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Malaysia to bar travel by citizens if they insult govt

PTI
Published : May 19, 2016, 6:17 am IST
Updated : May 19, 2016, 6:17 am IST

Malaysians who insult their government will be barred from overseas travel for three years, which authorities say is aimed at “safeguarding the country’s image.”

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Malaysians who insult their government will be barred from overseas travel for three years, which authorities say is aimed at “safeguarding the country’s image.”

Authorities have begun enforcing a law that allows them to bar citizens who discredit or ridicule the government from travelling abroad.

Immigration Department Director General Sakib Kusmi, in an email to The Star confirmed the existence of such a provision, adding that the ownership of a Malaysian international passport was a privilege and not a right.

“So, the Government has the discretion to either issue, defer or revoke the travel document,” he said.

Those who disparage the government while abroad will also be barred from travelling abroad again for three years upon their return.

The paper quoting an unnamed source reported that the Immigration Department had enforced this ruling several months ago “in a move to safeguard the country’s image.”

“Anyone who runs down the government in any manner will be barred from going abroad. Only the Immigration Department director-general will be authorised to look into their appeals,” the quitted was quoted as saying and added that under the latest ruling, Malaysians who are caught and deported for overstaying, committing a crime or working without a valid permit abroad will also be barred from going overseas again for two years. However, Mr Sakib could not provide statistics on the number of Malaysians who have been barred from leaving the country for discrediting or ridiculing the government.

Location: Malaysia, Wilayah Persekutuan, Kuala Lumpur