Federal leaders who cross the line not welcome in Sarawak, says CM

Abang Johari (seated, second left) speaking at the press conference after closing the inagural GPS Convention at BCCK today (Nov 16, 2019).

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By Lian Cheng and Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Nov 16: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg says in no uncertain terms that federal ministers who overstep their bounds will be asked to leave.

He said Sarawak’s position is very clear on bigotry and extreme views.

“Of course, that is our authority. If you come here to give money, why not? But if you come here, then you start provoking, then we have got no choice.

“But of course, there must be a reason. It must be justified, or else, they say we are afraid and that it is an abuse of power,” Abang Johari told a press conference after the closing of the inaugural Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Convention at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching here today.

Abang Johari said the Sarawak government is keeping a namelist of Peninsular Malaysian leaders who are known for their divisive political or extremist views.

“The list is still there. (Housing and Local Government Minister) Zuraida (Kamaruddin), she is blacklisted, (but) she can come here. Yes, because she is coming for her ministerial duty.

“(But) don’t abuse your freedom. You are free to come as a minister because you are doing your duty. We also welcome, but don’t abuse it to start making bigoted statements or provocative statements,” he said.

When asked whether the Sarawak government would allow the entry of Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng if he were to come in his capacity as Democratic Action Party (DAP) secretary-general, Abang Johari said it would depend on how the former behaves.

“That is what I said just now, there must be mutual respect. We work with PH (Pakatan Harapan) federal government, I have told the Prime Minister. But there must be respect.

“But when you come, you said you want to conquer, I mean, then your intention is already ‘diverted’,” said Abang Johari who is also GPS chairman and Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) president.

He said with regards to politics, some issues may be policised but there should not be any provocation of emotions on racial and religious issues.

“Because when emotions cannot be controlled anymore, it will be difficult for you to solve the problem.

“Sorry, that side (Peninsular Malaysia) is really emotional. This one said he wanted this, that one said he wanted that, one said I am more Islamic than you.

“How do you know? Only God knows. Who goes to heaven, who goes to hell, only God knows. Why worry? Just continue and then serve,” he said.

He added Sarawak’s position on banning federal government leaders is very clear where it is all based on merit and federal ministers coming here should be confined to their ministerial capacities.

Also present at the press conference were Sarawak United Peoples’ Party president Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Parti Rakyat Sarawak president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, PBB deputy president I Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and PBB deputy president II Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

On Nov 14, Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) member Wong Chin Huat was barred from entering Sarawak after he arrived at Kuching International Airport. He was reported as coming to the state to speak at a workshop on electoral systems in Kuching yesterday. — DayakDaily