KUCHING: Sarawak’s immigration autonomy is non-negotiable, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He added that entry requirements into the state would remain and that the state government would stand firm on its immigration rights.
He chided Malayan lawmakers who opined that the requirements were tedious, saying that Malayans were attempting to erode the state’s rights.
“They must respect our immigration rights. Whoever wants to enter Sarawak needs to fill in the immigration forms, only then you can enter.
“As long as Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) is in power, we will not concede our rights on immigration. This is our right, if you have to fill in the form, then do it, this is our law.
“If it is too much trouble for you with the forms, then don’t come to Sarawak at all,” he said when officiating at the GPS launch in Sibu yesterday.
Abang Johari said that Sarawak does not want follow in the footsteps of its neighbour Sabah which struggled with the influx of foreigners.
“If they claim to come from Johor or Melaka, how will we know? They might be here to intrude on us.
“If they come here with bad intention, we will be done. We don’t want that to happen to us. So, our rights to immigration must be protected at all costs. Only GPS can protect such rights,” he said.
Abang Johari said that the state’s stand on its powers does mean Sarawak would leave the Malaysia federation.
“What we are saying is that we must protect our rights based on Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“We must stand firm on our rights, manage our own resources and govern the state in our own mould,” he said.