Australia’s lame response to Anwar Ibrahim’s detention

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim speaks during a rally dressed in mourning black gathered to denounce elections which they claim were stolen through fraud by the coalition that has ruled for 56 years. in Penang May 11 2013. Pix Firdaus Latif
Foreign minister Julie Bishop and prime minister Malcolm Turnbull during the launch of the 2017 foreign policy white paper, November 2017 Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP
Foreign minister Julie Bishop and prime minister Malcolm Turnbull during the launch of the 2017 foreign policy white paper, November 2017 Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Writing in the Guardian today  (Australia director at Human Rights Watch) states that Australia’s lame response to Anwar Ibrahim’s detention was a mistake.  Interestingly she argues that the probable reason was self interest.  That human rights issues were sidelined for trade and security ties.

Well what a surprise!

“Man was born free and everywhere is in chains” to use Rousseau’s words, still as apt today as when he wrote them back in the 18th Century. Congratulations Elaine Pearson on both your article and your sentiments.

Is it not the case that the USA and the UK supported and armed such people as Saddam Hussein, the Shah of Iran, and the murderous Muammar Gaddafi? That makes the Australians look rather mild and humane by comparison.

The problem of self interest is of course a problem in society as a whole from the individual level through town and city councils and right up to national government. In all countries.

“NIMBY” – not in my back yard. I come first, we come first.  Our oil interests are vital and that is why we have supported murderous tyrants in the middle east. That is why we pander to thuggish and barbaric middle eastern potentates who treat women like dirt, flog people in public for minor offences and cut people’s hands off without batting an eyelid.  And don’t let’s get started on Africa. How and why do we, can we put up with people like Mugabe and Idi Amin?

Yes Elaine Pearson carry on your fight for justice, reason, humanity and decency. We need more like you.

Until we change our views on life, until we co-operate rather than compete, until we truly care as a species, the barbarities will continue. Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is one of hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands who have been banged up, tortured or humiliated by incumbents in power who care about nothing but their own continuance in the driving seat.

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim speaks during a rally dressed in mourning black gathered to denounce elections which they claim were stolen through fraud by the coalition that has ruled for 56 years. in Penang May 11 2013. Pix Firdaus Latif
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim speaks during a rally dressed in mourning black gathered to denounce elections which they claim were stolen through fraud by the coalition that has ruled for 56 years. in Penang May 11 2013. Pix Firdaus Latif

 

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