I arrived at Sibu Airport on 22 April 2016 around 10:55am for a christian event to be held tonight in a local church. At the immigration counter, I was told that my name is listed amongst those who have been banned from entering Sarawak. I travelled with 2 of my assistants, Sharon and Joyce, both were not allowed to be with me.

I was escorted into a room and the officer refused to read my invitation letter from the hosting church or my Speaker namecard. When asked why I was banned, the officer could only reply “”I’m sorry Puan, ini atas arahan pihak berkuasa negeri Sarawak””. 2 officers from MAS then entered the room and demanded for cash of RM1013.35 for my return flight to KLIA (no credit card allowed).

In less than 45 minutes after arrival, I was escorted by 3 uniformed officers back to the plane. I felt humiliated by such treatment, giving the false impression that I’m a dangerous person, harmful to the state of Sarawak.

I have 2 questions for Adenan Satem:-

(1) Federal Constitution guarantees my right to practise my religion freely – why was I not allowed to attend a church event with my fellow believers in Sibu? Pastors were waiting to pick me up from the airport.

(2) On what grounds did Adenan Satem use to ban me from entering Sarawak? Why wasn’t anyone able to explain this at the immigration office? I was not given any paper/slips explaining the deportation.

Immigration laws were enacted to protect the people of Sarawak. I organised fundraising dinners in Selangor to build basic infrastructures for the poor in Sarawak. How can that be a threat? Am I a threat to the people of Sarawak or am I a threat to the unrighteous authorities in Sarawak? I would like an explanation from the Barisan Nasional caretaker government for the above, failing which an apology would be appropriate.

Hannah Yeoh
Speaker of the Selangor State Legislative Assembly