Xenophon to challenge Malaysia ban
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon says he is taking action in Malaysia's High Court to try to overturn the order banning him from entering the nation.
Senator Xenophon was refused entry to Malaysia in February after authorities deemed him a security risk.
He says he is challenging the order and has asked for support from Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr.
Senator Xenophon had travelled to Malaysia with other Australian parliamentarians at the invitation of the Malaysian transparency and electoral reform group Bersih.
At the time Malaysia's Gerakan Party, part of the ruling coalition, defended the decision to deport Senator Xenophon.
The party's youth chief in Kedah state, Tan Keng Liang, told Radio Australia Bersih held a demonstration last year, which turned violent.
"In the past, we noted that Mr Xenophon had supported the movement of Bersih," he said.
"Therefore, I have no objection in our government in deporting Mr Xenophon.
"I fully agree - with his deportation, we do not welcome him in Malaysia. He should not have interfered with the political scenario in Malaysia.
"I think he has to mind his own business."
International relations expert Amrita Malhi said it was not surprising Malaysia saw Senator Xenophon, who is outspoken on human rights issues, as a risk to its electoral security and autonomy.
She said Malaysia, once colonised by outsiders, was particularly sensitive towards foreign involvement.
"It makes it possible, I guess, for the government to argue to a certain constituency, 'we're protecting our autonomy and sovereignty by deporting this meddling foreigner', so I think that's probably how it's meant to play," she said.
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