KOTA KINABALU: Popular preacher Ebit Lew was not allowed into Semporna islands because he did not get permission to enter the area to carry out his humanitarian mission, says Sabah Parks director Maklarin Lakim.
Maklarin said anyone who wanted to enter the islands under Tun Sakaran Marine Park needed to obtain permission first as the area was closed to the public during the movement control order period.
“Our rangers were not aware of the presence of Lew and his team at the various water villages.
“No one can enter without permission, ” said Maklarin, adding that other non-governmental organisations had been given special permission to carry out Covid-19 assistance for the people living in the marine park area.
On Tuesday, Lew posted on Facebook that he was cutting short his humanitarian aid to the islanders because he could not enter the islands.
“It was a miscommunication, ” Maklarin said.
In the statement, Sabah Parks said Lew’s team had entered and erected structures at the Tun Sakaran Marine Park without prior approval.
He said Sabah Parks had given permission to Lew’s entourage after getting a notice from the National Security Council.