Barring Bersih chairman from entering Sarawak will not stop message of ‘Ketuanan Pengundi’

Bersih's Ketuanan Pengundi Roadshow is taking place in Kuching this Saturday, July 2.

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KUCHING, July 1: The barring of Coalition of Free and Fair Elections (Bersih) chairperson Thomas Fann from entering Sarawak will not stop the electoral watchdog from raising awareness among the public on ‘Ketuanan Pengundi’ or Voters’ Supremacy.

Bersih Steering Committee, in a statement today, informed that its application for Fann, who has been on Sarawak’s “no entry list” since 2016, to enter the State as part of the Ketuanan Pengundi Roadshow team that is due to hold a town hall session in Kuching tomorrow (July 2), had been rejected by the Sarawak State Secretary.

“Bersih regrets the decision of the Sarawak State government.

“While the Immigration Act grants Sarawak and Sabah the right to deny entry to any non-residents of the East Malaysian States, it was never intended to restrict legitimate political activities under Section 67 of the Act,” the committee said.

Bersih is on a nationwide Ketuanan Pengundi Roadshow to bring awareness to the Malaysian public of the urgent electoral and political reforms needed to strengthen the country’s parliamentary democracy before the 15th General Election (GE15).

“Fann, as the chair of our organisation, is key in spearheading this important campaign and was expected to address this Saturday’s town hall in person.

“Nonetheless, the message of restoring voters’ supremacy after the rakyat’s mandate had been pushed aside during the Sheraton Move, plunging our country into two and a half years of political uncertainty, cannot be stopped and will continue in Kuching this Saturday and the rest of the country after that.”

The committee added that Fann would deliver his address virtually though he would have very much loved to meet with friends and supporters in person and enjoy their warm hospitality.

Bersih thus calls on the Sarawak government to lift the ban on Fann, politicians, lawyers, academics and other political activists on their “no-entry list” immediately.

“A clean, stable and confident government who has nothing to hide needs not fear advocates of institutional reform or dissenting voices when it is pushing for a more open and decentralised Malaysia,” the committee added.

Meanwhile, Bersih’s Ketuanan Pengundi@Sarawak Townhall and Forum will take place tomorrow at Pua Kumbu Hall of Lot 10 Boutique Hotel in Jalan Ban Hock Road.

The panellists of the forum are Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How from Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) and Senator Robert Lau from Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), while Ann Teo of Rise of Social Efforts (ROSE) will moderate.

To support the nationwide roadshow, the public could help cover the total expenses of RM50,000 by donating to Bersih & Adil Network Sdn Bhd’s Maybank account 5122 9510 2931 (Reference: KP Roadshow). — DayakDaily