HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong lawmaker and democracy activist Leung Kwok-hung was denied entry to Malaysia on Friday, the second time this week the country has stopped a Hong Kong democracy activist from entering.
It was not immediately clear why Leung was rebuffed.
He and prominent teenage activist Joshua Wong, 18, had been invited to a series of talks on democracy in China. Wong was denied entry on Tuesday, sparking concerns that Beijing may have put pressure on Kuala Lumpur.
Leung and Wong both took part in pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong last year that shut down key parts of the city for 79 days to demand China allow full democracy in the former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
“(Leung’s) passport was taken and he was questioned on the reason of entry and the duration of his stay,” Leung’s political party, the League of Social Democrats, said on its official Facebook page.
In a follow-up post, it said that Leung, a strident China critic who frequently heckles officials and is known by the nickname “Long Hair”, would be put on a flight back to Hong Kong.
“This shows a disrespect for freedom of speech, particularly given that he’s a Hong Kong legislator,” said Avery Ng, vice-chairman of the League of Social Democrats. “We’re very disappointed with the Malaysian government.”
Malaysian authorities were not immediately available for comment.
Earlier in the week, however, after refusing entry to Wong, Malaysia’s inspector-general of police, Abu Bakar Khalid, told the Star newspaper that Wong was “active in giving speeches against China. We don’t want people like him to come into our country and disturb the peace.”
Reporting by Venus Wu, Viola Zhou, Anuradha Raghu and Clare Baldwin; Editing by James Pomfret and Clarence Fernandez