KINIGUIDE | Last Sunday, Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah was barred from leaving Malaysia.
She joins a list of more than 800,000 people who have been prevented from travelling overseas since 2011. However, unlike many of them, Maria did not know why she was not allowed to leave the country.
In this installment of KiniGuide, we explore your right to overseas travel, and where the government can or cannot restrict those rights.
Wait. Overseas travel is a right?
Yes. According to lawyer Syahredzan Johan, this comes under Article 5(1) of the Federal Constitution, read together with Article 9 that provides for the freedom of movement.
Article 5(1) states: “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with law.”
Syahredzan (photo) said the courts have interpreted ‘personal liberty’ to include overseas travel.
This does not amount to a blank cheque to go on that dream holiday, though. What it does mean is that if the government wants to restrict your ability to travel overseas, it would have to do so by passing laws to that effect...