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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Asylum-Seekers Rejected by Malaysia

The Labor Party have embarrassed themselves yet again by announcing policy before it has been finalised. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said twelve days ago that Malaysia would take 800 asylum seekers in return for 4,000 Malaysian refugees. Since then over 100 people have been intercepted in Australian waters and the Minister told a news conference they would all be processed overseas. But Malaysia has rejected any suggestion of accepting asylum-seekers until the agreement is signed.

On Tuesday the Minister said "What we've said about people who arrive in Australia from last Saturday, and this is the situation again consistently from now on, is that anybody who arrives in Australia will not be processed in Australia and has no guarantee of resettlement in Australia.” The next day, Wednesday, a spokesman for Mr Bowen said "No person will be sent to Malaysia until the arrangements are finalised."

Chris Bowen and the government are floundering and their desperation to find a workable solution to this problem is clear. The mess they have created is embarrassing and as every day passes without a solution, their credibility only gets worse.