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Sarawak entry for Sabahans: Abang Jo’s office clarifies
Published on: Friday, October 18, 2019
By: Bernama

KUCHING: Any decision to relax the terms for Sabahans to enter Sarawak will only be made after thorough and careful consideration, the Sarawak Chief Minister’s Office said Thursday.

It said recent media reports quoting Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg (pic) as saying that the move will take effect immediately was inaccurate. 

“In this regard, this office wishes to clarify that what the Chief Minister said in response to a reporter’s question in Kota Kinabalu recently did not in any way suggest that such a relaxation would be implemented without thorough and careful consideration of the social and geopolitical conditions, including problems of refugees,” the office said in a brief statement.

The statement on Thursday pointed out that the Chief Minister had clearly stated that the present arrangement still stands.

It also cited the Chief Minister as saying that even today, there was no problem for people in both states to go in and out of Sabah and Sarawak as no fee was imposed.

According to a Bernama report last Tuesday, Abang Johari had told reporters in Kota Kinabalu that Sarawak could reconsider its stringent Immigration requirements for Sabahans entering the State.

Abang Johari and his Cabinet were on a two-day visit to Kota Kinabalu to foster closer ties and cooperation with their Sabah counterparts.

At present, Sabahans entering Sarawak are required to produce their identification cards at the immigration counter in line with Sarawak’s rights over immigration as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the Federal Constitution.

Meanwhile, Sarawak DAP on Thursday reminded Abang Johari on his responsibility to protect and defend the State’s immigration rights.

Its Deputy Chairman David Wong Kee Woan said Sarawak’s immigration autonomy was one of the State’s key rights as entrenched in the Federal Constitution, “in accordance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), which must never be compromised”.

In a press statement, he expressed shock over the Chief Minister’s announcement on Oct 14 that Malaysians from Sabah would soon be allowed to enter Sarawak without the need for immigration clearance.

“We all know that Sabah is facing the MyKad crisis and many quarters believe that many foreigners obtained their MyKad fraudulently and according to Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, some 80 per cent of illegal immigrants in Sabah obtained their MyKad through fraudulent means.

“While many politicians in Sabah have called for the recall and reapplication of ICs in Sabah, our Sarawak Chief Minister would like to open our border and immigration control for all Sabahans, which is simply outrageous,” he said.

Wong, who is Pelawan State Assemblyman, contended that no one, not even Parliament, had the right to take away Sarawak’s immigration rights, let alone the Chief Minister in his personal capacity without the endorsement of the State Cabinet and consent of the people of Sarawak.

“I believe all right-minded Sarawakians would not agree with the Chief Minister over this issue and many wonder whether he is the right person to lead Sarawak after this blunder.

“We urge our Chief Minister to unequivocally retrieve his decision on giving up our immigration control and also urge all the component parties within Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to make a firm stand on this issue. Please don’t sell our Sarawak rights again!” he said.



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