The apparently imminent execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have brought the relationship between Australia and Indonesia into sharp focus.
Many Australians are wondering why Australia has not intervened to stop the execution – or why the Indonesian President Joko Widodo has not granted them clemency.
As Megan Wright explains, there are many reasons why we should not expect a last minute change of heart from the Indonesian Government…
For many years the Australia-Indonesia relationship has been fraught with intense highs and lows, including everything from the Bali bombings, to the Boxing Day Tsunami, to live exports. But what many Australians fail to recognise is that we are, in many ways, more dependent on our South-East Asian neighbour than they are on us.
Indonesia is a country that is increasingly asserting its place in the world under the guise of its new President Joko Widodo, who is intent on publicly eradicating corruption – and being perceived as a strong leader, both domestically and internationally.
And, as the largest Muslim country in the world and the sixth biggest democracy, Indonesia is set to project this power even more in the coming years.
As Indonesian Law Professor Tim Lindsey told ABC’s Hack this week, “Australia is somewhere between the 15th and 17th ranked trading partner with Indonesia. We would achieve nothing by threatening some sort of trade sanctioning against Indonesia.”
But the onset of public outrage about the pending executions of convicted drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran has certainly not gone unnoticed in Indonesia.
Read more here: Bali Nine’s Andrew Chan will face the firing squad.
In fact Pierre Marthinus wrote in The Jakarta Post that Australians were engaging in a “surreal form of hypocrisy” for attempting to appeal to the Indonesian Government on this issue when we continue to turn away asylum seekers arriving on our shores by boat from Indonesia.