Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
PETALING JAYA: Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was denied entry into Tokyo on Sunday morning.
In a blog posting, Anwar wrote, “I protest in the strongest terms this unwarranted action of the Japanese government in refusing me entry and denying my legitimate rights to travel freely without let or hindrance."
“It is indeed inconceivable for one of the world’s leading democracies to take this unprecedented action under such tenuous grounds and leaves me with the impression that hidden hands may be at work here,” Anwar alluded in his blog to interference by certain parties as a cause of his denial of entry.
The Permatang Pauh MP arrived at the airport at 6.46am from Kuala Lumpur but was denied entry by immigration officials. Instead, he was told to board the first flight back or face deportation.
Anwar cooperated and boarded the 10.45am flight to Kuala Lumpur.
The explanation given to him behind his expulsion was his previous conviction in 1999.
“I told them this could not be a valid reason on account that prior to this I had already entered Tokyo without hindrance on three previous occasions in 2006, 2009, and 2012.
I told the immigration authorities there must be some mix-up in this matter and protested that it was not proper for them to bar me from entering the country without a bona fide and valid reason,” said the statement.
When pressured for another reason, officials disclosed that the action was taken ‘because of a latest report’, Anwar said.
Anwar went on to demand an explanation from the Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs over the matter.
Anwar also added that his office had earlier made routine inquiries with the Japanese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and was given clearance.
According to the blog post, Anwar went to Tokyo after receiving a personal invitation by Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon Foundation, to present a paper on Muslim Democrats.