Ampang Member of Parliament Zuraida Kamaruddin at a press conference today where she issued a challenge to the Sarawak chief minister to handover the list of those who will be denied entry to Sarawak. — TRP pic by Wan Kah Hoong
By Hanis Zainal
KUALA LUMPUR, March 28:
Parti Keadilan Rakyat Wanita head Zuraida Kamaruddin has called on Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem and the state government to release the names of those barred from entering the state.
“I challenge the state government to give us the list of those who will be denied entry to Sarawak… Give us the names, so we know!
“I also urge the state government to release a statement explaining the reasons for barring PKR members (from the state).”
Zuraida, who is Ampang Member of Parliament, said this after being denied entry into the state yesterday upon arriving at Sibu Airport on AirAsia flight 5872 at 2.30pm.
“Usually, I have had no issues entering the state, but yesterday, they (the immigration officers) told me that I need to be investigated. So I was instead taken to the immigration office.
“I was at the airport for 2 hours and was put on the 4.30pm flight back to Kuala Lumpur. I felt like an illegal immigrant being deported as the pilot had to sign for my passage,” she described her experience.
She felt that her rights as a Malaysian had been violated by the Sarawak government’s move to deny her entry into the state.
“I agree that Sarawak does have a right (when the state joined Malaysia) to forbid entry to individuals from Peninsular Malaysia.
“However, the state should still abide by the Federal Constitution, which guarantees our (Malaysians) freedom of movement (within the country).
“Sarawak is a state within Malaysia. So I have the right to go there. I am a Member of Parliament, so I should have the right to go there to meet the people of Sarawak and hear their plight.”
Zuraida claimed that the move to deny her entry was for political reasons as the Balingian by-election will be held tomorrow.
“Why are they threatened? Is it because PKR is contesting in the Balingian by-election?
“I feel that this is a desperate move by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, especially the Sarawak BN leaders. They are afraid to let PKR members go into the state to campaign (for the by-election).”
She predicted that members of Pakatan Rakyat will also be denied entry into Sarawak during the state’s upcoming elections that might take place in 2015.
“I think this is an inkling of how the Sarawak government will handle the 2015 elections.”
Zuraida felt the move to forbid members of the Opposition coalition to enter Sarawak would backfire on the BN government.
“This action will actually make their (BN) image suffer and it will definitely affect future election results.”
Zuraida was the fourth PKR member to be denied entry into Sarawak. On March 25, PKR leaders Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Tian Chua and Rafizi Ramli were also barred from entering Sarawak. - THE RAKYAT POST