KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Subang MP Wong Chen today said former Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy had entered Malaysia for a private visit, clarifying previous reports saying the latter was here for a political meeting.
According to the PKR lawmaker, Rainsy and his wife Saumura — whom he called close friends of six years — had decided to stop over in Malaysia while travelling from Australia to France.
“Prior to being in Australia, he was in Indonesia without any fuss from the Cambodian government,” he wrote on Facebook today referring to Rainsy’s alleged removal by the Malaysian government yesterday.
He also said the couple arrived in Kuala Lumpur on the evening of May 29 via a commercial flight and he was present at the airport to greet them, contradicting reports that Rainsy had flown on a private flight.
On the morning of May 30, Wong organised a meeting in Parliament that included three backbenchers with shared interests in free and fair elections, human rights, and Southeast Asian nations’ matters.
He said the event lasted for an hour, and emphasised that Parliament functioned independently from the executive arm of the government.
Wong added that after the meeting, he and Rainsy enjoyed a leisurely day visiting popular landmarks in Kuala Lumpur.
“The rest of the morning of the 30th was relaxed and easy. We visited the Kuala Lumpur City Centre and the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. After that, we had lunch, nasi briyani and durian.
“Then he rested at my home for a few hours. At 5pm, we went to the supermarket where we bought some fruits that Mr Rainsy wanted to eat: star fruit, jambu air, ciku and mangoes. We had dinner at my home and he and Saumura returned to the hotel at 10pm,” he said.
Wong said that on the following day, his driver sent Rainsy and Saumura to the airport in the morning, from where they boarded a commercial flight back to France.
He said he had not intended to share details about the visit, but decided to clarify the matter following reports about Rainsy’s visit and alleged expulsion from Malaysia.
Yesterday, The Khmer Times quoted Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen as claiming that Rainsy and his group had been expelled from Malaysia on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s orders.
The Cambodian news outlet said Rainsy and other leaders of his banned opposition party had flown to Kuala Lumpur for a meeting, before Anwar allegedly ordered their expulsion after learning of their presence here.
Hun Sen said PM Anwar previously assured him that Rainsy would “never be allowed to step on Malaysian soil,” and that the Cambodian opposition figure only managed to gain entry through subterfuge.
The Foreign Ministry yesterday reiterated that Anwar had not known about Rainsy’s arrival in Malaysia, and confirmed that the Cambodian opposition figure had left the country earlier the same day.