People in Australia fear that their Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, is turning into Donald Trump, as accusations of racism and ignorance keep rolling in following his controversial decision to end 457 visas for skilled migrants.
The latest decision of Malcolm Turnbull, who has recently revealed he is “learning a lot” from U.S. President Donald Trump, to scrap 457 visas for foreign workers has people in Australia all fired up among fears that their Prime Minister becomes more like “Australia’s Trump” by the day.
And now that Trump and Malcolm Turnbull, who has described the U.S. President as a “remarkable politician,” have finally met face to face on Friday in New York, what are the prospects of the Australian Prime Minister completing the worrying Turnbull-to-Trump transformation?
For what it’s worth, Malcolm Turnbull’s revelations that he is learning lessons from America’s controversial leader, who is often accused by his critics of racism and ignorance, came just days after scrapping 457 visas for skilled foreign workers.
The controversial policy, which goes under an eerily familiar catchline that says, “we’re putting jobs first and we’re putting Australians first,” has drawn ire from people in Australia who cannot but be worried about their Prime Minister borrowing a cup (or two) of inspiration from Trump’s controversial policies.
Earlier this year, the U.S. President Trump had world leaders exploding with outrage after signing an executive order barring citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the U.S., the policy that labeled the U.S. President as racist by many of his critics.
The long-awaited meeting between Malcolm Turnbull and Donald Trump took place on Friday in New York, and came just three weeks after Australia’s Prime Minister adopted a new “Australians First” approach to skilled migration, ending the 457 visa program for temporary skilled migrants.
The controversial policy by Malcolm Turnbull prompted critics to accuse the Prime Minister of racism and ignorance – the two accusations Donald Trump is familiar with like no one else.
The meeting between Trump and Malcolm Turnbull gave even more reasons for concern for the Australian people, as the U.S. President and Australia’s Prime Minister were confident about establishing a “great relationship” between themselves, according to The New Daily.
Addressing reporters after their meeting, Donald Trump and Malcolm Turnbull dismissed reports of a tense phone call between the two as “fake news,” and described the call that took place before the meeting as “a great call.”
Trump did, however, confess later that day that their call “got a little bit testy,” but it did not seem to affect the budding friendship between Australia’s Prime Minister and the U.S. President.
It seems that even the fact that Trump kept Malcolm Turnbull waiting for more than three hours as the Congress was voting on the President’s healthcare did not create any tensions between the two leaders.
Trump and Malcolm Turnbull met for 30 minutes before addressing the reporters, and Australia’s Prime Minister opened the door for even warmer relations with the U.S. President by congratulating him on the passage of the controversial bill that repeals former President Barack Obama’s healthcare policy known as Obamacare.
While Trump is facing a backlash from his American critics for his first legislative victory, Malcolm Turnbull is under pressure from people in Australia after releasing his first budget since election on May 9.
People in Australia are up in arms about Malcolm Turnbull talking up nationalist policies in the Australian budget, with many critics concerned that the Prime Minister is pinching from Trump’s copybook, according to Bloomberg.
Malcolm Turnbull defeated Labor leader Bill Shorten in the election to be Australia’s Prime Minister in July 2016, just four months before Trump’s surprise election victory in November.
[Featured Image by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images]