But reintroduce caning and these people will think twice. There is no need to debate about where Liberal or Labour had a better policy to deal with these refugees. John Howard proclaimed loudly that Australia will choose who comes onto this island. He subsequently blew millions of taxpayer dollars and housed all the refugees on Nauru.
Caning is certainly a cheap and no-frills option to solve these problems. There is nothing like a nice whack on the butt that splits some tender skin to remind these people that coming on shore to the land of Kangaroos is forbidden. If I am a refugee, I will really reconsider my trip down south if I realize that Australia has a zero tolerance, cane all boat people policy.
In this world where every country practices realism, there is no need for Australia to champion any sort of human rights or sympathy. Talks with Indonesia and Malaysia will be futile because these countries just won't care. They have their multitude of problems to take care of and boat people using their country as a springboard into Australia is least of their worries. Besides, the boat people are NOT entering their country so why should they care?
Hence, the only way out for Australia is to introduce draconian measures to put people off taking a boat in. With such a vast coast to police, it will be a huge waste of resources and money to chase every stray fishing boat. Let them in, cane them and send them back. It is as simple as that. Really.
One only has to look to Singapore as an example. Singapore has a problem with overstayers and illegal immigrants as well. Yes, some still test their luck, but Singapore canes them all and as a result, these people look to their backside to remind themselves that illegally entering that island is a no-no.
Australia cannot afford to have a half hearted policy on refugees anymore. With sympathizers and hardlines lock in a web of disagreement, more of such dramatic pictures of boat people streaming in will continue to dominate the front page. It is time to take a stance.
Does Australia tolerate refugees or not? Are they allowed in or out? There is no room for thoughts like "hmm these people really shouldn't be around, but then again they are really suffering, we should let them in'.
In or Out. Australia must decide. If it is the latter, then the cane must be unleash to deal with such adventurous immigrants.