Press Digest - More than 700,000 Malaysians barred from leaving country

PETALING JAYA: More than 700,000 Malaysians are now barred from leaving the country, an increase of 250,000 from last year's figure.

According to a report in Sin Chew Daily today, most people who are blacklisted are not aware of their status until they are stopped by the immigration officers at the country's exit points.

Many may be surprised to learn that other than the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), Customs Department, Bank Negara Malaysia, Insolvency Department, Security Commission of Malaysia, Federal Police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) can provide blacklists to the Immigration, the Prime Minister's Office, Labour Department and the country's foreign missions can also request the Immigration to bar specific individuals from leaving the country.

Other Malaysians on the Immigration's blacklist include individuals who have committed offences under various Acts.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed confirmed to the daily that his ministry's security and public order division is empowered to put individuals deemed a security threats on the immigration blacklist.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican told Sin Chew the ministry, too, can also ask for exit ban to be imposed on certain individuals but had rarely done it.

MACC officials contacted by the daily pointed out that if need be, the commission can also issue "redflags" on individuals to the Immigration for assistance to trace their whereabouts but not exit ban.

According to the report, most of those barred from leaving the country are on the blacklist for not settling their taxes with the IRB.

Under Section 104 of the Income Tax Act 1967 and Section 22 of the Real Property Gains Tax Act 1976, the IRB director-general can issue exit ban orders on individuals for not settling their taxes.

Those who want to know if they have been blacklisted by the IRB can check their status at http://sspi2.imi.gov.my/Default.aspx