Malay-Aussie Refugees Swap on Hold after High Court Injunction
11 August 2011 – KUALA LUMPUR: Australia has delayed plan to send asylum seekers back to Malaysia under the refugee swap deal until the country’s High Court can rule on its legality later this month.
Refugee advocates obtained an injunction in the court against the government’s plan to send the first group of 16 asylum seekers to Kuala Lumpur.
The injunction would remain in force until the full bench of seven judges hears the case in the week beginning 22 August.
Meanwhile, refugees in Malaysia have voiced their dissatisfaction on the ongoing swapping deal as it offered more benefit to asylum seekers sent from Australia.
It was reported that some refugees said they will consider to pay smugglers to take them to Australia and then be sent back to Malaysia by the Australian Government.
Under the refugee swap deal, all asylum seekers being sent to Malaysia by the Australian Government will be given work rights, and access to health care and education.
The Malay-Australian deal will give more resettlement opportunities for Burmese refugees in Malaysia while putting more barriers for asylum seekers from Southern Asia and Middle East who try to enter Australia directly from their country.
Reporting by Thomas Chong