Saturday, 15 September 2012

Don't abuse immigration autonomy, S'wak told

Leaders of Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat are worried that their national leaders may be denied entry into Sarawak to celebrate Malaysia Day tomorrow, following reports that 14 of them have been denied entry into Sabah for a similar visit.

Among the leaders who will come to Sarawak to attend Malaysia Day celebrations in Kuching tomorrow include opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, DAP national adviser Lim Kit Siang and PAS president Abdul Awang Hadi.

NONEDuring the celebrations, the national leaders will sign what they call the ‘Kuching Declaration’ together with PKR state chairperson Baru Bian (right), DAP state chairperson Wong Ho Leng and PAS state commissioner Adam Ahid.

Little is known about the ‘Kuching Declaration’,  but it is believed to be about the opposition’s pledge to uphold the 18-point Malaysia Agreement and at the same time to help strengthen what has been written and promised in Pakatan’s ‘Buku Jingga’. 

They are expected to arrive in Kuching tomorrow morning.

In a hurriedly organised press conference, Sarawak DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen (below) said, “By denying national leaders from coming to Sabah and Sarawak to attend Malaysia Day celebrations, I think this is the biggest irony in the history of Malaysia especially on the eve of Malaysia Day.

chong chieng jen interview 141108 03“I hope such an idiotic move or action will not be repeated in Sarawak by the Sarawak government. 

“We from Pakatan Rakyat surely uphold the principle where the Malaysia agreement whereby Sarawak has its own immigration autonomy.

“But such autonomy should not be abused to deny these 14 persons to enter Sabah or Sarawak.  

“The authorities must show evidence that these people are criminals or have past convictions before you deny them entry to the state,” said Chong, who is Bandar Kuching MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyperson. 

‘Abusing immigration autonomy'

Chong said, “If these people have no criminal records or tendency to commit criminal acts, why deny them the entry?

“Is it purely for political reasons? I think our autonomy in immigration power is not intended to be used just to consolidate the political power of BN. 

NONE“This is surely an abuse of such immigration autonomy,” the DAP leader said, pointing out that it is against the conscience of their forefathers and the founders of the constitution just to protect the political power of a political party. 

“By abusing this power, I am sure the BN will antagonise more people. (I) hope that the Sarawak government will not repeat the folly of Sabah government. 

“With more than 30 years as chief minister, Taib (left) is more experienced than (Sabah Chief Minister) Musa Aman and he should not be as stupid as Musa Aman,” he said.

Asked whether the BN is now scared of Pakatan Rakyat forming the next government, Chong said, “That is an understatement, if BN is not scared of Pakatan becoming the next government.  Otherwise the elections would have been held a long time ago.

“Lately, we can see fear in them, and we can see a lot irrational actions on the part of the BN, such as the attacking and smearing of buses and cars and the DAP headquarters with red paint. These are the things that are promoting political gangsterism.

“Previously when they (BN) were strong, no one smears red paint on buses. When the opposition is stronger then only you see these sort of things.

“Who are the perpetrators of all this gangsterism?” he said.

‘Police condoning hooliganism’

On the non-action taken by the police, Chong said that there seemed to be tacit permission by the police for all these people to do all these things, as no culprit has been brought to book.

NONE“But if the opposition were to do it, the police would be quick to take action,” he lamented.

Meanwhile Sarawak PKR vice-chairman See Chee How said it is important for Sarawak, since it is hosting the Malaysia Day celebrations, to be a good host and accept friends from Peninsular Malaysia to join Sarawakians in the celebrations.

“We agree with immigration autonomy. But there are safeguards and provisions inside the Immigration Act. If you are coming in for events like the Malaysia Day celebrations, then they (the immigration officers) actually cannot stop them from coming. 

“If this is the case, then the law is being subject to abuse. I hope the security committee from the Chief Minister’s Office does not simply bar our friends from coming to join us in the celebrations,” he said.

Meanwhile Robert Lian, state director of Immigration was reported to have said that he is waiting for a list of names from the Chief Minister’s Office as to who should be barred from entering Sarawak.

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