By Rahmat Khairulrijal | New Straits Times


The Immigration Department has given its assurances that it will not deport Bangladeshi opposition politician MA Quayum pending a court hearing.

This is after the High Court here today recorded the undertaking by the department represented by Deputy Public Prosecutor Nor’ Amalina Ismail before judge K. Muniandy.

Earlier, senior lawyer Edmund Bon told the court that his client’s family in Bangladesh had received a letter from the department dated Jan 24, stating that Quayum will be deported within two days.

He said this contradicted the court’s decision on Jan 18 which granted a stay on a deportation order against Quayum pending a habeas corpus hearing scheduled for April 5.

Nor’ Amalina, however, assured the lawyer that the department would respect the court order and not send Quayum back.

Earlier, human rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) executive director Sevan Doraisamy had called for the intervention of the Home Ministry over the deportation order against Quayum.

“Our demand from Jan 18 still stands, the Immigration Department must fully comply with this court order and immediately cease any subsequent plans to deport Quayum.

“We also urge Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail to swiftly intervene and ensure that this deportation does not take place,” he said.

Sevan said the court order violation ironically undermined the claims of provisions of humanitarian assistance to refugees and asylum seekers propounded by the Malaysian delegation in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) session last Friday.

“It also reinforces Malaysia’s notorious reputation in treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, which include arbitrary arrests, detention, and deportation.”

Quayum, from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, was arrested in a joint operation between the police and Bangladeshi intelligence on Jan 12.

Sevan said the arrest and detention were especially unwarranted, as Quayum held a refugee card from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.