Saturday, January 31, 2009

Matt Mullenweg


" A Great Young Man! "
That's what I thought about Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of the Texas based WordPress blogging platform, after I read a blog post in Ndoro Kakung.

I've got every reason to think that way about Matt, because at the age of 25 years old he has successfully lead WordPress into one of the world's largest free blog provider.

Matt came to Jakarta for the WordPress World Camp on 17 & 18 January 2009. And in an interview with Kompas, Matt said that until the year 2008, 230 million frequent visitors have viewed 6.5 billion pages in WordPress. He also said that there are 280,000 blogs using Indonesian language, making it the Third language used by WordPress bloggers after English and Spanish.

Matt, 25 years old on 11 January 2009, said in his blog that he started his carrier by working at CNET Network in San Fransico. After quitting in late 2005 he established Automatic i.e. the company behind WordPress, Automattic, Akismet, Gravatar, bbPress, Intense Debate, dan BuddyPress. For which, he has been named one of PC World’s Top 50 People on the Web, Inc.com’s 30 under 30, and Business Week’s 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

In spite of his achievements, Matt seems to be a simple man, love to wear Jeans, casual shirt & sport shoes. His hobbies are Photography, playing Jazz music with his Saxophone & Dvorak keyboard.

In conclusion, I felt that Matt Mullenweg is a model young man with very strong passion, willingness to work very hard & maintain good cooperation with others to reach goal in life, not merely for his own personal benefit but also for millions of people around the world. Therefore, we are all lucky to have him.


Pic:Facebook

Friday, January 30, 2009

An Erotic Lawyer

I believe that professional men and women are equal in general; they are only different when expressing private matters, whereby women tend to be less expressive.

In this regards, I found it interesting when I read an article written by Robert J. Ambrogi in Law.com about Deidre Dare, a senior lawyer of U.S based law firm, Allen & Overy, who published an erotic novel “EXPAT” in her website DeidreDare.com. The novel featured the tagline "Philosophy can be Sexy" told a story about an American woman living in Moscow and her sexual adventures with several men from different countries, with very detailed love making scenes. Her story was so crude & vulgar that the law firm ordered her to stop publishing it, and erased her biography from its website.

The above story tells us that every professionals, especially senior ones, should always maintain their public image by always paying attention on standard moral values.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Obama Dolls


Many parents would be happy if their children become models for dolls, but many others would be unhappy like the U.S First Lady Michelle Obama.

According to Law.com Mrs. Obama was unhappy when Ty Inc sells the “Marvelous Malia” and “Sweet Sasha” dolls which resembled her two daughters Malia and Sasha. Mrs. Obama's Press Secretary stated that “it is inappropriate to use young citizens for marketing purposes”.
People has given mixed reaction on this matter, some say that the Obamas can take legal action to stop the sales, but others doubt it because the Obama family are public figures.
Meanwhile, CNN reported that TY Inc.'s spokesperson Tania Lundeen insists that the dolls have nothing to do with the Obama kids.

What happened to the Obamas in this case shows that public figures, especially the top ones, should be willing to sacrifice some of their privacy. In this regards, I hope that our present & futures leaders would be willing to sacrifice their thoughts, energy and time for the happiness of our people.

Image:TyInc.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fatwa about Voting

" A Moslem who does not vote during the election day, is committing a Sinful act(Haram) ", according to the decision (Fatwa) of the Indonesian Moslem Cleric Council (MUI) last Monday, 26 January 2009.

The Jakarta Globe reported that the Speaker of the National Parliament (DPR) Agung Laksono described that MUI has went too far in this case because voting is a political matter, not a religious matter. And our constitution has stipulated that voting is a political right that cannot be forced. However, the said Fatwa was welcomed by the Speaker of the People’s Consultative Council (MPR) Hidayat Nurwahid, who hoped that it will improve the performances of the government, the General Election Committee (KPU), the legislative candidates and the political parties participating in the election.
Meanwhile, Kompas reported that said Fatwa has been supported by the General Election Committee and the People‘s Development Party (PPP) but criticized by two non profit organizations i.e. Lingkar Madani and Setara Institute who both described that the Fatwa would not be useful, because it cannot be enforced legally.

In conclusion, I say that although according to our legal system a Fatwa of MUI is not part of our positive law, therefore could not be enforced legally, however considering MUI is the highest Moslem religious authority said Fatwa will surely have moral impact especially among people living in rural area.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Most Corrupt in Indonesia

Our Police is the most corrupt institution, and Kupang, capital of Nusa Tenggara Timur, is the most corrupt town in 2008, according to the survey by Transparency International Indonesia (TII) as quoted by The Jakarta Globe.

In reaction to this survey, National Police spokesman Abubakar Nataprawira has urged TII to clarify the method used to gather data and asked them to send its finding to the Police so that necessary steps can be taken.

The report is quite surprising, because it has scraped the Parliament & Political parties, No. 2 & 3 last year, from the Most Corrupt Institutions list; while actually in 2008 many of their members were prosecuted for big bribery cases in courts.
Further, the survey’s report that Jakarta is the 35th corrupt city/town is questionable, because Jakarta is the largest city with the largest population, and has long been described by its citizens as “Ibukota lebih Jahat dari Ibu Tiri” i.e. the capital city is more cruel than a step mother, among others because its public officers tends to ask for bribes for their services.

No matter what the result of the survey, actually as citizens we can avoid or at least minimize corruption, i.e. by obeying the laws & regulations, as follows:
1) Always doing things according to the laws & regulation
2) Prepare applications for permits/licence/ID properly & in timely manner
3) Refuse to pay any "extra" payment for any public services
For example, if we violate the traffic signs we should let the Police officer to process settlement through court proceedings, therefore avoid "on the spot" settlement by bribing.

In conclusion, I would like to say that although the result of above survey shows that Corruption is still existing in Indonesia, however if we want we can avoid corruption i.e. by always obeying the laws & regulations in Indonesia.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Recruitment thru Facebook

Until a few months ago, I always thought that Facebook is only used by young people to connect with each other for social activities.

Then, I learned that some commercial enterprises have opened Facebook pages to promote their companies as well as their products/services. And yesterday I read an article written by Robert J. Ambrogi in Law.com regarding the opening of a Facebook page by a Texas Law Firm i.e. Munsch, Hardt, Kopf & Barr to increase visibility among young associates and law students. The page provides video testimonial, photo albums and other information regarding the Firm and its associates.

In view of the above, I felt that this is a very creative recruitment method which is low cost but effective, therefore can be adopted by Law Firms as well as commercial enterprises in our country where Facebook is very popular among young people.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Is U2 infringing Copyright?


An American musician Taylor Deupree has accused the Irish band U2 of infringing his copyright, according to NME.com
Images: Left Deupree's - Right U2.

Deupree said in his blog 12k that the cover of U2’s latest album ‘No Line on the Horizon’ used similar artwork as the cover of Dupree’s 2006 album ‘Specification.Fifteen’.
Ironically, both album covers are using the same photograph of Japanese artist and photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto as basis.

But Deupree refused to take legal action because he believed that U2 has no intention to infringe his artwork, and both have legal permissions to use the photograph. In stead, he said that Sugimoto or U2’s designer could have suggested a different photograph.

In reaction to this controversial issue, U2’s album cover designer team i.e. FourOne explained in U2’s website that the design was based on the title of said album, and Bono’s preference of Sugimoto’s artwork. But they have done something different with Sugimoto’s image, something that is uniquely connected with U2’s music that is by adding the EQUAL sign.

Although Deupree would not press charge against U2 however I sincerely hope that U2 would be more careful in the future whenever they want to use a design or even record music, by always double check the originality.

Images:TaylorDeupree

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama & Ilham Anas


Last night hundreds of millions of people around the world focused their attention on the TV live report of inauguration of the new President of the United States of America Barack Obama.

In Indonesia, Obama is very popular because he has spent 4 years of his childhood living in Jakarta with his American mom, Indonesian step father and a sister. His popularity is so high here that the mass media continuously gave reports about him. Some has even sought and found men who looked like Obama. The most similar one being Ilham Anas, photographer of HAI teen magazine, who appeared in last night’s TransTV show Bukan Empat Mata hosted by Tukul Arwana. Ilham told viewers that his friends at the magazine have distributed his photograph in mailing lists, soon after his photo appeared in Singapore, Australia, and the Philippines. The audience who attended the show looks happy to know and see Ilham Anas who looked similar to Obama. According to Tempo, due to similarity with Obama, Ilham has been reported by international press such as AFP, Reuters, The Daily Express, Fox News, etc. A Filipino Pharmaceutical company has bind him with a one year contract to pose as a model for their commercials. In one TV commercial he appeared with look alike President Arroyo. Ilham is popular there that a Filipino website Pinoy Chronicles called him 'Pinoy Obama'.

In conclusion, I felt very happy that we have Ilham Anas who has been able to make people, in Indonesia & abroad, laugh to see that his face is similar to Obama. I hope that the 'real' Obama would also be able to bring happiness to people around the world, especially in Indonesia.

Pic:NEWS.com.au

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tommy's Cases

Yesterday afternoon, I drank Coffee with two lawyer friends i.e. Liza and Stephanie, at Starbuck, Kelapa Gading. After talking about a case that we handled together, we talked about the news in The Jakarta Post regarding the Verdict of the High Court in London, England, that favored Tommy in a dispute with the Indonesian government over 36 million Euros in overseas bank savings.

Here is an extract of our conversation:
"Tommy is an Invisible Man" Liza said.
“Why do you say that?” I asked
Our law enforcement agencies cannot nail him” Liza said
“Well he had served some time in prison” Stephanie said
“But he escaped for one year, return to prison for a while and released soon after, no punishment for his escape” Liza said.
He should be prosecuted for evading justice” Stephanie said.
“Yeah, but the prosecutor tends to pursue charges that lacks adequate preparations, smart tactic, and strong evidence like murder of judge, graft. Even if they are successful in the lower level courts, however they will fail at the Supreme Court” I said. “That’s why the lawyers often outsmart the prosecutors” Liza said. “Just like the above London case, if our Attorney General Office (AGO) have hired Top Lawyers who mastered the British Legal system, the result of court proceedings would have been different” Stephanie said.
“There is still a possibility to request for judicial review of the London Court Verdict that is by filing an appeal with the British Supreme Court (Privy Council). For which purpose the AGO should hire a Top Lawyer so that proper preparation can be made”. Liza said.

We concluded that the AGO should make proper preparations for every prosecutions by obtaining strong evidence, hire Top Legal Experts if necessary, and carefully decide the legal basis for their actions.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Israeli Internet Offensive


Israel is launching offensives on the Internet to support its war against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, that’s whats the new media said and what I have personally experienced.

The MNC News reported last Thursday that Israel is using the Internet as part of its strategy in the war against the Palestinian people, though its website/blog/e-mail.
And this morning the website Gulf News wrote an article titled: Israel wages a public relations offensive reporting about Israeli’s efforts to use the news media to improve their image.
Beside that, I have my own experience being victimized by Israeli Internet offensive when I placed Google’s Advertisement (Adsense) on the right side of this blog. I agreed to do so because Adsense mentioned that the Advertisements would be suitable with the contents of this blog i.e. things related to the Indonesian Laws, therefore 2 weeks ago I placed 3 display boxes each with a size of 200 x 200 promoting 2 different offers for services/goods, totaling 6 offers. But to my surprise, 3 of the offers were regarding Israel, only 2 regarding Indonesia and another one from other country. Therefore, I changed the display boxes into size: 200x90 as can be seen on the right side of this blog, each box showing 5 offers mostly about Indonesia.

The above experience surprised me because I am neither ANTI nor PRO any party in the Gaza Strip War, as shown in my previous postings in this blog which is specifically about things related to Indonesia. But I am against any acts of Injustice & Violence.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Billy Sindoro & Lippo

During the trial at the Corruption Court (Pengadilan Tipikor) on Monday 12 January, two witnesses have revealed that Billy Sindoro is part of the Lippo Group.

According to The Jakarta Post the Chief Executive Officer of PT Direct Vision Nelia Concapcion Molato has testified that Billy did not have a structural position in the company but he is representative of the Lippo Group who interviewed her to be CEO and she always reported the company’s financial information to him. She said that Lippo and Astro were shareholders of PT Direct Vision in 2005. That year, both companies signed an agreement requiring Astro to provide broadcasting programs to PT Direct Vision, including the English Premier League, in return Lippo would give Astro a 51% share of PT. Direct Vision.
Later, PT Indonusa Telemedia, PT Indosat Mega Media and PT Media Nusantara Citra Sky Vision filed a complaint with the KPPU over the alleged monopoly held by PT Direct Vision over the rights to broadcast English Premier League soccer matches.
In this regards, the IT Manager of PT Lippo E-net Benedict Sulaiman confirmed that Billy was a senior official in Lippo Group. He also said that made the reservation on Sept. 16, 2008 at Aryaduta Hotel, Jakarta, where Billy and a member of the Commission for the Supervision of Business Competition (KPPU) Muhammad Iqbal were arrested by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). At that time Billy gave Iqbal a black bag containing Rp 500 million after the KPPU ruled in favor of Direct Vision in a dispute over the rights to broadcast English soccer matches.

Considering that Billy Sindoro conducted the bribery as a representative of the Lippo Group, therefore the latter should be the (Main) Defendant in the case, and the former merely an accomplice.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Carlos Slim Helu

.
An Indonesian man black mailed World's No. 2 billionaire?

That’s the question that I asked myself after reading The Jakarta Globe about Ahmad Rusli who demanded Mexican Billionaire Carlos Slim Helu to pay US$ 55,000,000.00 for the website www.carlosslimhelu.com.

Ahmad Rusli, who operates the website: ahmadrusli.com, has told an Arbitrator for Website Disputes by e-mail that he registered the site to protect it for Carlos Slim Helu, and he made the demand so as to get the billionaire’s attention. In this connection, last Wednesday, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has ruled that the registration was based on Bad Faith therefore should be transferred to the billionaire.

This case is very interesting for me because I never imagine that a fellow Indonesian could ever do such a bad thing to a top international businessman. In order to know more about Ahmad Rusli, I tried to open the above mentioned websites but failed to do so. It seems that he has vanished into the thin air.

Pic:CarlosSlim

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Jakarta Commitment

Last Monday, 12 January, 22 international financial institutions and donor countries signed The Jakarta Commitment which allows Indonesia to regulate and take the lead on all projects funded by foreign creditors.

According to Kompas, the signing of this commitment will prevent duplication of projects and will optimize debts provided by the 22 Creditors: Asian Development Bank (ADB), French Development Agency (AFD), Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA), Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), New Zealand Agency for International Development(NZAID), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Great Britain's Department of International Development (DfID), the World Bank, the United Nations Organization, the governments of the Australia, Australia, Canada, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherland, Norway, Poland and Sweden.
Indonesian owes the creditors US$ 55.77 billion in debt, consisting of US$ 33.42 billion Bilateral Debt and US$ 18.35 Multilateral Debt. This year, our government plan to get US$ 5.5 billion of Stand by Loan to be used if the government failed to sell half of the State Bonds it plans to issue totaling Rp 99.7 billion.
The most important aspect of the Jakarta Commitment is that it provide possibility for our government to use credits according to our national interest and priority, thereby the Creditors should make its credit plan based on our domestic budget and procurement of goods & services.

Now that we have to opportunity to fully decide what to so with the foreign debt, let us hope that we will be more careful and its usage would wholly be for the benefit of the Indonesian people.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Roy Suryo


In the last few years, Roy Suryo has claimed himself as a Telecommunication expert, and as such he has frequently made high profile statements regarding the photos/ videos of well known public figures in the news media. This has made Roy as famous as his victims.

But considering that his statements were often premature yet arrogant, his victims would release counter statements to defend themselves. His disclosure of photos of the torture of Agung Setiawan has caused Ananda Mikola and Marcella Zalianty very angry. And his statement regarding the use of our Red & White Flag by the band Dewa, has angered Ahmad Dhani. As a result, lawyers of Roy's victims have initiated legal actions against him.

While his feuds with Ananda Nikola and Ahmad Dhani are still unsettled, Roy has angered two sexy actresses Sarah and Rahma Azhari by stating that the photo of their nude photo is real, which imply that both women deliberately let their photo taken. Due to this fact, their lawyer Farhat Abbas accused Roy of violating information ethic, and on 31 December 2008 Rahma Azhari filed a complaint with the National Police Headquarters. Angered by this action, on 8 January Roy reported Farhat to the General Election Supervision Board (Bawaslu), saying that Farhat as a Candidate for Member of Parliament has violated the Election Law by keep on practicing as a Lawyer.

As a person who believe that everyone in this world is born with a purpose, I have a strange feeling that actually a man like Roy Suryo is needed at a time when our country is facing financial crisis i.e. to distract people's attention from the miseries caused by frequent rise in prices of basic living necessities. That way peace and order can be maintained. Only God knows the truth.

Pic:KapanLagi

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Underage Prostitution

This morning I read a shocking news in Detik about the expulsion of 18 female students of a Junior High School ( SMP ) located in West Jakarta for alleged Prostitution practice.

Although the news did not mention about their age, but generally the age of Junior High School students would range from 12 to 16 years old, thus obviously under aged to make any money, and certainly not by selling their bodies.
According to the Head of the Jakarta Education Agency Taufik Yudi, those girls were not expelled but they resigned voluntarily from the school because they have now realized that they have made mistakes. They will be sent to the Center for Community Study Activity (PKBM), where they will be given formal social education under the guidance of the Jakarta Education Agency, and will receive a Junior High School diploma.
Further, Taufik said that this case has been known by his agency, the school and the Department of Education since November 2008. He also said that those students were only victims of Pimps (Sex Mediator) and Sex Seekers, whereby they were lured to sell their bodies in exchange for money. Therefore, those Pimps and Sex Seekers should be arrested. He hopes that the change of school entry time to 6.30 would bring improvement to the Moral, Ethics, and Religious belief of the students.

In view of the above, I think that focusing attention on how to improve the morality of the students would only temporarily stop Underage Prostitution practice. As long as there are Pimps and Sex Seekers who will make use of them, such practice will always exist.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Sarijaya Case

People tend to be blind whenever they have lots of money in their hands.
That’s what I thought when I read the news about the misuse of public fund amounting to Rp 245 Billion in PT Sarijaya Permana Sekuritas (SPS) by the Owner and President Commissioner of said company Herman Ramli.

Here are the highlights:
Tempo reported that 9,000 Customers demanded the Jakarta Stock Exchange (JSX) to give full protection of their fund and expedite their payment. In this regards, JSX President Director Erry Firmansyah promised that the funds shall be protected, for which purpose it is now verifying the asset of SPS. However, according to SPS’s Marketing Director Zulfian Alamsyah, the Cash Fund is still unprotected because since 6 January 2009, the sales of SPS Stocks have been temporarily suspended. Meanwhile, on 24 December 2008 the Police have arrested Herman Ramli so as to facilitate investigation of this case.
Kompas quoted Erry Firmansyah as saying that SPS has given the assets of three companies owned by Herman Ramli to guarantee the fund in SPS, however their value is very much lower than the above mentioned embezzled amount. Further, Kompas reported that the Customers may submit their claim starting Monday, 12 January 2009.
According to Detik the JSX was shocked by this case, because Herman Ramli was known as a man of integrity and has no criminal record, no one think that he would face a similar experience like his brother Rudy Ramli, former President Director of Bank Bali, who was imprisoned in the year 2000 for embezzlement of fund and violation of bank transaction regulations amounting to Rp 589 Billion.

Considering that any misuse of funds in a financial institution would affect public trust on the said institution and other financial institutions as well, therefore this case should be settled immediately & justifiably, otherwise the economy would be affected.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Accusation against ICW


" Your Mouth is Your Tiger! "
That's an addage which imply that people should be very careful whenever they talk, otherwise they might get themselves into trouble.

This addage is perhaps suitable to describe about the Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) which was reported by the Attorney General Office (AGO) to the National Police Headquarters last Wednesday for committing an Act of Defamation against the AGO.
According to The Jakarta Globe, the said report was made following a news in last Monday edition of Rakyat Merdeka tabloid in which two ICW members: Emerson Yuntho & Illian Deta Arta Sari claimed that Prosecutors of the AGO have embezzled state funds recovered from Corruption cases investigated for the last four years. However, Emerson denied having accused the AGO of misusing the funds, he said that he only questionned the difference between the amount claimed by the AGO: Rp 8 Trillion, and the amount reported by the State Audit Agency (BPK): RP 382.67 Billion.

Meanwhile, Kompas reported that the AGO's report to the Police has been critized by the Coordinator of the Indonesian Anti Corruption Community (MAKI) Boyamin S. who said that as a state institution the AGO should be protecting people instead of taking action against people who critized it. Further, a member of Parliament (DPR) Gayus Lumbuun said according to the Criminal Prosedural Law (KUHAP) Article 220, Prosecutors and Judges cannot handle law cases in which they are involved as one of the conflicting parties. Therefore, if the report against ICW is followed by next step i.e Prosecution, then there is no Prosecutor who is eligible to do that.
In reaction to the above criticism, Attorney Generan Hendarman Supanji said that the AGO is not alergic to criticism, but in this case they are only using their right to defend themselves against allegation.

This is an interesting case, on the one hand it would serve as a lesson for the people in general, and ICW in particular, to be very extra careful when making a public statement. On the other hand, it would serve as a warning to state officials to do their job properly because their actions are closely monitored by the public. That way, wrong doings can be prevented or at least minimized.

Image:AnimationLibrary

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Astro TV Case


The Indonesian Ministry of Communication & Information has warned PT Direct Vision, local provider of ASTRO TV, that its broadcasting license may be terminated if it does not resume operation by 20 January 2009.

Kompas quoted the Ministry's Director of Communication & Information Facilities Freddy Tulung as saying that according to the Broadcasting Law, License of a TV broadcasting company that has not operating for three consecutive months may be requested for termination with a District Court. Whereas, PT Direct Vision has stopped broadcasting since 20 October 2008. The Ministry has asked PT Direct Vision several times about the cessation of broadcast and about three matters that concerns public interests: its Customers, its Employee and provider of Broadcasting Contents.
But, PT Direct Vision only replied with their letter 6 January 2009 to inform about their conflict with the Malaysian providers of its broadcasting contents i.e MEASAT Broadcast Network Sdn, Bhd, All Asia Multimedia Networks, and Astro All Asia Network plc. In a letter dated 20 October 2008, PT. Direct Vision mentioned that they have to stop broadcasting because ASTRO Malaysia refused to extend the ASTRO Trademark Agreement and also stopped the Satellite Transmission of their TV Programs.
Meanwhile, Tempo reported that when it stopped broadcasting, PT. Direct Vision has 270,000 Customers and 5,000 employees.

Considering the above, I hope that the Ministry of Communication & Information would make sure that any decision would not inflict losses to the former Customers and Employees of PT. Direct Vision.

Image:AstroTV

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Abducted by the CIA


How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a Rolling Stone

That's the ending lyric of Bob Dylan's Song Like A Rolling Stone which tells about a person who is alone and lost.

I haven't heard that song for more than 10 years, but yesterday I suddenly start to hum the song once again after reading an article in The Jakarta Globe about the release of Muhammad Saat Iqbal after being detained by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for seven years without any Court Trial.
Iqbal, a Pakistani, was suspected by the CIA as member of Al Qaeda capable of making a Shoe Bomb. He was arrested in a joint operation between the CIA and Indonesia's State Intelligence Board (BIN) during his visit to Jakarta on 9 January 2002. Two days later, he was flown to Egypt, then Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay where he was detained for five years. During all those time Iqbal was badly tortured but no criminal charges was made against him. And when he was released in August 2008 he had difficulty walking, his left ear was severely infected and he was dependent on antibiotics and antidepressants. Due to these facts, Iqbal's American Lawyer Richard L. Cys of Davis Wright Tremaine, who visited him in Guantanamo, planned to sue the American government for the unlawful detention of Iqbal.

What happened to Iqbal is terribly awful. No human being can be treated so cruel by another human being, no matter what he/she has done, especially if he/she has never been proven guilty of any crime. I sincerely hope that it would never happen again to anybody else in the future.

Image:AnimationLibrary

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Aging Supreme Judges


According to our country's legal system, the Supreme Court is the highest Court of Law, therefore last resort to obtain ordinary legal remedy for any disputes, in Indonesia. As such the Supreme Judges should consists of highly respectable persons whose seniority & quality are above average Indonesians.

Perhaps that's the reason why the Government & the Parliament (DPR) have insisted on extending the retirement age of the Supreme Judges from 67 to 70 years old, in spite of public protests that the life expectancy of average Indonesians is only around 65 years old.

However, it seems that things does not always work out the way one wants them to be.
That's what I thought when I read the news about the collapse of Vice Chairman of the Supreme Court Harifin A. Tumpa (66) when he inaugurated six new Supreme Judges and five new Head of High Courts on 30 December 2008.
In this regards, The Jakarta Post quoted Illean D.A Sari of the Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) as saying that the health of a Supreme Judge will have a strong effect on the upholding of justice. She said that people at the age of more than 65 are prone to illness and would effect the handling of cases at the Supreme Court. Whereas a Political Expert of University of Indonesia Lili Romli questioned the purpose of extending the age of the Supreme Judges. He suspected a Hidden Agenda behind this decision.

Due to the above unfortunate fact, I sincerely hope that although Supreme Judges can hold their job until they are 70 years old, however in order to safeguard the smooth processing of Cassation cases, it would be better if the Candidates Supreme Judges would be much younger.

Image:AnimationLibrary

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Gaza Strip Tragedy


In 1948 the state of Israel was establised in teritory regarded by the Arabian people as belonging to Palestinians. Since then Arab countries have declared several wars against Israel, and every time the Indonesian government and people, including news media, would always take side on the Arabs.

In order to know the reason for such 'blind' support, we need to take a look at our country's historical & religious backgrounds:
1)The religion of the majority of Indonesian people is Islam which originated in Saudi Arabia
2)The basis of Islam is the Holy Qur’an which is (legitimately) written in Arabic
3)Many Indonesian Arabs become leaders of Islamic groups/ institutions in Indonesia
4)Our Constitution recommend our country's participation in preserving world peace
Such support is clearly shown when the Gaza Strip fighting between Palestine and Israel fighting broke almost two weeks ago, whereby according to The Jakarta Post the Chairman of the Indonesian Moslem Cleric (MUI) has urged Indonesian to boycott products Made in U.S.A as the supporter of Israel. Further, many radical Moslems has volunteered to go to the Gaza Strip to join the fight against Israel.

However, when fighting between both parties escalates from Rocket fire exchange to ground offensive by the Israeli causing more than 500 Palestinian dead, I noticed that there has been a shift in opinion. In this regards The Jakarta Globe has quoted the Chairman of the Indonesian Press Unity (PWI) Ichnasul Amal as saying that our news media were biased against Israel and “clearly siding” with the Palestinians. Further, the Chairman of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Nezar Patria was quoted as saying that our media should include peaceful perspective in their reporting, and it would not trigger religious tension.

In conclusion, I felt that although our historical & religious back grounds have placed Arabs as favorites, and we do not condone killing of innocent people, however we must also remember that the wars/fighting between Arab & Israel is caused by Territorial dispute over the Land of Palestine, thus not a religious dispute, which can only be settled through negotiations. On the contrary, radical emotional support would not not end the suffering of the Palestinians.

Image:Mideastweb

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to School


Today, 5 January 2009, students in Jakarta return to their school again after spending a long Christmas, Muslim New Year and International New Year holidays.

And due to the rumors that have been spreading in the past few months about the change of School Entry Time from 7.00 am to 6.30 am, yesterday I called my son’s teacher and was informed that there is no change. Therefore, this morning me and my son left our home at 6.15 and arrived at the school at 6.30, and found that everything, including traffic condition, is still the same as usual.
But considering that serious preparation for said change has been made, a.o. by providing 34 special Free of Charge School Bus, I was curious about it. So I browsed the Net and found that there is still no certainty about the school time. Some schools have adjusted their schedules, but many others have not done so.
Tempo wrote that this morning the traffic is still jammed in spite of the change in school entry time. While Kompas wrote that the School Buses are still empty, and quoted some teachers as saying that this change of time would cause problems for the teachers not the children. This is obvious because many teachers are living far away from their schools, and they also have children of their own that they should take care.
Further, Detik wrote that some schools still adopt the same entry time as before.

Considering the above, I assume that the uncertainty of the change of school time is caused by the fact that the Jakarta government has still not issued a regulation about this. In this regards, I remember an article in Bisnis which quoted the Vice Governor of Jakarta Priyanto as saying that such regulation should be issued by 5 December 2008. Until then we can only hope that the said regulation will treat everyone i.e. students-their parents and teachers wisely. Beside that, hopefully better efforts would be made to solve the traffic jam problem such as by building more roads, and realizing the long pending Monorail construction, and Subway.

Image:BigFoto

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Russian Mafia & Prostitution


Prostitution is the Oldest Profession in the World
That’s an old adage that people used to quote whenever they are talking about Prostitution.

And that’s exactly what I have in my mind when I read an article in Kompas about the Russian Mafia 's business activities in Jakarta and other cities in South East Asia, which includes making arrangements for Prostitutes from Russia and other Eastern Europe countries to work as Lady Escorts and Massaseurs. The article quoted some of the women as saying that they left their countries because the Prostitution Tariff there is very cheap compared to other countries. Over there, for a short time service they would only be paid US$ 50.00, while over here they will be paid US$ 150.00.
The article further mentioned that beside from Eastern European countries, there are also Prostitutes from China practicing in Jakarta.

Unfortunately, the article did not mention about the working status of those women, whether they are legal or illegal. But considering that our country has never issued Working Permit for Foreign Lady Escort or Massaseurs, and obviously there is no such thing as Permit for Prostitution either for Locals or Foreigners, therefore most likely Working Status of those women are illegal.
The existence of those Foreign Prostitutes in Indonesia is an irony, because we often read, heard, or saw news about Government’s efforts to eliminate Local Prostitutes by conducting frequent Police Raids on Hotels, Motels, Room Rentals, Nigh Clubs, Bars and the streets. Although the fact shows that soon after the raids are over, those Prostitutes would show up again.

In conclusion I would like to say that if we want to eliminate or at least minimize Prostitution Practices, serious efforts must be made by the government and its Law Enforcement agencies against all Prostitutes, Locals and Foreigners, that is by being consistent in implementing the laws and regulations.

Image:BigFoto

Saturday, January 3, 2009

No more Fiscal in 2011

We often heard government officials complaining that there are very few people in Indonesia who wants to register themselves as Tax Payer.

According to the PR Director of the Directorate General of Tax Djoko Slamet, as reported by Kompas, currently there are only 10 mio. citizens who have Tax Payer Identification Number (NPWP), which is very low compared to the the total of 230 mio. population of Indonesia.
In order to attract more people to register as Tax Payer, starting 1 January 2009, the government will not charge owners of NPWP with Fiscal i.e. Fee for going outside Indonesia. On the contrary, those who do not own NPWP will be charged with Fiscal amounting to Rp 2,5 mio. which higher than the previous amount of Rp 1 mio. But, this will only go on until end of 2010, because starting 1 January 2011 the government will not charge Fiscal anymore. Citizens, with or without NPWP, will be free to travel abroad.

In spite of the fact that this is a Real Good News for us, however the plan to stop Fiscal Fee would mean that the government would loose certain revenue. I only hope that such loss would not be compensated by increasing other Tax. Let us keep our fingers crossed!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Munir Murder Case


House of Justice painted Green.
Money Talking!

That's the beginning of the song titled And Justice For All by Metallica, which implies that the Court of Law cannot provide Justice because of bribery practices.

I am not sure whether that's what crossed the minds of those who protested against the Verdict of the District Court of South Jakarta last Wednesday, 31 December 2008, which freed former Deputy Chief of the State Intelligence Board (BIN) Muchdi Pr from charges of murder of human rights activist Munir in 2004. But one thing for sure is that lately the mass media has been reporting very frequently about the Verdict, as follows:
Kompas wrote that the Council of Judges of said Court make the decision because there is no evidence which prove that Muchdi Pr is responsible for the murder.
While Okezone quoted Munir's wife Suciwati as saying that Muchdi and former BIN Chief Hendroprijono are involved in the murder, together with Polycarpus who has been found guilty by the Supreme Court. Therefore she urged anyone who knew any information regarding these three persons to contact her. And the Committee for the Solidarity of Munir (Kasum) urged the Attorney General Office to file Cassation against the said Verdict with the Supreme Court, and will request the Judicial Commission to analyze the Verdict.
According to The Jakarta Globe, the Judicial Commission will meet to discuss about the Verdict next Monday. Whereas the Attorney General Office is preparing to file a Cassation against the Verdict with the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Tempo wrote that President SBY will study the Verdict, and shall discuss it with the Head of National Police and the Attorney General afterwards.

In view of the above, it would be best if the Law Enforcement agencies i.e the Police, the Attorney General Office, as well as the Judicial Committee and the Court to review this case once again, so that Justice will Prevail.

Image:Animation Library

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome 2009


Happy new year, Happy new year .....
May we all have a vision now and then
Of a world where every neighbor is a friend
Happy new year, Happy new year ......
May we all have our hopes, our will to try
If we don't we might as well lay down and die
You and I

(Refrain of the song Happy New Year by ABBA)

Many things that have Happened and Finalized in 2008 will become memories, and many others which are not yet finalized will become our Home Work for 2009. In Indonesia, there are so many works which have not been completed in 2008, therefore should be finalized in 2009, included therein matters related to the Laws & Regulations, a.o. as follows:
1)Judicial Reviews of many existing Laws a.o Anti Porn Law;BHP
2)Corruption Cases a.o Sisminbakum;Consulate in Malaysia;
3)Celebrity cases a.o Marcella;Roy Suryo etc.
4)Lapindo Mudflow in East Java, which is still unsettled
5)Illegal Logging in many parts of Indonesia
6)Disputes over election results, a.o. in East Java
Beside that, in 2009 we will have two Extremely Important National Agenda i.e. the Parliamentary Election and Presidential Election.
All the above will be carried out amid the worsening impact of the Global Financial Crisis.

In this regards, I would like to quote the words of famous Fortune Teller Mama Lauren in Trans7 show Bukan Empat Mata last night that our country's economic condition will become worst this year. Therefore it would be advisable for each and everyone of us, especially leaders, to be very careful in whatever we do, so that stability can be maintained.

As a conclusion, I felt that in spite of all the challenges that we and our country will face in 2009, as long as we remain cool, keep our hopes high, stick together and work extra hard, we will be able to survive successfully.

Pic:BigFoto