KUCHING: It has been over five years since PKR Women national chief and newly-minted Minister of Housing and Local Government Zuraida Kamaruddin was barred from entering Sarawak in 2013.
The ban remained enforced until last month when Sarawak lifted the ban on all Pakatan Harapan federal ministers.
She took her first steps on Sarawak land yesterday and upon meeting with The Borneo Post team for an exclusive interview at 7am sharp this morning, she described her long awaited re-entry as a feeling of finally coming home.
“The feeling that I got coming into Sarawak again yesterday with the welcome of my people was like I was coming back home.
She detailed that her first steps in Sarawak since ban in 2013 invoked a deep sense of familiarity because of her frequent visits to the state in the past.
“Almost two to three weeks I would come down, because for every issue I had in Semenanjung (Peninsular Malaysia) I would come down here to boost the issue with my Sarawakian friends.
“With the ban, it was like a vacuum in my life because otherwise, my time would have been filled up with coming to Sarawak and supporting these people who are close to me.
“During the election when I couldn’t come in, it was demoralising for me especially as I was trying to push for more women empowerment,” she said.
“Nevertheless, thank God this time around the ban was lifted, because I think we were made federal government and also because I was made Minister of Housing and Local Government so they have no choice but to allow me to come in here,” she recounted.
According to Zuraida, the purpose of her visit to Sarawak is to come and see what is in for the people as the Minister of Housing and Local Government.
“As a new minister I want to bring a new direction to the housing sector, especially low-cost housing and Sarawak is no exception when the new policy is implemented.”
She hoped to make the low-cost housing with conducive environment and living conditions for the B40 group.
Please get a copy of The Borneo Post tomorrow to read the exclusive interview with Zuraida.