Jeffery Kitingan’s entry ban into Sarawak to be lifted?

Abang Johari (third left) unveiling the second Bidayuh Strategic Plan (2020-2030) for the Bidayuh community presented to him by Manyin (second left).

KUCHING, Jan 11: The state government will look into the entry ban for Sabah opposition leader Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said he would look into the matter before making a final decision whether to lift the entry ban on the Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Star) president.

“I will check and find out (if his name is still in the blacklist),” he said when asked by reporters after attending Dayak Bidayuh National Association’s (DBNA) 65th Anniversary celebration at its multipurpose hall here last night.

Jeffery was blacklisted from entering the state by Sarawak Immigration since February 2017.

The entry ban was enforced slightly a month after Abang Johari took over as Chief Minister in January 2017.

On March 11, 2017, Jeffrey was informed by Sarawak immigration upon his arrival at Kuching airport that he was not permitted to enter Sarawak.

Meanwhile, earlier on, Abang Johari called on the Bidayuh community to work together with the state government to uplift their standard of living and to fulfil their development agenda as specified in their second 10-year strategic plan (2020-2030) document for the Bidayuh community towards achieving a high-income community.

Additionally, Abang Johari noted that through dialogues with the Bidayuh community and its leaders, the state government had also provided compensation on Native Customary Rights (NCR) land.

“You have started to do surveys on the land based on your own effort.

“Though initially little problem (encountered) with Land and Survey and when your leaders inform me, they took initiatives to have discussions with Land and Survey and now the issue is solved,” he said.

Abang Johari pointed out that the survey done by DBNA on NCR Land documentation was currently recognised as part of the process by the state government to issue land titles.

On another note, he opined that DBNA needed to incorporate economic and social elements in their second Bidayuh Strategic Plan towards achieving high income community by 2030.

Elaborating further, he added one of the components in social was education, noting that the Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong, who is also DBNA advisor, was tasked with the portfolio.

“We feel that our education policy must not be based on flip-flop policy. That’s why we want to build our own international schools,” he said, stating that entrants to these schools must include people from low income groups.

“We want the farmers, the fishermen also to send their children to international schools,” he said.

He outlined the state government’s plan setting up five international schools which would use the Cambridge University syllabus as teaching materials.

He believed educating students with the right international syllabus will become the foundation for Sarawak to produce the right talents.

He revealed that the state government had, in principle, agreed to the development of the Bau Masterplan as part of the Greater Kuching development.

Abang Johari shared that the Bau Masterplan would include agriculture using the latest technology, Internet of Things (IoT) and tourism.

Adding on, he said the elected representative for the area of Bau has requested for a road to link Kuching-Bau and also for the old road to be widened as a four-lane road which the state government has agreed. —DayakDaily

Abang Johari (centre) cuttting the cake with prominent Bidayuh leaders to mark the 65th Anniversary celebration of DBNA.