If 23-year Sarawak resident Tan Seng Hin's deportation is not because of politics, nor security, then it narrows down to George Chan's unhappiness about Tan's stand on Chinese education on behalf of Miri Hainan Association - which is a gross abuse of power and human right violation

Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Sibu, Wednesday): Malaysiakini yesterday reported that Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister George Chan denied that the deportation of 23-year Sarawak resident Tan Seng Hin from the state  was due to his political activities.

This was expressed by Chan in his reply dated March 1 to a Feb 13 letter of appeal from Tan to the Deputy Chief Minister for  assistance to gain re-entry to Sarawak to be reunited with his wife and two teenage sons in Miri.

Tan, 61, was deported from Sarawak to Peninsular Malaysia by the state's Immigration department on Jan 6, after a two-week notice was served on him on the cancellation of his entry social pass under Regulation 11(8) of the Immigration Regulations 1983.

No reason was given for the deportation order and Tan was also told that he would not be allowed to re-enter Sarawak.

As Chan has confirmed that Tan's deportation was not because of politics, and those responsible for the state's security had clarified  that Tan' s case had nothing to do with security, and Tan's case cannot be a criminal matter as he had never committed any crime nor offence in his 23 years' stay in Miri with his family,  then it narrows down to Chan's unhappiness with Tan over his  stand on Chinese education issues in Miri made in his capacity as Miri Hainan Association Secretary and which clashed with Chan's position.

This is why the various efforts by the  Miri Hainan Association to intercede on Tan behalf  in the past three months, for Tan to re-enter Sarawak especially for the Chinese New Year festivities in January, were  all in vain.

It is a gross abuse of power and blatant human rights violation for Tan to be deported and banned from returning to Sarawak to be reunited with his family just because of Chan 's position on certain Chinese education issues in Miri clashed  with Tan and the Miri Hainan Association.

Chan should stop the charade of claiming that he does not know the reasons for the deportation and ban of re-entry imposed on Tan, uprooting him from Sarawak after 23 years' residence and forcibly breaking up his family and separating him from his wife and two sons in Miri, when he must assume  full personal responsibility as the highest Chinese government official in the state government for the undemocratic action.

Tan's case deserves the concern, sympathy and support not only of the Miri Hainan Association and the Hainan community in Miri and Sarawak, but all Malaysians regardless of dialect, race, religion, political beliefs,  territory or even national borders, for it constitutes a gross and intolerable violation of Tan's human rights as a citizen of Malaysia and a member of  the 21st century world civil society.

I had in Miri on Monday night given Chan 48 hours to rescind the state immigration directive expelling Tan from Sarawak and breaking up his family or a national and international campaign against gross human rights violation by the Sarawak state government would be launched.

When the 48-hour notice expires without any action or response from Chan, steps to launch a national and international campaign against Chan and the Sarawak state government for gross violation of human rights would be initiated.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman