Disgraced K-pop star Seungri's presence at Malaysian party raises questions about entry regulations

Immigration policies under scrutiny after Seungri's controversial visit.

30 May 2024 04:49pm
Former BIGBANG boyband member Seungri, real name Lee Seung-hyun. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP)
Former BIGBANG boyband member Seungri, real name Lee Seung-hyun. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP)

SHAH ALAM - The recent appearance of Lee Seung-Hyun, better known as Seungri, at a private Malaysian birthday party on May 22nd has reignited discussions about entry regulations for individuals with criminal backgrounds.

Seungri, a former member of the popular Korean group Big Bang, was convicted on nine charges related to the Burning Sun nightclub scandal in South Korea.

These charges included sex trafficking and misappropriation of funds.

His presence in Malaysia has sparked outrage among some Malaysians, with netizens questioning how he was able to enter the country.

Calls for Clearer Entry Regulations

Crime analyst Kamal Affandi Hashim stressed the need for Malaysia to have a more transparent system regarding entry restrictions for ex-convicts.

He pointed out that many countries have existing guidelines in place, with varying restrictions on the time elapsed since an offense and the severity of the crime.

"Some require them to have been released for more than six months, while some countries impose strict bans for up to a year; unless these requirements are met, there should be no issue," he told Sinar Daily when contacted.

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Kamal clarified that individuals seeking long-term stays in Malaysia, such as for study or work, are already required to obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct before visa approval.

Balancing National Security with Economic Considerations

While acknowledging the concerns of K-pop fans, Kamal highlighted the broader issue of illegal immigration.

"We have local ex-convicts and undocumented migrants who enter the country through illegal means.

"These individuals may pose a greater security risk than someone attending a private party," he added.

Seungri's Fall from Grace and Public Criticism

Seungri's conviction led to his expulsion from Big Bang and widespread public condemnation.

His former bandmate, G-Dragon, even referenced him negatively in a song, signifying a complete severing of ties within the group.