Foreign Minister Bob Carr today said Australian officials were seeking the immediate release of independent Senator Nick Xenophon who was detained this morning while seeking to enter Malaysia through Kuala Lumpur’s international airport.
“I’m advised Senator Xenophon has been detained by Malaysian authorities with a view to deportation,” Senator Carr said.
“Preliminary reports suggest the detention is under Malaysia’s national security laws.
“Our High Commissioner, Miles Kupa has now made direct contact with Senator Xenophon at the airport and is seeking his release.
“Mr Kupa is also urgently pursuing an explanation from Malaysian authorities regarding the reasons for this detention.
“Australia’s concerns have been raised with Malaysia’s Foreign Minister and the Minister for Home Affairs and the Malaysian High Commissioner to Australia. Their support is requested in securing Senator Xenophon’s swift release from custody.
“Senator Xenophon’s detention is a surprising and disappointing act from a country with which Australia routinely maintains strong diplomatic relations.”