Malaysia’s prime minister has urged the Federal government to offer his country more resources to help catch people smugglers.
Najib Razak spent yesterday in Canberra for meetings with prime minister Julia Gillard.
He says Malaysia has stepped up its efforts to disrupt people smuggling, but more help from Australia could slow the flow of asylum seekers.
“Perhaps giving us more equipment, for example more sophisticated equipment, could help us increase our capacity,” he said.
“I think capacity building is one of the ways in which Australia can assist frontline countries like Malaysia.”
Razak also raised several concerns about plans for a regional immigration detention centre.
The Federal government is trying to win support to build a processing centre in East Timor but Razak says he is still studying the concept.
“We want to know whether the host country will accept it, there is some concern about whether that will be the case – secondly the implications with respect to Malaysia… whether this will actually draw more people seeking asylum,” he said.
Immigration minister Chris Bowen says the government will continue to pursue its plan for a centre in East Timor, but the government is still in discussions over the proposal.
“We will continue to discuss the concept of a centre with East Timor, we will continue to discuss the regional framework with every nation in the region through the Bali process,” he said.
“The Bali meeting is at the end of March and we’ll be progressing it through that process.”