Malaysia says the teenage leader of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests has been blacklisted and refused entry into the country.

Joshua Wong said he flew to Malaysia's northern Penang state on Tuesday morning but was stopped at the airport.

Immigration Director-General Mustafa Ibrahim said in a statement that the immigration officer stopped Wong because he was on a list of people banned from entering Malaysia. He did not say why Wong was on the blacklist.

The 18-year-old was scheduled to speak at seminars in four Malaysian cities.

He wrote on the Facebook page for his student activist group, Scholarism, that when he tried to call the local organizers after he was denied entry, immigration officials grabbed him by the arms.

He was then put on a Dragonair flight to Hong Kong.