Feb 18, 2013

Xenonphobia? No, but keep a close eye on Malaysian elections

Senator Nick Xenophon was deported from Malaysia on the weekend after being classified a security risk by the country's authorities. Here's why they kicked him out.

Professor Damien Kingsbury

Crikey international affairs commentator

Although it is a minor diplomatic affront to Australia, it was unsurprising that Senator Nick Xenophon was deported from Malaysia yesterday. Most regional governments rarely tolerate criticism of how they exercise political power. Being kicked out of a regional country — or, worse, facing court — has been, for some regional critics, a relatively common experience.

Xenophon was detained and deported as a “security risk” under the Immigration Act and this status follows the sweeping logic of Malaysia’s Internal Security Act (ISA). The ISA is a grab-all law, introduced by the colonial British to repress any form of dissent.

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8 thoughts on “Xenonphobia? No, but keep a close eye on Malaysian elections

  1. Andybob

    Well if I was rigging elections I wouldn’t want Nick looking into it. He’s a smart bloke.

  2. AR

    The only politician in this country whose integrity & probity are beyond question.

  3. pritu

    We need more people like him in parliament instead of the ciphers in both Lib & Lab. If the party in power in Malaysia had nothing to hide they wouldn’t have done this.

  4. TheFamousEccles

    Interesting article. Cheers.

  5. Kitty Pims

    actually, a lot of the demands made by the Opposition coalition (PKR, DAP and PAS) had been accepted and implemented into the electoral arrangements. Do not just see this from the Opposition POV. The problem to me, it seems, that yes – the Opposition coalition ‘might not manage to topple the BN — which remains unlikely under the present electoral arrangements ’ – which is why they are trying to change it to fit their agenda – which in turn would NOT make it a fair and democratic election, which ironically, goes against their ‘Bersih’ campaign. Is their purpose to form a cleaner and fairer government by PROVING to the people that they are capable, or are they just trying to BE the government by hook or by crook?

    In my observation – the PR coalition fail to get the majority support not so much of ‘rigged’ elections, it’s because they have yet to prove themselves. They should sort out their parties’ vision to collaborate, not clash against each other. And remember that they are to SERVE the people, not spread discord and disharmony among them.

  6. Kitty Pims

    also, speaking from a person whose country’s history included hundreds of years of colonization by Western powers who got on board by this very same tactics (meddling into local affairs under the pretext of ‘helping’ and getting themselves HUGE slice of the pie while at it) – this latest act just reeks of condescension. A modern extension of the ‘White Man’s Burden’?

  7. Andybob

    It’s nothing like the white mans burden. Measure it against the Golden Rule. What would we think if a Malaysian parliamentarian had discussions with the Opposition and a group calling for electoral reform, and undertook to observe our elections ? I’d be fine with that, would welcome it in fact. Nick wasn’t carrying out diplomacy; he was fostering regional relationships with elected legislators and an electoral reform group. It’s in Australia’s interests to have relationships with a wide variety of political players in a democracy within our region.

  8. Rena Zurawel

    I understand that Nick went to Malaysia as a private person, and he was deported as a private person. What is the fuss all about?

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