Almost 10 years ago, nine Australian citizens were caught trying to smuggle more than eight kilograms of heroin to Indonesia. They were convicted and two of them were given death sentences. They’ve been in the death row for years and their execution is getting closer. The Australian government plead the Indonesian judicial system to give them leeway, but the Indonesian government wouldn’t budge.
As the result, after begging and threatening did not work, Australian government were enraged and started a black campaign to bully the Indonesian government. The ‘western’ media started to describe Indonesia as a ‘tourist trap’ where ‘foreigners’ would be treated really badly, and even sent to Nusa Kambangan to be executed.
All the dramatic depiction to put pressure to Indonesian government to cancel the death penalty.
But, don’t you think this is a kind of unfair? I am not saying that death penalty for drug smuggling is fair, but those criminals have acknowledge that when they were planning on smuggling drugs to Indonesia. Everyone would be reminded about the severe heavy capital punishment for drug smuggling when they’re arriving to Indonesia in the aircraft. We are seriously twitchy about drugs.
So, if they’re coming to Indonesia knowing that they’re risking their life for smuggling drugs, why does it become so much problem when they actually get caught and punished based on the law where they did their crime? It is said that if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.
Now they’re saying that the Indonesian law system is savage and backwards because they’re punishing drug smuggler with death penalty. Don’t you think it is fair to judge like that?
What would the Australians feel if the media depicts their border security law as xenophobic and paranoid when they refused to help people smuggling illegal immigrants and asylum seekers who are coming with half broken boat? What would the French feel if the media depict their no burqa law as violating human rights, and backwards because it does not respect other people’s religion? What would the Americans feel if their anti terrorism or terrorist prevention law is described as racist, paranoid etc.?
They would end up say: “fuck that. If you don’t like the law in my country, don’t even set foot in our land”.
You would be so upset if a law that you believe is protecting you is attacked by other countries, although you know this law is not perfect. But every country has different problems of their own. Indonesia is located strategically between Australia and Asia, and between Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. If they’re not careful, it will be so easily turned into a drug route that connects Asia, Australia and Africa. Look at the world map, and see how Indonesian water connects them.
So they might be paranoid about drugs, but it’s not more paranoid that big countries like America is paranoid about terrorism. They might be strict about drug abuse, but it’s not stricter than UK about asylum seeker. They might be suspicious about drugs, but not more suspicious than the Australian about boats with dying people on it.
If it is so important for ‘the west’ to maintain their sovereignty with implementing the law they feel suitable as protection, I believe Indonesian government has the same right to do that as well. If you don’t want to end up in the death row in Indonesia, just don’t smuggle drugs or kill people in Indonesia. Same with, if you don’t want to get stoned, or your hand chopped, don’t go having rampant sex with someone that is not your spouse, or steal someone else’s bread where Sharia law is implemented.
And the other way around, if you want to smuggle drugs but you don’t want to get a death sentence, find other countries. Not Malaysia though, they have similar capital punishment (but no one talks about it because no Australian is getting executed in Malaysia). And if you like chopping thieves’ hands, don’t go to countries where the law said chopping hands is prohibited.
Isn’t that fair for everybody?
Yes, I believe so.