Dean Johns is a master at coining words so what impression is he hoping to make by coining the words Conberra and Putridjaya?
Con = An instance of deceiving or tricking someone
berra is taken from Canberra, the administrative capital city of Australia.
Taken together so Conberra indicates that Australia is seeking to con the rest of the world that their exchange of refugees between Australia and Malaysia deal is totally above board.
How about Putridjaya then? Putridjaya is taken from Putrajaya, administrative capital of Malaysia.
Putrid = Of or characteristic of rotting matter, so Putridjaya indicates the level of decay of Malaysia.
Read his take on the refugee deal between Australia and Malaysia below taken from Malaysiakini: Conberra meets Putridjaya:
Conberra meets Putridjaya
Jun 8, 11
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As an Australian, I would like to believe that my Canberra government is largely honest and honourable in its dealings with the world, not some Conberra in league with the likes of the gang in Malaysia's Putridjaya.
So I'm far from delighted that Securency, a producer of plastic banknotes half-owned by the Reserve Bank of Australia, years ago allegedly bribed public officials in Indonesia, Vietnam and Nigeria as well as Malaysia, and so far nobody has been charged.
The company was awarded government contracts for producing banknotes for Malaysia in 1998 and 2004 through the agency of 'businessperson' Abdul Kayum Syed Ahmad, and is now revealed by the Melbourne Age newspaper to have since approached Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein's brother, Haris Onn Hussein, to lobby on its behalf.
There is no suggestion whatever that this latter relationship is corrupt. But the fact remains that corporations and countries, just like people, are judged by the company they keep.
And Haris is not only closely related to leading figures in the crooked Umno/BN regime, but also a major shareholder in companies that have been granted lucrative government contracts for such sure-fire money-spinners as printing cigarette and alcohol labels and operating toll highways.
When queried about his brother's involvement with Securency, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein(right) reportedly replied: “Firstly, I don't even know what my brother is doing and secondly, I don't think an Australian (company) would do that.”
I wish I could share Hishammuddin's presumptive faith in the probity of Australian companies. During the Howard administration, the Australian Wheat Board was caught paying massive bribes in the notorious Iraq 'oil-for food' scandal, and as far as I'm aware none of the management then have ever been charged with any criminal offences.
But what concerns me personally right now about Australian involvement with the Umno/BN government is not so much financially corrupt as morally and ethically rotten: the proposed trade in asylum seekers, boat people, refugees or whatever else they may be called.
This is not only a breach of human rights and a contravention of refugee charters to which Australia is a signatory, but a flagrant breach of one of the Labor Party's principal - and supposedly principled - election promises.
Decrying the Howard government's 'Pacific solution' with its offshore detention centres as inhumane, the Rudd Labor government had vowed to shut these down and also to ensure that no children would remain in detention.
However, first under Kevin Rudd and now Julia Gillard it has utterly failed to free most detained children into community care, and has kept so many adults locked up for so long that they've perfectly justifiably taken to rioting, self-harm and suicide.
Find compassionate solution
But now the Australian government has gone even further overboard in its failure to keep its promises by threatening to export these traumatised people to Umno/BN's Malaysia, which can't see its way to extending human rights and civil liberties to its own citizens, let alone to refugees.
Australia's Minister for Immigration, Chris Bowen, claimed that exporting these unfortunates to Malaysia will “send a message” to people-smugglers to stop plying their disgraceful trade to Australia.
But as far as I'm concerned Bowen would be far better advised to send his message directly to governments like those of Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries whose officials corruptly condone, encourage or even support the activities of these traffickers in human misery.
As a prosperous and spacious nation largely inhabited by immigrants and refugees or their descendants, and with such a sorry record of displacing and decimating its indigenous people to atone for, Australia should by rights be a caring and inclusive society.
Instead of going begging to poorer, smaller countries like East Timor to take the boat people, as it first did, or paying Putridjaya to take them in a trade-off for Malaysia's unwanted refugees, the Gillard government should come up with its own constructive and compassionate solution to the situation.
Or, better yet, as long as it's so determined to punish boat people for their plight, perhaps it could extort money from them like its pals in Putridjaya are proposing to do with the 'amnesty' they're currently offering Malaysia's estimated two million illegal immigrants.
Here's Umno/BN's price: RM400 per person for 'legalisation' plus RM2,000-3,000 for check-ups, visas and 'other things', plus another RM4,000 or so for a work permit.
At around RM7,000 per head, this plan, code-named '6P' forpendaftaran (legalisation), pemutihan (registration), pengampunan(amnesty), permantuan (supervision), penguatkuasan(enforcement) and pengusiran (deportation), certainly promises to be 'P' for 'profitable' for Umno/BN and its crooked immigration 'agents'.
It's like the slave-trade all over again, only this time without the trouble and expense of sourcing and importing the human merchandise, just exporting those who can't or won't pay up.
And as long as the Umno/BN keeps denying both Malaysian and imported workers the protection of a minimum wage, the regime's cronies in the construction and plantation sectors will continue to reap the benefits of sweated labour. Plus the rest of the populace will still enjoy dirt-cheap teh tarik and nasi lemak, not to mention cut-price household help.
For my part, all I want is an Australian government with the guts to stand up for what's right. Not some bunch of wimps that goes to water every time big business or big mining objects to a tax, then picks on the poor and helpless by trading people in boats for the bigot vote.
And most of all I want a government in Canberra that's not prepared to turn it into Conberra by doing dodgy deals with the likes of the current putrid regime in Putrajaya.
DEAN JOHNS, after many years in Asia, currently lives with his Malaysian-born wife and daughter in Sydney, where he mentors creative writing groups. Already published in Kuala Lumpur is a third book of his columns for Malaysiakini, following earlier collections 'Mad about Malaysia' and 'Even Madder about Malaysia'.