Asylum seekers awaiting passage to Australia have begun flooding back into Malaysia in the first independent confirmation that the federal government’s controversial boats policy has effectively closed our maritime borders.
Daily Telegraph (h/t Marina) Malaysian officials revealed the Maritime Enforcement Agency has for the first time intercepted boat people returning from Indonesia to Malaysia across the Malacca Straits because they could not get to Australia.
The official in charge of Malaysia’s operations described it as a complete “reversal” of the people smuggling trade, claiming it was a direct result of Australia’s Operation Sovereign Borders. “I would definitely say so, there is a change of patterns now … a reverse movement of people,” director-general of the MMEA Admiral Mohd Amdan Kurish told The Daily Telegraph.
“Recently when we had our operation last month where we have a reverse movement of people … we intercepted 27 people, Bangladeshi, who would normally move out of the country, Malaysia, to go to Australia.
Australia has agreed to give the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency two Customs Bay-class patrol boats to police the waters between Malaysia and Indonesia – at a cost of $1.2 million – by the middle of next year. READ FULL STORY HERE
“Now they are moving back into the country from Indonesia into Malaysia … so it could be we are seeing because of the policy Australia is enforcing now is giving a positive result. “So we are looking at a backlash of people moving back through Malaysia.”
Using a combination of maritime enforcement patrols, Malaysian special forces and navy, the Malaysian government claims the traffic of people smuggling through its region to Australia was slowing at source points such as the coast of Malaysia. With Indonesia having downgraded co-operation on people smuggling operations, Australia has begun funnelling resources into Malaysia to target the people smuggling source points along the Malaysian coastline.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, who received private briefings yesterday in Malaysia, said the two countries were now preparing for a new phase in operations with a boost to the co-operation between Malaysian authorities and Australia to intercept vessels in Malaysian waters. “It is not just a benefit for Australia and Malaysia, but other countries in the region including Indonesia,” he said.
Left Wing Labor senator Kim Carr gets his panties in a wad as he yells across the Operation Sovereign Borders Senate hearing at Immigration Minister Scott Morrison over ‘public interest.’