KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 ― Sarawak’s move to prevent opposition lawmakers from entering the state reveals the lengths to which Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem will go to remain in power, a Sarawak lawmaker alleged today.
Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said the action belied the popular and progressive facade Adenan has been projecting since becoming chief minister.
“As for banning of the MPs, this is Adenan true colour showing. When it comes to crunch time, he would do anything to protect his power,” Chong said in a press conference here today.
Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, who is among the peninsular lawmakers banned from the state, added that they have ways to campaign for the state election, but declined to reveal these.
Chong, who is Kuching MP, then urged the local leaders to step up to the plate in the absence of the banned ones.
He went on to claim that the entry ban and recent attacks against DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng were preemptive strikes to give Barisan Nasional the advantage in the state election.
Amanah president Mohamad Sabu was prohibited from entering Sarawak upon arrival at the Sibu airport this week and was forced to return to the peninsula, becoming the latest opposition lawmaker or activist turned away.
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.
The Sarawak election must be held this year as the state legislative assembly will be dissolved automatically once its term expires in June.