Govt yet to make decision on deportation of Cambodian opposition leaders

07 Nov 2019 / 16:19 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Cambodia has asked Malaysia to deport two of its opposition leaders but the government has yet to make a decision on the matter, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said today.

He said such requests were “normal” and it was up to Malaysia to decide on the next course of action.

It was reported that Cambodia National Rescue Party vice-president Mu Sochua and its founder Sam Rainsy were picked up by the Malaysian Immigration Department on Monday night.

Saifuddin told reporters at Parliament that immigration officers wanted to interview Mu on her intentions for visiting Malaysia.

“The Immigration Department is merely safeguarding Malaysia’s interests,” he said.

Saifuddin also said that Malaysia would not interfere in matters related to other countries.

Prior to this, it was reported that four sources with direct knowledge on the matter told Reuters that the Immigration Department had detained Mu and Rainsy.

Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) confirmed that two Cambodian opposition activists are currently being detained by local authorities but will not be deported.

Suhakam commissioner Jerald Joseph said the duo, one of whom is an asylum seeker, are being held at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport holding centre.

The Cambodians were arrested on Monday night, and had been due for deportation to their home country the following day.

However, the Home Ministry and Immigration Department have withdrawn the deportation order following an appeal by Suhakam.

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