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Xenophon: 'the only risk... is embarrassing the Malaysian government'

Independent senator Nick Xenophon says 'it is clear' his deportation from Malaysia was due to his advocacy for clean and fair elections.

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INDEPENDENT Senator Nick Xenophon was denied entry to Kuala Lumpur because he had participated in an illegal street protest, according to the Malaysian government.

Alias Ahmad, the director-general of Malaysia's Immigration Department, said Mr Xenophon was deported due to his actions on a previous visit.

In April last year Senator Xenophon was gassed by riot police using tear gas to break up a pro-democracy rally involving 200,000 people near Kuala Lumpur's historic Merdeka Square.

Arriving at Melbourne Airport on Sunday, the South Australian politician, who was detained at Kuala Lumpur airport on Saturday, said: ''If the Malaysian government thought that they were doing the smart thing, I think it spectacularly backfired on them.''

Senator Xenophon was due to visit with Australian MPs, including Liberal MP Mal Washer and Labor MP Steve Georganas, who have cancelled their visit.

A long-time advocate for fair Malaysian elections, it was to be his fifth visit to Malaysia since 2010. The group was to meet Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, and Malaysia's minister for parliamentary affairs, Mohammed Nazri.