Is Cambodia really that bad?

Stephen Higgins writes: Re: “Cambodia refugee deal costs soar, with moral price immeasurable” (Friday). While there are plenty of good reasons for criticising Australia’s refugee deal with Cambodia, Michael Sainsbury has over-egged the case with a number of errors and exaggerations. To name a few:

It is nonsense to claim that “Buddhist Cambodia is largely hostile to Muslims”. There is a large and thriving Cham Muslim community in Cambodia, who I suspect are more accepted and integrated into society in Cambodia than Muslims are in Australia.

There is nowhere near 2 million Cambodians in Thailand. The most recent estimate, and the highest I have heard, is that there are 660,000 currently in Thailand.

And as for state-sponsored murder and torture being de riguer, that’s a very, very large exaggeration.

Digital radio infinitely superior

Joe Boswell writes: Re. “How ABC and SBS could save millions without touching programming” (Thursday). Bernard Keane wrote, “… digital radio has had nothing like the success of digital TV, and there’s a good case for simply dumping it in favour of online distribution”. Rot. Online is no substitute for things like alarm clock radios. Until digital was available, in many places, including the metropolitan area where I live, ABC National Radio was only broadcast on analog AM frequencies, and AM reception here is atrocious. The sound is always distorted, there is often serious interference and randomly the signal simply fades and vanishes.

Digital is infinitely superior. If the government forces the ABC to dump digital radio there is no usable alternative and my digital radio receiver will be so much junk.

Define torture

Russell Bancroft writes: Re. “Stay calm on terror laws — the worst is yet to come” (Friday). You say that the new “terror laws” exclude the use of torture. Fine, but what is torture? I know that we have gone over this ground a number of times, but is it open to the government to endorse the use of techniques such as water-boarding and sleep deprivation, and claim that they are not torture?