Opinion

Execution would confirm Indonesia has no wisdom

Julian McMahon (centre-left), the lawyer for Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, accompanied by Australia's Consul General to Bali Majell Hind (centre-right).
Julian McMahon (centre-left), the lawyer for Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, accompanied by Australia's Consul General to Bali Majell Hind (centre-right). AAP Image - Roni Bintang

MORE than 10 years ago, my brother in law died as a result of a drug overdose.

He had only just started to get his life on the right track again when he was given a bad batch of heroin at a local shopping centre.

Foolishly he took it.

His body was found in his unit several days later.

His death only reinforced my zero sympathy level for drug dealers who prey on the vulnerable.

But watching the way Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were taken to the so-called 'execution island' by Indonesian authorities left me with the same sick feeling.

To see them escorted like they were international terrorists in armoured vehicles, escorted by scores of police and military, accompanied even by a fighter jet, demonstrated this is more about show than substance.

If Indonesia wants to send a message to the world about being tough on drugs, fine.

Normally, I would support them.

But to execute two people, who by all accounts, have been completely reformed and rehabilitated makes absolutely no sense.

It will only add to the growing tide against the death penalty around the world.

And no doubt, the growing tide of Australian anger against Indonesia.

While it is too early to talk of sanctions, Indonesia will pay.

Australians, if they are true to their convictions, should avoid going to Bali.

They should give Indonesia a wide berth in their travel plans.

And Australia should pull back on the aid it gives to its neighbour.

While this will hurt ordinary Indonesians more than it will hurt their tough talking president, it may be the only way to get the message through to the political masters.

But let's hope it never comes to that.

President Joko Widodo has a very viable alternative.

As proposed by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, he could enter a prisoner swap deal with three Indonesians in Australian prisons over their role in a huge drug bust.

The three were the captain, the chief officer and the engineer of a boat carrying 390 kilograms of street-ready drugs to a beach near Port Macquarie, NSW.

At the time, the haul was Australia's largest drug bust. The drugs, of which the pure heroin component weighed 252.3 kilograms, was worth $600 million on the street.

Their heroin importation was 47 times bigger than Chan and Sukumaran's.

Chan, now a Christian minister, and Sukumaran, an accomplished painter, could offer so much more in life than death if they continue to help others in their rehabilitation.

Death by firing squad will only confirm that Indonesia's president has no mercy, no compassion, and no wisdom when it comes to the message he is trying to send to the world.

- Mark Furler is Australian Regional Media's group digital editor.

He has been a journalist on the Sunshine Coast for almost 30 years.

 

Topics:  andrew chan, bali nine, drugs, editors picks, indonesia, mark furler, myuran sukumaran, opinion




Lowndes leads way at Ipswich SuperSprint

Race winner Craig Lowndes celebrates in style at Queensland Raceway today.

Supercars champion fires at Qld Raceway

Soana steering Force women into playoff challenge

Ipswich Force basketballer Soana Lucet.

Ipswich import proves valuable recruit

Latest deals and offers

Reno stars want tradies to focus a little more on one thing

The Demmrichs want Tradies to look after their most important tool

Day 2 Splendour Pictures

Sticky Fingers perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Splendour in the Grass Day 2 covered in pictures.

WATCH: News reader tries her hand at hardcore shooter, Doom

Veteran journo and noob gamer takes a shot at Doom

What's on the small screen this week

MasterChef Australia's final four contestants, from left, Harry Foster, Elena Duggan, Elise Franciskovic and Matt Sinclair.

MASTERCHEF makes way for The Bachelor on Ten's reality TV slate.

Recycling your childhood faves

GHOST GIRL: Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones in a scene from Ghostbusters.

Everything that's old is new again

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles