Monday, December 8, 2014

Two Malaysian Passports Revoked

The Malaysian passports of Alvin Tan and Ali Abdul Jalil have been revoked.
Tan – if you can recall was notorious for his sex blogging antics – faces criminal charges under the Sedition Act as well as the Film Censorship Act for controversial online uploads, including a photo deemed insulting to Islam on Facebook.
Ali faces three sedition charges for allegedly insulting the Johor royalty and the Selangor Sultan in his Facebook postings.
Malaysians are not really surprised at them being charged and ordinarily, that should be the end of that. But there has been a worrying rise of venom and vitriol against those who allegedly cause offence to be taken by certain influential groups.
And the duo fled the country. Tan is seeking asylum in the US of A and Ali is trying his luck in Sweden. Both did not believe that they will get justice in Malaysia.
Today, the Director-General of Immigration Mustafa Ibrahim signalled that his tolerance had come to an end and he made the decision to take action against both Tan and Ali – he cancelled their passports. I am not sure if he was prompted by higher-ups but he did it with great resolve.

In fact, Tan had dared Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to rescind his passport when the latter said that the Immigration Department had the power to do so.
Mustafa said: "Let this be an example to anyone who insults the judiciary, the Malay rulers and Islam. We will not hesitate to take action". The issuance of a Malaysian international passport is a "privilege" and not a right; hence it should not be taken for granted, Mustafa had explained. And then he added that this should serve as a lesson to all Malaysians, not just Tan and Ali.
It is regrettable that the Director-General can make this decision on a whim.
Has Mustafa or anybody else heard of the term ‘due process’? Or are we aspiring to become a banana republic? We don’t seem to be able to accept other people’s views, even if they are unkind, inappropriate and/or abhorrent.
Beware all Malaysian passport holders – your travel documents may be annulled at any time. The authorities, it seems, have the power to do so. Just so you know! Malaysia Boleh!
On another matter, Malaysians who are fighting for the Islamic State are deemed to be less of a problem than Tan and Ali. Mustafa when questioned whether he will consider the same action against them, said there were no plans to retract their passports.
Isn’t this blatant hypocrisy? Isn’t this selective persecution? Isn’t this tyranny?
On Saturday morning, I was in Bankers Club on the twenty-second floor of the Amoda Building in KL’s Jalan Imbi. I was there for the MIMKL Toastmasters meeting and I was the Toastmaster. This was a pretty lengthy meeting because we had five assignment speakers – although I am sorry to say that I didn’t think much of the speeches. The time-keeper also pointed out that we started one minute late and for a ‘great’ club – this shouldn’t have happened. Anyway, I would give this meeting a score of a 3.5 over 10.


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