Wednesday, Jun 3, 2015Wednesday, Jun 3, 2015

Australia's refugee rules won't work: Jakarta official

Published on Nov 2, 2012 9:07 AM

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's new policies designed to stem an influx of boatpeople will not deter thousands of asylum-seekers from trying to reach the country, a top Indonesian immigration official said on Friday.

Australia recently announced it will send asylum-seekers arriving by boat to remote Pacific islands as a means of stopping them from making the dangerous sea voyage, and also increased the number of refugees it accepts.

But the policies have yet to halt a record number of boats from being picked up in Australian waters, and Indonesia's head of immigration enforcement has told state broadcaster ABC that they will not deter boatpeople.

Djoni Muhammad said there were some 100,000 people across the region, including in Indonesia and Malaysia, who want to leave for Australia and sending them offshore would not halt the tide.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!