It appears as if Australia won’t be doing much to help their nine countrymen currently being held in Malaysia for stripping down to their underwear at the recent Malaysian Grand Prix with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop stating that the country can not just bail the men out for their shenanigans.
Had this happened at the Bathurst 1000 this weekend, the Aussie population would have laughed it off and called them a bunch of yobbos and nothing more would have been said about it, however, a harmless prank on Aussie shores is not the same as stripping down to your underwear, which depicts another country’s flag, in a foreign land. Each country has their own rules and people travelling to them need to adhere to them.
"I don't know that it will be seen as a lapse of judgment. It was clearly premeditated. They were wearing the budgie smugglers and had bought them in Australia," Julie Bishop, Australia’s Foreign Manager told the Today show. "The Australian government can provide consular support but as I constantly remind people, we can't bail you out if you get into trouble with the laws of another country.”
“We can't interfere with the legal proceedings of another country any more than a foreign government could interfere in our legal proceedings. These are young men who are facing the Malaysian legal proceedings and I do point out that at any one time we are supporting about 1300 Australians who are under arrest and about 350 who can be in jail overseas so we do provide a lot of consular support but the Australian government cannot bail you out of these circumstances."
While the actions were not malicious, the men simply joining in the celebrations of their countryman, Daniel Ricciardo, winning his first race of the season, they will need to face a Malaysian Court tomorrow morning and account for their actions…
"I think there will be no problem in charging them," Malaysia’s Asst Police Commissioner Abdul Aziz Ali said. "All the evidence is in the recordings ... they were caught in the act. They were under the influence of alcohol. Actually, they were drunk. They bought the underwear from Australia. They had the intention of doing that (stripping down) at the very beginning."
While there is no doubt about this, Barnaby Joyce, Australia's Deputy Prime, said ‘dropping your strides in any country is not appropriate but he is hoping that the Malaysians will understand that there ‘wasn't any real malice in it. Stupidity, obviously. Malice, no."