By Hidir Reduan Abdul Rashid | Malaysiakini
The immigration authorities have assented to a court application not to deport Bangladeshi opposition politician MA Quayum to his homeland.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court this afternoon recorded the undertaking given by the Immigration Department’s legal representative, Deputy Public Prosecutor Nor’ Amalina Ismail.
Quayum’s lawyer Edmund Bon sought the undertaking, pending disposal of the refugee’s habeas corpus application set for hearing on April 5.
The counsel earlier today told judge K. Muniandy that last night, Quayum’s family received a letter from the Immigration Department about its Jan 24 order to deport the Bangladeshi Nationalist Party (BNP) leader, who turns 61 in two days.
The deportation order contravenes an earlier High Court ruling on Jan 18, which allowed a stay of deportation on Quayum (above) who has been a refugee in Malaysia since 2015.
The stay order remains in effect pending disposal of his habeas corpus application to be released from alleged unlawful detention by immigration.
Bon also told the court that the Immigration Department’s order amounted to contempt of court.
“We are worried whether he would still be here or not as the hearing (of the habeas corpus) is on April 5.
“My colleague went to Semenyih earlier today. It is understood that he (Quayum) is still there.
“This is no joke as it has happened before,” Bon said, referring to similar court cases in the past when detained persons were deported despite a pending legal challenge to be released from detention.
The lawyer then applied for the court to either direct the Immigration Department to withdraw the deportation order or for the authorities to make an undertaking not to act on the order.
“This is my humble request to preserve the integrity of court proceedings.
“I also reserve the right whether to file contempt application,” Bon said, adding that they cannot allow law enforcement to disobey court orders “willy-nilly”.
‘Immigration will abide by court order’
Nor’ Amalina then told Muniandy she had instructions that the immigration authorities would respect the Jan 18 court order not to deport Quayum.
“We will abide by the court order. We will not act (to deport Quayum). The applicant will remain in Semenyih,” she told the court.
When met by the media after open-court proceedings, Quayum’s co-counsel Mohd Khairul Anwar revealed that they would also file a judicial review targeting the authorities’ decision to detain the politician.
Quayum was apprehended in a joint operation conducted by the Malaysian police and the National Security Intelligence (NSI) of Bangladesh on Jan 12 at his residence in Ampang.
Human rights organisation SUARAM previously alleged that Quayum’s detention request was part of a systematic crackdown by the Bangladeshi government against political opposition.
Quayum has reportedly been under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme since 2015.
However, documents show that his MM2H pass was revoked after he was detained one day after the stay order was issued.