Malaysia to Expel Australian Lawmaker Ahead of Anwar Meeting
Malaysia is set to expel an Australian lawmaker after he landed in Kuala Lumpur today to hold meetings with politicians including opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as the country gears up for elections.
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon is being detained at Kuala Lumpur International Airport under Malaysia's national security laws, with Australian High Commissioner Miles Kupa on- site and seeking his release, Foreign Minister Bob Carr said in an e-mailed statement today.
"Senator Xenophon's detention is a surprising and disappointing act from a country with which Australia routinely maintains strong diplomatic relations," Carr said. Australia urged Malaysia to secure his swift release from custody.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who must call elections by April 28, is fighting to retain power for a coalition that has governed the Southeast Asian nation since independence in 1957. Xenophon, who has criticized Malaysia, landed in Kuala Lumpur ahead of a delegation of Australian lawmakers, who canceled their planned visit following his detention.
The visit had been planned for two months and was to include the ruling Labor Party's Steve Georganas, the Liberal Party's Mal Washer and the National Party's John Williams. Williams told ABC television about the cancellation.
Posted by: tipper 2013-02-16