A new report reveals that Malaysian citizens have been hoarding on Australian hospitality by unjustly claiming refugee status to gain asylum in the country. Australia’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, acknowledged the situation and welcomed the country’s Ministry of foreign affair backing the concern of the influx of Malaysians in Australia recently.
With the present scenario of some countries, where citizens have fled owing to a volatile plight, opening their gates to them has been expected from others. Australia has proven to be a haven for many asylum seekers for years. Added to this, it has also given easy access to many countries, like Singapore, Canada, Japan, USA and Malaysia under its Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) system. However, as per the recorded developments, Malaysia has been taking advantage of both these systems, as was evidently raised. This has prompted Australian authorities to issue a statement announcing the large number of Malaysians over staying in the country after gaining entry through the ETA and then applying for asylum.
The practice was not only severely criticized by the country’s authorities and its High Commissioner to Malaysia but also by the Malaysian Ministry, citing that falsehoods formulated by many are proving a hindrance to genuine applications by students and professionals.
High Commissioner Andrew Goledzinowski said 33,000 Malaysians had applied for asylum in Australia in recent years, most of whom were suspected for not being genuine. “Many who overstay then apply for refugee status. At the moment, we have 33,000 Malaysian citizens — not Syrians, not Rohingyas — who have applied as a refugee in Australia,” said Mr. Goledzinowski.
The Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to this issuing a statement supporting the High Commissioner, “From the information we have, the large number [applying for asylum] is due to the fact that Malaysians are taking advantage of Australia’s immigration laws to enable them to stay longer in an unlawful manner. Their actions have made it more difficult for Malaysians with good intentions to study, visit and live in Australia.”
The ETA system allows foreigners to apply for short-term travel to Australia for tourism or business online for only $20, without having to attend an embassy or high commission.
Despite the dire situation, Mr. Goledzinowski was against scrapping the ETA for Malaysians, stating that,” I think Malaysians, by and large, appreciate the online application. I think it would be good to maintain that.”