Aliran is appalled by the Malaysian government’s inexplicable action in deporting Australian Senator Nick Xenophon after detaining him for 15 hours at the LCCT airport on the flimsy and absurd allegation that he is “an enemy of the (Malaysian) state”.
Was the deportation related to the senator’s honest criticism of the government’s unwarranted ‘authoritarian’ treatment of Bersih? If that is the case, it is indeed deplorable especially coming from the Najib administration, which once proudly claimed that Malaysia was the best democracy in the world. Surely, any criticism in a thriving democracy, as opposed to a dictatorship, doesn’t warrant the unjustified deportation of critics.
The so-called justification provided by the Home Minister over this incident makes a mockery of the whole ridiculous situation. He merely said the detention had “no political element” and that it was done “according to the law”. Surely the high-handed unceremonious treatment of a foreign dignitary demands an intelligent and more convincing response from the minister. Instead, the response leaves many wondering whether the deportation was indeed anything but political.
As if this wasn’t enough, Election Commission deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar jumped on to the bandwagon, saying that the senator’s criticism of the electoral process was unjust and “an insult to the intelligence of Malaysians”. He should be aware by now that remarks such as his and the questionable action of the federal government are truly an insult not only to the intelligence of Malaysians, but also of right thinking people elsewhere in the civilised world.
Wan Ahmad cannot be speaking for the intelligent Malaysians because they are capable of drawing their own conclusions. On the other hand, if he was speaking for the unintelligent and unthinking Malaysians he has every right to do so!
Coming as it did on the heels of the disastrous debacle surrounding Psy’s performance in Penang, the deportation certain puts the spotlight on the Malaysian government in the eyes of the global media and the international community – for all the wrong reasons. It is simply shameful, undemocratic and xenophobic.
Aliran Executive Committee
17 February 2013