Malaysians were left in a state of panic earlier today when an American reporter's tweet about the US immigration travel ban was misinterpreted. Jack Smith IV tweeted saying that a total of 71 people are currently detained at the JFK Airport in New York under Trump's travel ban.
The update from the lawyers at JFK is in: 71 detainees total have been held, from 20 countries. They won't all fit in one tweet, so...— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) February 1, 2017
He mentioned that the detainees are from the seven banned Muslim countries and 15 other countries, including Malaysia
Banned countries, plus: Turkey/Libya/Sri Lanka/Pakistan/France/Algeria, Jordan/China/Malaysia/Qatar/Senegal/Switzerland/Algeria/Egypt/Guinea— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) February 1, 2017
American president Donald Trump imposed a travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen recently.
Trump said that these countries have been identified as "sources of terror" by former president Barack Obama's administration.
"To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion - this is about terror and keeping our country safe," explained Trump, as reported by Express UK today, 1 February.
However, the tweet was misinterpreted by certain local media channels that reported saying that Malaysia is now part of Trump's infamous travel ban. Responding to the sudden panic and misinformation, Jack clarified his previous tweets.
To clarify, these are NOT countries where people are being banned from. These are people traveling from these countries who were detained.— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) February 1, 2017
(ie: travelers from these countries were swept up in detainment WITH the 7 ban countries. Seeing hardcore reactions, wanted to be clear)— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) February 1, 2017
The American journalist also asked Malaysians to stop panicking and that his tweet has been misinterpreted by non-English speakers
The Embassy of the United States of America in Kuala Lumpur has since confirmed that Malaysia is not a part of America's new travel ban list
The Malay Mail Online reported this afternoon that the US embassy in Malaysia sent them a Twitter message, saying that Malaysia is not on the list of countries banned from the US.
The embassy assured that Malaysians can continue to travel to the US with a valid visa.
"The Executive Order stands as it was issued last week. Malaysia is not on the list of countries affected by the Executive Order," read the message according to Malay Mail.
Meanwhile, No Ban JFK which comprises of a group of lawyers and volunteers assisting people trapped or affected by the US travel ban tweeted earlier today that the ban "clearly affects more than just the seven targeted countries".
No Ban JFK claimed that the detainees are having their laptops seized, denied interpretation and even questioned about their views on Islamic State (IS).
Trump's sudden travel ban has led to widespread protests across the US. Meanwhile, in Malaysia, Pakatan Harapan is planning a gathering on Friday, 3 February, in front of the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to protest the travel ban.
Do you think it's fair for Trump to ban people from the seven Muslim countries? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.