Thursday, July 28, 2005

Australian Immigration Departmental statement on Hwang case

The Immigration department finds a woman who entered Australia on a false passport, takes her into detention. Then assuming that her two children were not entitled to reside in Australia, plucked them from their classrooms and put them in detention with their mother.

Horror of horrors, the government released them because these kids were Australian citizens. Kids missed school 4 months, and relatives commented that the kids were emotionally different now, having seen people self-mutiliate themselves in detention.

In the Australian Immigration Media Release - Departmental statement on Hwang case, the Department stated that the children's status came to light after the PM asked for the status of all women and children in detention be reviewed.

In light of these events, I believe the government should hand over the task of deciding who gets detained to courts. Loss of liberty is not a decision to be made by an administrative arm of government. The onus is on the immigration department to prove that these people have to be detained to a court, rather than these people proving to the court that they deserve to be freed. This is a basic principle of justice.


Monday, July 18, 2005

Illegal migrants

People smuggling/trafficking/employment agencies are the flavour of the day:

Smuggling asylum seekers into Australia - Jailed. Most of these people are fleeing their country due to persecution, and 353 drowned when the boat they were put in sank. This is not rhetoric, the Australian government usually finds in favour of these arrivees. These people take a risky boat journey because the Australian government makes it impossible to arrive by plane. Question: Who is the bastard here?

Illegal Indonesian workers in Malaysia - Hunting Malaysia's illegal migrants

Illegal Malaysian workers in UK - People smuggler jailed for 7 years

A couple of years ago, I was at one of the dockside restaurants at Sydney. Eyeballing the waiters, at least half of them look like Malaysian Chinese. One guy I spoke to came from Sabah (I didn't ask whether he was illegal or not). He was working as an IT professional at a Japanese bank at Malaysia's off shore banking centres (the name slips me now), and he's now working at a restaurant in Australia because conditions were better. These people are paid standard award wages by the way, and these people don't plan to stick around for ever, once they have some savings, they head back home.

Working without permit is illegal under Australia's laws. But, gee, you'd have to frame these folks as vermin you one can think of this as a crime. This reminds me of the Disney version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, where the Judge Frollo persecuted illegal gypsy migrants.

As for Martin Moo - jailed for finding jobs for 300 people - sure he broke the law, but where was the crime? These people didn't arrive on unsafe boats, but came through international flights through Heathrow. The press release from the National Crime Squad mentions "immigrants would often pay large sums of money to individuals who would then facilitate their travel to the UK and their employment here". Well, in Australia, the government hospitals pay the recruitment agencies to recruit doctors from countries which have worse doctor-shortages. Who is the criminal here?

The laws are really bent if it is legal for a Japanese bank to set up shop overseas, pay university graduates less money than a waiter in Australia, but make it illegal for an Australian shopkeeper to hire off-shore workers at award wages.


Monday, July 04, 2005

Alert waitress saves girl

The US story of how a alert waitress saved an 8-year-old girl from a serial sex offender is so heart warming.

Contrast this with the Morris Inquiry into the Bundaberg Hospital deaths, where a surgeon was (allegedly) linked to at least 8 deaths.

Commissioner: All right. Did you ask Dr Miach about the concerns raised by Nurse Hoffman?
Dr Leck: No.
Commissioner:Why not?
Dr Leck: Because that isn't my role.
Commissioner:I see?
Dr Leck: I mean-----
Commissioner:It doesn't worry you that patients might be dying or that
15-year-old boys might be losing their legs. It's not your role to see whether there might be some truth in these allegations?
Dr Leck: It's the role of the Director of Medical Services in terms of clinical issues. I'm not a clinician.

Thank goodness there are people like Deahn around.