High Court allows Maria Chin's bid to challenge immigration's decision

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today allowed a leave application for a judicial review filed by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) steering committee chairman Maria Chin Abdullah to challenge the Director-General of Immigration's decision barring her from travelling overseas.

In allowing the application, judge Datuk Nik Hasmat Nik Mohamad said she ordered the Director-General (DG) of the Immigration Department and the Home Minister, who were named respondents in the application, to pay RM3,000 in costs to Chin.

In the judgment, she said the application by Chin was neither vexatious nor frivolous.

"We will be interested to know on the constitutionality of Section 59A of the Immigration Act (in relation) to prohibiting members of the public to travel," she said.

Chin, who is also an activist, had filed the leave application on July 28 seeking to quash the order by the Immigration DG and a declaration that the respondents did not have the power to reach the decision and therefore acted in excess of jurisdiction.

In the application, Chin said she was informed of her travel ban shortly before she was to board a flight to South Korea on May 15 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

She claimed authorities had failed to take into account that she was travelling to South Korea to attend a human rights conference and receive an award for Bersih 2.0.

Senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan represented the two respondents, while lawyer Gurdial Singh Nijar acted for Chin. — Bernama