KUCHING: Federal ministers entering Sarawak under the guise of official duties will be barred from entry if found to be “very extreme” or harbouring different intentions, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Abang Johari went on to say that while the state welcomed federal ministers coming in on their official capacity, they should keep it that way.
“We don’t just bar people (from entering Sarawak) just like that. There must be a record — that has been our policy to safeguard Sarawak. Because if they (federal ministers) come under different category but talk differently, we can’t allow them to come in.
“If you come in and do your duty, why not? But if you come here and start provoking, then we have no choice. It is our authority. But of course, there must be a reason (for barring entry), it must be justified,” Abang Johari said in a press conference this evening after the closing ceremony for the inaugural Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Convention at the Borneo Convention Centre (BCCK).
He was responding to questions from the media who had asked if federal ministers coming into Sarawak under the guise of carrying out their official duties, but harboured other intentions instead, would be barred from entering the state.
When asked about the case of federal Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, who is also Pakatan Harapan (PH) Women chief, being allowed to enter the state despite previous records of being barred, Abang Johari said it was because she was coming into Sarawak for her ministerial duties.
“You are free to come in as a minister because you are doing your duty. But don’t abuse your freedom and start with any bigotry or provocative statements,” Abang Johari stressed.
When prompted for a response as to whether Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng would be barred from entering the state if he came under his capacity as DAP secretary-general, Abang Johari said that it depended on how he behaved.
“If you come to give funds, why not? But if you come and provoke, then we have no choice (but to bar),” he said.
Meanwhile, Abang Johari also said that the state government was looking into whether they could stop the Federal Village Committee Management Council (MPKKP) from being implemented in the state.
“We are looking into it. We do have the law (to stop its implementation). But they can come under a different disguise, a different name. But we let the people decide. Because we have the JKKK (Village Security and Development Committee), so the only thing is we strengthen our JKKK,” Abang Johari said.
Also present during the press conference were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing, Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.