Senator Nicholas Xenophon
KUALA LUMPUR: Australian Senator Nicholas Xenophon has failed in his bid to challenge the decision of the Immigration Department director-general barring him from entering Malaysia in February last year.
High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Justice Zaleha Yusof allowed a preliminary objection raised by the Attorney-General's Chambers against his application for leave.
Justice Zaleha held that Section 59A of the Immigration Act 1959 did not allow a review of the decision of the D-G, except relating to any questions relating to non-compliance of procedural requirements of the Act.
Justice Zaleha dismissed the application for leave and did not make any order as to costs upon meeting the parties in chambers.
Xenophon sought for leave for a judicial review to overturn the decision by the D-G made on Feb 16 refusing him entry into Peninsular Malaysia.
Senior Federal Counsel Suzana Atan, from the A-G's Chambers, told the reporters here that the preliminary objection was allowed on grounds that Section 59A of the Act does not allow review of the decision except on non-compliance of procedural requirement.
"The Judge held that there was compliance in the procedural requirement in barring Xenophon from entering Malaysia," she said.
His lawyer Gregory Ling, who said that Xenophon had applied for ex-parte leave for Judicial Review, confirmed the court ruling.
Xenophon had challenged the decision to deny him entry into Malaysia as he was a “security risk”.
In his application, Xenophon applied to the High Court to quash the notice of refusal issued by the D-G.
He sought for an order to compel the D-G, who was named as the sole respondent in his court papers, to allow his entry into Malaysia, as well as damages, costs and further relief deemed fit by the court.
In his affidavit in support of the application, Xenophon said he was informed by immigration officials upon his arrival at the Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) on Feb 16 that he was on a “watch list” and under instructions to refuse his entry.
Among others, Xenophon said the D-G had erred in law and was unfair to him in issuing the order.
He contended that his trip to Malaysia was to attend pre-arranged meetings on Feb 18 and 19, including calling on then Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He said he was also to be accompanied by three of his federal parliamentary colleagues.