KUALA LUMPUR: The Government is not compelled to explain why someone is barred from leaving the country, said Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed (pic).
Nur Jazlan said the Immigration Department had the power to bar anyone under the Immigration Act.
"We have the power to bar anyone from leaving the country.
"I don't need to answer the press. It's the power given to the Immigration, we don't need to explain why," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.
Asked if the law applied to all citizens, Nur Jazlan said:
"Yes (they don't need to explain), strictly from the legal interpretation. Every citizen is given the right to a passport, so the passport can be revoked by the government.
"Travel conditions are attached to the passport and the condition is that the passport is the first document you must have. We can also pull back the passport," he added.
Nur Jazlan said a person can be barred from leaving the country for many reasons, including owing money to a bank or for committing offences.
Despite being pressed by reporters for an answer, Nur Jazlan did not explain why Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah was barred from leaving the country on Sunday.
Maria was stopped from leaving at the KL International Airport as she was about to board a plane to South Korea to receive a Human Rights award.