Record of Australian Extraterritorial Migration Control.
Scott Morrison: Bilateral meetings have been held this week between Malaysia and Australia, including the Malaysia-Australia Joint Working Group on Transnational Crime, which met yesterday, and that meeting is continuing today. That is a working group which has evolved into that format based on the meeting that Minister Zahid and I had in Kuala Lumpur last year.
There has also been the seventh Malaysia-Australia Immigration Cooperation Working Group that was held on Tuesday of this week and the fifth Senior Officers Meeting between the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and the Customs and Border Protection Service, and that was held also on Tuesday of this week.
Now, the Working Group on Transnational Crime provides an opportunity to find the best way forward with regard to transnational crime and the cooperation we have, including a sustainable regional response to people smuggling, but not just people smuggling….
Ahmad Zahid: I’m pleased to announce that I’m looking forward to receive Minister Morrison in Malaysia by the middle of this year for the signing of an MOU in the field of transnational crime between our two countries….
Question: But can you quantify at all the drop in people entering Malaysia with [indistinct]?
Minister Morrison: Look, at this stage, being able to quantify it is still difficult, but I can give you these examples. After the meeting we had in Malaysia last year, the Minister took the initiative to tighten visa on arrival restrictions for those groups that may be seeking to come and transit through Malaysia on their way to Indonesia and to Australia, and I want to thank the Minister for his initiative in that area.
Last year we also, as a result of that meeting, we undertook a joint operation on the Malacca Strait called Operation Kangaroo and the Admiral briefed us when we were in Malaysia a couple of weeks ago and told us on that occasion that one of the smuggling ventures that was intercepted was actually one coming back from Indonesia, coming back up the chain through to Malaysia. And they did that because they knew that the way to Australia was closed. So we are seeing that happen….
Question: Can you explain briefly where these boats are going to go? Are they going to – where exactly will they [indistinct]…
Ahmad Zahid: I would like to invite my Admiral to explain it in detail.
Datuk Mohd Amdan Bin Kurish: Thank you, Ministers.
Well, in fact, we have seen a number of attempts for those boats that have failed to make it to Australia retracting back and later seen as the possible destination for them to retreat to. Being most of these people are identified either from the Middle East or from the South Asia region. So we are taking every precaution that we can to track these people down. In the last number of – a few months back, we have managed to intercept these people returning back from the adventure that they are trying to undertake to go to Australia, which they fail, and they retract back their position into Malaysia through the Straits of Malacca.
So we have seen this trend is moving – quite dramatically increasing, from time to time, in the Malacca Straits.
The Hon. Scott Morrison MP Minister for Immigration and Border Protection