogressive step which had never been done by anyone of the five Malaysian Prime Ministers of the past, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah Badawi; and

(iii) Makes a complete mockery of Malaysia’s commitment to promote human rights, especially as Maria Chin was travelling to South Korea to receive the Gwangju Prize on Human Rights Award, an award previously bestowed upon Aung Sang Suu Kyi and Xanana Gusmao. Why have a Suhakam when the government is prepared to so blatantly abuse human rights in Malaysia?

Maria Chin is the second Malaysian personality to be barred from travelling overseas – the first was the DAP National Publicity Secretary, MP for PJ Utara and Public Accounts Committee (PAC) member Tony Pua.

Pua had to go to court to compel the government to give the reason for his ban, that his travel rights were restricted allegedly because he was under police investigations for “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” although he had so far been called in for questioning by the police only as a witness in police investigations.

By such logic, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should be banned from travelling overseas for his twin global financial scandals, the RM50-55 billion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion “donation” scandals, which are being investigated by at least eight separate countries, including the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) of the United States.

I call on the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi, to assume personal responsibility for the violation of Maria Chin and Tony Pua’s democratic and human rights in barring them from travelling overseas, tender a personal apology and to take immediate action to restore to Maria Chin and Tony Pua their fundamental democratic right to travel freely overseas.

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  1. #1 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 17 May 2016 - 11:44 am

    Apology!?
    Easier 2 squeeze blood out fr stones

  2. #2 by tmc on Tuesday, 17 May 2016 - 1:36 pm

    Shame on Nur Jazlan!

    As for DPM Zahid, if he aims to be PM of all Malaysians and not just for Najib, he must demonstrate his statesmanlike qualities and do what’s right for Maria Chin and others who have been similarly banned from travelling overseas. Unlock the bar!

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 17 May 2016 - 7:53 pm

    There was no point for Najib to cover up his scandals any further as they were already known and much talked about worldwide.

  4. #4 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 17 May 2016 - 10:42 pm

    It’s just amaze me how UMNO “leaders” continue to be even more willing to step deeper into the cesspool everyone,including themselves, are already in. Nur Jazlan was never free of the stink but he was less than most and yet even as he knows the rest of his colleagues are drowning in crap, he steps right further in closer to them.

    You have to admit, it takes a special someone to knowingly dive into crap with his self inflicted, deserving colleagues are in.

  5. #5 by drngsc on Tuesday, 17 May 2016 - 11:18 pm

    Although I know that this DUMNO government is severely wrong in denying Maria her right to travel, there are also more pressing issues confronting Malaysia and P Harapan.
    So sorry to hijack this column to discuss DSAI’s letter and DAP’s support for the ‘Citizen’s Declaration”. I read YB Tony Pua’s response, saying that DAP will continue to support the Mamak’s initiative and support the Citizen’s Declaration. There are 4 important points that the DAP leadership must pay great heed. 1. This initiative calls for the people’s declaration that Najis must step down. It pays little importance to changing this corrupt government. In fact Mamak has reaffirmed that BN should be allowed to remain in power. This is against our struggle for change and to change the tenant at Putrajaya. 2. Mamak is evil and untrustworthy. He has no morals and will throw you all away, should he by some fluke be able to bring Najis down. He will replace Najis with another corrupt DUMNO. Is that what you wish, YB Tony? 3. Trying to work with BN to change their mindset ( as YB Tony said in his statement – MKini ). This is very very unlikely to happen Tony, I am sorry to say. The danger of that strategy is that your power base of Chinese may desert you as they see you all sleeping with the enemy. How can we ever trust you all when you all feels that the end justifies the means. That makes you all just as bad. We all trust you all, and see this action as a betrayal. Mamak is Public enemy UNO. 4. As DSAI said so clearly in his letter, working with Mamak on this Citizen’s declaration also means working with the treacherous part of PKR, namely Azmin the Trojan Horse. This faction of PKR that DSAI is warning PKR about has snaked us twice. How many times do you wish to be tricked? He tricked us in the Selangor MB fiasco ( now he wants to work with PAS ) and he tricked us in Sarawak . I do understand that we all wish for DAP to be multi-racial faster. But this is not the way. Please carry on the struggle the way we have been doing. Retain the trust of your power base. I am hearing a lot of unhappiness on the ground. DSAI’s letter should be read carefully and understood. He knows Mamak and PKR well. PLEASE PAY HEED. Do not just brush it aside. Now returning to Maria Chin. Soon all of you will have to check the immigration website before going to KLIA. This is now essentially a Police state. Our freedom are all slowly being eroded. We have two years to work hard before GE 14. He has gone to raise money. There may be a snap GE 14 should he get enough money. Let us not waste time with ‘Citizen’s Declaration”. Let us just work very very hard and win back the people’s support, the good old way. No short cut.

  6. #6 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 18 May 2016 - 9:22 am

    2 b d next peeM, d guy has 2 show his macho-ness

    2 act tough, suppress/bully people who r of no significance 2 UmnoB, protect d incumbent peeM n UmnoB at all cost, whack d opposition kaki

    Power Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry – adapted fr “Love Story” – faham tak

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