Dec 8, 2011 : KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia Civil Liberty’s Movement (MCLM) chairman Harris Fadilah Mohd Ibrahim received an ‘unwelcome’ treatment from the state government upon his arrival at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) Terminal 2 here yesterday.
Harris, a Malaysian blogger and believed to be a close friend of Malaysian blogger Raja Petra, was prevented from entering Sabah upon his arrival on AirAsia flight AK 5106 at 3.10pm at the KKIA Terminal 2.
It was learnt that upon arrival, Harris was immediately taken to the airport Immigration office by an immigration officer and was served with a notice.
Speaking to reporters through a handphone of one of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) members, Harris said the notice was addressed to him, dated December 7, on behalf of the Sabah Immigration director.
“I have just been handed a notice of refusal of entry into the state of Sabah, dated today and address to me on behalf of the Immigration Sabah director.
“The notice says that the reason that I have been barred is that pursuant to Section 65 (1) (a) of the Immigration Act 1959/63, the state authority has directed that no pass be issued to me to enter the state of Sabah as such part required under Section 66 for me to enter the state.
“The reason for my refusal to enter Sabah today is because the state authority has directed that no pass be issued to me,” he said through the handphone.
According to Harris, the officer who spoke and handed the notice to him claimed that the instruction came from the Immigration Department and they do not know the reason why he was refused a pass to enter.
“They also did not explain to me what the section is about, only that I have been refused to enter the state of Sabah,” he added.
In a disappointed voice, Harris asked why he, as a Malaysian was barred and prevented from entering another state in Malaysia?
“Why a Malaysian cannot enter Malaysia?”
“Why is the Sabah government afraid of? Why are they afraid of one person from Peninsular Malaysia that they have to refuse me from entering Sabah?” he asked.
It was learnt that Harris was invited by SAPP members to exchange and learn about the struggle of MCLM.
Harris also said that this was the first time he had been barred from entering Sabah and twice being barred from entering Sarawak, during the Sarawak state election.
“The reason I flew into Sabah is to deliver a message to the people of Sabah and now we will show the Sabah government that with technology, we can deliver our message to the people without me being physically present,” he said.
Harris was then deported back to Kuala Lumpur on the next flight at 4.20pm the same day.
Meanwhile, SAPP deputy president and Likas assemblyman Datuk Liew Teck Chan with about 15 SAPP members were earlier, at the KKIA Terminal 2 to great and welcome Harris.
After learning that Harris was prevented from entering the state, SAPP members then staged a five-minute peaceful protest in front of the arrival hall at Terminal 2 before they dispersed peacefully.
According to Liew, the party had invited Harris to gain more understanding of the MCLM’s movement in regards to politics and economy.
“He, Harris, has been in the United Kingdom for some time, so we want to learn from him as he is well knowledgeable,” said Liew.
Met many people, and made many new friends.
MCLM members, political and grassroot leaders, and activists.
All of whom share the same viewpoint as I.
That UMNO and other BN leaders together with their cronies have plundered the wealth of this naton.
That if this nation is to be rehabilitated, if what remains of our national resources is to be properly applied to uplift the lives of the 40% who have been long marginalised, and if we are to have any chance at restituting some of the nation’s wealth back to the rakyat, UMNO and BN had to be removed from Putrajaya.
Yesterday, at 3.30pm, I arrived at the Kota Kinabalu airport.
Upon reaching the immigration counter and presenting my passport, I was asked by the immigration officer to step into the immigration office.
Memories of my recent failed efforts to enter Sarawak immediately came to mind.
In the immigration office, an officer by the name of Ahmad apologised and informed me that they had received instructions from ‘up above’ that I was not to be allowed into Sabah, and that they were now processing to deport me on the next flight out of Sabah.
I immediately called friends who were waiting at the airport to receive me to inform them of this latest development.
Quick thinking by one of those who were waiting at the airport enables me now to leave you with a video clip of what transpired at the airport yesterday.
Shortly after, I was presented with a formal notice of refusal to allow me to enter Sabah.
This notice offers no substantive reason why I, as a citizen of the federation of Malaysia, was refused entry into a part of that federation!
Around 4.30pm, I was escorted onto AirAsia flight No. AK5129 bound for Kuala Lumpur, and was informed that my luggage had already been placed on the aircraft.
Landed at KLIA LCCT around 7.30pm.
Retrieved my luggage from the carousel.
This is what I found.
And the retractable trolley arm had been completely damaged.
Fearing not so much the loss of boxer shorts or t-shirts, but any contraband placed in the luggage to ‘fix’ me, I went straight to AirAsia’s BaggageLost & Found counter to report this and to open and examine the contents of the luggage witnessed by AirAsia staff.
Do I think that Immigration had anything to do with the missing padlock?
Yes, I do.
Why would they want to open my luggage?
The answer to this also addresses the question of why I was refused entry.
I am involved in 2 initiatives planned for Sabah.
One is already underway.
The other is imminent.
I was slated to speak at a press conference in Kota Kinabalu next week, to announce details of the initiative already underway and to launch that which is now imminent.
And thereafter, to take a message to the people of Sabah.
I made calls last night to people in Sabah who are in the know.
The Sabah government got wind of these 2 initiatives.
Hence, the directive to refuse me entry into Sabah.
Why search my bag?
They were hoping to find material to be used in those initiatives so that, rather than deport, I might be detained.
No such luck.
That’s because two passengers on an earlier flight yesterday had couriered that material safely into Sabah.
And as I told friends waiting at the airport yesterday, the Sabah government is about to learn that we can still beat them, notwithstanding their abuse of the laws at their disposal, with the information and communication technology that we have at our disposal.
I am urging those working with me on the 2 initiatives to go ahead with the planned press conference next week where I will speak through video conferencing.
And to proceed undeterred with the second initiative.
As for the message to be delivered to the people of Sabah, our media team is working now to have the same ready to be delivered into their homes.
To Musa Aman and UMNO and their other running dogs in BN, please understand this.
It will take more than a Notice of Refusal of Entry to stop us.