Sunday, June 26, 2022

The politics of control in Sarawak

Secara Rawak

The ban on Mat Sabu is the latest in a string of bans that seems to target leaders of the opposition. To date those that we know are on the list includes controversial lecturer Profesor Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Member of Parliament for Seputeh Teresa Kok, Member of Parliament for Subang R Sivarasa, PKR Women’s Head Zuraida Kamaruddin, PKR Vice President Nurul Izzah Anwar, PKR Election Director Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, and Member of Parliament for Batu Tian Chua.

Aside from the likes of Professor Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, whose comments on non-Muslim, strikes at the nerves of every day Sarawakians. The rest on the ban list are made members by virtue of their political affiliations.

It does not matter if they are elected members of the Malaysian parliament, it does not matter that no reason can be given for banning them, it does not matter that their is no inherent threat to Sarawak except for their ability to gain votes for the opposition; the Chief Minister’s Office of Sarawak can and will keep them on the ban list and deny them entry.

Putrajaya quick to support the move

And it is no surprise that their Putrajaya counterparts are quick to support the move by their Sarawak counterparts.

Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan enforced the notion that all matter of immigration in Sarawak is the prerogative of the state government. Falling back onto conventions and the written law seems to be the easy way out for the ruling government while doing away with the need for reason or explanation as to why such actions were taken.

The Immigration Act 1959/1963 under Section 65(1) states that the (Immigration) Director shall comply to any directions given to him by the State authority, whereby subsection (c) allows him to deem a specified person’s presence in Sarawak as unlawful, or to order a specified person’s removal from the state.

The Director takes orders from the State and thus, exercise his authority and here’s the catch – no reason may be given. In a just and fair government, such actions would not be questioned but in Malaysia, things are never fair in politics.

What threat do those on the ban lists, who happen to be leaders from the opposition front, pose to Sarawak?

There is none except to promote thinking that go contrary to the thoughts of Barisan Nasional.  

Counter productive, hypocritical

To stifle free thinking or critical thinking or alternate ideas seems to be the agenda for Barisan Nasional. To keep Sarawak poor both economically and intellectually plays right into the framework that Sarawak is the fix deposit vote-bank for BN.

Such move to control who Sarawakians are allowed to meet or hear or see is counter productive and both hypocritical to the notion that Malaysia (at large) is a modern democracy.

It is only right that a citizan should be allowed to hear all opinions, all points of view, all manner of speakers and then decide and shape for themselves their own opinion for government. This is the very ideal of democracy; that the people can choose and decide for themselves.

Instead, Sarawak is no better than what is being practiced throughout Malaysia. It is the politics of control. By shaping national ideas and thoughts and actions to serve purposes that are only benefitial for the extension of rule of a certain political body. – SARAWAKVOICE.COM

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