Australia's foreign minister says her government has contacted Malaysia over the detention of an Australian journalist and camera operator who attempted to interview the Malaysian prime minister over corruption allegations.

Australian Broadcasting Corp. said on Monday that the two ABC newsmen were arrested in the city of Kuching on Saturday after approaching Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on the street.

ABC says they were detained by police for six hours and told to remain in Kuching while authorities decide whether they should be charged.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told Nine Network television on Monday that how the newsmen were treated "are matters that we are raising with the Malaysian authorities."

She says that "Australia supports freedom of speech" and will "make representations at the highest levels within the Malaysian government."