Bersih 2.0 chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan’s has expressed her disappointment over the Federal Court’s ruling which decided to refuse her leave to appeal against a Court of Appeal ruling earlier this year in regards to her entry to Sarawak which was denied.

According to a local daily, she regrets that she failed to seize the opportunity to resolve constitutional and other legal issues over the entry of citizens into Sarawak.

Ambiga had challenged her deportation order from Sarawak by the state Immigration Department director last April with a five-man bench led by Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin saying that Ambiga failed to cross the threshold requirement under Section 96 of the Courts of Judicature Act (CoJA) 1964 for the apex court to hear the merit of the appeal.

Zulkefli said the Federal court also affirmed the April 10 Court of Appeal judgment that the right jurisdiction for Ambiga to file her leave application for judicial review against the department director-general was the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak.

Zulkefli also awarded costs of RM5,000 each to department director-general and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Ambiga was denied entry into Sarawak on April 15 to monitor the state polls. The order to deny her entry was issued by the Sarawak Immigration director.

On May 26 last year, she sought an order to compel the Sarawak Immigration Department and Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud to allow her into the state as she named the director-general of the Immigration Department, Sarawak Immigration Department and the chief minister as respondents.

However on Aug 5 last year, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur dismissed her leave application for judicial review proceeding against the order.

The Court of Appeal went on to strike out her appeal as it was filed in the wrong jurisdiction (High Court of Malaya).

Judge Datuk Jeffrey Tan Kok Hwa in his ruling had said that Article 9 (3) of the Federal Constitution allowed Sarawak, being accorded a special position, to impose restriction on citizens on grounds of security and public order.

He said the Immigration Act also empowered the state director to comply with any directions given to him by the state authority and this included not to issue permit or pass.

Tan said record revealed that Ambiga’s entry refusal was made by the state authority.

Source – NST