PM Tony Abbott: ‘Australia’ Will Find Ways To Make Displeasure Felt’ If Indonesia Executes Bali Nine Pair

By @chelean on
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Speaks During The Launch Of A Student Mobility Program
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks during the launch of a student mobility program at a university in Mumbai September 4, 2014. Reuters

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has hinted the country’s relationship with Indonesia might suffer a falling out if the Asian country executes Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. He vowed to “find ways to make our displeasure felt” if Indonesia carries on with the execution.

Australia has been pleading with Indonesia to spare the duo’s lives since they have been sentenced to death, but the other country still wants to execute Chan and Sukumaran “as soon as possible.” Mr Abbott has made a personal appeal to Indonesian President Joko Widodo this weekend to grant the Australians an 11th-hour reprieve after it was learnt that Chan and Sukumaran’s execution is imminent. However, Mr Widodo seems to be as resolute with the execution as he previously promised he would be.

On Sunday, the prime minister said that Indonesia’s stubbornness is “not going to do its standing any good,” adding that Australians are “sickened” of the looming fate of the two convicted drug smugglers. “I am very conscious of the strong representation Indonesia makes when its own citizens are on death row … If it’s right of Indonesia to have that expectation from others, it’s right for others to have that expectation of Indonesia.”

It’s still not certain whether Australia would recall its ambassador in Indonesia if the execution does take place as Mr Abbott hasn’t ruled out possibility yet. In any case, Australia would “certainly find ways to make our displeasure felt.” However, in the meantime, the government’s focus is to prevent the execution from happening by continuing with pleading the other country for Chan and Sukumaran’s clemency.

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop also previously said that Australians might boycott Indonesia as a holiday destination if the Bali Nine ringleaders are executed. She wasn’t certain if the country would recall its ambassador to Indonesia as well, like what Brazil and the Netherlands did when their citizens faced the firing squad in January, but she believes Australians would retaliate in some way.

“I think the Australian people will demonstrate their deep disapproval of this action, including by making decisions about where they wish to holiday,” she told 3AW radio. Australians made up 12.4 percent of foreigners who visited Indonesia from January to October 2014, the third largest group following Singapore and Malaysia.

Bishop: ‘Australians Might Boycott Indonesia If Bali Nine Inmates Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran Are Killed’

Head of Bali prosecutor’s office, Momock Bambang Samirso, announced last week that Chan and Sukumaran will be transferred from Kerobokan prison to Nusakambangan Island where they will be shot by firing squad. The date was not disclosed, although Samirso said “the sooner the better.”

Meanwhile, there are over 150,000 Australians who signed an online petition for Mr Widodo to grant Chan and Sukumaran clemency. The Mercy Campaign hopes for the Asian country to show mercy to the two, who have shown remarkable rehabilitation within the prison bars over the years.