Political scientist and activist Wong Chin Huat has been blocked from entering Sarawak – but, while still at Kuching Airport, he is challenging the move from a legal standpoint.
Chin Huat arrived in Kuching at around 9.00pm on an Asia Asia flight from Kuala Lumpur – and was promptly denied entry.
When contacted just before 9.30pm, he said he was at the immigration office in the airport. “I am not going to take this lying down. My lawyer is on the way.”
Chin Huat says they are blocking him under section 66 of the Immigration Act, which allows immigration to restrict entry. But he plans to use section 67 of the act to challenge the move. Section 67, he says, allows Malaysians to enter the state for legitimate political activity.
A columnist, Chin Huat is well known for his work in the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih), a network of NGOs calling for electoral reforms. He also chairs the Writers’ Alliance for Media Independence.
He is the second activist to be denied entry after KL-based rights activist Steven Ng was turned back in Kuching a week ago.
Obviously the Sarawak government is panicking about the state elections and feels it should block activists like Chin Huat and Steven from entering. The BN government must play fair and allow a free election.