Student leader Joshua Wong speaks to the media after returning from Penang
Joshua Wong Chi-fung is still hot -- a hot potato that is.
The Occupy student leader was invited to attend four talks in Malaysia's Ipoh, Johor, Penang and Kuala Lumpur to talk about last year's pro-democracy movement and the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.
However, when the 18-year-old arrived at Penang International Airport yesterday, he was ordered to return back to Hong Kong.
While Wong "deeply regretted" the Malaysian government's decision not to allow him into the country, the country's Inspector-General of Police Abu Bakar Khalid said the purpose of the young man's visit was to explain how he had organized demonstrations in Hong Kong.
"We were afraid that what he was going to speak about would harm our security," he said. "He was also going to speak about China. We know his anti-Chinese speeches, We do not want him to jeopardize our ties with China."
Ah ha! The truth comes out.
Malaysian authorities have blocked the entry of activists before in 2012 and the following year.
Wong begged to differ about the reason why he was not allowed into Malaysia to attend the event organized by the Working Committee for the 26th Anniversary Commemoration of June 4 Incident in Malaysia.
"I understand the mainland [Chinese] government may see me as a sensitive person, but I am not there to fight for universal suffrage in Malaysia. I'm not there to plant a revolution," he said after returning to Chek Lap Kok airport.
Of course the Hong Kong government said the politically correct thing of respecting the decision of immigration authorities of other countries in clearing travellers for entry based on their laws.
So now we're wondering if this was a stunt to force the Malaysian authorities to show how conservative they are, or organizers and Wong really didn't know (or were naive?) in thinking that he would be able to enter the country without any issues.
Regardless, the secret is out -- and both Malaysia and China seem to be afraid of an18-year-old student who looks more like a nerd than a strongman...