Australia Bans Haris Ibrahim

Posted on September 27, 2013


Haris not allowed to enter Australia?

Big deal. Sarawak banned him much earlier.

I’m sure he’ll be allowed in one of these days, but until then Sarawak and Australia are just exercising their rights over immigration matters.


Malaysian democracy activist refused entry
September 27, 2013
Lindsay Murdoch
South-East Asia correspondent for Fairfax Media

The Abbott government has banned a Malaysian democracy activist and lawyer from entering Australia where he had been invited to speak at public forums, including the Australian National University.

The government has given no reason for refusing a temporary visa for Haris Ibrahim, an opposition figure who publicly criticised the conduct of Malaysia’s racially divisive and disputed national elections on May 5.

Mr Haris and two opposition members of parliament have been charged with sedition following remarks he made at a forum eight days after the election, despite Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s promise in July last year that the colonial-era law would be repealed. The case is due to be heard in January.

The decision to refuse Mr Haris a visa was one of the first made by Immigration and Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison.

His spokeswoman said the minister was unable to comment on individual cases.

The former Labor government’s foreign minister Bob Carr criticised the deportation of independent senator Nick Xenophon from Malaysia last February, saying the decision was a “surprising and disappointing act from a country with which Australia routinely maintains strong diplomatic relations”.

Mr Haris learnt of the decision while travelling overseas and said in a blog posting that when he returned to Kuala Lumpur this week he would try to meet diplomats at the Australian high commission “with a view to allaying some misapprehensions they appear to have about my intended visit to their country and if possible [achieve] a reconsideration of their earlier decision on my application”.

“For that reason I will not say any more on this matter,” he wrote.

Mr Haris was scheduled to speak to academics at the Australian National University in Canberra on September 29.

Mr Haris founded the Anything But UMNO group, a reference to the United Malays National Organisation that was returned to power at the election.

Read more:


Haris Ibrahim barred from Sarawak
Hazlan Zakaria
7:56PM Apr 13, 2011

The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) president Haris Ibrahim today became another civil activist denied entry into Sarawak “on orders from above”.

Malaysiakini was first alerted about the matter from a tweet by Fahmi Fadzil, the political secretary to Pantai parliamentarian Nurul Izzah Anwar.

“Urgent: @harisibrahim joins the honored list of @SivarasaRasiah @millemeow and @chinhuatw in being banned from #Sarawak,” wrote Fahmi in his tweet.

NONEWhen contacted, Haris (left) confirmed that he is now stranded at Kuching Airport after being refused entry into the land of the Hornbills.

“I was denied entry into Sarawak, they told me I was blacklisted on orders from above, though they themselves are not aware of why I am banned,” he lamented.

Haris, who was travelling alone, said that he insisted on a black-and-white written order of his blacklisting.

“I don’t intend to go back without an official confirmation,” he said.

The lawyer-turned-activist contends that it is insane for Sarawak not to allow people to come into the state just because an election is going on, particularly without a valid reason.

“This is s blatant abuse of powers, plain and simple.”

Pursuant to his request, he was issued a “Notice of refusal for entry”.

On the notice was written:

“Pursuant to Section 65 (i)(a) of the Immigration act 1959/63, the state does not allow you to be issued a pass to enter the state of Sarawak.”

Again, no reason was stated as to why he was refused entry.

“I can’t for the life of me wonder why I would be denied entry, I am a most peaceful man. I even brought my suntan lotion and cap thinking of having a good time,” he said snidely.

More seriously, he said that it is common knowledge why activists like him are barred from entering Sarawak, as the powers that be want to stop them from revealing the truth to the rakyat.

The MCLM president said that he will be put on a flight back to KL courtesy of the government of Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, but that will not be end of it.

“I shall go back, consult with my lawyers and decide if there are grounds for legal action. This abuse of power must stop. It had gone on probably because no one had challenged it before,” said the lawyer feistily.

Haris was the latest in a long list of activists and opposition politicians banned from the state.

Last week election watchdog Bersih 2.0 representative Wong Chin Huat faced a similar fate, joining activist Steven Ng and Subang MP R Sivarasa.

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