For the last… well, as long as I can remember now, the story of the two men, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, who made the mistake which will cost them their lives has bombarded us. I don’t mean to bombard you even further, but I think it is a very controversial issue. Back in 2005 when Chan and Sukumaran, the men considered to be the two ‘ring leaders’ of the bali nine group, first entered the spotlight, I was highly unaware of what was going on. I don’t even remembering it happening, I mean I was only nine years old and I doubt I would have even known what heroin was all those years ago. When the men came back into the spotlight recently and it was confirmed that the men would face execution, I knew where I stood. I thought that despite the fact they were reformed prisoners and had gone through extensive rehabilitation, they did what they did and they can’t change that. Back when they made their mistake they knew what they were doing and how dangerous and stupid of a thing it was to do. They knew the strict laws in Indonesia and Bali and that it was very likely they would get caught, especially considering the huge amounts of illegal substances they were trafficking. Yes they were young and stupid and probably just wanted some extra cash, but they were dealing with a foreign country; they and Australia has to respect the laws and beliefs of Indonesia. I did feel very sorry for them and had no doubt they were good people and very, very regretful of their past, however, it did not change the fact that they had made the mistake.
Last Friday afternoon I was listening to Triple J hack when they brought up the execution of Chan and Sukumaran. Triple J hack is a segment on Triple J hosted by Tom Tilley where he discusses ‘current affairs, music, politics and culture with youth in mind’. Last week they had special guests rapper 360 and comedian Becky Lucas. They explored some very interesting issues regarding Chan and Sukumaran that made me think, and then I finally saw where everyone else was coming from. I’m not sure exactly when it was that I had this change of mind but there were great points made out during the whole show including one of Lucas’ comments during the show, “I really don’t like this whole rules stuff. Like all of a sudden it’s like ‘well those are the rules,’ you know and it’s those same people saying ‘well those are the rules, you know the rules,’ they’re the same people that get upset when they get a traffic fine.” That comment is so true, like really, what are rules? The rules or legal system in Indonesia in Bali is so backwards and corrupt anyway, they kind of make it up as they go along. I mean, they will give someone who committed a murder a sentence of a few years, if that or sometimes even bail. Then someone who smoked a bit of pot a will be hit with a huge sentence. It doesn’t really make sense. Especially the fact that the death penalty is still in use. The death penalty is such an old punishment which I believe should not be practiced anywhere anymore, not even for extreme cases such as murder or rape (I believe suffering with what you have done for the rest of your life is a far worse penalty)… I mean come on we’re in 2015.
Chan and Sukumaran are reformed and have done wonderful things during their time in prison. Yes, they did make a mistake when they were young and stupid, but they surely would not do it again. Imagine the stress they would be going through right now just waiting for death… That is pretty brutal. The Australian government and the Australian people have and are doing all they can to save these men’s poor souls, but unfortunately I think the time has come and there is not much else that can be done. I think the Indonesian president Joko Widodo has made his decision.
I encourage you to listen to the podcast of the Triple J hack segment I have referred to, as it is quite interesting. http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/triplej/hack/daily/hack_fri_2015_3_6.mp3