PETALING JAYA: Two Malaysians who had hoped to spend the New Year in Australia were sent home after airport officials there suspected them of being terrorists with plans to wreak havoc.
Rajarendra Prassad Arul, 23, who works in an oil palm factory and Murugan Ramasamy, 29, a crane operator, were detained by officers upon arrival at the Sydney International Airport.
Both claimed that the officers interrogated them for five hours, after which they were put on the same Singapore Airlines flight, which they had arrived in, home.
Rajarendra and Murugan were effectively banned from entering the Australia for the next three years.
Rajarendra explained that they had taken a flight from KLIA to Sydney via Changi Airport on Jan 2, hoping to spend the first week of the new year visiting the world-famous Sydney Harbour and to meet up with a Malaysian friend who was working there.
“The interrogators asked me whether we knew any Pakistanis or other Indians and how far our houses were from KLCC. He claimed that ganja was easily available in Malaysia and the country was causing many problems as it is a terrorist state.
“We were kept in separate rooms. Initially, I was allowed to go through after explaining to them that we wanted t see the Opera House and visit a friend but because Murugan couldn't speak English, they put us on the next flight home,” he told The Star.
In the Australian Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation under Section 116 of the Migration Act 1958 form, terrorism was not part of the reasons given for their deportation.
Instead, the reasons given were “not genuine visitor, no itinerary, no bookings and no knowledge of people intended to visit.”