Australia

Fraser Anning has written to the Queen asking her not rescind honour from robot sex expert

Outgoing senator Fraser Anning (left) and with Prof Adrian Cheok (right) in Adelaide, Friday, May 3, 2019 Source: AAP

Fraser Anning, whose term as a Queensland senator expires this Sunday, has written to the Queen asking her not to rescind an Order of Australia honour on Adrian Cheok, who ran for his political party at the election.

Outgoing far-right senator Fraser Anning has implored the Queen not to rescind a Queen’s Birthday honour on one of his failed election candidates, who is also a robot sex expert, saying doing so would be like sending him to jail.

There has been some criticism levelled against the decision to bestow Adelaide-born professor Adrian Cheok an Order of Australia honour earlier this year after it was revealed he shared a crude joke about Labor Senate leader Penny Wong on social media and ran as a candidate for Mr Anning’s Conservative National Party.

Senator Anning, whose term is due to expire on 30 June, was widely condemned for calling for a “final solution” to Muslim immigration and blaming Muslims for the Christchurch mosque massacres.

Mr Cheok, who chairs the Love and Sex with Robots Conference, is also facing a formal request to the Governor-General by the board of the Australian chapter of the Digital Games Research Association, asking for his honour to be withdrawn.

The president of the association said Mr Cheok’s alleged “poor behaviour towards scholarly colleagues” and his political alignment with Senator Anning were reasons behind the campaign.

But Senator Anning, who failed to regain his Senate spot at the 18 May federal election, has written to the Governor-General and Queen saying the campaign to strip Mr Cheok of his award open a Pandora’s Box and would potentially lead to “devastating unintended consequences of a magnitude we cannot predict”.

Bowing to that pressure would be like jailing Mr Cheok, he added.

“If Adrian David Cheok is refused an award for his enormously important contribution to civic society simply because of his political persuasion it will be a form of government punishment every bit as real as a fine, a suspended sentence of an actual custodial sentence.

Senator Anning described Mr Cheok as one of the most “inspirational” people he’d ever met, adding that the professor born to Chinese and Greek parents wanted to change the immigration intake.

“He (Cheok) further believes that even though he is not of Anglo extraction, his interests and those of other Australians would be best served by preserving a predominantly European ethnic and cultural mix.

“Adrian should not be persecuted by the Head of State for these or for any other legitimate political opinions.”

The Governor-General has the power to terminate an appointment if "the holder of the appointment or award has behaved or acted in a manner that has brought disrepute on the Order".

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