Updated Tue May 7, 2013 12:39am AEST
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has questioned whether the Federal Government is turning a blind eye to alleged fraud in the Malaysian election because of Labor’s asylum seeker policy.
Malaysia’s ruling coalition has won the election, and prime minister Najib Razak was sworn in for a second term on Monday.
But opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has described the election as the “worst electoral fraud in our history”, and called on supporters to rally on Wednesday.
Senator Xenophon says there is clear evidence that the elections were unfair and that his contacts in Malaysia have told him of massive cheating.
He has questioned the Government’s stance on the allegations of fraud.
“Effectively acknowledging a corrupt regime that will now be in power for five more years … obviously suits the Australian Government because they agree with the people swap solution,” he said.
“The Opposition was opposed to the people swap so we need to ask the Australian Government whether that played a role in their thinking.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr says it is not up to Australia to pass judgement on the fairness of the Malaysian election.
“We can’t make a value judgement about Malaysia, we can’t be their court of disputed returns,” he said.
“Our High Commission in Kuala Lumpur has followed the election closely but I can’t determine – we can’t determine – whether there were unfair practices in Sabah or ink marks on fingers that washed off easily in Western Malaysia.
“It’s not up to us to determine these things.”
Senator Xenophon says Senator Carr has damaged his credibility with those comments.
“It’s completely inconsistent with the stance he’s taken in the region in Fiji, in Myanmar, in Iraq, in other countries where he’s spoken out unequivocally about the need for democracy for clean and fair elections,” he said.
Associate Professor Lily Rahim from Sydney University says many Malaysians are angry about the value of their vote.
She says there could be political instability following the election and has urged the Australian Parliament to monitor how the Malaysian electoral system reacts.
“Australian politicians should be watching very closely – at least in the next few weeks,” she said.
“Should there be an outbreak of violence perhaps Australia could constructively play a role in attempting to defuse the tension.”