By Ainin Wan Salleh | Malaysiakini
The daughter of MA Quayum, a Bangladeshi opposition politician detained at an immigration depot, has expressed relief after the High Court compelled the immigration department to abide by a court order staying his deportation.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court today recorded an undertaking by the immigration department’s legal representative that it would not deport Quayum pending the disposal of his April 5 habeas corpus application to be released from the immigration department’s alleged unlawful detention.
“We are very relieved,” Arnita Tasnim Ankaur told FMT.
“We hope the immigration department will stick to their word and this won’t happen again.
“Deportation is a very big risk for my father, so we’re thankful to the High Court.”
It is unclear why Quayum was arrested. He now faces deportation.
Arnita said her father was picked up by police on Jan 12 after he returned home from Friday prayers.
He was taken to the Ampang police headquarters, and the family has since been informed that he is being held at the Semenyih detention centre.
Malaysiakini reported that on Jan 18, the Kuala Lumpur High Court granted Quayum – who has been staying in Malaysia since 2015 – a stay of deportation pending his April 5 habeas corpus application.
However, Quayum’s family received a letter from the immigration department last night about its Jan 24 order to deport the Bangladeshi Nationalist Party (BNP) leader, who turns 61 on Friday.
Quayum’s lawyer, Edmund Bon, sought today’s undertaking by the immigration department pending the disposal of his client’s habeas corpus application.
Arnita previously told FMT that her father’s life would be in danger if he goes back to Bangladesh as the family knows of opposition leaders in Bangladesh who “have gone missing or are poisoned in prisons there”.
She also said her father requires medication and regular medical check-ups as he suffers from diabetes, hypertension and vertigo.
When asked about Quayum’s status, Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the immigration department will comply with the court order.
“I have contacted his (Quayum’s) lawyer and stated that the Immigration Department will abide by the judicial process,” he said at a press conference in Putrajaya.
“Until the court decides on his status (on April 5), the Immigration Department will not deport him.”