Letters to
the editor

Worse to come in Indonesia

Hamish McDonald’s observations that Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop would do well to muse on the SBY succession are timely. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has overseen some positive reforms in Indonesia which have also calmed domestic tensions. It has been difficult for him to do the same on foreign policy, yet his justified outrage over illicit Australian phone-tapping and Canberra’s boat people debacle has been relatively measured, whereas foreign minister Marty Natalegawa did not spare Bishop in his withering comments. Trading on his Australian education, he delivered an uncompromising angry tirade on our bungled immigration policies. This all-round unpleasant time is likely to get worse after the upcoming Indonesian elections, whether Joko Widodo or Prabowo Subianto emerge victorious. Subianto’s role in East Timor’s 1983 Kraras massacre, followed by his Kopassus soldiers’ 1998 outrages in Jakarta’s Chinese quarter in Glodok, mark him out as an unpredictable and vicious human rights violator, who is likely to up the ante with Australia, and Joko Widodo is his creation. SBY will seem like a pussy cat by comparison. Congratulations to The Saturday Paper on your successful launch.

– Jill Jolliffe, Fitzroy

Still questions on lobbying company

Congratulations on a fantastic paper. I read it from cover to cover. It was interesting to read Tracey Cain’s statement (‘‘Yes, Senator’’) that her husband resigned and left his role as company chairman in September 2013. Perhaps I am just being very pernickety,
however, it is my understanding that in a two-director, two-share company such as APA Pty Ltd, the chairman can be either director at any given time. The role of chairman does not need to be notified to ASIC.  Even if Alastair Furnival resigned as chairman, he could have still been a director. Was Mr Furnival’s resignation as director notified to ASIC via the lodgement of a Form 484 in September 2013 as stated by Ms Cain, or was his resignation effected more recently with the revelation of his connection with lobbying for the food industry? 

– Bernadette Scadden, Earlwood, NSW

Building on trust

Congratulations on the first issue. I enjoyed the breadth and length of the coverage. Australians need to have access to well-researched opinion pieces, investigative articles, breaking news items that are factual, and a national coverage of important breakthroughs in the sciences and the arts. It is so difficult these days for a newspaper owner to be a benefactor and leave editorial discretion to the editor(s) without interference. I have a lot of faith that Morry Schwartz is a newspaper owner of unquestioned integrity. Therefore, success may take a while to come to the fore, but creating trust, integrity and quality in a newspaper such as yours is a recipe for creating a staying product.

– Dr Ellak I. von Nagy-Felsobuki, Arcadia Vale, NSW

Literary effort a mixed grill

What makes Richard Flanagan think that he would destroy people smugglers by blowing up the boats? Does he think they travel with their customers – their produce? They do not and are safe in harbour. An      attempted satire does not a Jonathan Swift make. Flanagans, Richard or otherwise, seem unable to see the fish for the sea.

– Patrick McCauley, Clunes, Victoria

Why pick on Western Sydney?

Why was it necessary for Richard Flanagan to lampoon Western Sydney in his article ‘‘The solution to end all solutions’’? Would it be possible that it is actually our politicians who are the ones driving a wedge between us and asylum seekers? Do we need another wedge wherever Western Sydney is supposed to start? I look forward to reading an article on why we as a nation have such a fear of refugees, and what we can do about it.

– Philip de Haan, Newtown

Chess and bridge missing out

Thoroughly enjoyed this issue. I notice you cater for crossword buffs, but the lack of chess/bridge sections
is a downer for me. Although I am very interested in cricket, golf and rugby union, frankly I do not miss this aspect of journalism. For a serious paper this is irrelevant. Consider a chess and bridge section and you have a subscriber.

– Rodney Syme, Toorak

Congratulations and welcome

What a delight it is to read well-written stories from serious journalists not cowed by fear of government censorship or retrenchment.

– Kim Brebach, Mosman

Keep getting it

Arrived home Sunday night from a performance by
Neko Case (who gets it) and read the article by Richard Flanagan (who gets it), brother of Martin Flanagan (who also gets it ), a writer at The Age where Michael Leunig (who gets it and draws it) also appears. Hopefully your new publication will result in more people getting it from those who already have it. Good luck and congratulations on the first issue.

 – Bryan Fraser, St Kilda

Letters are welcome: [email protected]
Please include your full name and address and a daytime telephone number. Letters may be edited for length and content, and may be published in print and online. Letters should not exceed 150 words.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on March 7, 2014.

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