I am one Sarawakian who has been critical of the abuse of our immigration autonomy.
I maintain my vehement opposition against any Sarawak chief minister who denies entry to bona-fide opposition leaders and social activists from Malaya into my homeland.
On record, I have spoken against the entry ban on Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle Brown and on former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan in the past.
In the run-up to GE14, I was also worried that opposition bigwig Dr Mahathir Mohamad would be barred, cautioning that it would be a “mortal sin” to deny entry to a former prime minister.
However, I would act against two Malayan politicians today and bar them from entering Sarawak if I had the power to do so.
The duo are PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali. This is why.
Hadi and Azmin were in Sarawak on Sept 16. Their presence in my homeland on Malaysia Day was not to bring happy news or glad tidings to their fellow Malaysians in Sarawak on an auspicious occasion.
Instead, Hadi spewed political poison of the racial kind, while Azmin brought his gutter politics, dwelling on his sex video-related problem – both of which I consider contamination of Sarawak’s peaceful, serene and vibrant political landscape.
There is no racial or sleazy politics in Sarawak. Politicians in my homeland do not touch on racial/religious sensitivities, even in the heat of electoral battles, and politically-associated sex videos are alien in Sarawak.
Speaking at a Malaysia Day event in Bintulu, Hadi (above) claimed that the DAP wanted to give control of Sarawak and its wealth to the Chinese.
He said: “In the 14th general election, the BN was defeated and Pakatan Harapan, in which the DAP is the biggest leader, came to power.
“Unfortunately, the DAP wants the wealth for Chinese only, not for all people; other people are left behind. The Malays and Orang Asal were sidelined and this situation is similar in Peninsular Malaysia.”
This has to be the most shocking Malaysia Day news to Sarawakians. I have never heard any Sarawakian condemning DAP in such brutally racist fashion.
Malay or Dayak politicians and others in Sarawak who oppose DAP have never spewed such racially charged venom. It’s stinging, it’s hitting below the belt and it’s dirty!
For Hadi Awang, however, it is possibly just another day in politics. Making hate speeches is on his breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. There is nothing else in his warped mind except one race and one religion. Malaysians of other races or faiths are all infidels to him.
Let me tell you this, dear Hadi. I am a Chinese and a Christian and a proud Sarawakian. As an active politician in the past, race and religion are non-issues to me. I fought my opponents on policies and people-centric matters.
All politicians in Sarawak, be those in power or in the opposition, and of whatever race, take on each other in a similar fashion. There are no rules to stop us from stirring up racial and religious sentiments. We just don’t harp on them. That is ingrained in us.
Dear Hadi, I have described Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat (above) as a saint, a reverence I have only given to him and no other Malaysian politician.
The late Nik Aziz was a Muslim whom I truly honour and respect. Tok Guru was one in a million. He was God-sent.
Learn from Nik Aziz, dear Hadi. Learn from him. Hopefully, then, you would stop exporting your ‘dirt’ to Sarawak or elsewhere.
As for Azmin Ali, my disappointment and disillusionment with him as a political leader since the emergence of the sex video, turned into resentment when he brought his ‘personal’ problem to Sarawak.
His attempt to preach to Sarawakians, even if they were his party’s followers, telling them to reject gutter politics sounded so hollow and hypocritical.
Speaking at a PKR event, Azmin lashed out at those whom he claimed were involved in gutter politics to smear him.
He said gutter politics should be eliminated and all members should return to the basic struggles of the party to serve the people, rather than to win high posts in the party by resorting to dirty tactics to achieve such.
“We must reject gutter politics and reject those who use money to influence others. We must realise that PKR’s struggle is not for individual gain, but for the party and the rakyat,” he added.
I almost choked on my coffee reading Azmin’s hypocritical remarks in a news portal.
Here was a Malayan politician who came to Sarawak preaching like a saint with ideals, imploring his party members to serve the rakyat.
Underneath that façade is a desperado clinging on to dear life on a thin thread to save his political career. Azmin’s (photo, above) speech was clearly to drum up support from his acolytes in Sarawak to save himself.
The PKR deputy president should be heeding his own advice. I doubt PKR members in Sarawak have been involved in gutter politics of the sleazy kind, as it was apparent that Azmin was alluding to the sex video allegedly implicating him and former Santubong PKR Youth chief Haziq Aziz.
So, dear Azmin, please know that politicians in Sarawak do not resort to secretly filming and distributing gay sex videos to smear each other. This is gutter politics – a problem only found in Malaya and perpetuated by Malayan politicians. It is also synonymous with your party, PKR.
For the record, no prominent politician in Sarawak has ever been caught in a gay sex scandal, not ever since the pin-hole camera entered the market, making such secret recordings a breeze.
So Azmin, please don’t bring such ‘filth’ to Sarawak, or worse, lecture Sarawakians on gutter politics when that is the problem you have to resolve at your end.
Sarawak can do without political bigots and hypocrites from Malaya, importing their filth and dirt to our shores.
I would urge my Chief Minister, Abang Johari Openg, to place Hadi Awang on the persona non grata list immediately. As for Azmin Ali, it might be prudent to put him high on the “observation” list.
We should know that politicians in power are more harmful and dangerous than those in the opposition. That’s one lead to pay attention to if we need to exert immigration autonomy on “troublemakers” entering Sarawak.
FRANCIS PAUL SIAH heads the Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org