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The Forum > Article Comments > 'Malaysian solution' shows compassion to forgotten refugees > Comments

'Malaysian solution' shows compassion to forgotten refugees : Comments

By Lyle Shelton, published 11/5/2011

Allowing people smugglers to exploit our compassion for refugees does not deliver justice to those who cannot afford to pay.

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Good article Lyle.

I wonder though why Gillard agreed to a five-fold acceptance of refugees from Malaysia compared to what we are due to send them. It seems a tad over the top. Surely two for one would have been much more reasonable.

While these refugees, largely from Burma, that we are going to accept from Malaysia are no doubt people in bad need of resettlement, they could still be thought of as jumping the queue inasmuch as they are going to displace others drawn from refugee camps that would have come here, but now wonít or at least not for another year or so.

Iím also not sure about the deterrence value of this Malaysian solution. It is just a one-off thing as far as I can see. So Iíve got to question whether it is worth doing at all.

Iíve got to agree with Tony Abbot; we need a much more determined deterrence effort, by reopening the facility at Nauru, and the one at Manus Island. And the reintroduction of TVPs.

I feel that while Gillard has seen the great folly in Ruddís weakening of our border protection of which she was an integral part, her efforts to strike the right balance between compassion and deterrence are still a long way off the mark.
Posted by Ludwig, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 9:13:32 AM
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With the "aid" we are giving Malaysia for this "deal" the cost to Australia per asylum seeker returned is nearly $400 000, and then we take back 5. Then as soon as Juliar announces the deal, the conditions start to worsen further, with limits being placed on who Malaysia will accept.

There is a saying "There is a sucker born every minute."

Julia, I can sell you the Harbour bridge if you are interested.

But then there is a very good chance that this deal will also fall through, as all Juliar has is Malaysia's assurances that the asylum seekers will be humanely treated. Interestingly enough, the Malaysian ambassador insists that the existing refugees are humanely treated. REALLY? Treating boat people far worse than the coalition is not a tag the ALP wants to take to an election.

The East Timor lie managed to last nearly a year while the one sided "negotiations" dragged on. Maybe the "negotiations" will drag on until the next elections so that Labor can claim that it is at least trying.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 12:24:38 PM
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"Compassion". So many thousands of displaced refugees world wide, and probably so many more just "toughing it out" at home. The answer proposed - we should take a few more. Meanwhile, our government wants to stop giving medical aid to some New Guinean residents who boat across to Oz' northern precincts, and boat back again - because it costs us a few bucks. These are not "refugees" fleeing despotism, no, they just can't get the treatment they need at home. But, we should take more foreign refugees in preference? Curious differentiation. We have deprivation within our indigenous community, but we should take more refugees. Curiouser.

How could Oz' dollars be better spent - housing, etc a handful of the mass of world wide refugees, or providing aid to improve living conditions and processing facilities in overseas detention and refuge centres? How about assisting the "host" nations to develop education and employment opportunities, housing and healthcare, etc?

Given the extent of the world refugee situation, how could the multi-national dollars involved be best spent? By absorbing more? Or by direct action to improve conditions in the nations they are fleeing? Burmese fleeing to Malaysia, fleeing a repressive military regime which has been a blight on the landscape since forever. Don't get involved in "internal" affairs, oh no. When are we going to wake up?

The refugee situation needs to be addressed at "home" not abroad. International diplomacy and the UN have to be made to work. Otherwise, the refugee situation is only going to get much, much worse.
Posted by Saltpetre, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 3:50:56 PM
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