Friday, August 28, 2009

No Islands are for Sale

" Three Indonesian islands will be sold to foreigners " that's what the Indonesian media reported recently.

The report said that a Canadian based website has advertised the sale of islands located on the west of Sumatra island, i.e. Macaroni island, 15-acre, US$4 million; Siloinak island, 24-acre, $1.6 million; and Kandui island, 26-acres, US$8 million.

I was very shock to hear the news because the Indonesian Agrarian Law forbid the sale of land to Foreigners. So I checked the above website and found two things: First it clearly stated that foreigners are not possible to purchase island in Indonesia, they can only Rent, or alternatively they can buy partial shares of a company that manage the island. Secondly, there is only one island offered i.e. Siloinak Island; whilst the other two are not islands, i.e. Macaroni is name of a resort at the North Pangai Island, and Kandui is the name of resort at Karangmajat Besar Island.

Further, the Secretary of State Hatta Radjasa has denied the news, and so has an official of the Mentawai Regency which goverened the islands.

For details on the above, please click here, and here.

I am very glad that the media report regarding the sales of islands has not been true, therefore no laws have been violated.

Photo: Courtesy of Detik

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stealing Tiger's Fur from a Zoo

The Sumatra Tigers are on the brink of extinction because of rapid deforestation, poaching and clashes with humans.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, the numbers of Sumatra Tigers have decreased very rapidly from around 1,000 in the 1970s to less than 400 today.

Due to which facts, I always thought that the best place for endangered animals like those Tigers would be a Zoo where they can live and breed more peacefully under close supervision.

However, I now realize that my perception about the Zoo has been wrong, that was after I read the news about the killing of a female Sumatra Tiger at a Zoo in Jambi Province at the Indonesian Island of Sumatra, stolen the Tiger's Fur & Bones, leaving behind only the intestines.

From TV news reports, I learned that the killers came to the Zoo and gave the Tiger a piece of poisoned Meat, after that they cut it and took away the skin and bones, and about the possibility of involvement of the guard of the Zoo.

For details on the above, please click here and here.

It is very sad to know that anyone would ever want to kill the endangered Tiger. And the sadest thing is that the killing was done at a Zoo where the Tiger is supposed to be safely guarded by authorized security officers.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Maintaining Cultural Products

I believe that every country in the world has specific cultural products such as Traditional Dances, Songs, Dress etc. that should always be maintained.

In recent years, Indonesia has been protesting against the frequent use of it's Traditional Songs, Dances, Batik, Keris, etc. by Malaysia in their tourist promotion campaigns in international TV stations.
The latest one being the protest made by President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono against the use of Balinese Pendet Dance by Malaysia in their Tourist promotion in Discovery Channel.

In order to understand what is actually happening, I will provide a bird's eye view about Indonesia & Malaysia as follows :

Indonesia, 240 million people consisting of more than 300 ethnics living in more than 13,000 islands, has a lot of cultural products. But, considering the collective characteristics of its people, many of traditional songs, dances, puppets, etc. were regarded as collective proprietary of the society and many of their creators were unknown.
Malaysia, 28 million people consisting of Malays(53%), Chinese(26%), Indians(7%) and others, has also mixed cultures. Many of the Malay originated from various islands in Indonesia, i.e. Sumatera, Sulawesi, Java, Bali etc. who bring their culture with them when they migrate to Malaysia. As a result, their language is similar to Indonesian language, their cultures are quite the same e.g. Batik, Songs etc. and their food is quite the same i.e. Rendang, Curry, Laksa etc.

Last night, the Minister of Culture & Tourism told MetroTV that Malaysia has violated Indonesia’s right on those specific cultural products. He said that Malaysia must respect Indonesia’s ownership of those cultural products because they belong to specific regions in Indonesia, like Pendet Dance is a holy dance in Bali, Wayang puppet show in Java.
At the same TV show, Rheinald Kasali said that Malaysia was able to do that because Indonesia has not maintained and protect those cultural products. As an example he said that Malaysia has conducted 6 seminars about Batik showing that many countries have their own Batik. He also said that our government should protect those cultural products i.e. by providing them Legal Protection.
The Minister said that his office is currently making an inventory on cultural products that should be protected, and will obtain Legal Protection for them with the Department of Law & Justice.

They both agreed that Indonesia’s current budget for Tourist Promotion i.e US$ 15 million is very low compared to Malaysia’s US$ 50 million and Singapore’s US$ 60 million has caused Indonesia only able to get around 6 million foreign tourists compared to Malaysia’s 20 million. The Minister said that the budget shall be increased every year.

In reaction to the above protests, Malaysia's Interim Charge d'Affair in Jakarta said that Malaysia never intend to claim the Pendet Dance as their own.
Further, the Discovery Channel has stopped showing Malaysia's said promotional film.

For details on the above, please click here, here, here, here , here, here, here and here.

Considering the above, I felt that the use of Indonesia's cultural products by Malaysia can happen because we have not maintained them properly, this can be seen from the fact that we do not know the writers/creators of many traditional Songs, Dances, Plays, etc. Due to which fact, the government must take a leading role in maintaining ownership i.e. by finding out who are their writers/creators, and promoting them continuously in Indonesia and abroad.

Photo: Courtesy of Detik.

Female Circumcision

According to the tradition among Muslim society in Indonesia, males and females should be circumcised.

For the males, circumcision is carried out when he is between 4 to 9 years old, by cutting a small piece of skin that cover the upper part of a penis.
While for females, circumcision is carried out when she was still few days old, with a prick of a needle on the upper part of her clitoris.
And circumcision could only be done based on the consent of the child's parents.

Female Genital Mutilation
March 3rd, 2008, in News & Issues, by Patung
Foreign efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation.

United Nations

On February 27th ten United Nations agencies pledged to engage in a renewed effort to eliminate female genital mutilation (FGM), or female circumcision, within a generation.

UN Deputy Secretary General Asha-Rose Migiro said:
If we can come together for a sustained push, female genital mutilation can vanish within a generation.

In Indonesia only the populist press seemed to take an interest in the story with a Surya headline screaming "The United Nations Bans Female Circumcision": [1]

Prof Dr Chuzaimah T Yanggo, the head of the Youth and Women's section of the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI), said of the United Nations:

What do they think they're doing, it's not their business. Religion cannot be interfered with by men.

He She said the Health Department had already agreed with the MUI that there was a right way, and several wrong ways, to carry out "khitan". The right way was to "open" the "upper part", the clitoris, a little, by making a small cut, while the wrong ways involved cutting off the whole organ or making substantial cuts, and these were forbidden.

Chuzaimah said the UN was confused about circumcision because it heard stories from Africa, where the practice was more extreme.


Meanwhile the East Java secretary of the MUI, Prof Dr Hj Istibjaroh, said female circumcision was neither required nor forbidden but:

In general it is done.

The purpose was to reduce the sex drive of women, he said, while the purpose of male circumcision was to increase sex drive.

April 2006, Bandung. [2]

He said among the women's wing of the Nahdlatul Ulama, the Muslimat NU, female circumcision was something thought not worth debating.

Endang Sri of the Indonesian Midwives Association (Ikatan Bidan Indonesia (IBI)) in Surabaya, East Java, said however that the practice was not allowed.

When parents requested it the IBI simply performed a washing of the area. She said requests to have girls circumcised in Surabaya were rare these days, and came mainly from the northern part of the city, presumably from ethnic Madurese people. [3]
Genital mutilation grounds for asylum bid
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

(08-24) 16:37 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- A Northern California family whose daughter underwent forced circumcision in Indonesia is entitled to seek political asylum in the United States, a federal appeals court said Monday.
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco criticized immigration officials who, in ordering the family deported, decided that the girl had suffered no serious harm when her genitals were mutilated as a newborn.
Any form of female genital mutilation is "horrifically brutal" and amounts to persecution under established precedents in federal courts and the Justice Department's immigration courts, the court said.
The 3-0 ruling gives Bob Benito Benyamin, his wife, Anabella Rodriguez, and their three daughters another chance to challenge deportation to Indonesia, where the oldest daughter underwent forced circumcision at 5 days old in 1992 at the orders of a grandmother. The family said she has felt pain from the procedure ever since.
The family entered the United States legally in 1999 and applied for asylum in 2002 after Benyamin's business visa expired. They live in the Sacramento area, their lawyer said.
Federal courts have granted asylum to women who fled their countries after being genitally mutilated or threatened with mutilation. In this case, the parents argued that one of their younger daughters would face ritual mutilation if deported to Indonesia, and that sparing her from deportation would be meaningless if the rest of her family was deported.
In denying asylum, immigration judges cited a State Department report that said female genital mutilation as practiced in Indonesia "involves minimal short-term pain, suffering and complications."
Contrasting the procedure to a court's description of mutilation in Ethiopia, where the genitals are cut with knives and recovery takes 40 days, immigration courts said the Indonesian girl had not been persecuted and that neither she nor her family was entitled to asylum.
But the appeals court said its rulings and a World Health Organization report have found that even in its least drastic form, the genital mutilation of women and girls causes physical and psychological harm and the risk of serious complications.
An immigration review board's "attempt to parse the distinction between differing forms of female genital mutilation is ... a threat to the rights of women in a civilized society," Judge Margaret McKeown said in the court ruling.
The court returned the case to the immigration board to decide whether the younger daughter faced a likelihood of genital mutilation in Indonesia. If so, the board must decide whether the entire family is eligible for asylum or whether the parents and their daughters might instead be sent to Venezuela, the mother's native country. The younger daughter was born there.
Robert Ryan, an attorney in San Francisco who represents the family, said the court had corrected a series of legal errors by the immigration judges, including their downplaying of the older daughter's trauma.
"There's no such thing as mild female genital mutilation," he said.
SF federal appeals court orders reconsideration of mutilation asylum case
Associated Press
Posted: 08/24/2009 04:02:30 PM PDT
Updated: 08/24/2009 04:02:30 PM PDT

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal court is ordering the U.S. government to reconsider the asylum claim of an Indonesian man whose daughter suffered female genital mutilation as an infant while still at the hospital.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected Monday the Bureau of Immigration Appeal's denial of the application Bob Benito Benyamin submitted for himself and his family.
The three-judge panel rejected the BIA's reasoning that female circumcision as practiced in Indonesia is of a "less extreme variety."
Benyamin is a Muslim married to a Catholic. Their daughter underwent the mutilation when she was five days old, without her parents' consent. The couple have another daughter. They fear for her safety, and they fear persecution for being a mixed-religion household.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thank God it's Ramadhan

The holy month of Ramadhan always brings happiness for me, whereby I would be fasting from dawn to dusk every day for one full month, refrain myself from eating & drinking during fasting; and avoid thinking, feeling, doing, saying bad things. As a result, I can expect that after Ramadhan I would be healthier because of regular eating & drinking, slimmer and more wiser.

Last night, the Minister of Religion Maftuh Basyuni has announced that this year’s fasting month of Ramadhan will start tomorrow, Saturday, 22 August 2009.

But this year's Ramadhan is quite different from the past, whereby two largest Muslim organizations in Indonesia i.e. Nadhatul Ulama & Muhammadiyah, tend to be different in starting the Ramadan, this time they both have finally agreed to start on the same day. Beside both of them, there are 3 smaller organizations which have also agreed on the date i.e. Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia, Al Irsyad and Persatuan Islam.

Further, there are other developments which are very good for Indonesia i.e signs of reconsiliation among Indonesian leaders which is shown by the congratulations given by the losing candidates of the presidential election i.e Jusuf Kalla/Wiranto, and Megawati/Prabowo, to the winner i.e. incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono and his running mate Boediono.

For details on the above, please click here, here and here.

Considering the above, I hope that this year's Ramadhan will strongly motivate the Indonesian Muslims to be more broad minded, have more respect on other people, think more positive and work much hard together, so that every problems can be solved much easier & faster. That way the development of Indonesia can be carried out a lot much faster.

Marhaban ya Ramadhan, Welcome Ramadhan.

Photo: Courtesy of Noorhadi Saleh/Foto Kita

Monday, August 17, 2009

Indonesia' s 64th Annniversary

2,827 Divers celebrated Independence Day under the sea in North Sulawesi.

Since early this morning, people all over Indonesia celebrated the 64th. anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Indonesia.

The celebration was conducted in many ways; for example in central & local government offices they were conducted formally like the one at the Presidential State Palace.
Beside that, there were many other ways to celebrate which are less formal, like hanging the Red & White Flag from a 140 meters hill top in Entekrang, South Sulawesi.

The most spectacular one was the one held under the sea in Manado, North Sulawesi, whereby 2,827 people from all over Indonesia and other countries dived for more than 25 minutes 19 meters under the sea off the Malalayang beach near Bunaken. The huge number of Divers that took part in the event broke record of the Guinness Book of World Records, i.e. when 950 people dived in Maldive.

For details on the above, please click here, and here

I felt very happy to know that so many Indonesians gathered happily with very high nationalistic spirit to celebrate Independence Day. I hope that spirit would be maintained in regular daily activities, so that Indonesia can develop a lot much faster.

Photo: Courtesy of Antara

Happy Birthday Indonesia

On 17 August 1945, the people of Indonesia declared independence from the Japanese occupation and established the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia.

Later, the Dutch, who occupied Indonesia from the 16th century until the Japanese came in 1942, tried to invade Indonesia again, but after four years of unsuccessful military actions, the they gave up.

Since 1950, Indonesia faced separatist movements by local people supported by foreign countries who either want to turn Indonesia into an Islamic country, or a Federal country, or a Communist country.
On 30 September 1965, seven high ranking Army officers were bloodily killed, and the Army accused that the Indonesian Communist Party were responsible for this.

On 11 March 1965, President Soekarno handed power to Army General Soeharto, who later became president and hold power for 32 years. Soeharto successfully maintained stability especially in the fields of Economy, Politics and Security because he was fully supported by Western countries like the USA, Australia, Japan and Western Europe. Besides, he built effective intelligence networks, special security agency, and maintained an Anti-Subversive Law which enables unlimited arrest without warrant. He limited the number of political parties into 3, Golkar, PDI & PPP which must adopt one ideology i.e Pancasila i.e. five principle: Belief in God, Unity, Democracy, Humanity and Social Welfare.

After the Reformasi (Reform) on 20 May 1998 Vice President Habibie replaced Soeharto as president. In 1999, Megawati’s PDI won 35% votes in the General Election, however she only became Vice President, and Abdurrahman Wahid became President. During his term, several changes were made like: deletion of Anti Subversive Law, allowing fanatic religious movements. Two years later, Megawati became President.
Since 2002, some fanatic people who claimed to be Muslim and want to force the adoption of Middle East tradition have carried out campaign of terrors by killing themselves and hundreds of innocent people (many were Muslims) in Bali, Poso, Ambon, and Jakarta.

In 2004, the first presidential election was held and Soesilo Bambang Yudoyono (SBY) won with 60%. But considering SBY’s Partai Demokrat only got 7% in the Parliamentary election, therefore his 5 years term seemed to be ‘shaky”. This is obvious because SBY must to rely on the support of Vice President Jusuf Kalla and his Golkar Party who has the majority 25% seats in Parliament.

Last week, the General Election Committee (KPU) announced SBY’s Partai Demokrat as winner of the Parliamentary Election with 20% votes, and SBY as winner of the Presidential election with 60.8% votes. Therefore, SBY will once again be the President of 235 million people of Indonesia as the world’s largest Muslim country and the third largest democracy.

Earlier, on 17 July two Suicide Bombers made twin attacks on Hotel JW Marriot and Hotel Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, killing five innocent people and more than 50 wounded. In three weeks, the Police successfully identified those responsible and killed or captured some of them.

Considering the above, I hope that the President would now be more confident in leading the people to overcome any problems created by anyone, individual or group, local or foreigners, whatever their basis (politic or religion). The best way would be to eliminate any reasons for people to commit suicide bombings or other crimes that is by creating many jobs and low cost education. For which purpose, a conducive condition must be created for business development, e.g. freedom from any fear, guaranteed security, so that business people would want to invest money in Indonesia.

Long live Indonesia, Happy 64th Birthday!

Image: Courtesy of Wikipedia

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Harry is Taking a Break

When I started this blog on 1 October 2007, I want to write only about things that I am passionate about i.e matters related to the Laws and Regulations in Indonesia. For that reason, I have mentioned beneath the title of this blog the wordings: An Indonesian Blawg (Law Blog).

As time goes, I realized that in order to write regularly I need to write about other things that I am also passionate i.e. Environment and Politics in Indonesia. So, starting 1 September 2008 I began to write almost every day.

As a normal human being, I need to take a short break from my daily working activity. Therefore, starting tomorrow, Thursday, until the end of this month 31 August 2009 I will be minimizing my working activities. Although I have considered my blogging activities as a serious work, however during this period of break I would not stop blogging, I would only slow down a bit, in the sense that I'll keep on monitoring the blogosphere, maybe write an article or two, give comments etc.

I'll start to be active again as usual on 1 September 2009.

Thanks & regards,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rainforest to Carbon Offset

Australia, Indonesia push rainforest carbon offsets
Tom Arup, Environment Correspondent
August 10, 2009

AUSTRALIA and Indonesia will make a joint submission on using rainforests to offset carbon emissions from polluting industries at climate change talks that begin in Germany today.

The submission, obtained by the Herald, also says Australia is building a new satellite receiving station near Darwin to monitor deforestation for its neighbours in Asia and the Pacific.

The second combined submission to United Nations climate negotiations from the two countries reflects the Federal Government's wish to use Asian and Pacific forests as a cheap emissions offset for local industry through REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) carbon credits.

The document outlines the extent to which Australia is working with Indonesia to ready the country to sell carbon credits based on carbon stored in forests, including holding ''technical sessions'' between Australian and Indonesian officials on how to monitor the REDD program.

Australia and Indonesia are also developing two REDD demonstration projects under a $200 million Australian-funded global forestry carbon program to take to the final round of climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December.

The submission comes as environment groups express concern about the make-up of REDD credits in the draft text of a new international climate agreement before the UN, before the latest round of diplomatic discussions beginning today in Bonn.

Peg Putt, the international climate change campaigner for the Wilderness Society, said several groups were alarmed that references to ''protecting forests'' in the REDD section of the draft text had been removed, and references to ''sustainable forestry management'' had increased.

Ms Putt also noted the international agreement had adopted references to ''REDD Plus'', a version of the scheme that may create carbon credits for crops such as palm oil that are causing deforestation in Asia.

Australia supports the inclusion of agriculture in global carbon offset markets. A spokeswoman for the Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong, said Australia had consistently said forestry carbon offsets ''must reinforce environmental integrity and avoid perverse outcomes for biodiversity''.

Indonesia Counts Trees to Prepare for Carbon Market (Update1)
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By Jeremy van Loon

Aug. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Indonesia, owner of the earth’s second-largest tropical forests, is counting its trees with satellites and on-the-ground observers to prepare for earning money in carbon markets by protecting woodlands.

The southeast Asian country is taking steps to measure and verify the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed and stored by its forests, according to a proposal on the Web site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The UN, operator of the second-biggest carbon-emissions market, is considering awarding securities to nations in return for their saving trees.

Forests and peat swaps in Indonesia store CO2, a greenhouse gas that is released as trees are cleared for use in furniture and to make way for palm-oil production. Negotiators at UN climate-protection talks this week in Bonn are studying how to limit carbon emissions. So far they have not agreed to reward preserving tropical woods whose destruction accounts for almost a fifth of greenhouse-gas output gas each year.

“Forest protection is waiting for the rest of the negotiations to catch up,” said Rane Cortez, a forest carbon policy advisor at The Nature Conservancy. Cortez spoke in an interview at the talks, where delegates from more than 180 countries are debating targets for CO2 cuts and financial support for developing countries.

Indonesia will be aided by Australia, which will provide data from overseas archives and exchange scientific information with Indonesian officials, the proposal submitted by both nations said. No details on costs were provided. Indonesia will attempt to create an inventory of its trees, with which it will measure the changes in carbon stocks, the proposal said.

Price Push

Creating certificates for not cutting down trees and letting them trade in carbon markets could push emission prices 76 percent lower by 2020, the New Zealand-based economic modelers KEA 3 said in a study for Greenpeace International published in March.

That would remove incentives to invest in renewable energy in poorer nations, cutting the cost for polluting industries to buy emissions permits, the environmental-advocacy group said.

Tropical forests may be more sensitive to climate change than thought, making their protection even more essential, said ecologist Oliver Phillips of the University of Leeds. Warmer Atlantic waters in 2005 turned the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest, into a net emitter of CO2 when it’s normally a carbon sink, Phillips and his colleagues said in March.

Nations need $10 billion to $40 billion annually in incentives in order to not turn their forests over to the timber and agriculture industries, New Zealand said last October in a proposal to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Bonn-based supervisor of climate-protection treaties.

Norway has suggested a mixture of using carbon markets and supporting forestry work with international funds. Brazil opposes the use of carbon credits while other forest nations such as Papua New Guinea support a market-based approach.

European Union carbon allowances for December delivery traded at 14.20 euros ($20.05) a metric ton.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Jakarta is quite Safe.

After the terrorists’ suicide bombings of the Hotel JW Marriot & Hotel Ritz-Carlton on 17 July 2009, British soccer club Manchester United has canceled their tour to Jakarta and some people predict that foreigners would be afraid to come here.

However, this prediction was proven to be wrong after a rock festival i.e the Java Rocking Land was held from 7 until 9 August at the Ancol Beach, North Jakarta.

The festival was participated by 10 foreign bands, including Mr. Big, Melee, 3rd Eye Blind, Vertical Horizon, and 70 local rock bands playing in front of more than 2,000 people per day; and everything was very successful and peaceful.

For details on the above, please click here, here, here, and here.

The above peaceful event shows that Jakarta is quite safe for Indonesians and foreigners. However considering that terrorists always take advantage of our weakness, we should always be aware of anything that happen around us, and immediately report anything or anyone suspicious to the Police.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Protection of Rice Fields

In the late '80s, the government adopted a policy which enabled local and foreign private entrepreneurs to develop and manage Industrial Estates/Zones in Indonesia.

As a result, important Rice Producing area in West Java that are located close to Jakarta i.e. Bekasi, Karawang and Cikampek, have been converted from Rice Fields into Industrial Estates/Zones and Residential Estates. From then on, Indonesia has changed from a Rice Self Sufficient country into an importer of Rice.

Statistics of the National Land Agency (BPN) shows that there are around 7,8 million hectares of irrigated Rice fields in Indonesia, but they are being rapidly swallowed up by property developments at a rate of more than 140,000 hectares a year.
And according to the Department of Agriculture the population has been growing by about 1.6% per year, putting significant strains on food resources.

In order to anticipate more problems in the future, the government and the National Parliament (DPR) are now preparing a Bill to protect Rice Fields from those Developers of Industrial and Residential estates.
But unfortunately, the said Bill is only intended for Rice Fields located in the country sides, but not for those located in towns/cities.
Whereas according to Profesor Hermanto Siregar of the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) conversion of Rice Fields in Towns/Cities reached around 2,5 Hectare a year. So if average productivity of Rice is 4,88 Ton per Hectare this means that there will be a decrease in Rice production of 12,2 million Ton.

For details on the above, please click here and here.

Considering the above facts, I hope that the Government and DPR will prepare the Bill based on the best interests of our country and people, that is to be Rice Self Sufficient once again.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Is the Malaysian Terrorist Dead?

“Alhamdullilah!” (Arabic for Thank God), that's what I said after I heard that the Malaysian terrorist Noordin M. Top was shot dead by Police Special Unit DENSUS-88 on 7 August, at his hideout in Temanggung, Central Java.

I felt very happy because Noordin and another Malaysian terrorist Azhari, who was killed few years ago, have ‘brainwashed’ some Indonesian Muslims to kill lots of people, mostly Muslims, by their suicide bombings in Bali, Jakarta, Poso and Ambon.

According to National Police Chief Bambang Danuri, at almost the same time the Police has also killed two other terrorists and found 500 Kg Explosives in Jatiasih, Bekasi, West Java, which will be used for suicide bombings at the President's private residence located 5 Kilometers from the location and the State Palace during our independence day celebration on 17 August.
Before the above mentioned raids, the Police have arrested five other terrorists.

In spite of the above, there is one big question: Is the body in Temanggung belongs to Noordin M. Top or an Indonesian who act as his decoy?
Bambang Danuri cannot confirm this, he said that the Police need to conduct a DNA Test on the body and check it with the DNA of the relative of anyone suspected including that of Noordin M. Top.

For details, please click here, here, here and here.

Considering the above, I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to our Police especially the DENSUS 88 Unit for their efforts and success. I hope that there will be more success in the future, for which purpose everyone in Indonesia, including the Armed Forces & citizens, should assist and cooperate closely with the Police.

Photo : Courtesy of Kompas

Friday, August 7, 2009

Antasari's Testimony

Since the Police arrested Antazari Azhar for alleged murder of director of state own company Nazarudin Zulkarnaen, his position as Chairman of Commission for Eradication of Corruption (KPK) was suspended, and KPK's power as the most powerful Anti Corruption fighter in Indonesia began to fade away.

became weaker after Antasari gave the Police a Testimony alleging KPK's other leaders of receiving bribes from PT. Masaro Radiokom which was investigated by KPK for corruption cases at the Department of Forestry and bribe of a member of Parliament (DPR).
In last night's interview with MetroTV, Antasari's lawyer Denny Kailimang said that the Testimony was written based on a recorded conversation between Antasari and the owner of PT. Masaro Radiokom Anggoro Wijaya in Singapore on October 2008.
After Antasari returned to Jakarta, his secretary downloaded the recording into Antasari's laptop, which was confiscated by the Police during a raid to the KPK office recently.

In reaction to the Testimony, KPK's Vice Chief Bibit Santoso doubted its content and said that the testimony defamed KPK.
While Vice Chairman of Transparency International Indonesia Soraya Aiman said that Antasari's meeting with Anggoro violated KPK Law No. 30/2002 which forbid its leaders from interacting directly with anyone suspected by KPK. Soraya further said that what has been quoted in the Testimony cannot be regarded a Witness Statement in Court because according to the Penal Code Art. 185 (1) a Witness Statement should be made in Court.

For details on the above, please click here , here,here, and here.

Considering the above mentioned facts, I hope that the Police investigation of the Nasrudin Murder case would finalized soon, so that the Prosecutor can bring it to the court for trial, that way the truth about Antasari's involvement can be revealed.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

RIP: W.S. Rendra (1935-2009)

I was thinking about what to write on this blog, when MetroTV reported about the demise of W.S. Rendra at 10.05 pm this evening at a hospital in Depok, West Java where he has been treated for some time.

According to the doctors at the hospital, the cause of his death was Heart Attack.

W.S Rendra was born in Solo, Central Java, on 7 November 1935 under the name of Willibrordus Surendra Broto Rendra. He had been active writing short stories and essays since he studied English Literature at the Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta. Since then, he was popularly known as "Burung Merak (Peacock Bird)".

Between 1964 and 1967, Rendra received a scholarship to study at the American Academy of Dramatical Art. After he returned in 1967, he built his theatrical group called Bengkel Teater in Yogyakarta. Many years later the group built another theater with the same name in Depok, West Java, and it was at this location that the phenomenal reggae singer Mbah Surip was buried on 4 August 2009.

For details about WS Rendra, please click here.

To the wife, children and grandchildren of W.S Rendra I would like to express my deepest condolence and simpathy.

Photo: courtesy of Wikipedia

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Presidential Election Disputes

On Tuesday 4 August the second and third winners of the Presidential Election on 8 July have presented their complaints with the Constitutional Court (MK).

Both of them, Megawati and Jusuf Kalla, claimed that there has been foul plays in the election i.e. existence of millions of fake votes making the election results illegitimate, therefore a second round of election should be held.
However, they both claimed that each of them should be the second winner of the election, therefore eligible to run for the second election.

On 23 July, the General Election Commission (KPU) announced that incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) won with 73,874,562 votes (60.8%), Megawati came in second with 32,548,105 votes (26.8%), and Jusuf Kalla third with 15,081,814 votes (12.4%).
The Presidential Election Law requires a candidate to win 51% of the votes, otherwise a second election must be held.
Both Megawati and Kalla teams said that their goal in disputing the results was to force a Second Election and hope to win there.

For details on the above, please click here.

Considering the above, I hope that MK would not pass a decision that would lead to a Second Election, thus avoiding additional waste of taxpayers’ money. However, if Second Election should be held, I hope that all the parties would be willing to accept whatever the result.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

RIP:Mbah Surip(1949-2009)

At 10.30 am this morning, a rising star in the Indonesian music industry i.e. Reggae Singer Mbah Surip a.k.a Urip Aryanto has passed away in Jakarta.

According to media reports, the cause of Mbah Surip's sudden death was heart attack. And in compliance with his wish, his body will be buried at the Bengkel Teater Complex owned by Indonesian theater living legend W.S. Rendra in Citayam, Depok, West Java, this evening. Before that, a wedding ceremony of his daugther will held at the same place.

Mbah Surip was born in Mojokerto, East Java, in 1949. He studied Chemical Engineering in Surabaya, and worked in the oil drilling industries in Indonesia and the United States where he wrote his top hit TAK GENDONG in 1986.
This song was first recorded in 2003 but only became very popular since the last few months.

Although I am not a big fan of Mbah Surip, but I have been facinated by his ability to 'mesmerize' our public with his song TAK GENDONG which in my humble opinion is very simple in lyrics & music compared to other popular songs. I agree that it was this simplicity that made the song has a powerful grip on the public, a fact also admitted by President SBY when he stated his words of condolence.

For details on the above, please click here, here, here and here.

In this regards, I would like to express my deepest condolence and simpaty to the children, grand children of Mbah Surip. I pray to God that his soul would rest in peace.

Photo: Courtesy of Facebook

Monday, August 3, 2009

Protection of the Green Turtle

The Green Turtle is an endangered species which exist only in several countries of the world.

In Indonesia, the Green Turtle are found in the provinces of West Kalimantan, Bali and East Java. They are protected by Law No. 5/1990 regarding Conservation of Natural Biological Resources and Ecosystem, which stipulated that anyone who takes, destroy, sells, keep or posses Eggs and/or Nests of protected Wild Animals shall be punished with maximum 5 years in Prison and Fined a maximum of Rp 100 million.

But in reality, there are cases in which the Eggs of the Green Turtle were sold by the local people and even by the staffs of the Nature Conservation Agency in West Kalimantan, many of which are exported to Sarawak, Malaysia. Some of the sellers have been jailed.

For details on the above, please click here, here and here.

Considering that the Green Turtle is an endangered species in Indonesia, I hope that their protection can be improved i.e. by enforcing the abovementioned law.

Photo: Courtesy of Kompas.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Replanting Mangrove in Central Java

Semarang, the capital of Central Java Province, has often been flooded due to heavy rain fall and also by the rise of sea water.

The main reason why the sea water rise is because there is no more Mangrove Forest to protects the coastalines of Semarang and most of Central Java.

The Jakarta Post quoted the Central Java's Head of Forestry Agency as saying that 96.95% of Mangrove forests are destructed by illegal loging and baseless industrial development. Tourism and residential development conducted without proper environmentally-based conservation measures had caused the mangroves to be depleted quickly.

In order to stop the destruction of Mangrove, around 350 participants of the International Mangrove Jamboree in Semarang have planted 60,000 Mangrove seeds along side a aquaculture pond in Semarang on Sunday.

I hope that the above effort would start the replanting of Mangroves in Central Javae in particular and other parts of Indonesia in general.

Photo: Courtesy of The Jakarta Post

Saturday, August 1, 2009

David's Mysterious Death

On 2 March, David Hartanto Widjaya, an Indonesian studying at the Nanyang Technical University (NTU), Singapore, was found dead at NTU’s campus. According to the local Police report, David jumped from the fourth floor of the campus building after stabbing his Mentor Professor Chan Kap Luk.

However, David’s family and supporters do not believe this report; they always maintained that the circumstances surrounding his death were suspicious. So they have filed a request with the Coroner Court in Singapore to determine the actual cause of death so that the case can be heard at the Criminal Court.

On 29 July the Coroner Court ruled that the cause David’s death is Suicide, and the family was very unsatisfied. But unfortunately, they cannot appeal the Court’s decision. So they criticized the Indonesian government for not doing enough to ensure a fair trial. Their lawyers, among others O.C Kaligis, accused the Foreign Affairs Department of failing to assist the family and said that they intend to take the case to the International Court of Justice(ICJ) or the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In this regards, Foreign Affairs Minister Hassan Wirajuda said that it would be impossible to bring the case of David’s death to ICJ and the ICC because both courts only handled cases such as Genocide or disputes between states. Moreover, Indonesia was not even a state party to the ICC because it had not ratified the Rome Statute.

For details on the above, please click here, here and here.

Considering the above, I felt very sad that David's death is still misterious. Although our government cannot intervere with the legal proceedings in Singapore, however they could at least make verbal statement that show support to the family in their quest to unconceal the mystery of David's death. This would at least make the family felt a bit stronger.

Photo: Courtesy of Facebook