Hong Kong student leader Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) was yesterday refused admission to Malaysia, where he planned to speak about the territory’s pro-democracy movement and the anniversary of China’s Tiananmen Square massacre.
Wong was the teenage face of the “Umbrella Movement,” which brought parts of Hong Kong to a standstill for more than two months last year with mass rallies calling for fully free leadership elections.
“This morning we stopped Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong from entering Penang. We subsequently deported him back to Hong Kong on the same Dragonair flight,” an immigration official at Penang International Airport said on condition of anonymity.
The official declined to say why Wong was denied entry.
“Malaysian government is not letting me enter their border. Taking my original flight back to Hong Kong,” Wong had said earlier on his Twitter account.
In a separate Tweet he added that a Malaysian customs officer had said the refusal was due to a “government order.”
Scholarism, the student protest group which Wong founded, posted a statement on its Facebook page saying he had been invited to visit by “Malaysian activists.”
“Local personnel temporarily took away his passport for inspection when he arrived ... and later refused his entry and asked him to be returned to Hong Kong with no reason,” it said.
Wong’s Facebook page showed he had been invited to participate in a series of seminars in Penang and the cities of Ipoh, Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur.
Online news portal Malaysiakini reported that Malaysian Minister of Home Affairs Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he had no knowledge the 18-year-old had been denied entry to Malaysia.
Human rights activist Ng Yap-hwa, an organizer of the event at which Wong had been invited to speak, said he was angry.
“We’re angry at the government’s actions because there’s no reason that the Malaysian government should stop us from organizing any international talk on the democracy movement,” Ng said.
Additional reporting by Reuters
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