Category Archives: politics

Justice, Beijing style.

Matthew Ng was offered a deal he couldn’t refuse.
But he did — and it will cost him the next thirteen years of his life.


Mathew and Niki Ng
In 2006 and 2008, Ng’s travel company, Et-China, bought a controlling interest in a company called GZL, a subsidiary of the Communist party-run Lingnan Group. Lingnan later asked Ng to sell the shares back at the original price but Ng, a Chinese-born Australian citizen now had an offer from Swiss travel group Kuoni , to sell the entire company for US$100 million and refused.

In November 2010, Ng and others from GZL were arrested and detained. Chinese prosecutors accused Ng of illegally transferring money between Et-China and GZL, and bribing GZL officials.  Australian consular officials, Ng’s lawyers and family, were all told the hearing was to be merely procedural but prosecutors turned up with fresh evidence, giving Ng little chance to contest the evidence before he was sentenced.

Ng’s wife, Niki Chow, told The Australian newspaper in Guangzhou: “According to the notice from the court it was just going to be the presentation of new evidence, it was totally outside everybody’s expectations that the judge would read out the verdict after a 15-minute break.”

According to The Australian,  Mrs Chow said the defence evidence was ignored by the courts and the judges paid heed only to the prosecutor.

Ng was given eight years for embezzlement, two for corruption, two-and-a-half years for a false capital declaration, and two for bribery after being detained for  thirteen months from when he was originally tried last August.

Ng has been receiving Australian consular assistance.  “We have made clear to Chinese authorities our strong interest in Mr Ng’s case,” said the Department of Foreign Affairs in a statement quoted by the BBC. The department said Prime Minister Julia Gillard had talked to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao about Ng’s case, and other officials had spoken to the Guangdong government.

Australian officials indicated that they were constrained from commenting further as they expected Matthew Ng to appeal his harsh sentence. However an expert on Chinese legal affairs interviewed on ABC 24 News this morning (7/12/2011) said that the success rate for such appeals was about 1% and and so diplomatic representation seems the only option. 

There are two other obstacles between Ng and justice: first, Chinese courts are far more likely to serve the interest of the Communist party and its officials than any semblance of natural justice and second, the concept of nationality and citizenship does not seem to exist in Chinese law.  If you are ethnically Chinese you are subject to the whims of the flimsy Chinese legal system as if you were a Chinese citizen — regardless of where you were born or what passport you carry.

In China, ethnicity trumps nationality, a race-based concept that would scandalise any developed system of law or justice.

And yet this is a government with which Australia nurtures diplomatic, trade and even military cosiness.

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Love in a warming climate.

Inviting Lord Christopher Monckton to address their conference, the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies in Australia quite declared their hand, their heart and their politics.

Accepting a similar invitation, Tony Abbot declared his.

Agreeing to share a pulpit with this professional fraud, the leader of the Australian federal opposition has disgraced himself and discredited his party.

Monckton, a notorious showman in the cause of opposing climate science, recently publicly accused the Australian government’s advisor on climate matters as having a fascist viewpoint.

“Professor Ross Garnaut, that again is a fascist point of view that you merely accept authority without question. Heil Hitler, on we go.” said Monckton.

It rather occurs to me that it is those who reject the science who “… accept authority without question.” Surely it is science that is constantly open to the most rigorous testing and stringent peer review. While it is anti-science that resorts to rabble-rousing rhetoric.

The authority they accept being big business and big mining. Their maxim being profits now why care about a future they will not be alive to suffer.

Monckton spoke before a banner of a swastika and declared “Heil Hitler”.

Abbot attempts to wash his hands by saying he will not actually speak on the same platform or – heaven forbid – meet Monckton in person.

So that’s alright then?

No, Tony, not good enough, not nearly good enough. Shame.

The Glass Menagerie

These days in Australia, both sides of the parliament seem to be populated by a scrapping menagerie too busy yapping, snarling, lying and nipping at each others throats and ankles to have any spirit for leadership, policy, and, god forbid, oratory.
The government still seems to be constantly wobbling on its training wheels while the opposition skulks and lurks, quivering for any opportunity to lust into a feeding frenzy of point-scoring.
The victims are the truth and the future of the nation.

These are our elected representatives, our freely-elected government.

More fools we!