LABOR PAINS: Vic ALP MP Hong Lim "shamed" by Labor "political expediency" on asylum seekers

In an email sent to all Victorian caucus members, the Special Adviser to the Premier on Victoria-Asia Business Relations and the Labor member for Clayton, Hong Lim, has said “I hang my head in shame” at the “political expediency” at how “asylum seekers have been so cruelly treated” by his own party.

His difficulties with Julia Gillard’s response to the growing problem of people smuggling via Indonesia is a widely held concern across most strands of the ALP, even many of its moderates. A significant part of the anti-Socialist elements within the ALP comprised those who fled totalitarian regimes the Left once made apologies for, in Eastern Europe, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Of course, Labor’s challenge is that a considerable number of its voters regard this as a law-and-order and national security issue as much as it is about immigration. The numbers of people who arrive by boat are actually quite limited, it’s the symbolism of a situation that appears out of control, certainly beyond the control of the Australian government so far. At least until Gillard’s decisive move to reinstate Howard’s powerful disincentive to people coming by boat: that they won’t be processed in Australia.

Aside from the messiness of getting the East Timorese government to agree, the issue causes tremendous difficulty within Gillard’s party which has every strand of opinion on the issue from Lefties who don’t like immigration on environmental grounds to right-wingers who worry about the consequences of bringing into the country those who preach or are easily influenced by hate in militant mosques to patriots who know that immigration has been such a force for good  and development in Australia’s history. Labor is a broad church on many issues but no more so than on immigration where it is common to hear members of the same faction or fraction with completely diverging views on the issue.

Lim, a leader in the Cambodian community and Labor moderate patriot not normally associated with internal party division or with the lunar left, wrote the following email to one of his supporters and copied it to many colleagues:

From:       erikastahr
To: honglim
Date:       02/07/2010 07:08 PM
Subject:    hello

Dear Hong Lim
I am 80 and became a member of the ALP as soon as I could after arriving in Australia at the age of 19.

With the things I hear about the treatment of Asylum seekers, boat people, the people who help them come here (now called ‘smugglers’), the time Sri Lankans, Afghanis and others have to wait for PR, the way phones are taken away from detainees so that they cannot contact anyone – I am beginning to feel sadly that I do not want to be a member of this Party anymore. I might almost be in a Party run by Philip Ruddock!!!

Is there no hope? I shall wait until the end of July before I (also, like a Number of others) join The Greens.

Erika Stahr, M.Ed. TESOL, J.P. coordinator*

From: Hong Lim
Sent: 07/07/2010 05:17 AM ZE10
To: erikastahr
Cc: Peter Davis; Mike Yang; Gen Li; ALP MLA Members; ALP
Subject: Re: hello

Hi Erika
I feel the pain, your pain! knowing how much you have been giving to the
refugees community going back to 1970’s, Especially, we all know the
Indo-Chinese community has been through this agony and trauma before and we
all know there would not be a successful settlement of the Indo-Chinese
community had they been treated the way the present day refugees and asylum
seekers have been so cruelly treated. I am at a loss as to know what to say
to people let alone what to do. I hang my head in shame as a leader of the
Cambodian community, as a member of the ALP,  as an MP, as an
Australian…….., as a human being… to see political expediency being
played out so cruelly and so unconscionably even among our Party!
We need to catch up. soon and look at what we can do. Peter talked to the
Liberal candidate for Chisholme, a Vietnamese,  when he came to campaign at
the Clayton shopping centre recently, asking him how could he possibly
represent a Party which treats boat people, like him and his community,
worse than animal. He laughed it off saying that his community went to
Malaysia not directly to Australia. So it makes him feels good!!!?? What
hope do we have when a community like the Indo-Chinese hide away
shamelessly not standing up for the others who are suffering the same fate
like them. There had not a whimper from the Cambodian, Indo-Chinese
Chinese, Vietnamese, Laotian or Hmong community leaders. Yet at the recent
celebration of their 35 years in Australia the Vietnamese community talked
painfully about the 500,000 live lost at sea seeking freedom in the
West!!!! This whole  thing troubles and pains me everyday.
Hong Lim, MP
Member for Clayton
Special Advisor to the Premier
on Victoria-Asia Business Relations

UPDATE: VEXNEWS continues to set the news agenda in this dual election year. Hong Lim’s email = never intended for public consumption and exclusively obtained by VEXNEWS with the resources of the famed VEXNEWS Investigations Unit – made a splash bigger than a Russ Hinze belly-flop. We are truly first with outburst.

The AAP story which ran Thursday is here. Astonishingly it even credits VEXNEWS with breaking the story, a sign of rising ethical standards among our newspaper brethren or sorority as the case may be.

The Herald Sun, The Aged and The Australian, Fairfax’s BrisbaneTimes site also picked up the story as you can see.



Filed under Uncategorized

49 responses to “LABOR PAINS: Vic ALP MP Hong Lim "shamed" by Labor "political expediency" on asylum seekers

  1. Patrick

    I feel the same way. Liberal and Labor should be ashamed of their pandering to the worst, most base instincts of racism. They make me cringe to be Australian.

    A pox on both their houses.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention VEXNEWS 2010© | LABOR PAINS: Vic ALP MP Hong Lim “shamed” by Labor “political expediency” on asylum seekers --

  3. Wun Hung Low

    [deleted -racist]

  4. Arther conan doyle

    Right said Hong Lim.

  5. Policy Charade!

    Ms Gillard please go back to school and get some basic Politics 101 education! Know how to handle people from other lands and learn to differentiate a head of state from a prime minister
    You are such a laughing stock with your rushed solutions to the plight of boat people/ asylum seekers!
    now Krudd is out of the way – no thanks to both you and Bill (the ambitous one) Shorten for that uncalled for execution , so now you have no one to blame but your self!
    So Gillard see if next time you can execute a well thought out well considered policy , instead of rushing out quick- fixes that attempt to dogwhistle the public!
    Now the sophisticated voting public are not fools we do not like the East Timor solution as East Timor is just geting back on its feet! East Timorese people have enough of their own concerns without you making life even harder for them! So Gillard your position as an unelected PM armed with policy charades is already causing due concern! Perhaps Krudd now may have a skerrick of understanding from you that being PM is not as easy as it looks! Public want sound policies not BUNGLED ONES!

  6. Anonymous

    hong Lim your just pissed off you cant further branch stack, your a puppet also a Rat!

  7. kk

    i see hong lim’s english has not improved since his days as a lowly cardigan in the victorian public service

  8. the hand that signed

    [deleted – racist]

  9. Anonymous

    Less asylum seekers less Clayton braches stacked. [deleted – racist]

  10. [deleted - impersonation]

    Hong please try and keep your trousers on.

  11. Anon

    I think he deserves some latitude. Didn’t he flee the Pol Pot Regime? I think it’s undertandable that he would show some empathy to refugees arriving by boat.

  12. candid

    There is no compassion in an election year. It is pragmatism and the pursuit of power that rules the roost.
    The illegals, carers, disadvantage will all be used by Brumby & Gillard to get back into power. Then promptly forgotten. We have seen it all before, they make more and more promises and then do not keep them.
    Can I use my MYKI card to vote at the next election. That should save a fortune. Myki could be used for all Government activities. Myki entry to museums, boat mooring at the new Portarlinton marina etc. Lets replace many public servants with MYKI.

  13. Tiny Tim. Water Lord

    One, Two Three, Four….. Phew This counting of the numbers is thirsty work. Pass me some North-South aqua. Still if Julia can do it…………………..

  14. Gerry of Mentone

    Wonder what Hong Lim makes of his ALP’s Great Gough on refugees
    “f…ing Vietnamese Balts”

    I guess Gough was/is a xenophobic Leftie.

  15. Princess Xtoffer

    [deleted -racist]

  16. Boofa Leigh

    Lay off [deleted -racist]. He has helped me in some of my planning deals in the Green Wedge….

  17. Anonymous

    As a refugee who fled genocidal Pol Pot, Hong understands. Good on you Hong. Shame to the racists posting their comments. Hope they are One Nation members not ALP members.

  18. Is this site ever moderated?

    How fucking hilarious to make fun of a bloke’s accent.
    You freedom loving idiots have no idea what he and some many others have been through to get to somewhere safe to raise their family. Andrew if these comments were sterotypical gags about jews you’d have deleted them.

    [VEXNEWS: Agreed, they have been deleted and some new nasty words added to our auto-moderate list. We remind patriots that there is no such thing as anonymity on-line]

  19. Bigots=Fools

    It is not even his accent.

    Cambodian is not a Chinese language. It is like abusing someone from England with a childish French accent.

    So all the Charlie Chan crap is not only racist but pig ignorant.

  20. Wun Hung Low

    My poor sister.

  21. No more ignoring the truth

    Lim’s reply looks like a VexNews type-up.

    Landeryou, surely you can pull your strings in the party?

  22. Packed to the rafters

    ‘Is this site ever moderated?’ is an utter cretin. Refugees and other immigrants get themselves a better life here at the expense of those of us already living here. Trains, trams and all public transport is choked. There was never the infrastructure to support them. The lack of hosuing is making rents unaffordable. Melbourne is an 1850s goldrush city now expected to support millions of so-called ‘refugees’. Sack all politicians!

  23. anon

    Look at Brumby’s face you can see what he’s thinking ‘What idiot preselected this one, he reminds me of Sum Ding Wong from the Glenroy Chinese Take Away, Jesus I love this Premier gig but the shit part is I have to spend hours being polite to nuff nuffs like this one.’

  24. Nuff nuffs unlimited

    Be fair about Alp nuff nuffs…. Atleast hong lim is polite. Brumby has to put up with nuff nuffs who helped branch stack in these non achievers and the wild infighting that saw the botched hatchet job on crean.

    Don’t blame puppets for puppet masters sins.

    Hong lim is by-product of something truly rotten in Preston.

  25. Pack with bigots

    Trains are there for people. And the rising petrol cost is why they are full. The refugees did not pinch your seat on the train.

  26. Edmund Egg

    Ah, dontcha just love Australia…?

    Just like the old South Africa but without the balls.

  27. Live and let live

    I’d happily give up my seat on the train for a victim of pol pot’s regime.

  28. Live and let live

    ps andy – thanks for cleaning it up

  29. Tiny Tim. Water Lord

    Five, six, seven ……….. I’m on my way..

  30. Benjamin Cass

    Was Oscar Schindler a people smuggler?

  31. The Hong

    I have been wanting a parl sec role ever since I got elected into parliament. I don’t know why I am still waiting, maybe I should do a Langdon and speak out about an issue so I can get a mention on the fron page! Then people might start taking me seriously. I am the future of the party if we fall into opposition after all…..

  32. Benjamin Cass

    “In 1962 a tree was planted in Schindler’s honor in the Avenue of the Righteous at Yad Vashem. Oskar and Emilie Schindler were recognized as Righteous Among the Nations in 1993.”

    K Rudd on the topic: “People smugglers are engaged in the world’s most evil trade and they should all rot in jail because they represent the absolute scum of the earth.”

    [VEXNEWS: We welcome Mr Cass’s contribution and encourage him to return our telephone call at his convenience]

  33. Benjamin Cass

    Not wanting to be too picky, but if a word (inclusive of any nouns) ends in an ‘s’ such as ‘Cass’ and it is to be used in a plural or possesive sense, the “‘s” is not necessary and would merely be “‘”.

    In this instance, the sentence should have read: We welcome Mr Cass’ contribution and encourage him to return our telephone call at his convenience

  34. Benjamin Cass

    “possessive”. We all make errors.

  35. Chow Fah Hai

    Hi Hong

  36. Hamilton

    The trivialization of this enormously complex world issue dealing with the enduring moral question of our responsibility to and for other human beings who have been reduced to a state of destitution and life threatening insecurity, and the descent of debate on the issue to base name calling, insults and bigoted posturing and racism should profoundly disturb us all.

    That it continues “in the raw” on sites like VexNews, or slightly better dressed up on electronic media and in our major newspapers to secure partisan political advantage by appealing to base instincts within the electorate is disappointing but unsurprising. There is precious little that passes for real substantive debate, particularly that based on how best to apply high moral principles that purportedly differentiate us from totalitarian dictatorships.

    Where is the debate on Australia’s pathetic record in aid, intervention and support for people before they are forced into fleeing by boat with all the attendant risks and unknowing as to what the future holds? And where is the great debate on what we should demand from the advanced and advancing nations of the world acting in partnership with us to treat with these fundamental problems for humanity and how we should go about securing action?

    What role should we play both now and into the future to minimize the need of people to flee their land of origin?

    Troops and aid in Afghanistan is a good start. Perhaps an as yet unimagined expansion in our role as peacekeepers and peacemakers, building infrastructure and economies, and through education and establishing local systems of law based on values and principles of justice, equality and mutual aid, help construct and support emerging free and equal societies dedicated to maximizing the skills and abilities of their citizens. In other words, to join up our military, civil, corporate, legal and political assets and harness them together to make a difference in the lands that need them to be deployed. In such great endeavors to provide leadership and partnership with other like minded nations. Surely this is the approach whose time has come. There is a cost in dollars and lives in such a step. But the world we would help build is surely our real destiny and the logical destiny of our historical allies! Wouldn’t it be interesting if we debated this approach!!

    But no, let’s just get stuck into Hong Lim, and others like him, who dare to think and speak out at a level of principled humanity that probably and hopefully leaves many Australians embarrassed and ashamed. Ok gang, let rip on me!

  37. Time to go Hong!

    Hong cannot be understoon when speakign in parliament, not that he speaks often. He has done sweet FA for his electorate. He pays international students to work on prepoll and polling booths. He intimidates members of ethnic communities who are frightened of authority and MPs. He cheated on his wife> He is loathed by the Cambodian community but they are afraid of him. He hates Simpon Crean and John Brumby. Time to go Hong Lim.

  38. Ting Tong Hong

    I wery good at driving my stacks of friends to preselection in mini bus.

  39. Anonymous

    And the answer is? Open the doors and let all people who want to come here come. That will give Australia a population or 100 million overnight.

    Or should we just reward those who get on a boat with entry?

  40. Hamilton

    What, still no debate just childish abuse of a successful Cambodian-Chinese MP. The triplets of Racism, Jealousy and Cowardice are certainly overwhelming intellect, logic and compassion in this rancid type of discourse. At least if the buggers had the honesty to make themselves known Mr Lim could demand satisfaction. But honesty (and honor) just doesn’t go with racism, jealousy and cowardice does it.

  41. ombres, now espania win world cup all is fine all is beautiful and in 18 months time me of to uruguay , viva la uruguay, oh and hong lim viva la your finished ombre

  42. Patrick

    Thank you, Hamilton.

  43. Time to go Hong

    So Clayton Labor MP Hong Lim spoke on 24 ocassions during this term of parliament. That is a poor retrun for his eranings over the last 3.5 years ( whichis ine excess of a half a million dollars!) Get this serious waste of space out!!! And get him out now!!!!

  44. Annie Oakley is just as bad

    Ann Barker only clocked up 10 speeches for a $500,000 income. How many dollars is this per word????

  45. Time to Go Hong

    Hong Lim spoke on 12 occasions and earned nearly $500,000 for the 3.5 years he has served since he was re-elected. Ok, so what is he moonlighting as?

  46. Time to Go Hong

    Hong 24; Barker 10. One Million in colelctive earnings!!! One million dollars for 34 speeches. Talk about overpayment.

  47. Time for Felicity to be pre-selected in Oakleigh!

    Go! Go ! GO!

  48. Ting Tong Ching Hong

    Where is my Lemon Chicken No 69?

  49. Ed

    On the issue, is there something amiss with this analogy:
    Your neighbour regularly beats his kids and one day they pluck up the courage to run away – they arrive at your doorstep broke and covered in their own blood. Do you lock them in your basement for a year or so, kicking them from time to time, whilst you review the evidence of their abuse? Or do you find them a home in the community with protection from their abusive parent while you satisfy your need for evidence? (like 4 weeks on a leaky boat wasn’t evidence enough)
    If you have a moral code (or lack thereof) that inclines you to lock these kids in the basement, you might consider emigrating: There are various war-torn places which could provide opportunities to torture others with greater impunity. Sri Lanka, Afganistan or Dafur come to mind – of course, there might be some rebels with guns there who don’t like you. Don’t worry about that, however: you can always return to Oz on a leaky boat…

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s