Sarawak denies abuse of immigration autonomy

MIRI: The Sarawak government has denied the allegation that it has abused immigration autonomy by banning opposition politicians or those critical of the government from entering the state.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said the ban applied to all individuals deemed racial bigots or extremists regardless of their political or religious backgrounds, including Barisan Nasional (BN) supporters.

“It is my duty to protect Sarawak, do not accuse me of banning only opposition members, I will also ban BN supporters from coming here,” he said at the launch of the “Sejiwa Senada” programme at Miri City Council (MCC) field today.

Adenan said the state government practised an open policy, but would not tolerate racists and extremists who were out to destroy the unity of the multi-racial and multi-religious society in the state.

“I will not allow the likes of (Datuk) Ibrahim Ali and Dr Ridhuan Tee (Abdullah) to come here to poison our people,” he said.

Adenan, who is Sarawak BN chairman, also repeated the state’s stand that it would not allow UMNO to expand to Sarawak and that he expected the opposition parties here to follow suit.

“In the last State Legislative Assembly sitting, I have said that we have no problem to come with a motion not allowing UMNO to enter Sarawak provided that the opposition parties also put a motion not to allow peninsula-based parties, like DAP and PKR, to come to the state, but they (opposition representatives) kept quiet,” he said.

On the construction of Baram hydroelectric dam here, which has been put on hold, he said the state government might scrap the project if the power supply in the state can meet the demands of consumers.

“For the time being, the project will not proceed,” he said, adding that the decision was made after taking into account the views and grouses of the villagers who were affected by the project.-BERNAMA