Hindraf chairman prohibited from flying out of the country on grounds of “national security”
KUALA LUMPUR – Hindraf Makkal Sakti chairman P Waythamoorthy was today prohibited from flying out of the country on grounds of “national security”.
He was informed by Immigration officers at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang that there was a government prohibition against him from leaving Malaysia.
“This is ridiculous. I had to fight hard to get back to Malaysia from the UK (following his exile), and was allowed back in legally with my passport, and now they are saying I will not be allowed to leave the country,” he told FMT from LCCT this evening.
Waythamoorthy was due to fly out of KL to Manila for a two-day business trip at 6.30pm today. However as he was about to go through the necessary immigration clearance, he was told of the prohibition placed on him.
“When I asked the officer on who had placed the prohibition, he said it was the director-general of the Immigration Department and the police.
“And when I asked why, he said it was because I am a national threat!” he added.
Waythamoorthy said that the immigration officers at the LCCT were unable to give him more details as to why he was considered a national threat.
“The officers even refused to contact their higher officials to find out about my case,” he added.
Waythamoorthy said he was now planning to lodge a police report against the police, the Home Minister and the Immigration Department for “their abuse of power and for linking me to security threat”.
“I have not been allowed the freedom to travel and as a result I stand to suffer losses as I am unable to attend to my scheduled meetings in Manila,” he said.
Immigration DG: Directive from 2007
When contacted, Immigration director-general Alias Ahmad said that he was informed by his officers that Waythamoorthy was stopped at the airport about 6.30pm as his name was “blacklisted”.
“Waythamoorthy wanted to go overseas but when officers checked the system, his name was blacklisted,”
However, he said that the directive, from the police, was given “way back in November 2007″.
When asked, Alias explained that a person can be blacklisted for various reasons, including bankruptcy, non-payments of study loans, court orders, as well as security reasons.
“For this case, maybe it was probably for security reasons but I can’t confirm it as it came from the police. Perhaps the situation has changed… people have forgotten but the computer does not and the record was still in the system. I’ll have to check with the police tomorrow,” he said.
Back home after exile
Waythamoorthy only returned to Malaysia on Aug 1 after spending about five years in exile in England. He had left Malaysia three days after the historic Hindraf rally of Nov 25, 2007.
In March 2008, the Malaysian government had revoked Waythamoorthy’s passport. Following this, he applied for and was granted political asylum by the British government.
He was then issued a Malaysian passport at the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore which allowed him to return to the country legally.
Since his return, he has been attending road shows to explain Hindraf’s programmes for the Indian community but has not been called up by the police or any other government agencies for questioning. – FMT