KUALA LUMPUR: Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, in a written reply to Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, claimed that his Ministry has nothing to do with Sabah and Sarawak banning Malaysians from entering the two states.
He also said that the list of those banned was a “big secret’ under the Official secrets Act (OSA) a Federal Act.
“The state authorities under Section 65 of the Immigration Act 1959/63, make the decisions themselves,” he said. “The Home Ministry did not give any orders to the Sabah and Sarawak Immigration Department to bar any Malaysians or foreigners from entering the two states.”
Kok and Hindraf Makkal Sakthi chairman P. Waythamoorthy are the two latest Malaysians to be banned from Sabah. DAP sources claim that Gerakan in Sabah fears losing the Tanjung Papat and Elopura seats it holds to the Opposition. Kok has been working those seats on regular visits.
Kok was earlier banned from Sarawak.
Waythamoorthy advises Sabah, Sarawak activists and nationalists in the international arena on human rights, Borneo rights and international law with specific reference to self-determination. He has previously arranged visits for them to the UK House of Commons, the UN in Geneva, the European Parliament in Brussels, the Netherlands parliament, the Hague, and the US State Department.
Immigration is a Federal matter under the Federal Constitution. However, the Prime Minister can delegate his immigration powers to the Sabah and Sarawak Chief Ministers and the Home Minister can delegate his immigration powers to the state secretaries of the two Borneo states, but only for a specific purpose: the issuance of work permits for Malaysians from the peninsular wishing to work in the two states.
Likewise, the Sabah and Sarawak Chief Ministers and state secretaries would have the delegated powers to issue work permits to Borneans wishing to work in Sabah and Sarawak as the case may be.
Sabah has no visit pass ruling for Sarawakians wishing to stay in the state. Sabahans, like Malaysians from the peninsula and foreigners, get a 90 days visit pass on entering Sarawak. Malaysians from the peninsula and foreigners also get a 90 days visit pass when entering Sabah.
~ Free Malaysia Today