Hong Kong lawmaker barred from Malaysia

Radical legislator Leung Kwok-hung, also known as 'Long Hair', was barred from entering Malaysia on May 29, 2015.

HONG KONG - A veteran Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmaker was barred from entering Malaysia Friday, his political party said, four days after student leader Joshua Wong was denied entry over fears he would threaten ties with China.

Leung Kwok-hung - known as "Long Hair" - of the League of Social Democrats was turned away from Kuala Lumpur airport and sent back to Hong Kong.

Leung, 59, had been due to speak about Tiananmen Square and Hong Kong's electoral reforms to local activists on Friday night with an open discussion on human rights scheduled for Saturday.

"The fiasco is unfounded and unnecessary," said Avery Ng, the vice chairman of the League of Social Democrats, who works closely with Leung, told AFP.

"This act shows that the Malaysian government does not respect freedom of speech." The Malaysia-based group that had arranged Leung's visit confirmed he had been barred.

They said that Leung had told them by phone that his passport had been seized by immigration officials at Kuala Lumpur airport and he had been detained for 90 minutes, before being sent back to Hong Kong on a Cathay Pacific flight.

"Leung said that the officials declined to explain why he was not being allowed into the country despite repeated demands," said Ng Yap Wah, a local committee member of the "June 4 Tiananmen Square Incident" group, which organised both Leung and Wong's visits.

"I suspect... similar to the recent deportation of Joshua Wong, China could have put pressure on Malaysia to ban Leung from entering.

"We demand Beijing and Kuala Lumpur explain why the pair are not allowed into Malaysia," he said.

Malaysia's immigration department were not immediately reachable.

Hong Kong's security bureau had no immediate comment.

Wong had also been due to talk about the Tiananmen Square crackdown and the democracy movement but was denied entry at Penang airport Tuesday and sent back to Hong Kong.

The teenage face of Hong Kong's pro-democracy "Umbrella Movement", Wong, 18, helped galvanise mass rallies which brought parts of the city to a standstill for more than two months late last year, calling for fully free leadership elections.

Malaysia's police chief Abu Bakar Khalid said Wong had been blocked for his "anti-China" views.

He was also on a watchlist held by Malaysian authorities, reports said.

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