KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — Former Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy was deported from Malaysia today after entering earlier using a French passport.
The Khmer Times today reported that Rainsy and other leaders of his banned opposition party had travelled to Kuala Lumpur for a meeting, before Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim ordered their expulsion after learning of their presence here this morning.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Anwar previously gave him an assurance that Rainsy would “never be allowed to step on Malaysian soil,” and that the Cambodian opposition figure only managed to gain entry through subterfuge.
“Now he (Rainsy) is at the airport, getting ready to leave. Yesterday, he was attempting to have a meeting in KL but was not allowed to,” Hun Sen was quoted as saying by the news portal.
“Anwar did not know about Rainsy’s arrival because he flew in on a private flight using a French passport.”
The Cambodian PM added that Rainsy and his group gave themselves aways after they “bragged” about entering Malaysia as well as their intention to travel subsequently to Thailand.
The expulsion of Rainsy from Malaysia comes amidst political tensions and the ongoing struggle between the opposition and the ruling party in Cambodia.
Rainsy previously said on social media that he would return to Cambodia via Thailand, taking advantage of the political changes in Thailand after the general election.
However, Hun Sen warned Rainsy that he is ready to “welcome” him with a “BM-21 Grad” self-propelled rocket launcher.
“Cambodia stands on the non-interference principle. If the Thai government did that (facilitate the opposition), both governments would not be at peace with one another,” he was quoted as saying.