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Adenan: Immigration ban to protect state from unsavoury elements

KUCHING: The Sarawak government will not lift its immigration ban on opposition leaders and activists in the interest of the state.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem (pic) said he needs to protect the interest of Sarawak.

"I have to protect the interest of Sarawak from unsavoury elements. Political or otherwise, it is my job as chief minister," he told reporters at his office here on Tuesday.

He stressed that he will not be lifting the ban anytime soon.

"But they have the liberty to come to Sarawak anytime - after the elections," he said.

Asked whether the ban applies to Umno leaders, he said the state had already denied entry to individuals like Ibrahim Ali and Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah.

When told that Ibrahim and Ridhuan were not from Umno, Adenan did not respond.

The PBB president also said that he will continue to allow federal ministers to enter the state because they were helping Barisan Nasional at the state level.

"I don't see them as liabilities. If people see them as liabilities it is their opinion," he said.

He added that he regretted the fact that people were questioning Sarawak's right to ban people from entering the state.

"I regret that these people question our autonomous right. I regret that we have to answer them," he said.

So far, over 30 people, mostly opposition leaders such as Tony Pua, Rafizi Ramli, Nurul Izzah Anwar and Mohamad Sabu and, most recently, Teo Nie Ching, have been banned from entering the state.

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