Malaysia detains Australian Senator

Malaysia detains Australian Senator

Malaysia detained an Australian lawmaker at Kuala Lumpur airport on Saturday and is expected to deport him, an activist said, in a move Canberra described as “disappointing and surprising”.

Nick Xenophon, an outspoken independent Senator, was detained at the international airport near the capital Kuala Lumpur upon his arrival from Melbourne. “He informed me that he is being deported,” Ambiga Sreenevasan, a lawyer and co-chair of electoral reform group Bersih, said after she spoke to Xenophon.

The Malaysian government is yet to comment on the circumstances surrounding Xenophon’s detention but Ambiga said it appeared to be “under the Security Offences Act”.
“(Authorities) said he is a security risk,” she added.

Xenophon, who has travelled to Malaysia several times, was to meet Bersih members and others including opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and Election Commission officials next week, Ambiga said.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Bob Carr said Australian officials were in touch with Xenophon, as well as Malaysia’s foreign and home ministers, and were seeking his “swift release” from custody.

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