Malaysia trip not unofficial: Xenophon 

(The Australian) – INDEPENDENT senator Nick Xenophon says his trip to Malaysia, which saw him deported on national security grounds, was official.

Senator Xenophon travelled to Malaysia as the head of a parliamentary delegation to review the country’s electoral system.

But he was detained on arrival and returned to Australia on a flight that landed in Melbourne on Sunday morning.

The South Australian senator disputes media reports that his trip was unofficial.

He says Nationals senator John Williams and Liberal MP Mal Washer had received approval from the Australia’s Special Minister of State Gary Gray to use their study leave for the trip.

“It’s not unofficial,” he told ABC radio on Monday.

“It was a meeting that was going to result in a report being provided to the federal parliament in relation to the trip.”

Senator Xenophon called on Australia’s government to do more to support Malaysia’s electoral system.

He described Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s position on Malaysia’s general election, due later in the year, as flawed.

“(Senator Carr) says so long as the country has elections, we won’t be sending observers,” Senator Xenophon said.

“But if the electoral process is so flawed and so corrupted … then I think we need to look at it quite differently.”

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