The move to detain Australian senator Nick Xenophon at the Sepang Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) today, and later deport him, is in accordance with the law and is nothing more than an immigration issue.

hishammuddin hussein dang wangi police station pc 1Home Minister Hishammuddin  Hussein (right) said such an action is common practice here, and stressed there is “nothing special” or political about Xenophon’s case.

“This is an immigration issue, and is a common thing, Malaysians too go through the same and are not allowed in (to the country),” he was reported saying in Malay dailySinar Harian today.

“There is no political element behind the detention. I believe the detention is in accordance with the law.”

He further rubbished claim that the Australian lawmaker was detained because he is considered an “enemy of the state”, saying there is no need to twist the situation.

“We act according to the law. The Immigration (Department) will settle this,” he told the Malay daily.

Xenophon is 'prohibited immigrant'
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Immigration Department director-general Alias Ahmad (left) told The Star that Xenophon was not allowed to enter the country as his name is on the department's blacklist as a “prohibited immigrant”.

Prohibited immigrants are those whose presence in Malaysia is considered a danger to the community, he explained.

“Prohibited immigrants are also those who could cause disorder in the country.

“An alert on his name popped up when the immigration officer was processing his passport and a further check revealed that he is on the list, so we issued a 'no to land' order against him,” he was quoted as saying.

However, Alias clarified that Xenophon was allowed to move freely within the airport and was not detained in a cell as claimed by the Australian press.

“We provided him with lunch,” he said.

Alias said he had also spoken to Australian High Commissioner Miles Kupa on the matter.

“I explained to him the procedures and decision," he said, adding that the envoy understood the decision.

Senator a 'distruber' to the country

Meanwhile, the move has been lauded by the the Young Journalists Club of Malaysia, who described the senator, as a “disturber that tries to intervene in the country’s internal affairs, especially on the process relating to the impending 13th general election”.

nick xenophon 290412Xenophon had observed last year’s Bersih 3.0 rally as part of an international fact-finding mission on the Malaysian electoral system.

In a statement, club president Dzulkarnain Taib stated that the action of the opposition in exploiting a lawmaker from a country which fosters close ties with Malaysia, is both irresponsible and has an “element of treachery”.

“The Young Journalists Club holds to the principle of ‘Our Country, Our Responsibility’, hence, any attempt by the opposition to bring in individuals such as Senator Xenophon must be contained and opposed,” he said.