KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 ― Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today urged Sabah and Sarawak government leaders not to abuse their discretionary rights on immigration to ban MPs from the peninsula.
The PKR president said that federal lawmakers from the peninsula too were fighting hard to restore the rights of people in the Borneo states and should be allowed to visit Sabah and Sarawak.
“Leaders in Sabah and Sarawak shouldn’t be abusing immigration powers, especially during election time, by disallowing MPs from here from entering Sabah or Sarawak.
“We in West Malaysia are fighting hard for the people of Sabah and Sarawak, defending their rights and trying to fulfill their needs. Just because they have power, they cannot think they can do whatever they want,” Anwar said in the Dewan Rakyat as the government moved to table an amendment to the Federal Constitution on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar had proposed the amendment to restore the original rights to Sabah and Sarawak that had been eroded over the decades.
During debate, Anwar said he supported the Bill and blamed the failure to amend the Federal Constitution on past federal leaders.
He also said that the biggest problems from Sabah and Sarawak concerned the lack of federal funding for the Borneo states, resulting in its people remaining poor despite their abundance of natural resources.
“They say the allocation of funds is too little but since we had independence 58 years ago so many Sabah and Sarawak leaders changed among themselves and all of them came out with unusually large fortunes.
“At the same time the people are still poor. If we want to form a united Malaysia this is not the way. Malaysia is about fairness and for all. Profits should be shared with all the people equally and not benefit the companies of these politicians and their friends,” he added.
According to reports, Opposition MPs Wong Chen of Subang and Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham were said to have been refused entry in Kuching by the state authorities.
Wong posted on his Facebook page the ordeal where his entry pass was rejected the night before he was to fly to Sarawak.
Ngeh held a press conference in Parliament on December 9 stating he was told he wouldn’t be allowed to campaign in Sarawak.
Sarawak is having its state election now. Polling falls on December 18.