FORMAL NOTICE, by Indonesian authorities, that convicted Bali Nine drug traffickers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will be executed after a minimum 72-hour period has elapsed brings a distasteful episode that has lasted a decade very close to its end; Chan and Sukumaran are human filth who profited recklessly from trading in the misery and ruination of the lives of others. Nobody should be perturbed once they are gone.
Those readers who oppose the death penalty probably won’t like this, but the world is set to be permanently deprived of two more insidious drug traffickers early next week, and I can only say that I fully support the punishment they are about to receive for their crimes.
And to those who seek to spread the word about the “rehabilitation” of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, my response is that either they have been hoodwinked — after all, who wouldn’t say and do anything to avoid a date with a firing squad? — or that they have lost sight of the fact this contemptible pair of miscreants were in fact key players in a major international racket that smuggled narcotics, including the almost 20lb of heroin destined for sale on Australian streets when they were caught, and prominent figures in a criminal outfit that cared nothing for the lives of the users of their product that they wrecked, those of their friends and families, and cared nothing for who might have died as a result of its evil enterprise.
The news that Indonesian authorities have now formally provided Chan and Sukumaran with the requisite 72 hours’ minimum notice of their executions is, as far as I am concerned, years overdue, given the charade of pointless appeals for clemency and other attempts to secure recourse on an endless string of legal technicalities has been going on for almost a decade since the duo were found guilty and sentenced to death in 2006.
And quite frankly — given Chan and Sukumaran chose to engage in illicit activities knowing that, if they were caught in Indonesia, they could well face a capital penalty — I must say I wholeheartedly approve.
There are no “heartstrings” to pull here; no emotion that can be appealed to: the simple fact is that some countries retain the death penalty for certain crimes, and the onus is on Australians operating in those countries to be mindful of that fact.
In this case Indonesia has applied its own laws to offences committed on its own soil — as it is entitled to do — and irrespective of the pressure applied to it by other countries, their governments, or international organisations like the UN, Indonesia is perfectly within its right to not only confirm a capital sentence in this case, but to proceed to administer that penalty.
I have been disgusted by the obscenity that has played out in Australia, which has extended as far as being forced to witness the Prime Minister of this country — in addition to the Foreign minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and Labor’s spokesperson on Foreign matters — lighting candles and staging a vigil, in the name of convicted hardcore drug traffickers, and at no less a venue than the lawns of Parliament House in Australia.
Whether one approves of the death penalty or not, the misuse of Parliament House in this fashion by people whose positions oblige them to behave with responsibility and decency is highly offensive, to say the least.
And, one way or another, it matters naught whether Chan and Sukumaran have been “rehabilitated” or not, for the punishment about to be meted out to them is in answer to specific crimes they committed when they should have known better, at a time both were old enough to distinguish right from wrong, and when ample evidence exists to suggest both are simply rotten: bad to the bone, indifferent to the lives of others, and irredeemable.
The temptation to regard their “rehabilitation” as nothing more than an elaborate act is overwhelming, following as it does a path well-trodden by criminals sentenced to significant punishments: “model” prisoners who “assist” prison authorities and who “find” God.
Blah, blah, blah.
In my view, there are two groups of people who deserve sympathy and support, and two only: the families of those who fell victim to the terrible contraband the pair derived significant financial gain from trafficking; and their own families, of whom there is no suggestion of criminality, and who scarcely deserve the shame and notoriety into which their contemptible kinsfolk have unceremoniously dumped them.
Chan and Sukumaran deserve the unbridled scorn and contempt of a nation; not its endless sympathy, nor the despicable spectacle of political leaders from all parties and sides of the spectrum effectively bending over — to use the vernacular — in an odious and unforgivable show of weakness before our Indonesian neighbours on their behalf.
And to the extent they are “sorry” at all, I suggest they are only sorry they were caught.
Even though I support the death penalty for certain crimes, would I advocate execution of Chan and Sukumaran had they been caught in Australia? No.
But this is scarcely the point. The law that applied in the jurisdiction in which they were apprehended has been applied. Australia can have no objection to it now being carried to its conclusion.
Oddly, something I said on Thursday in relation to fraudster Belle Gibson is equally applicable in the case of Chan and Sukumaran, and whilst I certainly don’t advocate execution for the kind of thing Gibson appears to have done, the principle is the same — and it goes to the heart of standards in what we, in Australia, like to think of as a civilised and highly developed society.
Those standards, as I pointed out, seem to slip a little further every time something like this comes along; on this occasion, there seems to have been a distinct message to the Indonesians from all quarters that somehow Chan and Sukumaran should be exempt from the consequences doled out under Indonesian law for their actions simply on account of an “official” position that “we, in Australia, do not support the death penalty.”
Well, some of us certainly do — and I think what Chan and Sukumaran are about to get is nothing less than they deserve.
With freedom comes responsibility and, as Margaret Thatcher once observed, you cannot have order unless you obey the law.
By their actions, Chan and Sukumaran have repeatedly thumbed their noses at both of these basic truths of a truly ordered and civilised society: in Australia, in Indonesia, and beyond, and I note again (from the first article I linked to today) that Chan at least could as easily have been convicted and executed in China a decade ago if not for a little undeserved luck sprinkled in with his drug peddling activities.
Of the seven other Bali Nine members serving life sentences, I simply say they have been lucky.
But Chan and Sukumaran were the ringleaders of a filthy plot to smuggle almost 10kg of heroin through Indonesia and into Australia; both are hardened criminals who have committed these kinds of offences previously; and neither — “rehabilitated” or otherwise — has anything to offer of any consequence.
Too much time, money, effort and diplomatic capital has been expended on this delinquent duo; the grovelling and obsequiousness displayed toward Indonesian authorities on behalf of two big-time drug traffickers is a national embarrassment.
It is cringeworthy, not some cause for pride, that Australian authorities have lowered their colours toward a foreign government so desperately in the name of a pair of filthy crooks.
Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are about to get their comeuppance from what both probably expected would be a lucrative life underpinned by the ducats of the destitutely addicted, the ravaged, and those prematurely exterminated by overdosing on their wares.
When the dastardly pair is shot this week, no decent person should spare them another thought.