Politics

Watch This Dinosaur Government Senator Confuse Penny Wong For A Chinese Billionaire

Because all Asians sound the same, I guess?

Liberal Senator Ian Macdonald

If there’s one good thing about Scott Morrison being too scared to call the election, it means we have a little more time to bask in the cold, dead glow of government Senator Ian Macdonald.

You may remember Macdonald from his casual racismcasual homophobia, or weird pro-coal activism, but pretty soon you won’t have to remember him at all. He’s about to retire from the Senate, having lost a preselection bid last year. But for now, he’s on something of a farewell tour.

Y’see, most people expected ScoMo to call the election last weekend, meaning we wouldn’t get to enjoy one final Senate Estimates sitting that was scheduled for this week. But because the PM is trying to hold onto power for as long as possible, we’ve been given a reprieve, and Macdonald has been given one more chance to show us what a dinosaur he is.

And so we come to today, when Macdonald he asked if Labor Senator Penny Wong is related to Chinese businessman Huang Xiangmo, because their names kind of sound similar, if you squint your ears and turn your head sideways a bit.

“Well you’re not going to answer questions about Mr Wong… It is Wong, isn’t it? Any relation to Senator Wong?” Macdonald asked.

“No, Huang. H-U-A-N-G,” Labor Senator Louise Pratt corrected him.

Here’s the moment in question:

Because all Asians sound the same, right? Macdonald was forced to offer a half-hearted apology when Penny Wong’s fellow Labor senators took exception to Madonald’s attempt to link Wong to Huang.

For the record, Estimates was probing revelations about a meeting between Huang Xiangmo and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, that were revealed in last night’s 4 Corners

The ABC reported that Huang, a Chinese Communist party-linked billionaire, “paid tens of thousands of dollars to former Liberal minister Santo Santoro while mounting a back-room campaign to secure Australian citizenship.”

Huang was ultimately unsuccessful in gaining citizenship, but his family’s citizenship applications were expedited after an intervention by Dutton, which allowed disgraced former Labor Senator Sam Dastyari to conduct a rare private citizenship ceremony in his office. The whole story is really interesting, and raises some pretty important questions about how the wealthy gain access to power. You should read it here.

Speaking of raising questions, that’s exactly what Malcolm Turnbull did this morning when he was asked about the Dutton revelations. Dutton is, of course, Turnbull’s mortal enemy ever since the botched coup of last year. So whenever Turnbull gets a chance to put the boot into the Home Affairs minister, he doesn’t miss.

It’s going to be a fun election campaign.