By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Dec 10: West Malaysians and Sabahans have ceased using their passports to enter Sarawak as they can gain entry through the IMM114 (Disembarkation Card) that was introduced on Sept, 1, 1986, in conjunction with the launching of ‘Feri Malaysia’, revealed State Immigration director Datu Ken Leben.
“Since then, West Malaysians and Sabahans can use MyKad to enter Sarawak. Upon entry they will be issued with a receipt of IMM114 which permits them to land and stay here on a three-month social pass,” Ken told DayakDaily here today.
He also clarified that both Sabahans and Peninsular Malaysians can still use travel documents (international passports or restricted travel documents) to enter the state.
“For Sabahans and those from Peninsular Malaysia who work or study here in Sarawak, they must use travel documents,” he stressed.
However, he was quick to point out that police and army personnel are exempted from using traveling documents as they are merely required to use their police ID (identity card) or army passes, respectively.
Ken was responding to queries from netizens who have reacted to State Reform Party Sarawak (Star) president Lina Soo’s suggestion that the Sarawak government make it mandatory for all non-Sarawakians, including people from the peninsula and Sabah to produce their passports before they are allowed entry into the state.
Soo said this was based on the fact that Sarawak is a nation or ‘negara’ and must go beyond financial and immigration autonomy based on the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
She even suggested that as a ‘negara’ or nation, Sarawak should have autonomy in all sectors, except defence and foreign relations.
Soo supported her argument by citing Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who in a recent interview stated that Sarawak and Sabah are actually ‘negara’.
In a recent news conference after chairing a Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) supreme council meeting, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg reiterated that the state still has its full immigration autonomy as it can still bar certain characters such as religious extremists and bigots from entering the State.
“Our party is of the view that we must protect our right over immigration because we do not want any extremists to come over and disrupt the peace and racial harmony in the state,” he said, adding that the state government has a long list of outsiders who are still barred from entering the state. — DayakDaily