Thursday, November 03, 2005

Australia's arrogance

Australia has been in the Asian press of late - all for the wrong reasons.

First it was about the Bali Nine - all Australian citizens - who were arrested in Denpasar on the Indonesia island of Bali on 17 April 2005. They stand accused of planning to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin valued at AUD$4 million from Indonesia to Australia. If convicted of drug trafficking they could receive the death penalty.

Second, there was Schapelle Leigh Corby, who was convicted, on 27 May 2005, of trafficking 4.1 kg of Cannabis into Indonesia. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison. This has been reduced to 15 years on appeal.

Third, on 21 August 2005, two Ecstasy pills were found in Australian model Michelle Leslie's Gucci handbag during a visit to the Indonesian island of Bali. She faces a maximum of 15 years in jail if convicted.

Singapore has already much earlier on dealt with another Australian. Nguyen Tuong Van was convicted in Singapore for smuggling 396.2 grams of diamorphine through Changi Airport. Unlike the previous three cases, Singapore law prescribed the death penalty. Nguyen failed in his clemency plea to the President of Singapore and now sits in a Singapore prison awaiting execution for his crime.

Ironically, the federal Parliament of Australia, with the assent of the Australian government, has passed a motion in Parliament calling on Singapore not to hang Nguyen. Given the propensity of Australians to engage in such illicit activities, I wonder if these learned Parliamentarians wish the trafficking to continue to feed and wreck the lives of not only the drug abusers, but also the lives of those around them? If their laws and their methods have failed to stem the flow of illegal drugs to Asia and beyond, what rights have they to launch such a motion?

This is the height of arrogance. However, I acknowledge Australian Liberal MP Wilson Tuckey's sensible defence of the execution sentence.


Anonymous said...

If you do the crime, you do the time. Many times over the years I have lost friends to drug abuse, including a brother. I dont miss any of them. They were junkies and they got what they deserve.


Dave said...

Does it matter that Van is not a junkie? Does it matter he was doing it to help is twin brother? Does it matter that it was his first offence, and has no criminal record? Does it matter that the crime was prevented, and nobody actually got hurt? Does it matter that taking a life, especially by hanging, is inhumane? Does it matter he can identify the true criminals -- the dealers?

Is life so completely black and white for you that you cannot fathom thinking about circumstances? That in justice we should seek a punishment that befits a crime?

In Changi jail upon death row
Breathe live corpses, unjust woe.
No darker space condemned to die,
Where Time, still barely etching by,
Weeps words amid the bleak sorrow.

Compassion's Dead, gone long ago.
They tried, went wrong; felt hatred grow,
Loved and are loved, they should not die,
In Changi jail.

A wake for them, who cannot show,
To you their failing hearts let go.
And on their eve when death is nigh,
Nary lose faith with those who die.
For know, down deep, injustice flows
In Changi jail.

Epilogos said...

I think that justice is not lacking in Changi's jail today. It will be scandalous to suggest this. What I think may be lacking is mercy. The law is blind.

Anonymous said...

People just don't get it. It is not about what the drug pusher or user has done, it is about the barbaric act of killing a human being. No one defends these drug mules but we do not have the right to kill.

The knowledge that Nguyen could be hanged did not stop him from trafficking drugs did it. The fact is, execution will never stop the drug problem.

Some of the reasons people take drugs are due to depression, racism, mental problems, lack of work, low self esteem, low intelligence, abuse, victimisation, boredom,child sexual abuse and the list goes on. If we work to address some of these issues then perhaps the need for the drug mules would deminish. Most of us do nothing to help this side of society. We use the excuse that we must protect the addicts and future addicts. Wake up, we don't give a shit for the addicts. When did you last pick an addict up out of the gutter and try to help him or her. You are all bloody hypocrites. The more the haves get the less the don't haves lose. We shit on the less fortunates of our society. Not everyone has the smarts or the chance to do well in life. How bloody dare anyone think that somewone like Nguyen should die. In some way he is as much of a victim as the drug user. You do not have any idea how he came to carrying drugs and yet you judge him so harshly. Yes, he did the wrong thing in fact he should serve a long jail term. He is not beyond reform though. I bet if those that want Van dead had a close relative in that postition, they would soon change their simple minds. I bet they would not pull the handle that sends their relative to their death whilst looking into their eyes.

Could you watch a hanged person kick and squirm whilst their eyes and tongue popped out. Would you be prepared to mop up the urine and shit that comes out of their body during a hanging. It is easy to brush off from your comfortable little world but you do not see the reality of it. Are you all so cruel that you would feel no sympathy if Van begged you to let him live.

We are intelligent human beings. we should do things out of necessity not anger or retaliation. It is the drug user that injects himself not the drug mule.

Can I be charged with murder if I am arrested before I carry out my crime? Van did not get his drugs on the street did he?

Humans are always forgiving others in everyday life. Just because the Van Nguyen case is so remote you all say. "let him die". We must not fight crime with crime.

Those that have no sympathy for Van are the type that really do not care about society, they just want their pathetic little world to continue whilst people suffer.

To anonymous that said he does not miss junkies including his brother, well fucken good on you. I am so glad that your life is so rosey and you did not fall into the role of a drug user. You show no compassion for what caused these people to take drugs. You are the lowest most selfish, arrogant person in society. Being a junkie does not hurt anyone but themselves yet you say they got what they deserve????? Do you think they deserve the life that led them go drugs in the first place? How fortunate for you that you drew the long straw. I would guess your IQ to be around the 60's.