PETALING JAYA: Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have urged the judiciary to ensure that the Immigration Department and the home ministry are held responsible for defying a court order and deporting 1,086 Myanmar nationals yesterday.
In a joint statement, they said it was of utmost importance that the court upheld justice and held the authorities responsible for their actions which seemed to be in defiance of court orders.
“Going against the orders of the High Court is an action that is in contempt of court and an offence under Article 126 of the Federal Constitution. Defiance of court orders must be taken seriously to ensure justice and legal consistency across all sectors, not just in human rights.
“We urge the court and judiciary to take the necessary measures since this issue involves the safety of vulnerable communities as well as the integrity of the judiciary,” said the statement, signed by 37 groups and 10 individuals.
They also reminded the judiciary that it is under public scrutiny globally, following the contempt of court decision involving news portal Malaysiakini last week.
Human Rights Watch had yesterday called for immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud to be suspended and for an investigation opened into the repatriation of the Myanmar nationals.
While the Kuala Lumpur High Court granted an interim stay to stop the government from going ahead with the deportation of about 1,200 Myanmar refugees and asylum seekers back to their homeland yesterday morning, immigration allowed three Myanmar navy ships to repatriate them from the Lumut naval base in Perak hours later.
The Bar Council said the deportations may amount to contempt of court, with its Migrants, Refugees and Immigration Affairs Committee co-chairman M Ramachelvam saying the Immigration Department would have been aware of the stay order.
“The plaintiffs are now at liberty to commence further proceedings pertaining to the non-compliance of the court order,” he said.