Saturday 21 Jul 2018 | 09:50 | SYDNEY
Saturday 21 Jul 2018 | 09:50 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: Asylum seekers


Sam Roggeveen


26 October 2009 15:25

Kien Choong writes:

Might it be overly generous to think that, perhaps, the Australian Government's tough rhetoric is a cover for pursuing a more humanitarian policy? After all, if the Australian Government intends to implement a more humanitarian policy, it would hardly want to signal that policy change to the world. On the contrary, pretending to be tough ex ante could give the Government room to take a more humanitarian approach to refugees ex post. 

Maybe this is an area where the less is said, the more can be achieved. Australia is hardly facing a refugee crisis, and an enlightened media might do well to drop the matter altogether and move on to other topics that are more critical to the welfare of Australians.

 Well, I guess it's possible, Kien, except that the evidence you cite could just as easily support the opposite theory!

I agree Australia is not facing a refugee crisis; that's why the Government needs to be careful the issue doesn't distort our relationship with Indonesia. When the PM went to Jakarta to attend SBY's inauguation, all the media could focus on was whether Rudd would raise the asylum seeker matter. It seemed incredibly parochial to me and a little insulting to the Indonesians, who face far bigger problems.