The barring of the DAP Political Bureau Director and MP for Kluang, Liew Chin Tong, from entering Sarawak today bespeaks of two things:
Firstly, the continued abuse of power in the country to deny to Malaysians the fundamental right of freedom of movement in their own country. This will make Malaysia another reason to be the laughing stock of the world where Malaysians dan visit Beijing, Moscow, Havana but not Kuching, Sibu or Miri.
DAP supports immigration autonomy for Sarawak and Sabah to protect the two states from being swamped by West Malaysians in the employment market, but this is not designed to deny to Malaysians the fundamental right of freedom to travel in their own country.
Section 67 of the Immigration Act 1963 makes it very clear that there should be no bar on Malaysians entering Sarawak for the sole purpose of engaging in legitimate political activity, and there is nothing which is more of a “legitimate political activity” than the 11th Sarawak state general elections.
This is why the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is a frequent traveller to Sarawak – to engage in legitimate political activity in the 11th Sarawak state general election on May 7.
Secondly, the determination of the Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Sri Adenan Satem to wipe out the Opposition gains made by DAP and PKR in the previous Sarawak state general elections in 2011 – which saw the DAP winning 12 seats and PKR 3 seats.
Adenan is mobilising all available resources and powers at his disposal to achieve his electoral objective, including the abuse of power in the blanket ban on Pakatan Harapan leaders and MPs from entering Sarawak to carry out legitimate political activity in the Sarawak state general election.
He hopes to pulverise the Pakatan Harapan parties of DAP, PKR and Amanah in the May 7 polling day, and if possible, to win back every one of the 15 State Assembly seat lost to DAP and PKR in the last state election.
We all want to win and do not want to lose. But let us be democrats, first and last, to win elections through a clean, free, fair and democractic contest.
The mark of a democrat is one who is prepared to accept the verdict of the voters – that while everyone wants to win and does not want to lose, we are committed to a free, fair, clean and democratic contest and will not use undemocratic means like abuses of power under the law to achieve victory.
For this reason, I call on Adenan to lift the blanket ban on Pakatan Harapan leaders and MP from entering Sarawak witht the sole purpose of carrying out legitimate political activity in the 11th Sarawak election.
I hope that Adenan will honour the 1963 Malaysia Agreement which guarantees Malaysians the right to enter Sarawak for the sole purpose of engaging in legitimate political activity in the 11th Sarawak state elections and announce the lifting of the blanket ban on Pakatan Harapan leaders and MP, especially as Adenan’s return as Sarawak Chief Minister and Sarawak Barisan Nasional as the Sarawak state government on May 7 is not questioned or challenged.