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Following Sarawak minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing’s support for SUPP’s proposal to ban Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang from the state for his derogatory remarks about Christian missionaries, it appears that Hadi will most likely and soon be added to the Sarawak list of unwelcomed persons.

It is not a surprise that Hadi Awang has been severely criticized on his absurd claims that Christian missionaries brought their work to Malaysia only after experiencing failure in the West and that they spread their religion by baiting their targets with money and other forms of aid.

Hadi’s remarks are shocking, baseless and provocative and totally unacceptable and can even cause religious mistrust and hatred.

However, two wrongs don’t make a right. Hadi should be castigated and continue to be severely criticized, but it will not be right to ban him from Sarawak.

Sarawak government should in fact invite Hadi on a fact finding mission in Sarawak. Let him meet the relevant groups and people in Sarawak and let him see for himself the contribution of the Christian community toward nation-building in Sarawak and in Malaysia, as well as the inter-religious harmony in Sarawak.

This is definitely a better way than banning him from entering in Sarawak as such move will be seen as an abuse of the Sarawak’s immigration power,

I would also like to urge the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Tan Sri Adenan Satem to lift the ban on me and other activists and oppositionists who have been banned from entering into Sarawak. Till today, I am still in the dark as to why I have been banned from entering Sarawak as I have never been told the reason. I certainly am not a security or economic threat to Sarawak.

As the Sarawak state election will be held soon, I once again urge Tan Sri Adenan to demonstrate himself as a reformist by fighting the opposition fair and square, and immediately lift the undemocratic ban on me and other oppositionists.

Teresa Kok

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