Sunday, September 02, 2007

Top Malaysian lawyer stopped by Oz terror cops

"Lucky" Malik Imtiaz. My lead counsel* was at the Brisbane airport the other day when he was "pounced" by security officers and put through a "more thorough check". They screened him and his luggage for traces of explosives and whatever else that a terrorist is supposed to carry with him/her.
After the ordeal, one of the airport security officers told him he was "really lucky". But lucky for what?
Read Malik's Flying the safe and friendly skies and pray you don't get lucky when you are at an airport Down Under.

* Malik leads the legal team defending Jeff Ooi and I against the suits filed separately against us by NSTP and its officers and a former editor. My case is up for mention again on 5 Sept while Jeff has a date at the High Court on 911.
p.s. Malik can actually pass off as a Pakistani, Indian, Palestinian, Jew, Afghan, Malaysian, Singaporean, and even an Arab sheikh (if he puts on a headgear).


  1. Anonymous2:04 pm

    Of course Malik I Sarwar is lucky! Look what other prominent Malaysians had to go through, when they are abroad.

    Pak Lah was asked to take his belt and shoes of, and he was then the DPM and Foreign Minister.

    So did Syed Hamid "Kodomo Lion"
    Al Bar.

    For the record, Pak Lah himself was stopped by the Illinois State Police or the Highway Patrol in 1980 (while was a Deputy Minister), handcuffed on the hood of his rented V8 engined American car (while shouting "I'm a Minister! I'm a Minister!" and send to the local slammer.

    Dato' Aziz Shamsuddin (Minister of Rural Development) and Dato' Ir. Md. Zain "Badak" Mohamad were with him in the car when Pak Lah was flagged down by the Police on the Illinois interstate highway.

    Lucky Dato' Zain "Badak" Mohamad, then a student leader has the number of Zain Azraai, then Ambassador to Washington D.C. and the latter managed to sort this out. Pak Lah was lucky he did not hv to spend the night in an Illinois slammer!


    Personally, I don't you could go through these borders nowadays without being 'morally molested; also. You could easily be imstaken for being any Latin American revolutionarist, terrorist and/or drug dealers.



    BTW, Malik also could pass as a Bangla, Sri Lankan, Mauritian, Central Asian and North African.


    I look like a Hawaiian or Samoan currently making a living in Japan as a Sumo wrestler and assuming the pseudo-identity, Konekichi Ichibawa, anytime!


  2. Anonymous2:34 pm

    Once I saw an Immigration Officer in KLIA shouting "Tak Boleh Tengok" at an Indian National who was queueing on the Msian passport only row.
    Unlucky day for the Indian chap not understanding what the monkey is hsouting

  3. Anonymous3:09 pm

    I was interrogated for about 10 minutes and was made to wait for their "thorough investigation" for about 20 minutes when an officer stopped me at Sydney airport, just because I've multiple Indonesia visas.

    Not been to any other part of Australia besides Sydney, but the immigration gave me a sense of not being welcomed there.

    Thanks God Malik is fine by now and able to post an entry on this blog, otherwise ...

  4. Malik Imtiaz suspected as a Taliban or Jihadist Terrorist?

    If Osama Ben Laden is not alive, he'd be turning in his grave.

  5. Anonymous5:01 pm

    When I went Hong Kong, I was pulled aside for an hour, they took my passport for further verification, whilst a heavily armed team observed me from around 10 feet. It happens. Oh yes, the same thing happened to me on the way out.

  6. Anonymous5:40 pm

    Aisaymen! Going by bogdotcom's statement, I'm also in danger cause I look like a jowo! But that's only because my dad is! - Amir

  7. Ah Rocky!

    Malik Imtiaz, dont take this personal but just my observation. I have seen you, and you do have that hard done by smug look and that smack of an arrogant-I-am-a-powerful-man-and- lawyer-don't-ever-touch-me look! Apart from that, I do not see any reason why the police in Oz, stop you unless you must have been belligerent (oops that dang word again)when asked to comply with local police standard procedure. I hope you did not say "I am a powerful man lawyer from Malaysia, don't you dare search me", so if you did not say anything like that I do not see why in heavens name would the Oz police searched you?!
    A week after 9/11 I was in North America, went through three point of entries into the continent and not once I was asked to take off my clothes, and my shoes, at Lester Pearson Airport I was just asked "purpose of visit" and I answered! Compared to my look to Imtiaz, I would be hauled anytime by any terror cop, yes I do look "fierce", but the only difference is anyone who look at me,including any terror cop will tell that I am a genuine type of a person with no hang-ups and labels on my face that say "do not touch me I am a powerful politician or lawyer or whatever!
    Eric Chia was stripped because he was arrogant and no amount of diplomatic passport could have helped him then
    My advise is very simple: Those with acute case of a personality bypass and cannot speak the national language properly should stay home and in their spare time should just listen to themselves talk!
    Sorry, but sorry again! Who is this Malik Imtiaz and what has he done lately for heaven sake, Rocky!

  8. Anonymous7:13 pm

    Nowadays, you don't have to look like a Taliban or a 'stereotyped terrorist' to be hauled up by security.
    Last year, a group of Malaysian doctors(including my doctor) going to attend a medical meeting in the US all had their boarding passes stamped 'SSSS' and were subjected to 100% check at Los Angeles Airport.

    Seems to me if you are from a tagged country like Malaysia and possessing a Muslim-sounding name, chances are you will be searched 100%.

    After the recent incident regarding the Indian doctor at Brisbane Airport, high-profile lawyers are not beyond reproach!

  9. Anonymous7:17 pm

    Or sometimes his name could be on SB watch list for other reasons that could be wrongly interpreted by any force they are sharing the database.

    That happens. But MIS for terrorist!!???.. He is as harmless as Mr Bean.

  10. pasquale,
    You seem to be a clairvoyant to be able to see through MIS, even without having met him.
    MIS has some admirable qualities and worthy of praise for his up righteousness and principles. I respect him more than any UMNO leader or even the PM.

  11. LOL, as harmless as Mr Bean? Seen any Bean movie lately?
    That guy is a walking disaster zone, Bean I mean. MIS, naah.

  12. I think Pasquale has some relevant points. MIS is an incurable show off and arrogant lawyer who prefer to antagonise, rather than consult.

    Last weekend was a good. MIS was educated here through-&-through in Malaysia, after Bahasa Malaysia was made a medium of instructions. However, he chose to arrogantly say that he can't speak and address in Malay, even though he is a lawyer, at the Bangsa Malaysia do @ Bloghouse.

    As a lawyer, he professes "Constitution is the Supreme Law" but however when a Federal Ct or Court of Appeal Judge/s made decisions against his interests, he arrogantly belittle and degrade these learned members of the bench. Aren't judges the most qualified ppl and supposed to interpret these "Constitution is the Supreme Law"?

    Maybe MIS had it coming for him. The way he talked and say things maybe 'polite' but the things he are able to utter are deemed 'impolite' and 'political incorrect', even by non political perspective!

    I am with Pasquale the Magpie on this one!

  13. mr. smith, I am sure Dr Mengele, Stalin, or even Hitler also have redeeming qualities it is just that we have no time to delve into the inner sanctum of these people to find that quality! Just from everyday observation we can deduce something!
    Some people are socially inept, other have to hide their shortcomings by appearing bigger and superior than life! And I don't buy this sh%t ever! If you are a nice person a simple normal repartee like "how are you" or "I am fine" in a two way normal conversation
    is enough for you to draw a certain conclusion about a person! A nice person should not look down on anyone he or she thinks is "intellectually inferior"!
    No mr.smith, in a lower case, I do not have to be a clairvoyant to detect a total DUD!

  14. pasquale, now you've done it. Spraying bullets everywhere and shooting only your own foot in the process.

    The Ozzy security folks are just doing their job just like security folks elsewhere in the world. It has nothing to do with how you look or where you come from.

    They pick people randomly to put on a show that they are on the alert for terrorists to make travellers feel safe and to scare away the real ones.

    There's nothing personal when they pick you. If you keep that in mind, you won't be so sensitive.

    I'm a hundred light years away from looking like a terrorist but there were two occasions when I was stripped down to my knickers.

    I've heard of worse - the anal search. The people most likely to be picked are those who travel a great deal. I heard it's very uncomfortable and totally humiliating.

    I guess they do that mostly to a..holes. Just be cooperative and don't ask them stupid questions. I'm told that one question that they hate most is "Do you know who I am?" by people who don't have amnesia.

  15. Anonymous4:17 am

    Yeah! I think Imtiaz has that "Make My Day" look on him, so they made his day. He didn't try a "haka" did he? And they searched him when he was LEAVING the country?

    He should reeeelax and walk eeeeasy. After all, its Brisbane and the Gold Coast not too far off and you must act like you have enjoyed their hospitality. If you swagger like Clint Eastwood, then you are asking for it.

    Just go "Go'die mates. Wotch up? Aaaaaaah, yeeeeea. Kent bee too keerful wid dem teeribles, eh? Okie, leds git on wid it then. Jus bee a bit keerful under de armpits, I am a bit teeklish." and they would probably let you go immediately and look for another suspicious and uptight candidate. After all, its not on to search a mate, whatever their colour. Have they ever searched a kangaroo? Naaaaaah!

    Heck, one would think Imtiaz would have been a more seasoned traveller.

    But he was much better off than "Muhammed the Actor" who does not believe in banks and carries suitcases of cash whenever he travels.

    But Malaysians are very good at providing entertainment wherever they travel e.g. at Immigration Heathrow:

    Immigration Officer (IO): What is the purpose of you visit?

    Malaysian (M): To study law.

    IO : To study law?

    M : Yes. Study law.

    IO : Funny, after 50 years your country is still short of lawyers. Every M student say they they come here to study law.

    M: Yes. Study, lor.

  16. haha. imigresen story can become personal attack zone now. nice nice.

    anyway, i'm subjected to "random" checks at these airports all the time. but old harmless looking mat salleh ladies also kena la.

    nice to have some fun while this is all happening though. engage your friendly security person with chats about David Hicks (caucasion, gitmo grad) and the likes.

    worst experiences have been with customs staff who are of asian descent. their semangat in calling out/harrassing asian looking people at the customs line is no laughing matter. so no favours anywhere really.... we live in a world that has pushed paranoia as one of our natural instincts.


  17. Dont feel bad Malik. I am a US permanent resident and they still check me thoroughly and question me on all the countries i have been to etc, why I was there, how i got my greencard etc.
    [while re-entering the US]

  18. Anonymous2:30 pm

    malik imtiaz may look like pakistani gentleman.

    i am more middle eastern look with mixed malay-yamani.

    i recall one incident 10 years ago on my way back frm dover France to UK, i was asked whether i carry any bombs with me and was shoved to a room at immigration centre and was asked to strip naked.

    mind u this happened before september 11 .

    for that i am anxious each time i have to travel overseas especially to Uk and Us.

    for some reason, France always a safe haven.


  19. In 2002 I was detained by the US police at Des Moines Airport in Iowa for being "an Islam" and for buying domestic ticket by cash.

    Spent 3 hours at the airport police station until I was cleared by the FBI.

    Australia is the US' sheriff in Asia. It follows whatever the American does.

    Malik is lucky becauase unlike a certian former MB he understands English and was not carrying a lot of cash undeclared.

  20. estelle,
    So sorry that your impression of MIS is bad.I've known him since he was in school and I can confirm that his BM is/was not great. He is/was definitely more articulate in English.Of course he can get by in BM and maybe his BM is just wee bit better than his Penang Hokkien..but to be fair to him, his primary language/mother tongue is english.

    I suppose you don't quite like him not because of English, but probably more for Article 11/Lina Joy/Revathi/Ayah Pin issues? Just guessing.

    Funny when people can be so judgmental just by small things..As for Pasquale, he wouldn't be him if he doesn't/didn't say what he said..

  21. Rocky, it happens to me twice before during my business trip to OZ and NZ. They showed me a laminated card that indicates every single right I have before I agreed to let them check my personal.

    Since they suspected me of bringing drugs (in OZ) (twice!), I just let them be. Berani kerana benar, kan. They never found anything (perhaps it's my luck no one sabotaged my luggage).

    In Nz, they hold me for 3 hours after 14hours flight without nothing to drink and eat, simply because they think I'm a terrorist. Despite their politeness in doing their routine, I felt sorry for them for wasting their time on the wrong person - for freaking 3 hours!

    I saw many Malaysian held for the same reason too. I guess these Asia Pacific nation over here always put their d**k on their forehead!

  22. Rocky!

    I am writing a script for a TV drama the gist of the story is like this:

    A boy whose grandfather, an Indian Sepoy circa in the 1800, was brought into Malaya from India by the British to quell a Malay rebellion against the British.
    His grandfather fell in love with an aboriginal woman (orang asli) somewhere near Kuala Tahan, in Pahang, where he was stationed with the British company there. Kuala Tahan is the place where the leader of the Malay rebellion was from.
    Then after a stint in the jungle of Kuala Tahan, this Indian Sepoy was transferred to Taiping and he was allowed to bring his orang asli partner with him.
    In Taiping the boy's father was born he then marries a poor Indian Muslim girl, the boy's mother.
    When he was growing up the boy had to endure racial prejudice sentiment shown by the surroundng kampung Malays.
    This boy is determined to be successful and will one day grow to be powerful, and true enough after completing his Malay primary school and managed to get into a Special Malay Class he succeeded to a secondary school then to University were he graduated and become a lawyer.
    He loathes the Malays whom he perceived as bad, as a young boy he was quite good looking and then one day he was molested by a Malay village headman, a ketua kampung. Due to that he was forced to become gay. And at the age of 28 years old he secretly converted to Christianity! His raison de'tre today is to destroy everything Malay includng the destruction of Malay dominated Umno!:

    So Rocky do you think it will sell!
    A gay, non-Malay, with Orang Asli blood, but a Bangladeshi looking Malaysian lawyer, who forsake his religion, and loathes his family background and refuses to speak Bahasa Melayu even though he speaks it when he was old enough to speak, and who think no one else is articulate enough to interact with him Oh, he even he mimics the English language?! So what do you think Rocky will it sell?!

  23. Pasquale. Now, you've shot your other foot as well. What has he done to you to deserve that?

  24. roxanne now Iam getting miffed! What did I do? What has who done what to me for them or who to deserve that what!?

  25. Anonymous8:44 pm

    It would have been a best seller in 1957. P Ramlee might want the rights to be the main actor.

    In 2007, it will most likely not see the light of day. Too many sensitive and narrow-minded people looking for excuses.

    Then again it might be a best seller in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. Sound up Shah Rukh Khan and Jessica Alba (she's had Sarawak experience).