KUCHING, Aug 29: State Reform Party (STAR) is questioning why there is a huge number of Malaysians applying to be refugees in Australia.
Its president Lina Soo said this was a question that the Malaysian government should answer.
“The Australian High Commissioner Andrew Goledzinowski reported that Malaysians form the largest group of people from one country who have filed for refugee status. Why have 33,000 young Malaysians fled their country to be refugees in Australia?
“The Malaysian government should have the answers by now, or is it like the proverbial Australian ostrich, which chooses to bury its head in the sand?” asked Soo.
She also cited a recent United Nations’ report, which stated that poverty in Sarawak was higher than the national average with critical human rights issues facing Sarawak such as healthcare, education, statelessness, land rights woes and other social development concerns.
She believed this could also led to Sarawakians as among those who had sought asylum in Australia over the years.
Soo was commenting on yesterday’s media report that as many as 33,000 Malaysians had applied to be refugees in Australia over the last few years.
Goledzinowski was reported as saying that Malaysians topped Australia’s list of overstayers at 10,500 refugee applicants, which he said was more than the total number of the next three countries combined.
He said the refugee applicants were those who overstayed and wanted to avoid being shipped home. — DayakDaily