[Marinir] [thejakartapost] The Corby case: A lesson in patience
Yap Hong Gie
ouwehoer at centrin.net.id
Mon Jun 6 20:16:20 CEST 2005
Opinion June 07, 2005
The Corby case: A lesson in patience
Desi Anwar, Jakarta
For those Australians who have been ranting and raving against Indonesia
over the Schapelle Corby case (and one would prefer to believe it is just
all a media hype) rest assured that we in Indonesia are not rubbing our
hands with glee at the prospect of seeing a pretty young woman thrown in
As a matter of fact most Indonesians harbor no ill-feeling, thoughts of
vengeance or any kind of interest at all in the affair other than viewing it
as yet another drug smuggling case in a country already rife with drug
crimes not to mention a host of other much more serious problems too
numerous to mention.
However, for the record, even if Indonesia is a relatively new democracy and
our legal system is still far from perfect, contrary to what some
Australians seem to think, we do have a rule of law here, based strangely
enough, on solid evidence (e.g. a bagful of marijuana) and not on some
theatrically loud protestations of innocence however heart-wrenching.
A more fruitful use of time and energy would be to find and get a confession
from the baggage handler who planted the drug in Corby's belonging if that
were the case, rather than taking it out on an entire nation that is quite
happy minding its own business, thank you very much.
As for the Indonesian government, there is absolutely no reason to be
provoked by or even dignify this latest onslaught of Indonesia-bashing
exercise with any kind of response other than to let our neighbor down under
wallow in their lower chakra emotions in which they seem to have a
propensity in indulging.
Perhaps the imagination of some of our best friends there have been
influenced too much by telenovellas or reality TV shows, but it is hard to
believe that they would descend to such depths of hysteria if, for example,
Corby were not a young, pretty female (and a beautician to boot!) but
actually a fat, balding, middle-aged male drunkard without a future.
No doubt that a script is already underway for the making of the Corby film
and one can be sure it would be a lot more tragic (with an array of
Hollywood cast) than the story about the poor Indonesian fisherman who died
in the Australian police custody.
On the contrary, Indonesia should actually sympathize with the fact that her
neighbor seems to be perpetually under some sort of delusion that their
so-called public opinion matter in the way this country is run. Which is a
pity, as this sort of wishful thinking could only lead to disappointment. We
know there are a lot of things wrong in this country, not to mention simply
weird, but taking the hint that Indonesian justice doesn't appreciate being
meddled with, might just go a long way in not jeopardizing Corby's future
Indonesians shouldn't be upset either about Australians boycotting Bali.
Giving the island a bit of a break from rowdy backpackers is not necessarily
a bad thing. On the contrary, it would give more room for those nouveaux
riches from mainland China and Taiwan who actually seem to enjoy spending
their dollars more than sunbathing on the beach, or for the real Europeans
from the West who display by far better appreciation of the local culture
and possessing finer sensibilities than their more uncouth counterparts from
As for those Australians requesting the return of their tsunami aid donation
(we note that Russell Crowe the actor is one of them), I would suggest the
Indonesian government did so forthwith and every penny of it. Not because
Crowe's legs looked especially pleasing in a Roman tunic, but it would be
embarrassing to keep a donation so insincerely given and with so many
strings attached, not to mention the bad karma we have to carry if we were
to spend money that is laden with so much ill-feeling and negativity. After
all what country would want to face the ire of a silver screen gladiator?
Moreover, it is brought home to us that some Australians are now beginning
to emulate the actions of a few of our more deranged members of society,
namely acts of terrorism. Again, in dealing with this as with all
unenlightened behavior, we can only resort to, not anger and revenge, but a
lot of patience and understanding while hoping that this is only a temporary
Let us watch with amusement (if not bemusement) when Australians march on
Corby's birthday. We mustn't after all deny them their hunger for a cause
celebre and their need for an inspirational figure. Quite the opposite, we
should urge Corby's defense counsel to seek a presidential pardon pronto.
What with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's sweet disposition towards
Australia and his willingness to bend over backwards to attract any scrap of
potential foreign investment, he most probably be more than happy to grant
And who knows, given Corby's increasing popularity and political
significance, we might just see her as the next Prime Minister of Australia.
The writer is an is an Indonesian journalist.
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