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Australia has just trashed the perception of Indonesia

Australia has just trashed the perception of Indonesia

The claim by Australia's PM, Kevin Rudd that the coalition's 'turn back the boats' policy will potentionally cause direct tensions between Indonesia and Australia will be dismissed by Indonesia as 'internal politicking' according to a leading think-tank and NGO.

The Chairman of the Indonesia Institute, Mr Ross Taylor, said this morning that the real tragedy of this latest episode in the conduct of Australian politics was the 'trashing' of our perceptions of Indonesia.

"Quite frankly, Indonesia will not take Mr Rudd's comments seriously", said Mr Taylor. "They understand that Australia has a robust democratic process and that it is best to keep out of the debate".

Mr Taylor - who as appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) this month for services to the Indonesia-Australia relationship - said the real tragedy of Mr Rudd's comments will be the 'huge damage' to Australian perceptions of Indonesia.

"Australian attitude and perceptions of Indonesia have been trapped in a ten-year time-warp", said Mr Taylor. "Surveys show that many Australians still see Indonesia as a backward country run by a military dictatorship and where millions of poor Muslims terrorists live. This is disturbing and simply wrong."

Mr Taylor said that whilst Indonesia will 'shrug-off'' this latest debate over the impact of turning-back the boats, the damage to the perceptions of Indonesia will be significant, and that will harm the longer-term relationship".

Mr Taylor said that the PM's comments had 'brought-out the rednecks' in full force. Comments online last night were extremely hostile to Indonesia....

"Damned straight...f...k Indonesia! We are a sovereign state and our policies will not be dictated to by a jumped up corrupt Country like Indonesia.'
If they were to try it on with Australia the U.S. would pound their sorry arses into oblivion."

"Cut off all aid to Indonesia and see what happens then...see if they'll stop the boats leaving then.
Indonesia attack us?"

"This is the very worst side of Australians', he said. "And sadly this issue has now futher heightened the mis-perceptions about Indonesia and where they are at present in this region as a democratic and progressive nation."

"Let's not forget, Indonesia is NOT the cause of the asylum seeker crisis. Asylum seekers are 'swamping' Indonesia also, and the asylum seekers are there for only one reason: to get to Australia."

Mr Taylor said it was about time' Australian 'got our collective heads out of the sand' and really understood about the enormous changes that have taken place in Indonesia over the past fifteen years; and how we can benefit from this incredible transition.

"Making statements that bring out the worst in our people and provide 'rednecks' and those who hold mis-guided prejuidices towards Asians, only puts back the efforts of many good people here to build a better - and a more honest - picture of Indonesia and its people".


© Scoop Media

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