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Australian Current Affairs

Malaysian rights campaigner to be guest of Australian senator deported from Malaysia


Anwar Ibrahim

Anwar Ibrahim

Independent senator Nick Xenophon still smarts from being deported and banned from Malaysia earlier this year.

The South Australian senator has got his own back by arranging for Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to join him in Adelaide this week as a speaker at the Festival of Ideas. Senator Xenophon described Mr Anwar as a modern-day Nelson Mandela. He said the visit should serve as a warning against the Australian government “cosying up” to the recently elected Malaysian government.

“I think he is a beacon of hope,” he said. “People see him as a Mandela-like figure in Malaysia in the sense that there’s no bitterness or recriminations about the 6 1/2 years he spent in solitary confinement.”

“Anwar’s visit serves as a warning to Australia cosying up with the Malaysian government,” he said. “The previous government cosied up to them with the people swap deal.”

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is to visit Adelaide next weekend to speak at the city’s Festival of Ideas.

Premier Jay Weatherill said South Australia would be proud to play host to a leading democracy campaigner.

“The Festival of Ideas has a proud history of bringing prominent thinkers to Adelaide,” he said.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon said Mr Anwar was a beacon of hope for democracy not just in Malaysia but for the entire region.

Senator Xenophon was deported from Malaysia earlier in the year and said he looked forward to seeing Mr Anwar since he could no longer visit him in Malaysia.

“It is great that he has been able to visit Adelaide to share his incredible experiences and insights with us all,” he said.

Mr Anwar will be in Adelaide next weekend, in conversation with ABC broadcaster Waleed Aly, at Elder Hall at Adelaide University.

Admission is free for the event, at which the Malaysian MP is expected to outline why he has stubbornly remained in the political arena despite many setbacks.

Malaysia’s ruling coalition won the election held earlier in the year and prime minister Najib Razak was sworn in for a second term.

At the time, Senator Xenophon said there was clear evidence the election was unfair and that his contacts in Malaysia had told him of massive cheating.

Festival of Ideas organisers said this year’s event had a focus on political institutions and where they had gone wrong.

Source: The Australian – Anwar Ibrahim to visit Australia
Source: ABC Online – Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to visit Adelaide Festival of Ideas
 

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

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