KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27, 2014:
The grounds for applying for political asylum are important and the success depends on the country where refuge is sought. Human rights lawyer Edmund Bon said a person could seek asylum when he or she has a well-founded fear of persecution, based on sexual, political, religious or racial orientation, as this is permitted by international law. He told The Rakyat Post that the success of the application, for instance the one said to have been made by sex blogger Alvin Tan recently, depended on the country he applied to. Bon said Malaysia had also accepted people under political asylum, saying that a very good example of cases of political asylum in Malaysia were the refugees. “Refugees who are prosecuted, like the Rohingya community from Myanmar, are given political asylum in Malaysia and are protected by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). “However, this is granted only after a strict assessment of the case.”
Bon said for Tan’s application to be successful. there must be evidence of well-founded fear and truth. “The application can’t be applied just to run away from a criminal charge.” When asked if Tan had a strong case, Bon said it depended on the facts of the case which, at this time, he was not familiar with. Bon said Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail had the right to request the government for Tan to be returned from where he was seeking asylum to stand trial..
It was reported earlier that Tan was currently in the United States and that he was seeking for political asylum.
Speaking to a Singaporean blogger, Tan detailed his journey from Singapore to Mexico, after which he made it to the US-Mexico border and expressed his desire to be granted political asylum there.
Tan had gone missing after he failed to return his passport to the Sessions Court on June 3, which was the date set to enable him and his then girlfriend, Vivian Lee, to be allowed to go to Singapore.
Both were undergoing trial for two charges under the Film Censorship Act and the Sedition Act.
Lee, who returned to Malaysia, was reported to have surrendered her passport. However, Tan failed to do so, following which an arrest warrant was issued for him.
His last known Facebook and Twitter update was in late May before “resurfacing” recently, with Facebook postings indicating he was in Los Angeles, California.
He then began taunting the government, Umno and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, among others.