The Australian election marks a resurgence of the boat people problem. Although the percentage of illegal immigration represents a fraction of the annual immigration influx into Australia, the most salient boat people issue has given teeth to the xenophobic policy initiatives by the Australian politicians. The election issues which has focused on the immigration policy has reached a consensus by both major political protagonists. The problem is rather on the detail of immigration reduction. However, the main focus is indeed what is the number of the reduction per annum which will become an election winning immigration issue. However, the ABC four Corners documentary aired on the 2nd August 2010 http://www.abc.net.au/iview/#/view/611656 Had proven a more pervasive problem for the Australian bilateral relations with its northern regional neighbour Indonesia. The connection has presented a bilateral political conundrum for both Australia and Indonesia government with elements from nationals from other nations intrinsically involved in the People Smuggling debacle.
Perhaps the most revealing fact arising from the documentary is not with the Nauru detention centre for illegal persons processing, but, rather the bilateral agreement between Australia and Indonesian government with the detention of illegal boat people endeavouring to illegally migrate into Australia. The most annoying security risk is the amounts of money involved with the illegal smuggling of these people which has been quoted as $7,000 (usd) per person. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation have appraised the types of people endeavouring to enter the Australia illegally are considered as people of high risk suspicion, and, subsequently, would be contained and processed in Kalideres (Indonesian detention centres). The levels of corruption, (an Australian definition) from the Indonesian Immigration bureaucracy is, indeed, considered as entrenched, and the practise of surety or bail monies, or bribery according to the Australian federal police, ASIO and ASIS, will continue if only it were not revealed to the Australian agencies and media sources, vis-a-vis, The ABC Four Corners. Otherwise, the Indonesian government would simply ignore the purported bribery and institutional corruption.
Moreover, the recent Australian government’s revelation of the Israeli passport scandal had become considered as less pervasive as the salient Islamic cartel of People Smuggling cartels from as far afield as the Middle East, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, etc, which has caused some concern by Australian authorities. At issue for the Australian election is the stopping of the boats from NORCOM, and the perpetual illegal immigration and exorbitant costs for these people to board a boat and to travel to Australia.
The Australian Northern Command (NORCOM) has continued to cease illegal vessels and have proceeded to detain all persons in Ashmore Reef, Christmas Island and elsewhere. The persons eventually are transported to the Australian mainland for eventual detention, repatriation, or naturalisation. The laws of Australia have changed and have selectively targeted the people smugglers themselves, by issuing punitive imprisonment terms and deportation. The problem for the people smugglers who are often ex-members of law enforcement agencies, or ex-military services personnel, who have been processed in Australian prisons and deported back to their respective countries. The problem is that these people simply return to their professions as consultant and experts who share their personal experiences as detainees and as deportees from Australia. This has become a problems because these people have become highly sought after authorities for people smuggling in Indonesia and elsewhere.
The Australian government has a quagmire with people smuggling when once they capture the perpetrators of people smuggling and after the end of their punitive imprisonment terms these people simply return to their profession as bone fide experts, and authorities, in the people smuggling profession. Instead of becoming demonised and consigned to social pariahship, these people are institutionalised heroes who have gone through a process of baptism of fire within the Australian immigration bureaucracy. They would instead charge a commissioned fee for bestowing their expertise in the Australian punitive justice system. They charge expensive fees to potential users of their services, including the disgruntled Mr. Hussein who seems to have been shortchanged by one of the people smugglers who had allowed a higher payer passenger to replace his families place on a boat bound for Ashmore Reef, from Lombok. In anger he ends being a stoolpigeon for the Four Corners programme in the hope that the Australian Department of Immigration will proffer a quid pro quo arrangement for services rendered. He will win this concession, however, the Director of Imigrasi within the Indonesian Government may have this fellow, Mr. Hussein, on their persona non grata hit list, for the number of high ranking officialdom Mr. Hussein has squealed on, in this particular, ABC Four Corners documentary.
On the Australian federal election scene, the aim of the Australian government is to initiate a no more boats political agenda with a dubious aim at turning back the boats from the 200 km Australian EEZ. As this Four Corners documentary clearly reveals this is really a matter of political bilateral and cultural understanding by the governments of both Australia and Indonesia who have already cooperated in curtailing the boat people problem, ie, the Australian federal government paid $8 million aud, for the Kalideres centre, in Medang, Indonesia. This has been a holding place for the boat people until such a time when these people, or their sponsors, are able to pay for their own "bail" conditions, or bribery as according to the Australian government.
Australia Labor Party will aim to curtail the influx of boat people by endeavouring to divert the boats and people to East Timor for processing. Whereas, the coalition party aim to process the boat people in Nauru. What they do not mention to the media at the present moment is the Kalideres already established in Indonesia already already paid for by Australian taxpayers. Nor the fact that the Indonesian governmental officials are more than happy to relieve these people from these Kalideres through payments and release, and where ever they go is up to their sponsors, albeit, the people smugglers who have been paid by these people to proffer them safe passage to an Australian detention centre once they are apprehended in Australian waters. The dilemma facing Australia is one of what to do with this UNHCR, Indonesian and Australian problem. The answer is simple, go back to the root cause of the problem, the anarchic uprooting and dispossession of these peoples from their homes in the first place. the wars, exploitations and famines and the lack of efficacious governments, their strict and punitive cultures and religions practises, which have destroyed these peoples quality of lives. The problem has to be stopped from its source and not at the detention centres. Therefore, the United Nations must establish a global forum to discuss the crux of the problem of people smuggling. Australia has every legitimate right to prevent illegal vessels from entering their 200 km EEZ. The United Nations and ASEAN must seek a multinational consultation process in order to broker a resolution for the illegal people migration problem.
Fa’afetai lava mo lenei avanoa.