There is one lesson that criminals coming up to being eligible for release on parole should keep in mind. They are much more likely to be released just after an election than just before one. Malaysian national Phillip Choon Tee Lim now knows that.
The NSW Parole authority recommended back in September that he be released after serving his minimum 18 year sentence for his part in the murder of the heart surgeon Victor Chang. The Sydney Daily Telegraph and some populist radio and television programs thought otherwise.
The NSW Government bowed to the pressure and intervened to persuade the authority to think again. It duly did so and this morning announced that justice would not be served by releasing Lim. It says that it’s not in the public interest to release him because he would be immediately deported to Malaysia, virtually expunging the remaining six years of his sentence.
When the nest state election is out of the way in March 2011 perhaps four years of unexpired sentence will not be deemed an impediment.