Joshua Wong Chi-fung, a key student leader of the Occupy protests in Hong Kong last year, was denied entry into Malaysia this morning.
Wong had planned to attend four seminars to talk about the pro-democracy movement and the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in four Malaysian cities this week.
But Wong, convenor of student group Scholarism, sent a voice message to Hong Kong media at 12.45pm saying he had been barred from entering the country at Penang International Airport, shortly before he boarded a return flight to Hong Kong
"Today I was invited by the civil society in Malaysia to share my experience and my views on the Umbrella movement and the June 4 incident," Wong said in the voice message. "Now the Malaysian government has denied me entry and demanded I return to Hong Kong. I'm getting on the return flight."
After landing in Hong Kong around 5pm, Wong posted the whole story on Scholarism's Facebook page. Student activists of the Umbrella Movement had been banned from Macau and the mainland, now Malaysia had added its name to the list, Wong said.
Wong said his request to call local acquaintances (event organisers) was denied by the authorities and two immigration officers held him by arms, trying to force him onto the return plane. He wasn't hurt.
Wong said his questions as to why he was being denied entry were all answered with "government order" only.
"It's the fist time that a country not involved in the Umbrella Movement has rejected a student movement leader from its borders…I can understand if China labels me as a sensitive person, but I’m not coming to Malaysia to fight for universal suffrage. Why do they need to deny me entry? I’m just sharing my experiences with the Chinese people living there. I’m not planning any revolution," Wong wrote in the post.
He demanded that Hong Kong's government follow up on the issue.
Wang Syaifuldin, immigration attaché of the Malaysian consulate in Hong Kong, said: "Based on records available to me, the named subject is listed as NTL – Not allowed to land."
Malaysia’s Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he didn't know that immigration had banned Wong. He explained that if immigration had banned someone, particularly a foreign activist, from entering the country, it was mainly for reasons of national security.
Wong's Facebook page said he was speaking at events co-organised by an NGO called Remembering Tiananmen Massacre, and seven other local activist and youth groups.
Wong was also set to join lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung in Kuala Lumpur on Friday to give a talk on Occupy Central and Tiananmen Square. The talk will likely be cancelled now since Leung might also be denied entry.
Wong believes there’s a great chance that he’s been black listed by Malaysia.