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Non-refoulement and Right of Entry for Asylum-seekers

Syafiq Sulaiman, Salawati Mat Basir, Abdul Majid Hafiz Mohamed and Muhammad Afiq Ahmad Tajuddin

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 29, Issue S2, December 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjssh.29.s2.06

Keywords: Asylum-seeker, deportation, Malaysia, non-refoulement, right to enter

Published on: 17 May 2021

This article examines two questions: first, whether the Malaysian law regarding admission of asylum-seekers into its territory is consistent with international law, and second, whether the asylum-seekers who are already residing in Malaysia can be deported back to their places of origins. In answering these questions, this article analyses the legal aspects of the right to seek asylum under international law and its relation to the rule on non-refoulement. Additionally, it also examines the relevant provisions in the Malaysian legislations that regulate the admission of non-citizens into the country. This study is doctrinal legal research which is qualitative. The data used in this research was collected from library-based resources. These data were then analysed by using methods of content analysis as well as critical analysis. The article found that there are inconsistencies between international law and Malaysian law in matters concerning asylum-seeker’s admission and those asylum-seekers in Malaysia should not be deported. Therefore, this study suggests that Malaysia should amend the provisions in the Immigration Acts 1959/1963 and the Passports Act 1966. However, if the amendment of these legislations is not practical, it suggests that the Minister in charge of immigration affairs to make an order of exemption to the asylum-seekers so that their entry at the border would not be denied. This article shows that despite states’ firm belief that they are entitled to use domestic law to deny the admission of asylum-seekers into their territory, international law provides a few mechanisms to remedy the legal loopholes.

ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

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