Published: Saturday February 16, 2013 MYT 6:43:00 PM
Updated: Saturday February 16, 2013 MYT 10:59:49 PM
Malaysian lawmakers agree with Xenophon's deportation
By SIRA HABIBU
PETALING JAYA: While Australia seek the immediate release of independent senator Nick Xenophon, who was denied entry into the country early Saturday, Malaysian lawmakers say he is not welcomed here.
Xenophon was detained soon after he arrived at the LCCT terminal in Sepang at 6.40am on Saturday.
Immigration director-general Datuk Alias Ahmad said Xenophon was denied entry as he had been listed as a prohibited immigrant.
Several lawmakers agree with the decision to deny Xenophon entry, saying he has no right to meddle with Malaysia's internal affairs.
Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong said Xenophon should focus on issues in Australia rather than helping certain politicians to promote their perception game.
He said that if Xenophon truly champions free and fair elections he should be ashamed of associating himself with PKR and DAP, whose party elections had reportedly not been fairly conducted.
Padang Serai MP N. Gobalakrishnan said Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had apparently misled Xenophon with pro-democracy and good governance rhetoric.
“If the election system in Malaysia is not free and fair, how did the Opposition win five states in the last general election?” he said.
Independent Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng questioned the sponsors behind Xenophon's visit.
“I was with the Opposition before. And I know claims of phantom voters are part of the opposition's perception game to fish for sympathy votes,” said Tan.
Sedar Institute of Independent Think Tank executive director Tan Chuan Koon said the Opposition have been making false claims about unfair election process.
“We can see vote swings that led to changes in governments in Sabah, Kelantan and Penang in the last 12 general elections.
“This shows that the election system here is free and fair,” he said.
He said the 2008 political tsunami, when the opposition took control of five states, would not have been possible if the system was unfair.
“We should not get outsiders to interfere in the rule and system,” he said.
Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wira Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said foreign intervention went against the spirit of democracy.
Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said they were seeking the support of Malaysia's Foreign Minister, Home Minister and the Malaysian High Commissioner to Australia to secure Xenophon's swift release.
He said Australia would seek an explanation from the Malaysian authorities on the detention, describing the incident as surprising and disappointing, especially as Australia had routinely maintained strong diplomatic relations with Malaysia.
Xenophon, who attended the Bersih 3.0 rally, is known in Malaysia for his long-standing and active campaign against the palm oil industry.
He also came to Malaysia last April as an election observer at Anwar's invitation.
Despite this, he insisted he was independent.