By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Sept 10: It is high time that Sarawak exercise full autonomy on immigration matters by banning all religious extremists and racial bigots including federal ministers from entering Sarawak.
Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) Baru president Bobby William said even though the state government has banned known extremists and bigots from coming to Sarawak’s shore, there were politicians and federal ministers who had made religious extremism and racial bigotry remarks that was still allowed entry.
“It is about time we exercise out rights to ban all extremists and bigots from entering Sarawak including the federal ministers.
“Sarawak is known to be a very tolerant state and must keep itself from all the harm these people will bring if they are allowed entry,” he told DayakDaily, here, today.
Bobby expressed agreement with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s recent statement that Sarawak will continue to ban racists and extremists from entering the state.
However, he urged the Gabungan Parti Sarawak government to go one step further by banning all politicians and federal ministers known to be racist.
“We all know who they are and they are still allowed to enter Sarawak. We should not be afraid to stick with the principle based in our immigration autonomy under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63),” he said.
Bobby asserted that there were many politicians from Peninsular Malaysia who were banned from entering Sarawak prior to the 14th General Election (GE14), but have been allowed to enter Sarawak as some of them have been appointed as ministers and deputy ministers.
“We must be aware that our existing peace and harmony is a real treasure that all of us Sarawakians must protect zealously.
“If we are not vigilant, our present peace and harmony could be affected if these politicians were to be allowed to roam around freely to spread their ideologies in the pretext of dispensing their duties as ministers and deputy ministers, while visiting Sarawak.
“As the saying goes ‘a leopard never changes its spots’,” he warned.
Meanwhile, among those banned entry to Sarawak for various reasons prior to GE14 were a number of Pakatan Harapan leaders such as Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) lawmakers Zuraida Kamaruddin, Nurul Izzah Anwar, Rafizi Ramli, Tian Chua and Sim Tze Tzin, as well as Democratic Action Party (DAP)’s Teresa Kok, Tony Pua and Teo Nie Ching.
After Pakatan won GE14, many of those banned from entering Sarawak were appointed ministers and deputy ministers.
Subsequently, the Sarawak government had lifted the entry ban on them, which included Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu and Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
Under MA63, Sarawak and Sabah have the autonomy over immigration and are empowered to keep out individuals deemed undesirable. — DayakDaily