Malaysia deported a British lawyer for a group of ethnic Indian activists who allege discrimination of their minority community in the Southeast Asian country, officials said.
British lawyer Imran Khan arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport Friday but immigration authorities prevented him from entering the country and instead sent him back to London 12 hours later.
Immigration Department director general Alias Ahmad confirmed Khan was deported early Saturday as he was a “prohibited immigrant” but declined to comment further.
S. Jayathas, a coordinator for Hindraf, which lobbies for more rights for Malaysia’s ethnic Indian minority, said Khan had planned to stay a week to meet community members who have faced difficulties, such as getting identity cards or being forced to convert to Islam.
Khan and a colleague, who travelled with him but was allowed entry, are planning to file a fresh civil suit against the British government, alleging the discrimination against ethnic Indians started in colonial times when they were brought into what is now Malaysia as plantation labourers.
Ethnic Indians make up about eight per cent of Malaysia’s 28 million people, while Muslim Malays account for 60 per cent and ethnic Chinese are 25 per cent. A coalition led by the United Malays National Organisation has ruled the country since independence in 1957.