Blind Malaysian fighting deportation from Australia

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KUALA LUMPUR: A blind Malaysian musician is fighting moves to deport him to Malaysia from Adelaide, Australia.

David Lee, who went to Australia in 2007 to study music at the University of Adelaide, wants to stay on in Australia as, he says, he does not have family support in Malaysia.

The 34-year-old is a member of four-piece band, The Craic, and also sings in a church choir.

He is currently working with the Australian Disability Sport organisation.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Lee had been fighting since 2015 against moves to deport him when his skilled migration visa expired.

ABC reported Lee as saying his relatives lived in Western Australia and Europe and that he did not have family support in Malaysia.

He was quoted as saying his direct appeal to the immigration minister for a residency visa, after other avenues had been exhausted, had failed.

However, Lee won a respite when his application this week for a three-month bridging visa extension was granted. He will use this to fight against his deportation.

He told ABC he had earlier gone for the necessary checks, including health checks and police checks but that in May he received a letter saying “it was not in the public interest (for the federal government) to intervene.”

ABC quoted South Australian Dignity Party MP Kelly Vincent as saying people with disabilities were being unfairly prevented from making Australia their permanent home because of a naive assumption they were a burden on society.

She said a senate committee had recognised in 2010 that immigration policies were unfair to disabled people but that, seven years on, people were still being adversely affected.

The Australian Disability Sport organisation, with which Lee has been working to help other people with disability since 2011, said: “David Lee is, without question, our most reliable and consistent fundraiser. He works five days each week and earns enough money to support himself. David Lee is the backbone of our Adelaide-based team.”

According to ABC, Lee said he had never asked for any government handout.