April 10, 2014 12:00AM
April 10, 2014 12:00AM
A MAN who came to Australia to flee Malaysian loan sharks who abducted and beat him should be granted a protection visa, a tribunal has decided.
The man could not be protected from loan sharks if sent back because Malaysian police were “corrupt’’, Refugee Review Tribunal member Wendy Boddison said.
She found the man qualified to stay here, under complementary protection provisions which the Federal Government is trying to scrap, because he faced a risk of significant harm.
On March 12, Ms Boddison ordered Immigration to reconsider visas for the man and his wife.
A spokesman for the Immigration Minister said the government had introduced legislation into parliament to remove the opportunity for people to apply for protection under such provisions.
Migration agent Marion Le, who has represented hundreds of protection visa applicants, said the well respected tribunal member had made a rare decision.
“It is surprising for someone owing money overseas to be awarded a protection visa here,’’ Ms Le said.
The man, who came here on a visitor’s visa, became heavily in debt after borrowing 45,000 Malaysian ringgit from loan sharks in 2009, at a monthly interest rate of 25 per cent.
He believed he would be able to pay the interest but then got more and more in debt and borrowed more, the tribunal heard.
He told the tribunal he was able to make interest payments for six months, but then had to take a second job to keep up the payments and often paid late and less than what was asked.
The man told the tribunal the money lenders threatened to kidnap his family.
In 2011 his car was rammed by money lenders who abducted him at knifepoint, taped over his eyes, beat and kicked him and held a knife to his throat, he said.
“He said that he began to lose track of how much he owed as it kept escalating and realised the he was never going to be able to pay them,’’ Ms Boddison said.
The man said he could not go to police because they were corrupt and would not help, and eventually he sold his business and fled to Australia, still owing significant debts.
Ms Boddison said the man would face cruel or inhuman treatment or punishment from loan sharks if sent back.
“The Malaysian police are endemically corrupt, which extends to include protecting or associating with loan sharks,’’ she said.
Immigration is currently assessing the man’s case.
I FULLY AGREED PDRM IS A LEGALLY CORRUPTED ORGANISATION RUN BY THUGS SUPPORTED BY THE UMNO GOVERNMENT.