SYDNEY – An Australian lawmaker deported from Kuala Lumpur said Sunday his expulsion was ordered by the “highest levels” of the Malaysian government over his push to promote free elections in the Southeast Asian nation.
Outspoken independent Sen. Nick Xenophon, who was detained and barred from entering Malaysia after arriving in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, said he was whisked away to an interrogation area and told he was a security risk.
“It is clear that I was deported because of my advocacy for the prodemocracy movement in Malaysia, in particular the (electoral reform) group Bersih,” Xenophon told reporters after arriving at Melbourne airport Sunday morning. “It was unexpected, I was quite gobsmacked when I was taken away early on. It seems the only risk I am is to embarrassing the Malaysian government because of my advocacy for free elections in Malaysia.”