Zunar’s challenge to travel ban hits huge obstacles

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Zunar with Kofi Anan in Geneva

Zunar says it will be difficult for how him now following a recent Court of Appeal decision in a case involving Tony Pua.

The Court of Appeal ruled on 4 July 2017 that the right of Malaysian citizens to travel overseas is at the absolute discretion of the government.

In delivering the decision on political activist Tony Pua, the judges said the issuance of passports to citizens to travel abroad is a privilege accorded by the government.

Freedom of movement is a fundamental right of all citizens of Malaysia as stated clearly in Article 5 (1), Article 8 and Article 9 of the Federal Constitution. “Fundamental” means a hard fact; it is not open to interpretation. It is also stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations.

I do not know why judges choose grey when black and white is right in front of them.

I am not allowed to travel overseas now, after the travel ban imposed on me since June 2016. The Malaysian government imposed the travel ban on me immediately after I received the Cartoonist for Peace Award 2016, which was presented by Kofi Annan in Geneva.

My challenge will be heard by the High Court on 25 September 2017. It will be difficult for me because according to normal practice, the High Court will follow the decision of the Court of Appeal.

Nevertheless, I will keep fighting, fighting and fighting to get back my right to freedom of movement.

Zunar is an internationally renowned award-winning political cartoonist.

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Amitabha Guha
Amitabha Guha
8 Jul 2017 8.02am

There are many such overreaching “laws” passed in an UMNO controlled Parliament in the past… with Ouster clauses to prevent full judicial overview based on the actual merits of the case and compliance with the constitution.
Ex. The Land Acquisition Act had clauses to prevent judicial determination of compensation amounts or to appeal on matters of compensation (which is what land acquisition cases are all about!)

Mahathir’s doing… now being further exploited by the current regime!

The first thing the Bar Council should do (with hopefully a victorious opposition) is to review all laws and compile and correct / amend / rescind for all those laws with such “judicial review ouster” clauses passed through Parliament – if they are not in line with the constitution.