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




RSPCA vs AWLQ: The truth about kill rates

POUND PUPPY: This little pig-dog cross is one of dozens of puppies that may be put down if no home is found for them, or they remain unclaimed by their owner. Photo Lisa Machin / Dalby Herald

'It happens and is unavoidable'

Long love affair with sport

DRESSED TO WIN: The Waratahs women's basketball side from 1928.

Times Past with QT columnist Beryl Johnston

Latest deals and offers

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa