How Albanese, Wong pick winners, losers in ‘quiet’ diplomacy stakes

Free Malaysia Today

From Frank Pangallo

I am thrilled for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (who has landed back home in Australia, a free man for the first time in 12 years) as I was with Cheng Lei (who was imprisoned by China for three years for ‘illegally supplying state secrets overseas’ and then released).

Both high-profile cases have garnered much international media attention.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said: “We stand up for Australian citizens.” Yeah right, what a disingenuous boast!

Free Malaysia Today
Anna Jenkins.

But where are Albanese and Australian foreign minister Penny Wong on the disturbing murder of Adelaide grandmother Anna Jenkins and the continuing battle for her family to seek justice in the Malaysian justice system?

Nowhere. That’s where.

It has been going on for six years. It has cost the family hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to wade through the indifference shown by Malaysia.

The Jenkins might have received “consular” assistance, but that is all. No legal or financial assistance. As her son Greg said to me today: “What did they do for my mum?”

Sweet nothing. That’s what.

The Labor Party and Wong had to be dragged to the table just to show any interest but it has petered out into nothing.

A family remains devastated and upset at the lack of vigour and interest from its own government for one of its citizens brutally murdered overseas.

Why, you may ask? Because to our officials and politicians, Anna Jenkins was just another “insignificant” person who maybe wasn’t as newsworthy as blonde or brunette bombshell drug dealers, who get banged up in overseas jails and get their support when the media is all over it.

Shame on Albanese and Wong as they bathe in the elation of Assange’s release while the pain continues for the Jenkins family through the unpredictable maze of the Malaysian court system.

As for Wong, in the two years that there was a weekly Assange protest outside her Adelaide office, not once did she greet the small group of people advocating for his release or agree to personally meet them.

A freedom of information request by then senator Rex Patrick revealed Wong had not even written to the US authorities about Assange.

She also influenced the state Labor caucus to oppose two motions I moved for Assange.

“Quiet” diplomacy? As South Australia premier Peter Malinauskas says, nine out of 10 things politicians say is nonsense. - FMT

Frank Pangallo has been a member of the South Australian Legislative Council, the state parliament’s upper house, since 2018. Before his political career, he was a journalist with roles such as editor of the News in Adelaide and as a television reporter on Today Tonight.

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of MMKtT.

How Albanese, Wong pick winners, losers in ‘quiet’ diplomacy stakes