‘People will see through the transparent politics’: Waleed Aly hits out at Malcolm Turnbull’s new citizenship test – before getting into a heated argument with The Project co-host Steve Price
- Waleed Aly said new citizen rules show Malcolm Turnbull is in political trouble
- The Project host criticised the rules during a debate with Steve Price
- Malcolm Turnbull unveiled rules for becoming an Australian citizen on Thursday
- Applicants will now need to undergo English tests and share Australian values
- Citizenship test will ask about female genital mutilation and domestic violence
The Project’s Waleed Aly has claimed the government’s tougher citizenship rules are Malcolm Turnbull‘s attempt to climb himself out of political trouble.
The TV personality said the move was based on ‘politics’ and compared the prime minister to former PM John Howard during a heated debate with Steve Price on Thursday.
‘Malcolm Turnbull is in political trouble now and he pulls the same sort of reign now. Don’t you think people will see through the really transparent politics of this?’ Aly told Price.
Mr Turnbull announced this week the government will require citizen applicants to face an English test and commit to embracing Australian values.
The Project’s Waleed Aly (left) claimed the government’s tougher citizenship rules are Malcolm Turnbull’s attempt to climb himself out of political trouble during a heated debate with Steve Price (right) on Thursday
The TV personality said the move was based on ‘politics’ and compared the prime minister (pictured) to former PM John Howard
The test will also involve criminal history checks and questions about issues like domestic violence and child marriage.
Price claimed the government and Mr Turnbull were ‘restating what it is to be an Australian.’
‘It is saying if you are going to become an Australian citizen you have to live here for four years before you apply. We are going to do tougher background checks on people, which to me would make a lot of sense.’
‘Why wouldn’t you check if someone has been a fraudster or someone’s been involved in a domestic violence incident overseas or here, indeed, before inviting them becoming a citizen?’
Aly quickly jumped in after Price’s comments and argued that the rules could lead the community to believe migrants are bringing such issues to the country.
‘I guess the problem is people will take this as a message that these are problems that exist only in migrant communities and its immigrants that bring these problems to us,’ he said.
‘We saw John Howard pull this same reigns in 2006-2007 when he was in political trouble – it didn’t work for him.
Price (pictured) claimed the government and Mr Turnbull were ‘restating what it is to be an Australian’
Aly (pictured) quickly jumped in after Price’s comments and argued that the rules could lead the community to believe migrants are bringing such issues to the country
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton denied the changes were targeted at any one religion, but rather at particular behaviour and attitudes (Mr Turnbull and Mr Dutton are pictured on Thursday)
Price disagreed with Aly, saying that he didn’t believe the rules were part of ‘dog- whistling politics’ and said he was unsure what Mr Howard had to do with it.
Aly cut off Price mid-sentence to explain his point.
‘It means in 2006-07 when he was in political trouble he specifically started talking about citizenship tests, they announced it in about four different press releases – I remember this really, really clearly – it was this big thing about Australian values and migrants and integration and it was politics and the Australian electorate saw through it and he went out of office.’
Price insisted that he didn’t have an issue with the new laws and persisted that they were about encouraging migrants becoming part of the Australian community instead of being isolated’.
‘I can’t see why anyone on the desk there tonight would have a problem with us restating we have an objection to domestic violence. Isn’t that a given?’ Price said.