Immigration officer says banned activist blacklisted since 2011 but ‘trying his luck’

Datu Ken Leben

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Nov 15: Wong Chin Huat, a member of the Electoral Reform Committee who was barred entry into Sarawak yesterday, has been blacklisted since 2011.

“Wong knows about his blacklist status but he was trying his luck,” a spokesperson from the state Immigration department told the DayakDaily when contacted.

He reminded that Sarawak has the immigration autonomy to impose entry ban on undesirable characters, especially racists and religious bigots.

Wong was denied entry after arriving at the Kuching International Airport (KIA) on a Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur at 3.45pm.

After being refused entry, he was placed under quarantine to be sent back to Kuala Lumpur on another flight at 8.50pm. However, the flight was delayed.

“Wong had complained that he was unwell and had a headache. He was diagnosed with high blood pressure by an airport medical staff,” the spokesperson said, while adding that a medical assistant stationed at KIA attended to Wong’s medical needs.

State Immigration director Datu Ken Leben said the directive to bar certain individuals from entering Sarawak was based on Sarawak’s autonomy on Immigration as contained in the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

“My office only takes directive from the Chief Minister’s Office (on individuals barred entry into Sarawak),” he said. — DayakDaily