The Australian Federal Government is asking everyone to pretend it's going to be OK to send asylum seekers who land illegally in Australia to Malaysia for processing.
Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said today: "Look, we know everyone else except my government is against it. Yeah, the United Nations, Amnesty International, the Australian opposition parties, factions within my own party and, yeah, OK, the Australian High Court, all oppose this policy. But fair is fair, my government represents at least 12% of the Aussie population and nobody's let us pass any legislation this year and it's about time the elected government was allowed to do something."
The controversy centres on Malaysia's failure to adopt international refugee treaties which guarantees them protection while their asylum applications are being processed.
"We can't process them in Australia" Mr Bowen said, "They keep burning down the detention centres we build for them 'coz they hate waiting years to be processed in Australia. I feel like caning them like the Malaysians do, but then I'd be breaking the international treaties" he added.
The Australian Government claims it's all down to trust. Reinforcing Mr Bowen's position, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard added "Me partner Tim, and me, we're very partial to satay sticks and a nice beef rendang with fried rice (nod,nod,nod). You've got to trust people who can make nice nosh like that, even if they do indulge in the odd human rights abuse. Besides which, the delay in getting the offshore processing legislation through the Australian Parliament is messin' with me holiday plans (nod, nod, nod) heh, heh".
Political commentators in Australia are pessimistic about the legislation getting passed but expect the Prime Minister will enjoy her holiday in Penang in a couple of weeks.