Reading the news headlines this morning, I nearly spat out a mouthful of delicious bubble tea when I saw the story that a Taiwanese woman will apparently stand as a candidate for Australia’s right-wing, anti-immigration One Nation Party in the next Queensland election in 2018.
For those who aren’t familiar with One Nation, a party famously led by the colourful former fish & chip shop owner Pauline Hanson, the following taken directly from its Wikipedia page sheds some light on its policies:
Arguing other parties to be out of touch with mainstream Australia, One Nation ran on a broadly populist and protectionist platform. It promised to drastically reduce immigration. Condemning multiculturalism as a “threat to the very basis of the Australian culture, identity and shared values”, One Nation rallied against government immigration and multicultural policies which, it argued, were leading to “the Asianisation of Australia.“
And yet, we now have a Taiwanese woman who benefited from Australia’s immigration policy, joining a political party that – if they had their way – would never had allowed her to immigrate to Australia in the first place!
The woman in question is named Shan Ju Lin – according to an Australian media outlet, she moved to Australia 26 years ago from Taiwan and works as a school teacher. Ms Lin was quoted as telling reporters that despite her decision to stand as a candidate for a party linked to anti-immigration policies, that she still hoped to do well amongst the local Asian community in Brisbane: “There are two groups of Asians … The good Asians will be like me,” she said.
Well, good luck with that, Ms Lin!
The leader of One Nation, Pauline Hanson, drew great criticism for her maiden speech to the Australian parliament in 1996. The most controversial section:
“I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians. Between 1984 and 1995, 40 per cent of all migrants coming into this country were of Asian origin. They have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate. Of course, I will be called racist but, if I can invite whom I want into my home, then I should have the right to have a say in who comes into my country. A truly multicultural country can never be strong or united. The world is full of failed and tragic examples, ranging from Ireland to Bosnia to Africa and, closer to home, Papua New Guinea. America and Great Britain are currently paying the price.”
Anyway, I don’t think the people of Brisbane have too much to worry about – Ms Lin has some past experience in running for office but didn’t do too well. She ran in the Queensland seat of Moreton for a different, slightly less controversial party in the 2016 federal election, but secured less than 2 per cent of the vote.