Sunday, November 22, 2009

Judicial Tragedy

I found the above caricature on today's The Jakarta Post, showing Minah (55), a villager who was sentenced by a Court to one and half month imprisonment with a 3 months probation (she doesn't go to jail unless she committed crime in 3 months), for picking 3 Cocoa from a plantation company.

What happened to Minah is a tragedy if we compare with Anggodo who is still free although there is a publicly known recording that indicate his involvement in a bribery case against KPK Vice Chairmen Bibit and Chandra.


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pj said...

Hi Harry

This kind of stuff really makes me stamp my feet in impotent disgust. How do these cases ever get to court? How can the the Prosecuters and Police expect to be taken seriously when they entertain these sorts of cases?

H. Nizam said...


Thank you for your words.
I shall check your site about Dubai, which I am sure would be interesting.

Rob Baiton said...


Here's the thing. When push comes to shove she stole someone else's property. That in most democratic jurisdictions is crime (except where you steal legally through progressive taxation and the like :D).

What makes this case sad is that it involves 1500 rupiah in value. Conservative estimates would suggest that this case would have dipped into the public coffers for 10-15 million once one factors in all the paperwork, interviews, and human hours devoted to getting this thing to trial.

Was it worth it? No.

This could have been handled in a much more simple manner. It could have been done and dusted in 15 minutes with the coppers giving the old lady a stern warning about stealing. The coppers could have then hit her up for the 1500 rupiah to make things right with the company.

Or, as I have suggested elsewhere, the company could have capitalized on this for some good PR (considering there is some dispute as to whether they have legal title to all of the land that they have under plantation) by starting a community development project for cacao cultivation. After all, Minah said her motivation for acquiring the seeds was to plant them and grow her own trees.

The fact that Anggodo is still free is not a tragedy but rather a sad indictment of why Indonesia still finds itself ranking high up on the list of the world's most corrupt countries.

Cases like this one show how far Indonesia has come, but they also show how much further she has to go.

On a personal note, I want Indonesia to achieve and reach its full potential. I have a vested interest in her doing so; my wife is Indonesian and Indonesian blood runs through the veins of my son. I do not want to see Indonesia fail in her quest for full development. Therefore, I have a duty to highlight the absurdity of cases such as this one :D

@ PJ...

These cases get to caught because they can! They are an easy win for the police and prosecutors.

H. Nizam said...


From a legal point of view, the old lady has violated Penal Code because she stole the Cacao therefore can be punished.

If the plantation co. has big heart, it could have settled the Rp 1,500 Cacao case amicably.

The became tragic if we compare with Rp 6 billion bribery case, in which the one who gave the bribe remained free, whereas the alleged receiver have been arrested.
On top of that there is the Rp 6.7 trillion bank Century case which is still a mystery.

H. Nizam said...


Thank you for your comprehensive comment.

Although I agree that the Rp 1.500 Minah case is not worth the costs spent for investigation, prosecution and court trial which you estimate Rp 10 to 15 million.
The police or prosecutor should asked the plantation co. to settle the case amicably.
Such settlement could be beneficial for the plantation co. they can start a community development project, which would be good PR for them.

This case would not have been so tragic if the high profile KPK Vs Police and Bank Century cases were processed the same way as the Minah case was processed.