Saturday, April 18, 2009

Catch 22 situation at Miri airport

It was a good day to begin with. Got up early. Played with my boy AL-E and had breakie with pappa.

Then we all head off to the airport.....AL-E didn't let me go easily but that is a story for another day (However I had unbelievable amount of sloppy kisses from him).

Arrived at Miri airport 2 hours ahead of my trip back to KL.

Baggage - Checked

Boarding pass - Easy, Fast and Smooth sailing. Hardly any long queue.

Immigration -Here's where the unfortunate situation happened. I have stayed in Miri for 67 days. When I had arrived, I had used my passport to enter and it happen to expire on March 30, 2009 (which was perhaps my oversight and I should have instead used my IC).

So, for the next 25 minutes or so, I was drilled and scolded by two male immigrations officers that I should have known Sarawak state rules & regulations. Both of their exact words were 'RULES ARE RULES and we can't let you board that plane'. Their voice very very loud and crystal clear for everyone to hear in the airport. Boy, it was so humiliating and embarrassing. I was also so tired due lack of sleep.

All I did was to let them reconsider in letting me go especially I have another document which is my IC. Based on my IC, I have actually only stayed less than 90 days. On top of that I was really desperate to go visit my mom who is somewhat unwell. Even that did not make them change their mind. Then I told them I really need to be back in KL because I have a connecting flight in couple of days to Europe (Thank God I had the tickets with me)....Finally, after 25 minutes or so, for some reason, the senior officer let me go without saying much further....

Whatever the reasons, I feel that one should not be subjected to harsh treatment/rough & rowdy language for a rather small issue.....


For those who are not familiar, please be informed that if you are born in Peninsular Malaysia and happen to go to Sarawak for whatever purpose, you are only allowed to stay in that state for 90 days. Then, you have to go back where you come from or get your company to arrange for a dependant pass and renew when it expires (The dependant pass is a sticker which is laminated into your passport. You and your dependant can stay in Sarawak continuously for a period of a year. However, for subsequent years you are only given 6 months and you have to get your respective Human Resource department to renew this piece of document!). Many Malaysians who are born from the Peninsular are NOT aware of these laws until they start living in Sarawak either for business or other matters.

So you can be a Malaysian but there are many different laws that applies if you were born in the Peninsular (West Malaysia) or Sabah & Sarawak (East Malaysia or Borneo). However, those born either in Sabah or Sarawak has NO issues whatsoever staying for any amount of time in Peninsular Malaysia (even a century if one is able to). Such is life for a selected few. However, there are official reasons which goes back to the time when both Sabah and Sarawak states decided to join Malaysia back in 1963. I am not going elaborate and make it an epic story. Go find out yourselves from the Internet or one of the '.gov' sites

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