PKR vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar was today barred from entering Sarawak.
She was stopped by immigration at the Kuching airport when she arrived on a flight from Kuala Lumpur this afternoon, she said on Twitter.
She was supposed to unveil PKR's candidates for the Sarawak election at a ceremony in Kuching tonight.
According to a notice she posted on Twitter, Nurul Izzah is barred under Section 65 (1)(a) of the Immigration Act 1959/63.
The notice was signed by Sarawak immigration director Kamarol Johari.
This comes after the Sabah state assembly voted to bar her from the state after she was photographed meeting with Jacel Kiram, the daughter of the late self-proclaimed Sulu sultan who masterminded the 2013 Lahad Datu incursion.
Others previously barred from Sarawak include fellow PKR veep Tian Chua, DAP chairperson Teresa Kok and PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin.
— Nurul Izzah (@n_izzah) December 6, 2015
— 'Atiqah (@atiqah_syai) December 6, 2015
In a statement later, Nurul Izzah contested the ban, which she said cannot be used against those entering for legitimate political activities.
The Lembah Pantai MP she went to Sarawak in solidarity with state PKR leaders and potential candidates in the run-up to the state elections.
This included small scale projects to erect street lamps, provide electricity and clean wate supply in rural areas, she said .
Section 67 of the Actstates how it cannot be used against individuals seeking entry for purpose of engaging in legitimate political activities.
Section 67 states that laws allowing East Malaysian states the power to bar a citizen from entering has not effect on those entering "for the sole purpose of engaging in legitimate political activity".
“The decision to bar my entry may be under the powers of state authority but it goes against my legitimate rights as an elected representative.
“This action is an abuse of power by state authorities that are supposed to be focusing on the agenda of Sarawak’s security against threats of terrorism and criminals, not elected representatives or legitimate representatives of civil society groups,” she stressed.