KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — DAP’s Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua was deported from Miri, Sarawak today after the state’s Immigration Department “mistakenly” allowed him in this morning.
Pua told Malay Mail Online he successfully entered the east Malaysian state at 9.30am, only to be detained by Sarawak Immigration officers while he was having lunch in Lutong, Miri at 2.00pm.
He is now waiting for his next flight back to Kuala Lumpur at 4.20pm.
“Adenan told the International Anti-Corruption Conference that only racists and bigots will be barred from Sarawak. Why is it that I, who have never issued a racial statement, what more a racist statement, been barred from entering Sarawak?” Pua said in a text message.
He was referring to Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, who earlier this year said that he would bar those identified as racists and religious extremists from entering the state.
Adenan explained later that it was as a precautionary measure to prevent negative elements that could threaten racial harmony from seeping into Sarawak.
“I hope that the Sarawak state government can lift my ban immediately to prove that the ban is not an abuse of power to keep the Barisan Nasional Sarawak state government in power for the coming state elections,” Pua said.
He added that no reason was given for the action.
The MP was in Sarawak to visit several projects under the party’s Impian Sarawak initiative in Miri, Kuching, Bintulu and Lawas.
Sarawak and Sabah have autonomy over immigration and are empowered to keep out individuals they deem undesirable. This discretion has largely been used against leaders of the federal opposition parties.
Besides Pua, DAP’s Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, activists Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Dr Wong Chin Huat are also barred from entering Sarawak.