Sarawak PKR is concerned the state authorities might be planning to bar PKR defacto leader Anwar Ibrahim from campaigning in the Balingian by-election set for March 29, 2014.
“I heard that a PBB minister favours that,” said See Chee How, State PKR vice-chairperson and PKR director of operations for PKR candidate, Abdul Jalil bin Bujang.
BN-PBB has named Yussibnosh Balo as its candidate.
See (left) said that if the state authorities were to bar Anwar and other PKR leaders, the state's PKR would not hesitate to seek judicial intervention.
He said: “If the chief minister and state government exercises our state’s autonomous prerogative in immigration to keep out racist and religious bigots from Peninsular Malaysia, PKR Sarawak and our coalition partners in Pakatan are fully behind him.
“However, we will object to its misuse and abuse to bar opposition and NGO leaders and members to come into Sarawak for legitimate political activities."
The Batu Lintang Assemblyperson added: "The exercise of such a prerogative must be in accordance with our constitution, the specific provisions in our Immigration Act and the rules of natural justice."
He said they would not hesitate to seek judicial intervention if there is misuse and abuse.
"In the Immigration Act, the restriction of Malaysian citizen’s right to enter Sarawak and Sabah under section 66 is subjected to expressed provisions under sections 67 and 68, on those members of federal government, judges, civil servants and those citizens who are entering East Malaysian states for legitimate political activists.
“Hence, there is no justification for the Sarawak state government to bar parliamentary opposition leaders and members of Pakatan coalition from Peninsular Malaysia to come to Sarawak to assist the PKR candidate in this Balingian by-election.
Doubtful about political will
He added he believed the newly appointed chief minister Adenan Satem would not allow the immigration autonomous prerogative to be abused for this election because he is a lawyer by training and had practised law in his earlier years.
But he was doubtful about the BN Sarawak’s political will and commitment to keep out racist and religious bigots, for the simple reason that Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali (left) had entered Sarawak.
“His entry should have been refused, if the state government is true to the word of our new chief minister, to preserve racial and religious harmony and political stability in Sarawak.
“It has been highly publicised that Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition leader and PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim is scheduled to visit Mukah this Tuesday.
"This fuels speculation whether the Sarawak chief minister's statement is a prelude to barring the entry of Anwar, to campaign for PKR candidate Abdul Jalil bin Bujang in the Balingian by-election,” he added.
Adenan had recently stated that outsiders who are religious bigots, racists and trouble-makers would be barred from the state.