KUCHING: Pakatan Harapan Sarawak called on the state government not to abuse its power by banning the entries of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang and Kuala Krai MP Dr Mohd Hatta Md Ramli to the state.
Its chairman Chong Chieng Jen said there was no reason for the state BN to do that as such a move would be a violation of democratic principles.
“There is absolutely no reason for the State Barisan National (BN) to ban Tun Dr Mahathir, YB Lim Kit Siang and YB Dr Hatta (Amanah) from entering Sarawak for the Sarawak Pakatan Harapan’s ceramah this coming Sunday (Sept 24) at 7.00pm at the car park in front of the BDC Everrise Supermarket, Kuching,” said Chong who is also state DAP chairman in a press release today.
Dr Mahathir was the Prime Minister of Malaysia for 22 years and was a revered figure in Sarawak and should not be selectively barred from entering Sarawak, he pointed out.
“Before he quit BN and joined Pakatan Harapan, he was revered with the highest of respect and admiration by BN Sarawak.
“A man cannot be selectively banned from entry into Sarawak merely because he has quit BN and now subscribes to a different political belief which is legitimate in Malaysia and Sarawak.”
Chong who is also Bandar Kuching MP and Kota Sentosa state assemblyman said that banning the entry of Dr Mahathir was a violation of democratic principles.
“The basic principle of democracy dictates that the people has a choice to choose their government. That is the whole purpose of having regular elections, for the people to make their choice.
“In order that the people can make a wise and considered choice, political parties must be allowed to freely propagate their ideas and policies.
“To ban leaders of legitimate political parties from entering Sarawak merely because they are not from BN is not only an abuse of power on the part of the government but a clear travesty of democracy.
“I call upon the Sarawak Government not to abuse its Immigration power. If Tun Mahathir were to be banned from entry into Sarawak, it will be the ultimate joke of the year in Sarawak, the equal of (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Najib’s (Tun Razak) ‘Malaysia strengthening US economy’ remarks.
“Najib’s remark has brought great shame to Malaysians in general. I urge (Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi) Abang Johari (Tun Openg) not to emulate Najib in bringing shame to Sarawakians,” said Chong.