Wong Chin Huat, political analyst and activist cum journalism lecturer, was refused entry to Sarawak on orders from the Chief Minister’s office using state powers over immigration granted under the Malaysia Agreement.
He said in Kuala Lumpur he would take the matter to court. “I’m not taking it lying down,” he said. He intends to challenge the ban on the grounds that Section 67 of the Immigration Act allows entry for legitimate political activity.
He was the second activist in a week to be barred from entry. Last Sunday, independent land rights activist Steven Ng was turned away on returning to Sarawak after taking a short break in the peninsula. NCR (native customary rights) land issues are expected to figure prominently in the state elections. Polling is on April 16.
Chin Huat was on a visit to Sarawak on behalf of Bersih, the elections monitoring watchdog organisation. He said he had been placed on a Sarawak blacklist on March 29, as a result of a Bersih conference on postal votes, he believes.
In March, Sarawak also turned away lawyer R Sivarasa of PKR, the MP for Subang. However other politicians and legislators from DAP, PKR and Pas have not been hindered from entering Sarawak and taking part in the election campaigns of their Sarawak party comrades.