By JR on Friday, July 22, 2011
Sending away 800 Afghan Muslim boat people and accepting 4,000 Burmese Buddhists instead is hard to explain. Though it may be a reflection of what Australians think of Muslims, I guess. And in the main, the Burmese are genuine refugees, which the Afghans are not
THE Federal Government's refugee swap agreement with Malaysia is a "bad deal" that will not stop asylum seekers, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says. His comments come after reports that The Government could sign its refugee swap deal with Malaysia early next week.
Under a deal announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard in May, Malaysia will take up to 800 asylum seekers arriving by boat, in return for Australia accepting 4000 processed [Burmese] refugees.
"It's a bad deal. I don't think it's going to stop the boats," Mr Abbott told the Nine Network. "It's now two-and-a-half months since the so-called Malaysia deal was announced and I think in that time we have had 10 boats and more than 500 people arrive."
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen is reportedly set to clinch the deal in Malaysia on Monday, Fairfax reported today, but the minister's office would not confirm this with the newspapers.
The head of the Malaysian police and the chairman of Malaysia's Human Rights Commission are expected to attend the signing ceremony, the report said.