Temper Trap frontman Dougy Mandagi’s plea to keep Andrew Chan alive

Jan 29, 2015

Dougy Mandagi

Dougy Mandagi Source: News Limited

LEAD singer of Australian band Temper Trap has spent the past year visiting his friend Andrew Chan in Kerobokan prison. He has written this plea for News.com.au.

Andrew Chan. Most Australians and Indonesians have made up their mind about who he is.

I know I did 10 years ago when I first saw him on the evening news: head down, handcuffed, running the gauntlet of cameras flashing in a media feeding frenzy.

Let’s be honest, most of us only know what we’ve been told about him and are more than happy to go along believing the story. It’s better that way, less effort, it’s easy. Unfortunately, easy is not an option for me anymore.

I met Andrew a year ago in Kerobokan prison and since then have had no choice but to revoke all my past judgments on him. Today I stand testament to this man’s transformation which has left no trace of the so called ‘Bali 9 ringleader’ save for the tattoos.

But, what’s even clearer to see than the marks on his skin is the life that exudes out of every pore on his body, out of his very being. A condemned man so full of life and promise and always sporting a smile from ear to ear. It’s powerful stuff!

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Dougy Mandagi’s mate and inspiration, Andrew Chan

Dougy Mandagi’s mate and inspiration, Andrew Chan Source: Supplied

I want you all to know that regardless of what you think you may know about Andrew, he is not the same person who walked through those prison gates 10 years ago. Andrew is completely rehabilitated and the most amazing thing is he has helped to rehabilitate others.

This man is a productive contributing member of society and the world need more people like him not the other way around.

He is a role model who knows how to pick himself up from the dirt and turn into something all of us on the outside should aspire to be.

Andrew and Myu’s story is truly an inspirational one.

A story of hope and redemption even in the darkest places. A story that will echo in the prison yard for a long time to come: Told by the prison guards and fellow inmates who have grown to love them, by their families who have stood by them unconditionally, by all of their friends and supporters standing together for mercy and by me who has been lucky enough to have met one of them.

Andrew, I’ve already told you this but since I met you, you have inspired me so much. You inspire me to live outside of myself, not just for myself. To be part of a community and to help that community grow and flourish no matter how broken it may be.

You’ve shown me the power of one. Thank you for being my friend.

I hope I’ll still get to visit you and bring over juice and biscuits for a long, long time.

You’re nothing short of a miracle mate. Love ya.

A candlelit vigil and concert to support Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran is being held tonight at Martin Place in Sydney.

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