Tony Abbott on whether Australia will take in Rohingya refugees: 'Nope, nope, nope'

When asked whether Australia would be taking in any of the thousands of Rohingya refugees currently stranded in the Andaman Sea, prime minister Tony Abbott's response was plain, if a little bizarre: 'Nope, nope, nope'.

OK, a lot bizarre.

Despite their situation being labelled a "humanitarian crisis", Abbott explained that any Rohingya people wishing to move to Australia should "come through the front door, not through the back door".

Australia will do absolutely nothing that gives any encouragement to anyone to think that they can get on a boat, that they can work with people smugglers to start a new life.

Don’t think that getting on a leaky boat at the behest of a people smuggler is going to do you or your family any good.

Thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled systematic ethno-religious discrimination and violence in the north of Burma and Bangladesh where they are denied citizenship.

Both Indonesia and Malaysia have offered temporary shelter to the estimated 4,000 refugees currently stuck on boats in the Andaman Sea.

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