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Sunday, November 30, 2014

PKR women’s chief Zuraida again barred from entering Sarawak

PKR women's chief Zuraida Kamaruddin speaking with a Sarawak immigration officer at the Kuching International Airport, after being denied entry into Sarawak. – The Malaysian Insider pic, November 30, 2014.PKR women's chief Zuraida Kamaruddin speaking with a Sarawak immigration officer at the Kuching International Airport, after being denied entry into Sarawak. – The Malaysian Insider pic, November 30, 2014.Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin was again denied entry into Sarawak today, and had to wait seven hours in a restricted area of the Kuching International Airport for the next available flight back to Kuala Lumpur.
No reason was given for the denial of entry.
The PKR women’s chief, who arrived at 9.20am on a Malindo flight, was refused entry and had to wait till 4.30pm to catch the next Malindo flight home.
She was barred in March when she was stopped at the Sibu airport while trying to join the campaign for the PKR candidate in the Balingian by-election.
However, in April, she managed to slip in to attend a party meeting in Kuching.
Nik Nazmi, the new PKR Youth chief with whom Zuraida was travelling today, said he sensed something was amiss when it took Zuraida “a long time to clear immigration”.
She was to attend state election preparatory meetings chaired by PKR defacto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim with their Sarawak counterparts.
Apart from Nazmi, other key PKR leaders who were able to enter Sarawak without any hassle were Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar and Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tsin.
Nazmi, who is also the Seri Setia assemblyman and a Selangor exco, described the denial of entry as “unfortunate”.
“We came here for legitimate political reasons,” he told journalists at a press conference after the meeting.
“I don't believe we are extremists,” he said, in reference to state Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem's use of the state’s immigration autonomy to bar extremists, religious bigots and troublemakers from the state.
Right-wing Malay rights group Perkasa president, Datuk Ibrahim Ali, considered a racial extremist by the state, is said to beon the immigration blacklist.
Anwar also expressed his regret with the continued denial of entry of certain PKR leaders into Sarawak.
He said he hoped Adenan would review the state's decision to bar not only PKR leaders but also heads of non-governmental groups and civil rights groups like former Bersih co-chair and the patron of Negara-Ku, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, as well as the new Bersih chief Maria Chin Abdullah.
Zuraida was among four PKR national leaders who were denied entry into the state in March to help out in the Balingian by-election.
The others were Rafizi Ramli, Batu MP Tian Chua and its former secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.
Rafizi and Chua had travelled to Sarawak with Anwar.
While Anwar was allowed in, Rafizi and Chua were told by immigration officers they could not be allowed in as their names were on the immigration blacklist.
- TMI

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