After Sarawak ejection, PKR’s Tian Chua now booted from Sabah


(Malay Mail) – PKR’s Chua Tian Chang was deported from the Kota Kinabalu airport in Sabah today, less than a month after the opposition lawmaker was denied entry into Sarawak.

Chua, better known as Tian Chua, said this afternoon that immigration officers informed him that the Sabah chief minister’s ban order was still in effect.

“I’m escorted out of immigration office & brought to departure lounge: will be sent off at 15:30h on AirAsia flight. I’m officially deported,” Chua tweeted on his @tianchua handle.

“The restriction of movement imposed arbitrarily onto opposition members is getting ridiculous — we can’t travel within our own country,” the Batu MP added.

When contacted on the phone, Chua confirmed his deportation.

“This is the second time I got denied (entry) in Sabah. It happened last year too, quite a while after the Lahad Datu incident,” he told The Malay Mail Online.

The PKR vice-president said he went to Kota Kinabalu to campaign ahead of the party’s internal polls.

Just days before the Balingian by-election in Sarawak last month, Chua and two other PKR leaders — Rafizi Ramli and Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail — were deported from the Sibu airport back to Kuala Lumpur.

“It’s not that East Malaysia doesn’t want me; the Barisan Nasional government is paranoid against me,” Chua said today.

Sarawak and Sabah have autonomy over immigration in East Malaysia and occasionally shut their doors to those from the peninsula whom they do not welcome.

Ahead of the Sarawak state election in 2011, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, then the chairman of election watchdog Bersih 2.0, was similarly barred from entering the state.

Ambiga and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Rafizi, Nurul Izzah Anwar and Lim Kit Siang were also found last year to be on a blacklist barring them from entering Sabah.