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Paranoid Musa afraid of being exposed

Umno-led Sabah Barisan Nasional has come under attack
for its 'stupid' act of denying civil activist
Haris Ibrahim entry into Sabah.
By Luke Rintod of FMT
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Umno-led Barisan Nasional leadership came under heavy condemnation for barring civil activist-cum-lawyer Haris Ibrahim from entering Sabah but did nothing to stem the flow of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants into the state.

Political activist Daniel John Jambun, who was among those at the airport to receive Haris, was fuming that the state government had barred Haris instead of illegal immigrants and criminals from the state.

“Why BN did not use this power to deny entry to those illegal immigrants? Haris came here to promote good governance and civil society.

“He is a lawyer with the people’s interest at heart."

“(Chief Minister) Musa (Aman), please explain yourself,” he demanded.

Sabah lawyer Peter Marajin said the incident proved that the leadership in Sabah is ‘paranoid and afraid of being exposed’ and being examined by civil society movements like MCLM.

“Umno is scared of its own shadow..,” said Marajin who is also a supreme council member of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP).

He said the the state government had clearly failed in its priorities when exercising its immigration powers.

Haris, who is also the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) president, was denied entry into Sabah as soon as he landed from Kuala Lumpur at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport here at 3.15pm yesterday.

Haris, who had been to the state recently to help stage the anti-Peaceful Assembly Bill protest here, was met by immigration officers at the airport and handed a letter that stated he was refused entry into the state on the instruction of Chief Minister Musa Aman who is in charge of all immigration matters in the state.

Barring Haris is ‘unacceptable

When contacted by FMT while at the airport, Haris said he was least worried about the matter and warned Musa that such directives would work against the BN.

“Let me tell Musa, the message that we wanted to send to the people here would reach them.

“Though I am physically barred from entering Sabah, today’s technology will do this for us,” he said

Civil activists in the state in unison censured the Umno-led coalition for denying entry to Haris.

Veteran consumerism and social activist, Patrick Sindu, described the government’s action as “stupid”.

He said the state’s unfettered power on immigration should have been used against unwanted people who come here “to rob Sabahans of their rights and not someone who come to educate them of their rights”.

“This is unacceptable. Yes, this is Sabah’s autonomous right guaranteed by the Federal Constitution but why use it against a promoter of civil society like Haris of MCLM and not those robbers?”said an agitated Sindu.

United Borneo Front (UBF) spokesman, Dr Nicholas James Guntobon, also said the incident was unfortunate.

“We are strengthened to note that this inherent immigration power is here to stay with us, but at the same time we must use it to protect the state interest and not to deny someone of credibility from speaking his mind here just because the ruling party doesn’t like him or her,” he said.

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