Malaysia and Indonesia have proposed that an island should be set aside as a temporary home for the thousands of Vietnamese refugees at present fleeing their homes.
Malaysia and Indonesia have proposed that an island should be set aside as a temporary home for the thousands of Vietnamese refugees at present fleeing their homes. The suggestion was made at a thirty-seven state United Nations meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday (11 December) by the Malaysian Home Affairs Minister Tan Sri Ghazalie Shafie -- but he added that it should be coupled with a "clear undertaking and commitment" that the "boat people" would eventually be resettled elsewhere. The meeting was called by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, former Danish Prime Minister Poul Hartling, who highlighted the problem in his inaugural speech.
SYNOPSIS: Nearly two hundred and fifty thousand Indochinese refugees are awaiting re-settlement. Malaysia and Thailand warned they would not continue giving them temporary shelter while other countries hesitated over offering permanent asylum. Malaysian Minister Ghazalie Shafie.
The first is to increase the number of people who are interested in this problem -- this particular problem -- at the same time to increase the quantum of intake of each country. And secondly we hope to interest people in the problem of receiving them, because we have that problem in reserve and it is difficult to get countries who are budgeting for this particular problem to fully co-operate and constructively contribute to solving the problem. And thirdly we hope to be able to go away form Geneva with the thought that we have impressed on the Vietnam delegation that they are fully responsible -- and in the words of their leader Mr Pharm Van Dong -- that they have a contribution towards the interests of peace and stability in the region."