A Liberal candidate in a western Sydney electorate where nearly half of voters were born overseas used his campaign launch to urge an end to Muslim women wearing the burqa, drawing a link between the Islamic tradition and criminality.

Ray King, a former Liverpool police commander standing against Treasurer Chris Bowen in McMahon, claimed the burqa was a "sign of oppression", according to one attendee.

The comments were made in front of guests including the disgraced former detective Roger Rogerson, 2UE broadcaster Jason Morrison and the Assistant NSW Police Commissioner for south-west Sydney, Frank Mennilli.

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