First PH minister to visit Sarawak

Zuraida greets supporters upon her arrival at Kuching International Airport.

KUCHING: Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin received a rousing welcome by PKR supporters upon her arrival here yesterday.

She arrived at Kuching International Airport at 7.35pm for a two-day official visit to Sarawak and was greeted with a lion dance performance.

Zuraida said she was pleasantly surprised by the welcome accorded to her by party supporters who had been looking forward to her entry into the state. The Ampang MP had been previously barred from entering Sarawak on several occasions.

The last time she was denied entry to Sarawak was when she landed in Miri on Sept 23 last year. She was first refused entry into the state in 2013, followed by a second time a year later.

In 2016, she was again barred from entering when she wanted to help PKR candidates in the Sarawak election. She was, however, allowed entry to pay her last respect to the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem in January, 2017.

Following Pakatan Harapan’s victory in the general election, the Sarawak government lifted the entry ban imposed on PH leaders who had been appointed as Cabinet ministers.

“This time I’m entering the state as a minister, there will be duties and assisting Sarawakians,” she said when met by reporters.

Also present among the crowd welcoming her were Saratok MP Ali Biju, Miri MP Dr Michael Teo, Julau MP Larry Sng and Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How.

The PKR Women chief is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian before proceeding with a courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg during her first official visit today.

She is also scheduled to make an official visit to Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) at Mile 10 as well as conduct a site visit to PPR Sungai Tengah, before concluding with an official visit to the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) headquarters here.

She is slated to return to Kuala Lumpur after the Bomba visit.

Zuraida will be the first minister from the new federal government to visit Sarawak since Pakatan Harapan took over Putrajaya from Barisan Nasional (BN) in the 14th general election.