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PKR Veep Nurul Barred From Entering Sarawak

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KUCHING: PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar is the latest Opposition politician to be barred from entering Sarawak.

Arriving at the Kuching Inter­national Airport at 4pm yesterday, immigration officers served Nurul a “Notice of Refusal of Entry” under Section 65(1)(a) of the Immigration Act 1959/63.

This is the same law that was used to deny PKR’s Rafizi Ramli and Tian Chua, DAP’s Teresa Kok, as well as Sarawak Report founder Clare Rewcastle Brown and others into the state in the past.

“The Act was meant to prevent the mass migration of peninsula Malaysians into Sarawak and Sabah – and not to bar entry to MPs, who are here to carry out democratic duties,” Nurul said in a statement yesterday.

Denying entry had prevented her from carrying out her duties as an MP, she claimed.

“God willing, I will return to Sarawak,” she added.

Nurul is also the head of PKR’s election machinery.

She was scheduled to announce yesterday several of the party’s candidates for the next Sarawak election.

The second-term Lembah Pantai MP was travelling with an assistant and Seri Andalas assemblyman Dr Xavier Jayakumar.

They were due to return to Kuala Lumpur on the 10pm flight.

Dr Xavier claimed immigration officers said the ban came directly from Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem.

“They (officers) said the orders came from the CM office. The CM should have been brave enough to have open and fair elections,” Dr Xavier told reporters at the airport.

“Don’t bar MPs. This is bad for democracy.”

Sarawak PKR vice-chief See Chee How said Adenan was resorting to “the same ways of the old administration”.

“While I do agree with the state having immigration autonomy, it should not be exercised arbitrarily,” See said.

“Not for abuse to bar political leaders.”

See said Nurul’s popularity with the youths would have been a “big help” to PKR candidates.

Sarawak’s election is due middle of next year.

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