by Dr Anthony Pun
29 August 2014
We are now burdened by a new political force whose spokesperson Mr Clive Palmer, MP, whose “xenophobic” statements were catalytic in starting a quarrel with China, our largest trading partner.
The statements uttered by Mr Clive Palmer attempts to vilify the Chinese living in Australia and overseas. He also attempts to subvert the well-established trade relations with China, which brings wealth to both Australia and China.
Another Palmer United Party person, Senator Jacqui Lambie made the headlines in the Daily Telegraph “Rogue senator Jacqui Lambie aims her missiles at China: She fears a ‘Chinese communist invasion’.
Read more from: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au
Judging from her statements, Senator Lambie is being silly and childish with absolutely no understanding of foreign policy. She should refrain from such nonsensical comments until she learns a bit more about how to conduct herself in public life.
We value freedom of speech in a democracy. Although it is an important right it is not an absolute right. However this right is limited for good reasons, an in this case for the protection of others particularly in the area of racial discrimination. In this context, Mr Clive Palmer has the right to speak, but he should not have crossed the line where his statements, in our opinion. amounts to racial vilification. Secondly, his speeches ridicule Australia internationally and hurt domestic community relations with Chinese Australians. His words sounds more like hate speech than a genuine grievance with China.
People who “dabble” in racial politics should be encourage to refrain from taking political office less other good politicians may be tainted in the same brush internationally as “cowboy pollies”.
However, in our democracy we could exercise our votes to show displeasure to the Palmer United Party by encouraging candidates from all political parties to put the Palmer United Party candidate last in their preferential votes.
We now learned that Mr Clive Palmer made an apology to the PRC Ambassador HE Mr Ma Zhaoxu on 25 August 2014 and he stated: “I sincerely apologise for any insult to Chinese people caused by any of the language I used during my appearance on the ABC television program Q&A”
“I regret any hurt or anguish such comments may have caused any party and I look forward to greater understanding for peace and cooperation in the future”.
“….what I said on Q&A was an insult to Chinese people everywhere and I wish to assure them they have my genuine and sincere apology, that I am sorry that I said the things I said on the program.”
Following the Palmer apology, we expected a similar response from Senator Lambie who threw “paper missiles” at China. However, following a report from the ABC below, we doubt any such apology will be forthcoming.
As reported by ABC, Senator Jacqui Lambie refuses to apologise for Chinese invasion comments following Clive Palmer letter.
Read more from: http://www.abc.net.au
Senator Lambie tried to excuse her remarks by saying that they were meant for the Chinese government and not the Chinese Australians. CCCA doubts her sincerity in complimenting the hard working Chinese Australians and would respond by saying “Don’t pull the wool over our eyes, we are not buying it!”
The Palmer apology should be accepted at face value and we hope that Mr Palmer has made a genuine and sincere apology, particularly to the Chinese Australian community. We can forgive but we cannot forget what was said. Mr Palmer and members of his Party have to show genuine and sincere intent with goodwill gestures in the near future and develop a good relationship with the Chinese Australian community, otherwise the apology meant nothing.
CCCA National President Dr Anthony Pun OAM, wish to thank our young Australian born Chinese, Mr Kenrick Cheah, President of the Chinese Australian Forum, who led the community in countering the extraordinary remarks made by Clive Palmer.