KOTA KINABALU — The Sabah legislative assembly yesterday (Nov 26) voted in favour of a motion to ban PKR vice-presidents Nurul Izzah Anwar and Chua Tian Chang from entering the state following their controversial meeting earlier this month with Sulu “princess” Jacel Kiram.
Sabah’s Deputy Chief Minister Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, who tabled the motion under Standing Order 31(3), claimed the duo’s actions were tantamount to treason, noting that Ms Jacel is the daughter of self-styled Sulu “sultan” Jamalal Kiram III, who is said to be the mastermind behind the Lahad Datu invasion two years ago.
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“The ban is to protect and defend the sovereignty and security of Sabah, which is under threat,”
– Sabah’s Deputy CM, Raymond Tan Shu Kiah
“The ban is to protect and defend the sovereignty and security of Sabah, which is under threat,” he said.
“Meeting with the person who is so closely connected to the Lahad Datu intrusion while a Malaysian life was being threatened by terrorists is something unforgivable,” he told the House when tabling the motion.
He is believed to be referring to Sarawakian Bernard Then, who was reportedly killed by his hostage takers in Southern Philippines earlier this month following a breakdown in ransom negotiations.
Mr Tan’s motion consisted of four parts — to continue the curfew in the east coast; ban Ms Nurul Izzah and Mr Chua; investigate their meeting with Ms Jacel; and take the appropriate legal action as well as ban all those associated with Kiram and the Lahad Datu intrusion in 2013.
When debating the motion, Chief Minister Musa Aman said he will take the assembly’s vote into consideration and use the available immigration laws that give his department the power to ban individuals from entering the state.
Both the Sarawak and Sabah governments have autonomy over immigration and are empowered to stop individuals they deem as undesirable or a security threat from entering their respective states.
“The special motion is the voice and stand of the majority people who were hurt and offended by their actions.
“We will take into consideration all the suggestions that were recorded and take the appropriate action using the available laws,” Mr Musa said in support of the motion.
After a 90-minute debate — 11 by the opposition — the matter was put to vote and was passed after 47 Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmakers voted in favour of the motion.
Three lawmakers — Mr Wilfred Bumburing (IND-Tamparuli), Dr Jeffrey Kitingan (STAR — Bingkor) and Mr Edwin Bosi (DAP — Kapayan) — asked to be abstained from voting, while five other opposition lawmakers left the chambers before voting could proceed.
Five other state lawmakers were not present today. There are a total 60 seats in the Sabah legislative assembly, with BN occupying the majority with 50 seats.
BN state lawmakers here have been fuming over Ms Nurul Izzah’s recent photograph with so-called Sulu “princess” Jacel Kiram, who was reported to be one of main spokesperson for the defunct Sulu Sultanate during an intrusion into Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu in 2013 ordered by her late father, Jamalul Kiram III.
Since the state assembly sitting on Monday, Sabah representatives have been voicing their displeasure at Ms Nurul Izzah’s meeting with Ms Jacel, which they said was insensitive to Sabahans and bordered on treason, and proposed that the peninsula-based leader be banned permanently from entering the state.
The Lembah Pantai MP has confirmed that she was in the Philippines on Nov 9 with fellow federal lawmaker Chua as part of a PKR delegation to meet with “various stakeholders” there and subsequently apologised for the meeting.
Police are currently investigating the matter and Ms Nurul Izzah is expected to be interviewed at Bukit Aman at 4pm today.
The federal government is also expected to table a motion to censure her on Dec 3.
– Bobohizan Press via Today Online.