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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Sabah’s Jeffrey Kitingan barred from Sarawak

The Sabah opposition leader was scheduled to chair a meeting of Dayak leaders from Kalimantan and Sabah in Kuching

Sabah opposition leader Jeffrey Kitingan has joined the long list of politicians barred from entering Sarawak.

According to a report in Star Online, Kitingan, who is Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) president, arrived at the Kuching International Airport at 6pm today, only to be stopped by immigration officers.

Jeffrey had flown to Kuching from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, to chair a meeting of Dayak leaders from Kalimantan and Sabah.

“I am still at the airport immigration. Apparently, the directive came from the Sarawak government and it came into effect in February this year,” he was quoted as saying.

Jeffrey, who is Bingkor assemblyman, added that he would leave Kuching on an 8.30pm flight.

Sarawak, like Sabah, is allowed to bar non-Sarawakians from entering the state as it has autonomous immigration powers.

The Sarawak government had stopped several politicians from entering the state in the run-up to the state elections last year.

This included DAP’s Anthony Loke, Teresa Kok, Tony Pua and Teo Nie Ching; PKR’s Nurul Izzah Anwar, Tian Chua, Shamsul Iskandar, Zuraida Kamaruddin and Sim Sze Tsin; Amanah’s Mohamad Sabu and Umno’s Jamal Yunos.

Critics of the use of the autonomous powers to bar politicians say it’s an abuse of power, but Sarawakian leaders, like former chief minister Adenan Satem, have defended its use to prevent “unsavoury elements” from entering Sarawak.

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