Shocked and saddened by election result

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 04 July, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 04 July, 1998, 12:00am

I refer to the letter in defence of Pauline Hanson, from Frank Crichlow (South China Morning Post, June 19).

I am an Australian citizen living and working in Hong Kong. I was both shocked and saddened by the outcome of the recent Queensland state election: shocked, because 25 per cent of voters elected Ms Hanson's party to Parliament; and saddened, because there are people who support the narrow-minded policies of One Nation.

Ms Hanson has been most adamant that Asian immigration be reduced drastically, if not stopped.

It is a fact that new settlers from Asia constituted 37 per cent in the period, 1996 to 1997, an increase of three per cent from the period, 1986 to 1987.

The rest of the new settlers were mainly composed of Europeans, North Americans and New Zealanders, amounting to almost 50 per cent (figures from the Australian Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs). Why then has she vocally targetted the immigration of Asian people only? How can one argue that this is not a racial issue? How can one describe her as a 'patriotic lady' when she so clearly divides the nation on ethnic and multicultural issues? Australia is a multicultural country based on assimilation whilst allowing each culture to retain its own cultural rights and freedom, including religion and language. Ms Hanson has stated on television that she does not want to go to a place in Australia where they do not speak English. She obviously does not have any tolerance or respect for non-English-speaking Australians.

What I found most offensive in Mr Crichlow's letter was his singling out the Japanese, saying they were welcome to visit Australia, 'in spite of the atrocities they carried out against Australian troops in World War II'.

Has he forgotten the atrocities committed against the Aborigines since the arrival of the Europeans in 1788? To name a few, mass murders and forced assimilation leading to the extinction of more than 100 different Aboriginal cultures and languages, denial of Australian citizenship until 1966, deaths in police custody and, most importantly, taking away the land they have occupied for thousands of years.

There is only one point I can agree with Mr Crichlow - the fact that Ms Hanson is brave, for going in front of all those cameras and showing the world how ignorant she is.