Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Malaysians protest against US travel ban, Najib’s lack of response

KUALA LUMPUR — More than 100 Malaysians, including opposition leaders, rallied in front of the United States Embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Friday (Feb 3) to protest against the Trump administration’s travel ban on refugees and citizens from seven Muslim majority countries.

Malaysians protest against US  travel ban, Najib’s lack of response

Malaysians demonstrated against the temporary US immigration ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, outside the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR — More than 100 Malaysians, including opposition leaders, rallied in front of the United States Embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Friday (Feb 3) to protest against the Trump administration’s travel ban on refugees and citizens from seven Muslim majority countries.

The protest, which lasted for more than an hour, was led by opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan, along with ally Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and several non-governmental organisations (NGOs).  

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was denounced by opposition leaders and activists during the protest for failing to speak out against the ban. 

Activist Marina Mahathir, the daughter for former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, said the government should be questioned about their lack of response on the matter. 

“You should ask him (Prime Minister) or ask our Foreign Minister,” she said. 

Opposition Democratic Action Party’s (DAP) federal lawmaker Tony Pua noted Mr Najib’s silence was because the Prime Minister was dependent on US “generosity to ensure that the 1MDB case will not be brought to court in the US”.
 
The US Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit last July seeking the forfeiture and recovery of more than US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) in assets linked to what it described as an “international conspiracy to launder funds misappropriated” from troubled state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad. 

The lawsuit named Mr Najib’s stepson, Mr Riza Aziz, a Hollywood producer of films including The Wolf of Wall Street, as well as financier Jho Low, who is a long-time friend of Mr Aziz and his family.

However, Mr Najib told Malaysian reporters on Friday that the travel ban “does not involve Malaysia in any way”. 

During Friday’s protest, Pakatan Harapan Secretariat Chief Saifuddin Abdullah warned that the travel ban played straight into the narrative of Islamic State that democratically elected leaders are not to be trusted.
 
“It gives more reason for people to be radicalised,” he said. 

The protest organisers later submitted a memorandum addressed to US Ambassador-Designate to Malaysia, Ms Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir, demanding that US President Donald Trump rescind the executive order he signed on Jan 27 putting the ban into effect.

“It is a hugely disturbing action ... making it harder for citizens from other predominantly Muslim countries such as Malaysia, to travel, study, and work in the United States.
 
“Immigration bans are not and should not be a means to fight terrorism,” stated the memorandum.

Mr Trump’s order prohibited citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days. It also suspended the US’ refugee system for 120 days and suspended the intake of Syrian refugees indefinitely. AGENCIES

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa