Friday, May 13, 2011
I am almost at a loss for words to describe my disappointment in Australia's latest attempt to deal with asylum seekers arriving by boat. It is unforgiveable to send any of these unfortunate people to Malaysia where their futures will be uncertain at best, according to the Malaysian Human Rights Commission. This policy is very likely to damage Australia's bid for the UN Security Council seat from 2013-14. Until we can demonstrate that Australia has become a responsible member of the international community and can handle such a comparatively small share of refugees, we really don't deserve a seat on anything either. The policy appears to have been designed for domestic political purposes but it will not gain the Government any respect from Australian consitutuents. The majority of Australian voters believe in a fair go and this policy is simply unfair on the victims. Why are we so scared of asylym seekers living in the community, as they do in other countries while they are being processed on their suitability for permanent residence? Why can't our Immigration Department and system handle such a comparatively small number of unanticipated arrivals? It is time Australia grew up. If we want to play with the big boys in the international arena, we have to show that we can manage our own affairs and that we are mature enough to deal with international issues like asylum seekers, of whom Australia only has to deal with a tiny proportion compared to most other countries. The Government urgently needs to change course, before the voters change the Government.