PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong was barred from entering Malaysia at Penang Airport on Tuesday.
He was refused entry at the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas after touching down at 11.55am on Tuesday.
He was scheduled to attend a forum titled 'The Uprising of Youth and New Social Activism in Singapore and Hong Kong' at Auditorium A in Komtar Tuesday night.
Forum organising committee member Chin Kae Min said Wong, who was one of the three speakers at the forum, was deported immediately on the next flight at 12.55am.
He said the immigration personnel had withheld his passport upon his arrival here, without citing any reason.
He said the forum would continue despite the absence of Wong.
The 18-year-old student leader is said to have been scheduled to speak at forums in Penang, Ipoh, Johor and Petaling Jaya on June 3, the eve of the 26th anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre.
After hearing of that Wong was denied entry to Malaysia, NGO leaders took to Twitter to express thier views.
"Malaysia... explain why he is sent back to Hong Kong? Afraid of more street protests," tweeted Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah.
"Our government must grow up, don't be small minded - Joshua Wong is a pro democracy activist. Is that a crime to bar him from entering Malaysia," questioned civil liberties lawyer Eric Paulsen on Twitter.
"Joshua Wong, 18, too dangerous to step foot in Malaysia? Strange and embarrassing," tweeted human rights lawyer Michelle Yesudas.
Wong has become the face of Hong Kong's pro-democracy student protest movement, leading students in a massive protest in 2014.
He was later charged on November last year with obstructing a bailiff clearing one of Hong Kong's three protest areas.
He was banned from a large part of Mong Kok, an area in the Yau Tsim Mong District in Hong Kong.
In December 2014, he and two other students began a hunger strike and demanded the Hong Kong government to restarts dialogues on electoral reform.
Four days into the strike, he decided to end it due to 'strong urging from the doctor'.
Wong was arrested once again in January for questioning over his involvement in civil-disobedience offences over the pro-democracy demonstrations.