KUCHING: The Sarawak government has denied Keningau MP Jeffrey Kitingan entry to the state.
This is the second time the Sabah opposition leader has been denied entry to Sarawak.
Jeffrey, in a statement tonight, said he had applied for a special entry pass to chair the Dayak International Organisation meeting that was held in Kuching this afternoon.
He was also supposed to give an address at a forum organised by the Movement for Change Sarawak (MoCS) on Saturday afternoon.
“The decision to deny him entry into Sarawak only happened under the current Sarawak chief minister’s administration.
“I have never had this problem under previous Sarawak chief ministers, namely Taib Mahmud and the late Adenan Satem.
“As such, I am speaking not only on my behalf but also others, including Sarawakians who are now wondering whether there is anything wrong with the Abang Johari Openg’s state government.
“Is he afraid of something, so much so that he now must resort to abusing his immigration powers for no apparent reason?”
Jeffrey said he was disappointed with Abang Johari as he had been talking about Sabah and Sarawak rights even before he became the chief minister.
However, Jeffrey said he respected the immigration powers vested with Sarawak.
Jeffrey said although Sabah also had similar powers, the state government had failed to curb the entry of illegal immigrants into the state.
The special immigration powers of both the East Malaysian states come under the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
Earlier reports state that Jeffrey has been barred from Sarawak since February 2017. He found this out a month later when he tried to enter the state to chair a meeting of the Borneo Dayak Forum.
However, in September last year, Jeffrey was allowed to be in Sarawak for three days to attend a meeting with Abang Johari, during which they discussed issues pertaining to the rights of the East Malaysian states.