Apparently there was nothing controversial or extraordinary in the two-minute YouTube message that Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott released on Sunday evening. Entitled, Delivering on our Promises, the video simply contained the Aussie government’s promises of "good work" and building a "strong and prosperous economy".
However, the video and the leader’s account were taken down by YouTube after the message was posted. What replaced both was the standard error message that said the clip had been removed because it "violated YouTube's policy against spam, scams and commercially deceptive content".
The video remained blocked for about eight hours.
While the reason for its abrupt suspension weren’t specified by YouTube, it is being widely speculated that Abbott deeming the asylum-seekers as "illegal" in the video might have been the cause.
“We've also made big progress in border protection. Not a single illegal boat has arrived since mid-December,” he stated in the clip.
This is not the first time Abbott referred to these asylum-seekers as illegal settlers.
The number of refugees from countries including Iran, Afghanistan, Myanmar in Indonesia travelling to Australian shores in fishing boats soared in recent years.
Australia has occasionally used its naval forces to forcibly tow boats back to Indonesian waters under Abbotts’s draconian and much-criticized “turn back the boats” program.
Last year, in a joint letter addressed to Abbott last year, 138 organizations called on the Aussie federal government to end the practice of describing asylum seekers arriving by boat as “illegal maritime arrivals”.
However, given the fact that Tony Abbott drafted a controversialCode of Conduct for asylum seekers on Friday, threatening to deport them over trivial offences such as spitting and swearing, it seems people who accuse him of abusing his power are right.
Whether or not the YouTube video was suspended over the asylum-seekers statement, the clip signifies Tony Abbott’s reluctance towards co-operating with refugees.