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Apandi free to attend stepson’s call to English Bar

May 31, 2019

Former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali can travel to the United Kingdom to attend the ceremony to mark his stepson being called to the Bar.

His lawyer M Viswanathan said the Home Ministry and Immigration Department, in a letter dated May 8, informed his client that the travel ban has been rescinded.

In response to this, he said Apandi retracted his application for leave to initiate a judicial review against the travel ban.

“We are very thankful to the Pakatan Harapan government as the right to travel in and out of a country is a right of every Malaysian as long as the person is not charged in court or has any criminal conviction.

“We thank the government of the day for safeguarding the right (to travel) pursuant to the law and the Federal Constitution.

“There are no charges, nothing against him, so there should not have been any travel ban in the first place,” he added.

Visvanathan was speaking to reporters after attending the case management in relation to the legal action in the chambers of Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mariana Yahya this morning.

The judge made no order to cost in the matter. Apandi was not present.

Apandi could not attend stepson’s graduation

After receiving the letter, Visvanathan said Apandi went to the Immigration Department the next day to collect his passport. “

He (Apandi) will fly to the United Kingdom in July,” he said, adding that Apandi is looking forward to attending the ceremony as he was unable to attend his stepson’s graduation last year.

Meanwhile, acting for the three respondents – home minister, Immigration Department director-general and the federal government, federal counsel Istisyhad Ismail confirmed the matter.

She said the May 8 letter did not specify the reasons for lifting the travel restriction.

Previously, Apandi said he was informed about the ban by an immigration officer when the former AG went to the department’s office in Jalan Dutamas on Feb 22 to apply for a passport.

He claimed the officer did not provide any reason for the travel restriction.

The former AG, who is now practising law, said he was shocked as he did not have pending criminal or civil cases against him. He also stated that he was not attempting to flee from Malaysia.

Apandi, who had cleared former premier Najib Abdul Razak of any wrongdoing with the regard to the billions in his bank account, vacated his position after Pakatan Harapan came to power last year.

The former Federal Court judge had sought several declarations to remove the travel ban.

Among them were that the travel ban violated his fundamental rights enshrined under Articles 5 (1), 8 and 9 of the Federal Constitution.

He sought declarations that the three respondents acted beyond their powers and did not have unfettered discretion to mete out the disputed travel restriction. He sought a declaration that he was denied the right to natural justice by Section 59 of the Immigration Act 1959/63 which denied him the right to be heard before a decision was made by the authorities, and Section 59A of the same Act which is an ouster clause that sought to prevent him from mounting legal challenge against the Immigration Department’s decision, among others.

He sought a declaration that Sections 59 and 59A are unconstitutional and should be set aside. He sought a court order for the three respondents to apply for a passport and be allowed to travel in and out of the country without restrictions.

Apandi also sought a court order to prevent the three respondents from blacklisting him or an alternative order that they provide valid reasons for any travel restrictions imposed on him.

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From → Malaysia Upclose

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