Within the hour of writing this posting, the Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, will be issuing a statement on the denial of entry of Independent Senator Nicholas Xenophon into Malaysia. According to some friends in Australia, “they have made it into such a big thing over here.”
Perhaps, news agencies in Australia, in particular Sky News Australia, should stop being superficial as their superficial reporting shows their inability to engage in journalistic rigor, comprehend complexity or maintain impartiality. Else their journos could come and join me write for this blog pro bono perhaps in the classifieds section. Well, I have no classifieds section.
Now, please understand the following:
Xenophon is being denied entry for being a “security threat” to Malaysia. Let us not forget that Xenophon, as an Australian diplomat, broke local law for being directly involved in the BERSIH 3.0 demonstration. The Malaysian Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 specifically mentions in Section 4(2)(a) that a person commits an offence if being a non-citizen, he organizes or participates in an assembly and should be liable to a fine not exceeding ten thousand Ringgit. Of course, being Malaysian and hospitable even to foreign lawbreakers, he was allowed to go home without receiving much hassle, let alone a 10 sen fine.
Isn’t Xenophon then a diplomat, and are diplomats not immune from prosecution?
Firstly, Article 41 para 1 of the Geneva Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 clearly states that it is the duty of all persons enjoying the privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State and have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State. Xenophon went against that by getting involved in the BERSIH 3.0 rally.
Xenophon has always maintained that his interest in free and fair elections in Malaysia started with the prosecution and subsequent acquittal of Anwar Ibrahim of the sodomy charge in Sodomy 2.0 (yes, we Malaysians have a release number for everything). It does not mean that he did not do it. As in Sodomy 1.0, Anwar was acquitted due to technical reasons and not because he did not participate in acts of sodomy. Read the last four paragraphs of this report.
Perhaps, Sky News Australia should ask itself if there is no thriving democracy in Malaysia, how is it that demonstrations are allowed, and if elections aren’t free and fair, how was it possible that Anwar’s loose coalition won five of Malaysia’s states including two of Malaysia’s cash cow states (Penang and Selangor)?
Judging from Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s statement on the issue as well as reports by other Australian news agencies, Australia values its good relation with Malaysia, but it is the minority and people who get little backing from the Australian government such as Nick Xenophon, and Foxtel-owned Sky News Australia that continue to believe in the lies dished out by Anwar Ibrahim. I hope they make time to interview all the founding members of Anwar’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat where even Anwar’s membership is a suspect. All his comrades who joined him in 1998 have left save for his wife, daughter and his trusted lieutenant whose wife is reported to have had an affair with Anwar when the latter was still a Federal Minister. And Xenophon’s constant meddling in the affairs of another State not only contravenes the Geneva Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961, but also displays his standard of being a diplomat against that of seasoned diplomats who would shy away from giving comments about their host State knowing the line that has been drawn by Article 41 of that Convention.
As such, Malaysia has the right to declare Nick Xenophon a persona non grata under Article 9 of the same Convention, and list him as an undesired person. Australia as the sending State has no choice but to recall the person. We, including Australian journalists, must remember that Article 9 of the Convention allows Malaysia to even declare Xenophon a non grata without explanation, and even before he arrives in Malaysian territory.
You have your laws, we have ours. if you want others to respect your laws, learn to respect the laws of others. You did not respect ours, Xenophon, now off you go.