Feb. 16 - Malaysia denies Australian independent senator Nick Xenophon, who had previously criticized the government, entry to the country. Simon Hanna reports.
This is the Kuala Lumpur airport where Australian independent senator Nick Xenophon was denied entry to Malaysia. Authorities said the politician was on a security 'blacklist' due to his participation in an illegal street rally for electoral reform in the country last year. The demonstration ended in violence and Xenophon later criticised the government's handling of the rally. Airport officials told him they were making arrangements for him to leave on the next available flight. From Sydney, Australia's foreign minster reacted to the news. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER BOB CARR: "We're expressing our disappointment; we're seeking a full explanation of this. We think for a friendly country to do this is quire a sad thing." Xenophon had travelled to Malaysia to meet several members of the opposition and the government ahead of upcoming elections in Malaysia. His deportation is a sign of growing political sensitivity in Malaysia as the government braces for poll within months that are expected to be the closest in the country's history.