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Sunday, January 24, 2016

No Sarawak entry for 'bigot' Hadi?

KUCHING - PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang faces the possibility of being barred from entering Sarawak for his disparaging remarks against Christianity last week that have triggered angry responses from Christians nationwide.

Sarawak leaders, including from within the state government, have urged their Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem to ban religious bigots like the federal Islamist opposition lawmaker from entering.

“I have to look into the matter first,” Adenan said today asked to respond to the calls for a ban.

“I will make the decision after I get the full facts of the case. It is not nice for somebody to say something inappropriate,” he added.

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president and state Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing, as well as Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting are among several the leaders who want Hadi banned.

On January 18, Hadi reportedly said Christian missionaries are allegedly targeting poorer regions such as Africa and Asia, including spreading their belief in the interiors of Sabah and Sarawak because Christianity has failed in developed nations in the West.

Since taking office in 2014, Adenan had barred a whole slew of peninsular Malaysians from the Sarawak, among them: PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli, PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang, DAP’s Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, her fellow Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua and controversial Chinese Muslim convert and columnist Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Malay rights group leader Datuk Ibrahim Ali as well as former Malaysian Bar president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.

The latest to be banned is Lembah Pantai federal lawmaker and PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar who was stopped at the Kuching International Airport by the Immigration officers on December 6 last year, without any reason given.

Adenan has repeatedly avowed that he would not allow religious bigots, extremists and troublemakers from entering the state so to maintain Sarawak’s existing multireligious and multiracial harmony.

Under the Federal Constitution, Sarawak has autonomous power over immigration.

By Sulok Tawie

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