KUCHING: PKR vice-president R. Sivarasa was denied entry into Sarawak on Saturday, becoming the second politician from the party to be barred from the state.
The Subang MP was stopped by immigration officials upon arriving at Kuching International Airport at 1.30pm and served with a notice of refusal of entry under Section 66(1) on the Immigration Act.
The reason given was that he was not from Sarawak and therefore not entitled to enter the state without a permit or pass.
However, the immigration officials allowed him to come out into the arrivals hall for a meal.
Sivarasa said he came here to conduct internal meetings for Sarawak PKR leaders and planned to return to Kuala Lumpur the next day.
"When I arrived, I was told that I'm blacklisted from entering Sarawak," he told reporters at the airport before flying back to Kuala Lumpur on a 5.35pm AirAsia flight.
Last Christmas Eve, Padang Serai MP N. Gobalakrishnan, who had planned to spend Christmas with his adoptive Iban parents in Kapit, was barred from entering the state on the same grounds.
Sivarasa, who last came to Sarawak in July last year to attend the World Rainforest Music Festival with his wife, said he was at a loss as to why he was denied entry.
"There could be more PKR leaders who are blacklisted and I think it is connected to the impending Sarawak state elections.
"There must be some connection, otherwise I cannot see the logic of them blocking us," he said, adding that he intended to take the matter to court.
PKR Padungan assemblyman Dominique Ng said he would file for a judicial review of the ban soon, even though a similar application on Gobalakrishnan's entry ban was dismissed by the Kuching High Court last week.
"We are appealing to the Court of Appeal on the decision to throw out Gobalakrishnan's case and we will not stop until we bring it to the highest level.
"We are concerned at the abuse of immigration powers in order to stop politicians from entering Sarawak for their legitimate political activities," he said.
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