Gobala banned from Sarawak entry – omen of relapse to Malaysia’s dark ages?

When I saw the Malaysiakini headline “MP denied entry into Sarawak”, it was déjà vu going back three decades.

Malaysiakini reported that Pakatan Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Member of Parliament N. Gobalakrishnan (Padang Serai) was denied entry into Sarawak by immigration officers at the Kuching international airport at about 5.30 pm yesterday.

Malaysiakini quoted Gobalakrishnan:

“The moment I reached the airport, immigration officers told me that I am not allowed to enter due to instructions from the state government.

“The immigration officer gave me a notice which reads ‘Tuan bukan rakyat Sarawak, tidak berhak untuk masuk ke Sarawak tanpa permit atau pas Akta Imigresen 1959-1963’ (You are not a citizen of Sarawak and are not eligible to enter Sarawak without a permit or immigration pass).”

Gobalakrishnan returned to Kuala Lumpur by an AirAsia flight later the same night.

This is a most deplorable and ominous development, portending to the bad old days when fundamental liberties and human rights of Malaysians were given short shrift!

This is what I said in Parliament 34 years ago on 9th November 1974:

“Mankind have dismantled the ‘Iron Curtain’, the ‘Bamboo Curtain’, but we in Malaysia are erecting the ‘Batik Curtain’ to separate Malaysians from Malaysians. We are coming to a stage where it will be easier for Opposition political leaders to visit Peking or Moscow than to visit Kota Kinabalu or Kuching!”

In that dark era of Malaysia, I was declared a “persona non grata” and prohibited from entering both Sarawak and Sabah to exercise my constitutional rights of legitimate politic al activities.

Is the end of the Abdullah era and the beginning of the Najib administration to see a sharp relapse in democratic and human rights of Malaysians?

  1. #1 by monsterball on Thursday, 25 December 2008 - 2:31 pm

    Let the whole world read..a Malaysian who is also an elected Parliamentarian…not allowed into certain State of his own country.
    An elected law maker…by the people…for the people …cannot be with the people………hahahahahahaha
    Have one ever read such things happening in any democratic country?
    I am sure UMNO’s Sarawak government will say….they are preventing troubles brewing…this and that.
    Hindraf 5 termed as supporters of terrorists Tamil Tigers..from India.
    Anwar Ibrahim comical speech in this …is a classic.
    Lets see he does one on this..at the Trengganu by-election.
    UMNO is confused…disunited and doing things to embarrass each other….showing UMNO president…..no more power…how weak it is.
    These are signs…exposing what idiotic government we have.
    UMNO days in Sarawak…..are numbered.
    UMNO applied fear factors onto Malaysians..in Kuala Lumpur.
    In actual fact..they fear Malaysians fearless personalities to walk …demonstrate…telling the truths.
    In Sarawak…one man…they already gone cold feet…….hahahahahahahha

  2. #2 by rockdaboat on Thursday, 25 December 2008 - 2:48 pm

    Very obviously, UMNO is so lack of confidence and is in a state of panic to resort to this!!!

    What else are they good at, anyway?

  3. #3 by hadi on Thursday, 25 December 2008 - 2:51 pm

    YB Kit, when you were chased out from Sabah in KK those day, the immigration officer had retired and now in Kelantan and may be you would like to offer him a job.
    Merry Christmas and have fun. Wishing you the best health for the new year. The fight is still on !!!.

  4. #4 by chengho on Thursday, 25 December 2008 - 3:09 pm

    Respect the law what so difficult about it. Every rakyat visiting Sarawak have to pass the immigration so what so special about Gobala . He should tell the immigration his reason is visiting relative .
    In China they have inter province ID also.

  5. #5 by Yee Siew Wah on Thursday, 25 December 2008 - 3:40 pm

    AS I have mentioned, Sarawakians must wake up to reality, now before its too late.. Thye must take back their rights which they have lost all these years under BN
    The immigration is a very very important dept and should be run by Sarawakians themselves and not by Umno sympathisers currently. Look at the current immigrants who become citizens and even bumiputras.in Sarawak and Sabah will testify to this.
    These sympathiser bums must be carrying out orders from those BN especially Umno politicians to prevent a Malaysian who is also an elected Parliamentarian into certain State of his own country. Just see what type of people we have running the country. Probably, that pea brain, arrogant, racialistic baldie toad must be at it again.
    Presently, only opposition PKR can help them win back their rights. They have to act NOW!!

  6. #6 by kentutoyol on Thursday, 25 December 2008 - 3:52 pm

    This political motivated dirty game is back. Gobala banned won’t be the last. Let us see who is next…and next…and next. Taib must be having insomnia. But when PR comes, the Sarawak voters will make them change the gonad gomen. Then…..good bye Taib!

  7. #7 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 25 December 2008 - 5:46 pm

    34 years and nothing’s changed. Them Sarawakians want to be stuck in time. Its them vs outsiders. Lets hope they stop UMNO from entering too.

    But come state elections, all outsiders will be banned from entry. It will just be a local affair. Be prepared for this as they want to continue to rule.

  8. #8 by wanderer on Thursday, 25 December 2008 - 5:59 pm

    “Here we go round the mulberry bush” This is a good sign for PKR, the outdated and corrupted Sarawak State govt is at the tail end of their rule. Desperate people do desperate things…but,nothing will stop the fresh wind of clean democratic politics.

  9. #9 by OrangRojak on Thursday, 25 December 2008 - 6:59 pm

    Oh! I thought I was one of the few people in Malaysia to have a Peninsular-only permit, by virtue of being a foreigner. So do all Malaysians have to apply for a permit to go Peninsular-East? What about the other way? What does a Malaysian have to do to obtain a permit? Why was Gobala travelling without a permit if he’s legally required to have one? Is it haphazardly / selectively enforced? I guess the visa application is more than a form on the plane or on landing. Hey! So it’s easier to enter Cambodia than it is East Malaysia? Wow. You guys sure know how to organise a nation.

    Why does Malaysia even have an internal border? Isn’t the sea enough?

  10. #10 by k1980 on Thursday, 25 December 2008 - 9:02 pm

    Tuan bukan rakyat Sarawak, tidak berhak untuk masuk ke Sarawak tanpa permit atau pas Akta Imigresen 1959-1963? (You are not a citizen of Sarawak and are not eligible to enter Sarawak without a permit or immigration pass).

    The above rule must be applied to all, including BN politicians,especially Dullah and Najib

  11. #11 by lee wee tak_ on Thursday, 25 December 2008 - 9:56 pm

    just like in Parliament, BN knows that in terms of pure matters of principle, correctness of logic and argument, they cannot stand up to the Pakatan’s cause.

    the only thing they can do is to silence the Pakatan’s voice. They used to monopolised main stream media but now that advantage is gone

    pure fear and sour grapes, they have to stop Pakatan from branching out to Sarawak

    Is this not an act of denial of democracy to the rakyat? The DYMM Yang Dipertuan Agong’s opinion is very much welcome

  12. #12 by simon041155 on Thursday, 25 December 2008 - 10:17 pm

    The Barisan government has become a law unto itself.

  13. #13 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 25 December 2008 - 11:15 pm

    “Mankind have dismantled the ‘Iron Curtain’, the ‘Bamboo Curtain’, but we in Malaysia are erecting the ‘Batik Curtain’…”

    From Iron to Bamboo and now Batik?? What next? Could be Najib’s sarong.

  14. #14 by mendela on Friday, 26 December 2008 - 10:14 am

    Looks like it is easier for a Malaysian to enter into evil states like Iran, North Korea and Burma than to visit his own country!

    BN scambags are in panic state of minds!

  15. #15 by son of perpaduan on Friday, 26 December 2008 - 2:34 pm

    FYI, Umno is not allow to set foot into LAND OF HORNBILL. So, there is no umno there. Well, is bad news to all that Mr. Gobala denied entry like the resr of malaysian.

  16. #16 by wahai kawan on Friday, 26 December 2008 - 2:44 pm

    Dear Kit,

    The question here is what can you and PR do?

    Answer is nothing! They own the immigration and laws there!

    But nevertheless, let’s write beautiful speeches to congratulate each other and for others to aspire….

    And even Parliament/BN decided NOT to support this move, I am sure Sarawak still has the upper hand being in this dominant position…. Unless the people there itself wake up & start to realize what an idiot they have been for voting the wrong party….. ???

    So let’s write more beautiful speeches for each other !

  17. #17 by juno on Friday, 26 December 2008 - 3:30 pm

    Mandela you are absolutely right. Malaysia has no technology, it has 27million people, the only developmental statistics we have about UMNO in the last 51 years is staying in power to help themselves. We are no different than some despotic countries in Africa and Central Asia with the same resources and bank accounts of Leaders , while the poor are still downtrodden hunting birds to survive http://sjsandteam.wordpress.com/ and the govt is busy building walls against its own people . A select few of them feel that its the best way to keep themselves safe in power forever.

  18. #18 by mata_kucing on Friday, 26 December 2008 - 3:58 pm

    Taib is getting panic attacks. I would look at this positively. The more arrogant he gets, the more negative attention he draws to himself. This can’t be all bad. Such decisions get the rumour mills in high gear especially in the rural areas. His days are numbered and he knows it.

  19. #19 by kerishamuddinitis on Friday, 26 December 2008 - 6:56 pm

    Alas, the gomen of S’wak and its immigresen dudes have the right to deny anyone the right of entry. That is why Peninsula Malaysians need to present our passports when entering these 2 states. It was, I believe, part of the agreement of autonomy when S’bah and S’wak decided to form Malaysia in 1963. If this is so, then LKT should present the case in a more balanced light and not make it seem like (i) S’wak has no right to do so, and (ii) that the S’wak gomen and it’s functionaries need to ask anyone’s permission before exercising their constitutional rights. And as for ‘friendlies’ vs ‘pain-in-butts,’ hey, it’s only self-survival, self-interest and self-indulgence. Gobala is to the S’wak gomen, a PIB. NO ENTRY!

    Let’s have a fair, balanced and enriching enlightenment on such issues.

  20. #20 by undergrad2 on Saturday, 27 December 2008 - 11:54 pm


    You got it all wrong here!

    The Immigration Act 1959/63 allows an east Malaysian state government to bar a west Malaysian individual from entering the state. All it has to do is to invoke Sec. 66(1) and the burden of proof then is on that individual to prove he comes under one of the exceptions.

    To the extent that it involves the mala fide use of its powers, the issue is a legal one which could only be resolved by the courts.

    By merging the political and the legal you are stirring up more dust than is needed to solve the problem. The political solution would be to amend the Immigration Act 1946/63.

  21. #21 by undergrad2 on Saturday, 27 December 2008 - 11:56 pm

    oooops Immigration Act 1959/63

  22. #22 by kerishamuddinitis on Sunday, 28 December 2008 - 2:18 pm

    Thank you, undergrad2. So, the old maestro, LKT, is simply seizing the chance to do a little bit of ‘politicking’ I suppose. A fair bit of posturing. It would be much better and more educational to us for LKT to debate the issue fairly in the correct light. ‘persona non grata’…LKT doesn’t need this grandiose term nor the impressive ‘Batik Curtain’ invention of his. Nice words. Very poetic. Very creative. And very much in the vein of being the martyr. But no need-lah. Maybe his team of writers should realise that we who support Lim Kit Siang and Raja Petra do so because of the truth they speak, the values they stand for and the sacrifices they have made. So, no need to bend the truth for theatrical impact.

  23. #23 by hj_murat on Tuesday, 30 December 2008 - 8:42 am

    Yes, you\re right. Does Sarawak people need to ask anyone’s permission before exercising their constitutional rights. Noo please give the fair understanding here

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