Prime Minister must lead the fight against methanol

Prime Minister must lead the fight against methanol

Wednesday 9 January 2013

The Australian Medical Association (WA) today called on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to stand up and show leadership on the recent death of a Perth teenager from a methanol laced drink on the island of Lombok near Bali, after it was revealed the incident had not been reported to Indonesian police and no action had been taken to investigate the crime.”How many people need to die or be maimed before something is done? How many travellers need to be injured before both Australian and Indonesian authorities decide action is needed?” AMA (WA) President Dr Richard Choong said.He said the Prime Minister needed to take action on the issue, and if necessary should make formal contact with her Indonesian counterpart.”It is time for real leadership on this issue and I call on the Prime Minister to work with the Indonesian President to ensure that this crime is investigated and ensure bar owners and bootleggers are held accountable for the use of methanol,” he said.”This is a crime and the bar is a crime scene. For no action to have been taken, as reported, demonstrates what a farce this is. Young people are being poisoned and nothing is being done. This is truly embarrassing for both governments and a slap in the face of all travellers.””The bar responsible should be closed immediately and people charged for this crime.”Dr Choong said bars selling unregulated drinks should be prosecuted by Indonesian authorities.

“The bar owners that are selling these things really do need to have consequences. In Australia this would be manslaughter, if a bar actually did this to a patron,” he said.

“If there are yet to be repercussions for this incident, then I fear for the tourists still being served these deadly cocktails in Indonesia,” Dr Choong said.

“The statement from Foreign Affairs minister Bob Carr that he would talk with Indonesia was too little and was too late.”

“It is surely embarrassing for all concerned as well as incredibly hurtful for the family of the deceased that nothing has been done. We cannot in all conscience continue waiting silently for action from either the Australian and Indonesian authorities,” Dr Choong said.

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