‘‘It highlights that what we consider democracy here in Australia — there’s different views around the world of what that word ‘democracy’ means,’’ Georganas told Nine Network television on Sunday.
The fact-finding mission had not been officially endorsed by the Australian government.
Malaysia’s government says the country’s electoral system is free and fair. Officials have promised to boost transparency in this year’s elections by allowing Malaysians living overseas to cast postal ballots, lengthening campaign periods and bolstering security to prevent voter fraud.
But opposition activists say authorities have not done enough to address concerns over discrepancies in voter registration rolls, vote-buying and the use of government-controlled news media to denounce the opposition.
The upcoming elections are expected to be a close fight between Najib’s National Front coalition, which has governed Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957, and Anwar’s three-party opposition alliance.
The National Front suffered its worst performance in 2008 elections, when it lost more than a third of the seats in Parliament amid public complaints about corruption and racial discrimination.
Associated Press writer Sean Yoong in Kuala Lumpur contributed to this report.