Taking a person’s life is not a pleasant act. “Thou shall not kill”, so the Bible says. Herein lies a cardinal principle about taking another person’s life. It should not be permitted. But the Bible then goes on to elucidate grounds for taking a person’s life. In the Pentateuch or the Torah as it is commonly referred to by Jews, there are loads of situations under which a person is to be executed. Killing innocent people is forbidden. But execution of “criminals” or acts deemed “unlawful” in God’s eyes is not only permitted. They are necessary to preserve the sanctity of social harmony.
On 29 April 2015, Indonesia executed eight out of nine drug convicts by firing squad despite last-ditch appeals by Australia’s foreign minister for a stay of execution. The executions had been delayed after intense lobbying by the countries that had their citizens in the firing squad. Australia put on the most intense pressure. Every year, flocks of Australians visit the nearby Indonesian island of Bali for hang-loose binge drinking, drug orgies and sexual escapades. The Australians being executed were allegedly drug traffickers. But, Indonesian President Jokowi did not yield to these political pressures and proceeded with the executions.
Immediately after the executions, Australian Prime Minister reacted by recalling the ambassador from Indonesia. Australian newspapers condemned the Indonesian action. The Sydney Morning Herald published the headline: “Mankind diminished by barbarism in the cause of political expediency“. It went on to say:
“The Indonesian President has shown himself incapable of the most basic human responses: mercy and compassion.
Australians awoke on Wednesday to their worst fears, to realise the evil that men do still extends to the apparatus of state.
‘Above all mankind has been diminished by yet another act of barbarism in the cause of political expediency.’
Indonesia, its government and, in particular, President Joko Widodo stand condemned on every criterion for executing eight convicted drug felons.”
Australian’s media kangaroo courts are quick to make their self-righteous judgments. Did President Jokowi act above the laws, the Australian media should have asked instead. All that Jokowi did was to act according to the laws of the land. He could have yielded and set the condemned men free on account of “pleas for clemency” from the highest office of Australia. Would that make him a greater man or leader? What would Indonesians think? Worst still, what authority would he carry henceforth when more drug traffickers are convicted in the future? Jokowi would have opened a Pandora’s box that can never close.
To the families of the executed men, it is indeed a very sad day as they mourned their lost ones. Most people would symphatise with them for their loss. Those executed had made mistakes for which they paid for with their lives. That is the gravity of their foolish acts.
In the world of drugs for which Australia has no solutions, many lives have been destroyed and maimed. No one seems willing to talk about the merciless crimes that drugs have caused. For every drug trafficker, there are countless other people who will or already have lost their lives in other ways. Their future is destroyed, their lives led astray. Their families and loved ones are devastated. All because of drugs and drinks.
In fact, Australians should wake up to the spectre that a whole generation is in the process of being decimated. Would the media moguls campaign for more severe penalties for drug related activities? None made a whimper. But all condemned Jokowi. You be the judge for such skewed media propaganda.
“I was once 15 or 16. It wasn’t too long ago I was sitting in a class,” he narrates in the haunting video.
“I got mixed up with drugs at a pretty young age … and by the time I was 15 I was immersed into the scene. I was just like most of you, trying to hide things from my parents and my family, but in the end things spiralled out of control.”
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: