They say this was a fresh allegation after being accused of being aggressive and breaching a security cordon.

KUCHING: Australian Broadcasting Corporation reporter Linton Besser has described as ridiculous the kidnapping fears of Malaysian authorities when he tried to interview Prime Minister Najib Razak in Kuching on Saturday.

This follows a report quoting Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Hamzah Zainuddin as saying the tighter security controls around the prime minister were due to possible kidnapping fears, especially after the terrorist threat from Daesh.

Reacting to the minister’s comment, Besser tweeted: “A circus. First I hadn’t registered for the event, then I had been aggressive, then I breached a cordon. Now this.”

Besser and his colleague, Louie Eroglu, were packed off on a plane from Kuching after they apparently crossed a security line to approach Najib to ask about corruption allegations against him.

Police questioned them for several hours before the two newsmen, with Australian Broadcasting Corporation, were “deported” and arrived in Singapore on the way to Australia.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed had also suggested that Besser and Eroglu were investigated for not having applied for a work permit.

Star Online said on arriving at Changi International Airport in Singapore, Besser said: “It’s been widely reported we’ve been deported by the Malaysian authorities and indeed we were whisked through airport and immigration and Customs by uniformed police.

“And even all the way to our seats on the plane where we’re photographed by a very nice police officer… but at no point were we told we were being deported. Our passports don’t say we’ve been deported. We were never given a piece of paper to say that that was the case.”

On Tuesday, local lawyer Albert Tang told The Star he was unsure if his clients had been banned from entering Malaysia or Sarawak.

Besser said they would remain in Singapore for a few more days to continue their investigations.


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