Letter to SMH

Subject: The Malaysian Solution?

What an unholy mess the Gillard government has made of the refugee and asylum seeker situation, (“Court freezes asylum deal”, August 8).

Shifting and changing with policies confused and uncertain, from East Timor to Manus Island, and finally, some hope, Malaysia.

Dispassionately looked at Malaysia as a solution to our perceived refugee problem doesn’t stand up, humanly, legally, financially and even logically, 800 sent in exchange for 4000 refugees is hardly an advantageous deal on our part. Who are the refugees we will get? Is it possible that corrupt Malaysian officials might put up their own friends and relations just to get them into Australia? What happens if more than 800 asylum seekers arrive by boat in Australia?

The irony of the whole fiasco politically speaking is that Gillard’s handling of refugee policies has made the Howard government’s Pacific Solution look both more humane and efficient than anything Labor has come up with.

Finally, the West has been responsible for much of the refugee problem we have by waging war in Afghanistan and Iraq. So we are part of the problem, and as such, we should be more of the solution.

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2 Comments

  1. deberigny said,

    (Dispassionately looked at Malaysia as a solution to our perceived refugee problem) — is this the subject?— doesn’t stand up, humanly, legally, financially and even logically, 800 sent in exchange for 4000 refugees is hardly an advantageous deal on our part.

    Dispassionately considering Malaysia…doesn’t stand up…

    So we are part of the problem and as such we should be [more] (part?) of the solution.

    So if we are part of the problem,it follows that we should be part of the solution.

    (A bit of proofreading from Deborah.)

  2. Antony Ruhan said,

    The title ‘refugee’ is not enough. The country receiving has to find out the details, viz. where the people come from, why they have come, who they are, i.e. some verifiable life history. Until the receiver knows this, it cannot establish a process. When people arrive by boat after travelling great distances, finding out the facts remains difficult.

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