The “Assault on students spark on-line fury” (Peter Cai & Jen Rosenberg SMH 24April2012) conjures a feeling of insecurity when travelling alone at night on our Sydney metropolitan trains. A subsequent SMH (Peter Cai 26 April 2012) report, headlined “Chinese Students at risk in Australia”, highlighted the unfavourable outcry about the safety of Chinese citizens studying in Australia. Those involved in this outcry included the largest Chinese TV network CCTV, Chinese Consul-General in Sydney (who issued a travel warning), Chinese social media, the Chinese student bodies and parents of Chinese students. The suggestion of a rise in youth crimes is a serious concern for the general public.

There is no room for anti-social behaviour in our trains. This incident involving foreign students from China as victims brings further adverse international publicity to Australia since the last incident of violence against foreign students from India. If these attacks were also racially motivated, as reported besides robbery, then Australians of Asian descent would have cause to fear riding on trains at night.

Trains should be made safer for all passengers regardless of whether they are Australian residents or not. Hence, the policing of trains at night should not be relaxed. Calling the matter an isolated incidence trivializes the seriousness of the crime and is akin to telling the victims “bad luck mate”.

Unless strong reassurances are given by government authorities including the Police that steps have been taken to discourage thuggish and violent behaviour on our trains, then travelling on the night train is a health hazard and would remained unsafe for all passengers. Confidence must be restored as a top priority for the travelling public. The Victorian government has put on an additional 900 Public Security Officers (PSO) to improve the safety of train travel and the

NSW government should consider similar action.
NSW takes a significant proportion of all Chinese students studying Australia and if the safety issue is not addressed, the state will see a big drop in enrolment similar to the Indian students. This issue not only adversely affect our economy but also make all train travellers insecure and fearful for their safety and well-being.

In the meantime, information sessions on being “street smart” in public transport should be made available to foreign students.

CCCA would be willing to assist the NSW State government to restore public confidence in train travel and particularly in allaying the fears of the Chinese students and their parents.

Dr Anthony Pun
National President,
Chinese Community Council of Australia

“對學生袭击事件引發了网民的怒火”(2012年4月24日,悉尼先驱晨报,蔡源及珍•羅森伯格)并讓人在独自乘坐悉尼城市铁路系统的夜班列车时总有種不安全的感覺。隨後悉尼先驱晨报刊载(2012年4月26日,蔡源)題为“中國學生在澳大利亞身处險镜”的文章更是突出报道了社会各界对于在澳大利亚求学的中國公民人身安全堪忧的这一现状的强烈抗议。參與此抗議的有中國最大的電視網絡—中央電視台,中國驻悉尼總領事(通过发布旅遊警告的方式),中國的社交媒體,澳洲的中國留學生團體及留澳學生的家长们。这表明青少年犯罪率上升的现状已经导致了公众的深切忧虑。

我们决不会容忍反社會的行為出现在我們的城铁列車上。事件中來自中國的留學生成为了受害者,这造成了澳大利亞的国际形自发生在印度留學生身上的暴力事件以来進一步恶化。此次的袭擊如果像報導指出的一样除了单纯的搶劫之外还带有種族歧视的動機,那么以後所有亞裔澳大利亞人晚上出门乘坐火車时也都需要小心谨慎些了。 無論乘客是不是澳大利亞居民,我们都该确保他们的乘車出行更加安全。因此,夜班列車的治安不能鬆懈。声称这只是一個孤立事件的做法严重轻视了的施暴者罪行的嚴重性,这就如同对受害人说:“伙计,你自认倒霉吧”。

直到包括警察局在内的各政府部门出面給予強有力的保證,并落实措施以阻止发生在列車上的兇殘暴行為止,在夜間搭乘火車出行对所有乘客来说都还是不尽安全并有可能遭遇危险。重振乘客信心必須作為公共交通整治的重中之重。維多利亞州政府已經額外新增了900名火车站军装保安员以改善乘火車出行旅客的安全,而新南威爾士州政府也應该考慮採取類似的行動。

新南威爾士州的中国学生在所有赴澳学习的中國留學生里占据了很大的比例,如不解決安全問題,澳大利亚將会面临与印度学生注册人数的大幅下降相类似的局面。 這次事件不僅会对我们的经济造成不利影響,也使得所有乘火車出行的旅客们不免为自身的安全健康担惊受怕。

同时,有关部门也应该积极筹办信息讲座,为留学生们传授乘坐公共交通工具时应具备的“街頭智慧”。

澳华社区议會则愿意協助新南威爾士州政府紓緩中國學生和家長们的擔憂,重拾公眾在乘火車出行时的信心。

潘瑞亮博士 主席,
澳華社區议會