Given Fraser’s shaky attachment to the truth, one should ignore the claims below. He makes a great point of being “anti-racist” — to the point of sucking up to African dictators. It is sad that he has no other claim on praise, given the many wasted opportunities for constructive reform he had whilst Prime Minister

Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser has blamed the immigration department for some policies such as remote detention centres that he believes may have racist motivations. He argues that white farmers fleeing Robert Mugabe’s regime in Zimbabwe would not have been held in remote detention centres like more recent asylum seekers have been.

“The whole idea for establishing a detention centre in a remote, harsh place … that sort of idea came out of the department,” Mr Fraser told ABC Television on Tuesday. Asked if there was a racist culture within the department, he replied: “Maybe.”

Mr Fraser added the Rudd government was “a little” better than the former coalition government when it came to the treatment of asylum seekers. He also challenged the coalition argument that Labor had lost control of Australia’s borders. The former prime minister has given media interviews to promote his book, Malcolm Fraser: The Political Memoirs by Malcolm Fraser and Margaret Simons.

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