PETALING JAYA: Malaysians are the most common nationality of people on Australia’s list of border alerts, accounting for 11.8% of all red flags in the past year, an Australian daily reports.
With 68,417 nationals subject to red flags, Malaysia tops even China which, with 58,724 citizens on the Person Alert List, saw a 23.6% increase this year.
According to The Australian, Malaysia, which recorded a 37.2% spike in the number of nationals flagged at borders, also tops New Zealand (43,470 listings), India (36,168) and Britain (28,770).
The database is maintained by Australia’s Department of Home Affairs.
The report said 35,760 Malaysians were on the list due to “suspect genuineness” of their plans to travel to Australia, while 12,934 were listed due to a “debt to commonwealth”.
Another 9,867 were listed as “overstayers” while 1,350 were listed for “breach of visa conditions”.
A border security expert from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute who spoke to the daily attributed the increase in number of citizens listed from both Malaysia and China to Canberra’s scrutiny of would-be visitors from the two countries.
“I’m not surprised that that’s the case,” John Coyne was quoted as saying.
“There’s probably very good reasons for those increases and it maps against the intelligence publicly released in regards to onshore applications for temporary visas and protection visas – and, secondly, for violations of terms of employment. The two highest countries for both of those are China and Malaysia.”