KUALA LUMPUR: Bersih 2.0 chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan was today barred from entering Sarawak, on the eve of the state election. This is the fourth such incident in the past two weeks.
Ambiga, a former Bar Council president, landed in Kuching at about 9am, but was told she could not proceed.
She said that she had been informed she had been barred following orders from Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s office.
No further reason was given.
“I told the authorities that under Section 67 of the Immigration Act, I should be allowed to enter if there were legitimate political reasons to do so. They told me that they didn’t know anything about it.”
Ambiga described the treatment of activists as “appalling”, questioning why the state government did not see fit to allow them entrance.
“We as Malaysians should be allowed entrance to the other states of our own nation. I’m anxious to find out what they are trying to hide by doing this.”
Under the Malaysia Agreement, Sarawak has the power to bar anyone from entering the state, including citizens from Peninsular Malaysia.
Last Friday, political activist and academic Wong Chin Huat was sent back to Kuala Lumpur.
Prior to that on April 3, independent NCR land rights activist Steven Ng was also stopped from entering Sarawak.
The on April 13, Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) president Haris Ibrahim was also barred from entering Sarawak.
The Barisan Nasional-ruled state is believed to have stopped these activists from entering Sarawak in order to prevent them from campaigning. Polling starts tomorrow.
The Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition – PKR, DAP and PAS – is confident of doing well in the 10th state election as the partners have been relentlessly harping on the alleged corruption of Taib and his government.