Political Rhetoric and Immigration

7 07 2009

Australia is confident Malaysia will treat asylum seekers appropriately, even though a report says corrupt officials have forced refugees into prostitution and slavery.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd met his Malaysian counterpart, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in Kuala Lumpur on Monday night. The two nations agreed to stronger cooperation to combat people smuggling.

But a US State Department report released last month put Malaysia on a blacklist of 16 nations judged to be the worst for people trafficking.

The report said corrupt Malaysian officials had sold Burmese refugees to people traffickers or forced them into prostitution or slave labour unless they paid for their freedom.

Typical.  What angers me the most is how eager Kevin Rudd and others like him have been to label illegal immigration as evil and people smugglers as the scum of the earth.  Of course, people trafficking is a different issue, as forcing people into prostitution and slavery is evil; an activity which it appears some Malaysian officials have been engaging in.  The difference?  Entering, or helping someone to enter a a country illegally is not immoral, but selling a person  into slavery, it so happens, is.

And it gets better:

Mr Smith said Malaysia wanted borders with integrity.

“Malaysia and both the prime minister and my counterpart made it very clear yesterday, privately and publicly, Malaysia doesn’t want to be regarded as a country which has lax immigration procedures or a country through which people can transit at their own whim.

Oh my God!  How evil!  Traversing a country at their whim? Those criminals.  We should lock them up and throw away the key!

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