Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Year ......................

William Arthur Ward 
Another fresh new year is here …
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
  To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
 To live each day with zest …
To daily grow and try to be
  My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
     Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
  And sing more joyful songs!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Orphans locked-up in Tasikmalaya

The Khasanah Kautsar orphanage in Tasikmalaya, West Java, was sealed off by the government on Dec. 18. Tasikmalaya Mayor Syarif Hidayat said the lock-up was at the public
I believe that children who do not have parents a.k.a Orphans, are very unfortunate people therefore their well being should be protected.

That's why I was sad when I read on The Jakarta Globe that the Police and Prosecutor in Tasikmalaya, West Java, have locked up some orphans inside an Ahmadiyah Orphan Home since 18 December 2010.

The Mayor of Tasikmalaya was quoted as saying the the lock-up was requested by the public, and if they were not locked-up, they are afraid that the so called Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) might take action.

The worst thing was that only the National Commission for Protection of Children (Komnas Anak) cared about this sad matter.

I wonder where is the Minister of Social who is supposed to take care of matters related to Orphans. Is he too busy accompanying the President watching our national team's matches in the recent AFF-Suzuki Cup football tournament ?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Malaysia: Champion, Indonesia: Runner-Up

The Indonesian team beats the Malaysian team this evening with a score of 2-1 in the second leg of the Final Round of the AFF-Suzuki Cup football tournament in Jakarta.

However, the Indonesian team failed to be Champion, because the Malaysian team have beat them with a score of 0-3 in the first leg match in Kuala Lumpur last Sunday.

Therefore, the Malaysian team became the Champion, congratulations! and the Indonesian team became Runner-Up, congratulations!.

In spite of this fact, I am very proud of our team's players, Nasuha and Ridwan who made the above two goals, Gonzales, Okto, Arif, Irfan, Markus and all the other players for their hard works. Thank you very much!
 
A very big thank you to Coach Alfred Riedl and his assistants who have done their very best to our team.

Moreover, I would like to thank 80,000 supporters of our team who have watched tonight's match peacefully at the Bung Karno Stadium.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Multiple Vehicles Ownership Tax

The condition of traffic in the city of Jakarta and vicinity is getting worse every day.

To solve this problem, the city government have limited the numbers of cars allowed to enter certain roads  during rush hours, built Toll-roads circling the city's inner and outer parts, built the Busway system, and asked schools to start half an hour earlier (from 7 am to 6.30 am). Unfortunately, those efforts  failed, and the city's traffic condition is getting worse.

Due to this fact, the city government plan to impose additional Tax to citizens who have more than one vehicle Please find below an article that I have quoted from AFP.

In this connection, I felt that the best solution would be to build a mass rapid transportation system i.e. by resuming the construction of the Mono-Rail system that was stopped many years ago start building subway system, and build many more roads.


JAKARTA — Drivers in Jakarta are to face a rising tax bill for each vehicle they own from January in a bid to ease worsening traffic jams in the Indonesian capital, a spokesman said Tuesday.

"The Jakarta city administration will impose higher tax for owners of multiple motorised vehicles starting from January 3, 2011," Jakarta administration spokesman Cucu Ahmad Kurnia said.

"We hope the higher taxes will reduce traffic congestion as the number of vehicle users in Jakarta is already high. Hopefully, more people will use public transportation," he said.

The number of vehicles in Jakarta and its environs has almost tripled in the last decade to more than 9.5 million according to the Indonesian Transport Society.

Under the new rules, the present 1.5 percent tax level remains for the first car and motorcycle a person owns. This rises to 2.0 percent for their second, 2.5 percent for their third and 4.0 percent for every subsequent vehicle.

Authorities have been looking for ways to address problems in greater Jakarta, which has around 20 million inhabitants, including shifting the capital to a less populated area in the archipelago.

Experts predict the city, which has an ageing bus network and no underground train system, will reach total gridlock by 2014, with every main road and backstreet clogged with barely moving cars.

Drivers will see their costs rise further in March when the subsidy for petrol is cut, leaving a litre (a quarter of a gallon) of higher grade fuel costing around 9,000 rupiah (one dollar), up from the current price of 4,500 rupiah.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Getting Ready for the next Match

The Indonesian national football team was beaten 0-3 by the Malaysian team during the first leg of the Final Round of the AFF-Suzuki Cup in Kuala Lumpur last night.

During the first 45 minutes of the match, both teams have been playing quite balanced, therefore no goal was made.

In the next 45 minutes, the matched was stopped for awhile after our team's goal keeper Markus Horison protested against the frequent use of laser beams that struck his eyes thus obstructed his sightings. But after five minutes the match was resumed.

Our national players became discouraged and unfocused after the Malaysian players made their first goal, followed by second and third goals.

In my opinion, our team lose the match because the players do not play as good as they used to be, and the Malaysian team has played very well.

In spite of the above, I believe that our team still has a chance to become champion if it can get more than three goals in the second leg of the Final Round which will be held in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Why ? Because the players will be playing in front of more than 80,000 supporters and on the same old ground where they have beaten the same Malaysian team 5 - 1 few weeks ago.

Let us hope that our team will learn from their mistakes and do a lot much better this time.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Football and Nationalism

 On 14 July1969, a Football War broke out between two Central American countries i.e El Salvador and Honduras.

The war (ended on 18 July 1969) was caused by political tensions between both countries that coincides with inflamed rioting between fans of their football teams during the second North American qualifying round for the 1970 FIFA World Cup. For details on the Football War, please click here.

This Football War shows that a Football match is not just an ordinary sport match but it can also be a competition between national prides of the countries competing in the matches.

This is quite obvious because unlike other sports e.g Badminton, Tennis, Athletics, which rely on individual skills of the player, in Football, a player must not only be good playing by himself, but he must also be good playing with ten other members of his team.

Most countries have their national football teams with members consisting of best players in their country, to compete against other country's national teams.

Like in other countries, football in Indonesia is played by men from all walks of life almost every time there is a celebration, that is why Football is often described as the People's Sport.
But until the recently, the condition of football here was actually not good whereby our team loose many times against other countries.

But all that has changed after the Indonesian national team won all five matches in the qualifying round of the 2010 AFF-Suzuki Cup. Therefore, many people who never enjoy watching football matches before, like children, ladies, famous celebrities, have became supporters of our team. Every day all the news media reported about our national team players, their private lives etc.

Tickets for the 85,000 seats of the main stadium in Jakarta have been sold-out during the last several games

Our national team's fans are so fanatic that they are willing to travel to Kuala Lumpur where our national team will meet Malaysia in the First leg of Final Round tonight, whereby 15,500 tickets allocated for fans of our team have been sold-out.

For the last several days, they have been willing queue for many hours to buy tickets for the second leg which will held in Jakarta on 29 December 2010. This is amazing considering that the prices of tickets are very high i.e. between 50,000 Rupiah (US$ 5+) and 1 million Rupiah (US$ 100+), compared to the prices of tickets in Malaysia i.e. RM 30 (87,000 Rupiah) and RM 50 (144,500 Rupiah). For details on the Tickets, please click here.

I am very happy with this rising nationalism among our people in supporting our national team. I hope that our leaders in the government, parliament and judiciary bodies would be able to use this momentum to gain support for development programs that benefits our country and people.


Logo : Courtesy of AFF-Suzuki Cup.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Indonesian Unity: a Fact or a Myth ?


Indonesia is the fourth most populated countries in the world after China, India and the United States.

Its 240 million people consist of so many different ethnics, culture, religions, living on more than 17,000 islands.
The majority of the people are Moslems therefore making Indonesia the largest Moslem country in the world. However, its laws also officially recognize five other religions i.e. Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Budha, and Confucius.

Besides, Indonesia has an official Coat of Arms i.e. the Garuda (above image) which depicted important basis for the country i.e. Pancasila and Bhineka Tunggal Ika.

Pancasila is the official philosophical foundation consisting of five principles i.e Belief in God, Humanity, Unity, Democracy, and Social Justice.

And Bhineka Tunggal Ika is the official Moto of the nation that means : Unity in Diversity.

In spite of the above mentioned facts, some people in Indonesia are seemingly not satisfied with what's going on in the country. There are several possible reasons for that.

First, the development of the country is almost concentrated in the Island of Java where majority of the people live and enjoyed a large portion of the country's wealth.

Secondly, people of minority religions have been treated unfairly, and the government has seemingly reacted  indecisively.

For example, attack on Christians churches by few Muslim fanatics might have been prevented if the government firmly decide whether or not to give permission. And further attacks would not occurred if the attackers have properly been tried in court and punished for violating the laws. 

Considering that most Moslems in Indonesia are moderates who have tolerated religious differences for 65 years since our independence, I hope that the government would make better efforts to maintain the diversity, and be more firm quick in handling problems related to diversity, so that Indonesian Unity would always be a fact of life.

To those who are celebrating Christmas, I wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas.

Photo of Garuda : Courtesy of  Wikipedia.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Who must be responsible for the death of asylum-seekers ?

Asylum seekers boat off Christmas Island

Since Iraq and Afghanistan were invaded by the United States and its allies several years ago, their people have been facing never ending problems forcing many of them to seek asylum in other countries..

One of the destination for the asylum-seekers is Australia, a country with a land area of more than three times the size of Indonesia yet with a population of less than one tenth of Indonesia.

Unfortunately, in spite of its full support for the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, the government of Australia has been very reluctant to receive those asylum-seekers. This has caused some tragic accidents..

According to The Australian, there were at least five asylum seekers' boats sailing from Indonesia to Australia that were missing since 2008.

And last week, a boat carrying 90 asylum-seekers from Iran, Iraq and Kurdistan crash landed on the rocks of Christmas Island,  Australia.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was quoted by ABC as saying that the number of dead people could hit 50.

Considering the above, I wonder who should be responsible for those tragic accidents and deaths :
1)  The asylum seekers themselves ? who insisted on going to Australia although they know they were not wanted there. Or
2)  The Indonesian government ? who have let those people sail to Australia although they know that they were not wanted there. Or
3)  The Australian government ? who always refused to receive them and always drove them away.

Photo :  Courtesy of ABC.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Orang Utan Rescue

Every year, around 2,000 to 3,000 Orang Utan died because of loss of habitat i.e. forests in the Island of Kalimantan a.k.a Borneo, that are tranformed  into commercial plantations.

Today there are only around 45,000 to 55,000 Orang Utan left, most of them in Indonesian provinces on the Southern part of the Island, and 15,000 in Malaysian States on the Northern part of the Island.

Efforts have been made to rescue the Orang Utan from extinction, details of which can be found on the article I quoted from The Star (below).

Sunday December 19, 2010  

My mother was burnt alive

By Amy Chew
sundaymetro@thestar.com.my

The orang utan is our closest ‘relative’ yet we have taken more than our fair share of the land, destroying their habitat, driving them to certain death. Two foundations are racing against time to lease forest land to shelter them. They need our help.

THIS cuddly, adorable baby orang-utan is an orphan in Indonesia’s Central Kalimantan. Thousands of them are also found in Sumatra island and Malaysia’s state of Sabah and Sarawak.

Under what circumstances his mother died, his carers at the Nyaru Menteng Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre do not know.

 
                                       Helpless: This baby orang utan is an orphan in 
     Indonesia’s Central Kalimantan Nyaru Menteng 
Rehabilitation Centre.

But what is certain she met with a cruel and violent end – hacked to pieces, burnt or shot to death – like so many others before her.

As forest land is cleared by legal and illegal logging, palm oil and other agricultural plantations, thousands of orang utans are losing their habitat and source of food.

Hungry and desperate for food, they sometimes wander into palm oil plantations and eat the shoots of young plants where plantation workers will kill them in the most inhumane way.
“Palm oil workers, often offered a bounty, will take out these orang utan by any means possible,” says Michelle Desilets, founder of the Orang Utan Land Trust (OLT).

“Our rescue teams have found orang utan beaten unconcious and buried alive, butchered with machetes, beaten to death with iron bars and wooden planks,” she says.

“There have been times when the workers douse the orang utan with petrol and then throw a lighted match, burning them alive,” Desilet adds.

Every year, an estimated 2,000-3,000 orang utan perish from the loss of their habitat, causing them to die of starvation or suffer cruel deaths.

 
                                       Safe: A baby Orang Utan from the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre.

Orang utan also die when forests fires break out, either set alight by the dry season, or deliberate burning by errant plantations or traditional farmers.

The orang utan, which means people of the forest, is our closest relative. It has a DNA which is almost 98% of that of a human being.

Only two percent separate us from these highly-intelligent creatures who have the capacity to feel the same emotions as a human being – pain, joy or sorrow.

The female orang utan are amongst the most protective mammals in the animal kingdom, who will give up their lives to protect their young.

When poachers hunt for baby orang utan to be sold off at a princely sum to animal traffickers, they always have to kill the mother who will defend her young to her last breath.
It is estimated that only 45,000-55,000 orang utan are left in the wild. Of that, 11,000 are in Sabah and another 4,000 in Sarawak.
More than a century ago, some scientists estimate there could have been as many as a million of these creatures.

OLT and Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS) are working together to secure land in Kalimantan to save the orang utans from extinction.
OLT, a registered charity in England and Wales, supports sustainable solutions for the long-term survival of the orang utan in the wild by securing safe forests for their continued existence.

“If we can secure forests BEFORE it is cleared, then fewer orang utans will face this fate ... so that orang utans do not face a lifetime in a cage in a rescue centre,” said Desilets.
BOS is an non-profit organisation with the vision to establish a Bornean orang utan conservation in its natural habitat. It’s financial reports are audited annually by reputable auditors.
BOS, with the support of OLT, is raising money to lease 300,000ha of tropical forest land spread across the vast expanse of Kalimantan to save the orang utan from certain death.

The 60-year-lease for the 300,000ha from the Indonesian government costs 45 billion rupiah (RM15.9 million).

“To date, BOS Foundation has raised 13 billion rupiah (RM4.56 million) to pay for the licence fee in East Kalimantan for an area of 86,450 hectares,” said BOS chairman Togu Manurung.
BOS still needs to raise the remaining sum of money to pay for licence fees for the remaining 213,550 hectares of land as well as to fund the costs of transporting the orang utan to leased forest land.
With 25ha of rainforest being destroyed every minute, time is running out.
Instead of another nice dress or shirt, why not give someone a meaningful Christmas gift by donating to give the orang utan a chance to live?
In doing so, we restore our own humanity, worthy to be called human.


God Bless My Mother

This morning I've got a Tweet from social activist Fahira Fahmi Idris who reminded me and several others that today is Mother's Day, and asked us what are our very best memory with our mothers.

I Tweeted back and say that there are lots of very best memories that I have with my mother, most of which occurred until I reached the age of 22.

Yeah, there are uncountable very good memories that I have with her, starting from the time my mother gave birth to me in New Delhi, when my father was assigned to the Indonesian Embassy there.

And every time our family moved to other countries, my mother always guided me in adopting with different schools, cultures, languages, etc.

When I entered the university to study Law, my mother helped me learned Dutch which she spoke quite well.

Beside that, my mother has always been a great cook, always love and tried to satisfy her family in every way, almost never show anger.

Now, my beloved mother is 80 years old, thank God she is still physically quite strong and healthy, and it is my turn to serve and guide her and my father the way that they have always loved and cared for me, so that they will always be happy and healthy.

In this connection, I would like to wish every mothers around the world, especially in Indonesia, a Happy Mother's Day!

Photo : Courtesy of Urbania to Stoneheads.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

McMenemy and Rahma Azhari

Two days have passed since the Indonesian football team beats the Philippines a.k.a Azkals 1-0 in the Semi Final of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Tournament last Sunday, but the news media in both countries are still discussing about match.

While our media focused on final matches versus Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on 26 December, and Jakarta on 29 December, Filipino media discussed about their team's failure, and relationship between their British coach Simon McMenemy and Indonesian actress Rahma Azhari after the match in Jakarta                  

Please find below an article quoted from the Filipino media ABS-CBN News.

Indonesian actress gets cozy with Azkals coach
Posted at 12/21/2010 12:56 AM | Updated as of 12/21/2010 11:32 AM
MANILA, Philippines – Who is Rahma Azhari?
Google her name and head to the images section. Satisfied?
Now imagine her in the arms of the Philippine Azkals’ British coach Simon McMenemy.
Wait, don’t imagine anymore. 
Azhari has already uploaded a photo of her and McMenemy together during a party in Jakarta. 
“Hhhmm goodbye simon, have a nice trip back to manila xoxo,” the Indonesian actress said in her Twitter account

The Jakarta Post believes that the pictures were taken at a nightclub in Jakarta after the Azkals’ AFF Suzuki Cup semifinal match against Indonesia on Sunday.
“He's just a friend... What a lovely person... Glad to actually met him! Had a great time!” Azhari tweeted. 
“Yes that’s him... McMenemy feverrr... :))," she added.

The 29-year-old Azhari, who is also a model for men’s magazines, is a magnet for controversy, according to Indonesian media.
She made the headlines in the world’s most populous Muslim country in November 2008 after naked pictures of her and her sister, Sarah Azhari, made rounds on the Internet.

Other photographs of her with men in compromising positions are also shown online in various Indonesian blogs.  The 32-year-old McMenemy was unavailable for comment.
Two Azkals players, brothers James and Phil Younghusband, earlier set female Indonesian Twitter users on fire. 

While their national team was busy playing against the Philippines, Indonesian girls were swooning on the Internet over the Younghusbands.

“I fall in love with nomer 10 philpin #younghusband,” said @flegong, highlighting her post with hashtags to be read by more users of the microblogging service.

Even Indonesian men were bitten by the Younghusband bug. 
“#TimnasIndonesia #TimnasIndonesia #TimnasIndonesia Bonus #Younghusband,” said Agus Siswoyo.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Indonesia vs Philippines 1-0 again!


Indonesian football striker Cristian Gonzales once again show his ability when he made the only goal in the second leg of the match between Indonesia and the Philippines in the AFF-Suzuki Cup tournament in Jakarta.

This goal was made at the 43rd minutes of the first half of the match. With this victory, the Indonesian team will go to the final and play versus Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on 26 December (1st. leg) and Jakarta on 29 December (2nd. leg).

A big thank you and congratulations to our national team and coaches lead by Alfred Riedl. I hope that they would do their very best to improve the team's weaknesses, especially coordination between goal keeper Markus Horison and the other players.

One thing that amazed me was that our team's 5 victories, against Malaysia, Laos, Thailand, Philippines (2x) have unified the Indonesian people who gave their support enthusiastically, which can be seen from the large audience at the stadium, 80,000 in the last two matches, quite peacefully.

Photo our national team :  Courtesy of The Jakarta Globe

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Linkin Park - "The Catalyst" (lyrics)

God bless us everyone
We're a broken people living under loaded gun
And it can't be outfought
And it can't be outdone
It can't be outmatched
It can't be outrun
No! (cheer)

And when I close my eyes tonight
To symphonies of blinding light
(God bless us everyone
We're a broken people living under loaded gun)
Oh! (Cheer)

Like memories in cold decay
Transmissions echoing away
Far from the world of you and I
Where oceans bleed into the sky


For details, please visit Linkin Park's website www.linkinpark.com.

My Own Domain ..... at last!

Hi Guys,

I have registered a personal domain for this blog :  www.multibrand.biz.

But for the time being, I can still be reached at    :  multibrand.blogspot.com.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Harry Nizam
twitter.com/multibrand
facebook.com/multibrand

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Latest News on the Ariel Case

Last Monday, the District Court of Bandung, West Java, held a trial of the Sex Video case that involved singer Ariel as Defendant, and two celebrities i.e. Cut Tari and Luna Maya.

Please find below an article about the trial that I have quoted from Kompas.

Indonesian rock star stands trial over web sex videos
Senin, 13 Desember 2010 | 19:10 WIB
Nazriel Ariel was interviewed from inside a cell room prior to his trial in Bandung in November 2010.               AFP
 
BANDUNG, KOMPAS.com - An Indonesian court played sequences from a rock star’s sex videos at his trial on Monday for allegedly spreading the clips on the Internet in breach of an anti-pornography law.

The closed hearing also heard testimony from television celebrity Cut Tari, 33, who told reporters outside court that she had admitted to having sex with singer Nazril Ariel, 29, in one of the videos.

If convicted, Ariel faces 12 years in jail and fines of up to six billion rupiah (672,000 dollars) for offences including distributing pornography on the Internet.

“I confessed that it was me in the video and the man was Ariel,” said Tari, wearing a black blazer and accompanied by her husband.

Reporters were not allowed inside the courtroom in Bandung, West Java, but they were allowed to peer through the windows. They saw Tari approach the bench to view a brief segment of one of the offending videos on a laptop.

The trial is being held behind closed doors to protect public morals in the mainly Muslim country, where the sex scandal — dubbed “Peterporn” after Ariel’s band Peterpan — has caused a national sensation. A second X-rated video widely distributed online earlier this year apparently features Ariel with another television personality, Luna Maya, 27.

Defence lawyer Alfian Bonjol said however that Ariel denied appearing in the steamy sex tapes. “My client denied that it was him in the video,” he told reporters, dismissing Tari’s testimony without further explanation.

Prosecutor Rusmanto said that according to Tari’s testimony, the video was made between 2005 and 2006. The clips have been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people online and sparked fears about immorality spreading among the Southeast Asian country’s youths through the Internet.

Islamic hardliners have called for the rock’n’roll singer to receive the maximum punishment. Some have called for Tari to be publicly stoned to death for adultery. About 40 Muslim extremists shouted slogans outside the court and trampled on pictures of Ariel, Maya and Tari.

Ariel has been detained since he surrendered to police on June 22 amid a media circus over the explicit videos. Neither Maya nor Tari has been charged with any offence. Both women have lost lucrative marketing deals as a result of the scandal.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Indonesia vs Philippines : 1 - 0

The Indonesian national football team beats the Philippines 1-0 in the AFF-Suzuki Cup Semi Final at the Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta.

                           Christian Gonzales
 
The single goal was made by striker Christian Gonzales at the 32nd minutes of the first round, watched by 80,000 people including President SBY and the First Lady Ani Yudoyono.

According on AFF rules, the Semi Final should be held on a home and away basis,  and tonight's match was supposed to be hosted by the Philippines in their country, but considering that they do not have football stadium that meets AFF's requirements, therefore the Philippines have chosen to host the first leg in Jakarta.

The second leg of the Semi Final shall be held at the same stadium next Sunday, in which our team only need to hold the Philippines draw in order to go to the final round and face the winner of the matches between Malaysia and Vietnam. In the first leg in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia won 2-0. The second leg shall be held in Vietnam next Saturday.

I hope that our team will always be successful all the way. God Bless Indonesia

Photo :   Courtesy of Kompas

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Garuda and the National Football Team

I thought that everyone in Indonesia are happy that our national football team beats Malaysia, Laos and Thailand in the AFF-Suzuki Cup, and will play versus the Philippines in the Semi Final in Jakarta on Thursday.

That's why I was surprised when I read on the blog of ReBorn yesterday about the Lawsuit filed by David Tobing, a lawyer, against the used of the Garuda Symbol on the T-Shirts of the our national team.

In an interview with TVOne last night, David Tobing said that afternoon he has filed the Lawsuit with the District Court of Central Jakarta against the President, the Education Minister, the Sports and Youth Minister, the All Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) and PT Nike Indonesia.

He alleged that the use of the Garuda symbol on the T-Shirts is against the Law No 24/2009 Article 57 regarding the use of State Symbols.

This allegation was denied by the other guest at the talk show i.e. Historian Asvi Warman Adam who said that Article 52 of said Law allow the use of a State Symbol among others for those who are representing the country. He also said that our national football team has also used the Garuda symbol when they played against the Soviet Union at the Melbourne Olympic Games in 1956.
These statement was supported by lawyer Amir Syamsuddin who also urged David Tobing not to take advantage of the national team's present popularity.

Considering that our national team has been doing their best to represent our country in the AFF-Suzuki Cup, and we expect that they will win the tournament, I hope that David Tobing would be wise and withdraw the lawsuit, especially that now that the public has know about him and his protest. And if he persists, I hope that the judges would refuse his lawsuit. 


Sources :
Garuda di Seragam Timnas PSSI Menuai Gugatan (Hukumonline)
Lambang Garuda di kostum Timnas Digugat (MetroTV)
Kemendiknas Diskusikan gugatan lambang Garuda di kaos Timnas (Primaironline) 

Photo :  Courtesy of Kaskus.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Indoleaks the Indonesian WikiLeaks

On 28 November 2010, WikiLeaks started to publish 251,287 leaked classified cables transmitted by U.S embassies in many countries, and last Tuesday its founder Julian Assange was arrested in London.

I was hoping that there would be a surprise from the 3,059 cables sent by U.S Embassy in Jakarta when  the news about IndoLeaks emerged.

According to Chanel 6 News Online, in just two days after launching of the website www.indoleaks.org on Human Rights Day, 10 December 2010, more than 100,000 documents have been downloaded by its users.

The website published, among others, the following documents :
Visum on victims on victims of the Indonesian Communist Party
Audit on Lapindo Mud Flow by the State Audit Agency
US Embassy report about Timor
Fact finding report about Munir

Unlike WikiLeaks which mentioned the name of its founder, Indoleaks does not mention any names of person/company who founded and managed the website, therefore it is difficult to give comment about it.

 Photo : Courtesy of Indoleaks.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Reduction of Rice Consumption

Many of my friends think that they have not eat food if they do not eat rice, although they have actually ate noodles or hamburgers.

I believe that this perception is also shared by most of the 240 million people in Indonesia who consume rice as their main food.

Therefore, I was surprised when I heard about the government's plan to make people to stop eating rice and change it with other kinds of food like Cassava.

In order to provide more information about this, please find below a report that I have quoted from AFP.
 
Considering that rice is not just the main food but also the product of, therefore the source of income for, tens of millions of people working in the paddy fields, reduction of rice consumption would surely effect the lives of so many people in Indonesia.

CIGUGUR, Indonesia — Indonesia is one of the world's biggest producers -- and consumers -- of rice, but in the interests of public health and food sustainability the government has launched an ambitious drive to wean people off their beloved staple.

For ordinary Indonesians like Andi Santoso, a 23-year-old student, the thought of going without rice for a day, as the government is proposing, is almost unthinkable.
"I eat rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner," he said, a little bemused. "If I don't eat rice, I feel like I haven't eaten. What else can I eat?"

Read More

Photo :  Courtesy of AFP

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Reduction of Subsidized Fuel

The government is planning to reduce the sales of Subsidized Fuel starting 1 January 2011.

For which purpose, state owned petroleum company Pertamina will only sell subsidized fuel i.e Premium to public transportation.

Whereas, owners of private vehicles should use the more expensive non-subsidized fuel i.e. Pertamax.

However, Pertamina is currently not ready to supply enough Pertamax, therefore it must import the fuel.
 
Kompas reported that currently, Pertamina can only produce 200,000 kiloliters of Pertamax per day, which is not enough to meet the highly increasing domestic need.

Considering the above, I felt that the price differences between Premium and Pertamax, and Pertamina's inability to supply enough Pertamax, would create the existence of black market for the Subsidized Fuel.
Therefore, I hope that the government would carefully reconsider its decision.

Photo :  Courtesy of Kompas.

Friday, December 10, 2010

WikiLeaks and Julian Assange

One of today's hottest topics is the WikiLeaks, an international non profit organization that published 251,287 cables of the U.S Embassy, including 3,059 from Jakarta, to the international public since 28 November 2010

The cables revealed classified information like U.S military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in Bagdad, Iraq, including two Reuters news staffs. For that, the US government and its allies wanted to arrest WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange.  

Last Tuesday, the British Police arrested Assange in London for allegations of raping two Swedish women as charged by the Interpol based on the request of the Police in Sweden.

However, until this present moment the U.S or its allies has still not been able to charge him or WikiLeaks for leaking the cables.

Cables transmitted by an embassy of a foreign country is a classified material, therefore said country would do its very best to safeguard it. If there is any leak, it should either be done by someone inside the embassy or someone who received it at the foreign affairs ministry of said country.

Although there is a possibility that WikiLeaks intercepted the said cable transmission, but I think this is almost impossible.

In my opinion leaking such classified material to unauthorized parties like WikiLeaks is an act of Crime, and publishing such material as done by WikiLeaks should be an accessory to Crime.

Considering the above, I wonder why the U.S and its alllies only focussed on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, and not on those inside the U.S Embassies and/or State Department in Washington.

Sources :
Wikileaks (Swiss) Website
WikiLeaks (Wikipedia)
Menlu dan Menkominfo Kumpulkan Data WikiLeaks .. (Detik)
WikiLeaks Indonesia (Newoes)
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrested (The Jakarta Post)
Assange charges center on two women, sex (MSNBC) 

Image : Courtesy of WikiLeaks

Thursday, December 9, 2010

International Anti-Corruption Day

On 31 October 2003, the United Nation General Assembly adopted the Convention against Corruption which became effective in December 2005.

                         Credit: UNDOC

In order to raise awareness of Corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing it, the U.N General Assembly has declared that 9 December as the International Anti-Corruption Day.

I hope that the government, the parliament, the judicial bodies and the Corruption fighters in Indonesia would increase their efforts to eradicate Corruption in Indonesia.  

Source :  United Nations website.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Indonesia vs Thailand 2-1

Last night the Indonesian national soccer team once again show their ability when they defeated the Thailand team with a score of 2-1 in the AFF Suzuki Tournament.

 
The whole members of our National Soccer Team celebrated victory after the match.

The two goals were penalty kicks by Striker Bambang Pamungkas (30) of Persija Jakarta who has played with Malaysia's Selangor FC (2005-2006) and Dutch's EHC Norad  (2000-2001).
 
Although our team has ensured their way to Semi Final when they defeated Malaysia 5-1 and Laos 6-0, however last night's victory has a special meaning for Indonesia. This is obvious because of the 29 matches we have had with Thailand since 1971, we only won 8 matches.

At the same time in Palembang, South Sumatera, Malaysia defeated Laos with a score of 5-1, which means that they'll accompany our team (Group A) to the Semi Final.

Frankly speaking, watching Soccer is not my cup of tea, but the performances of our present National Team have mesmerized me, and temporarily divert my attention from other things that's happening in Indonesia.

For details on the above matches, please read the following articles :
-   Merah Putih Makes It Three in A Row With Take Down Of Thailand (The Jakarta Globe)
-   Dua Gol Bambang Paksa Thailand Pulang (Kompas)
-   Malaysia Pantau Indonesia dari Palembang (Viva News)
-   Perkiraan Susunan Tim Indonesia vs Thailand (Rakyat Merdeka)

Photo :  Courtesy of Kompas

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Yogyakarta oh Yogyakarta

More than one month has passed since the eruption of Mount Merapi that killed more than 350 people.

As the volcano alert level has been reduced and most of the 250 thousands evacuees were allowed to return to their homes, the people of Yogyakarta were surprised by a statement of President SBY who called their governor i.e Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, a Monarch.

                                      Sultan Hamengkubuwono X                     President SBY
The statement was made in connection with the President's plan to introduce a law that will require the Governor of Yogyakarta to be elected directly by the people like other governors in Indonesia, thus different from what has been done until now i.e appointed by the central government.

Read More ..

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The National Soccer Team

Last night I watched on TV the Indonesian national soccer team beat the Laos team with a very convincing score of 6-0 in the AFF Suzuki Cup tournament.

That was the second victory for our national team after they beat the Malaysian team with a score of 5-1 last Wednesday, 1 December.

Coached by Alfred Riedl (Austrian) and lead by the Captain Firman Utina(29) the national team has good players, the most notable ones were Irfan Bachdim (22) , Christian Gonzalez (34), Octovianus Maniani (20).

These two victories make the national team as the winner in Group A and ensure that they will go to the Semifinal. Next Tuesday evening (7.30 pm), they will play against Thailand.

Sources:
Video Pertandingan Indonesia vs Malaysia 5-1 (Blogg3r)
Indonesia vs Laos 6-0 (Youtube)
Indonesia Keen to rest Key Players vs Thailand (The Jakarta Globe)

Photo: Courtesy of The Jakarta Globe

Daniel Sahuleka

There were five Dutch musicians that I have known and liked, i.e Blue DiamondsShocking BlueFocus, Golden Earrings, and Daniel Sahuleka.


I am not sure about the first four musicians, but I'm sure that Daniel Sahuleka is still active singing and playing music.

Last Thursday night, he appeared on TVOne's one hour show singing his hits among others "Don't Sleep Away the Night" and "You make my world so Colorful"  almost the same way he did around 30 years ago. Frankly speaking, I was mesmerized. And from the look on faces of the audiences, including Daniel's wife Alice, I can tell they all felt the same way too.

In the interview, a.o with senior singer Bob Tutupoli, Daniel said in fluent Bahasa Indonesia, that he kept coming back here because he has many fans, many relatives and he like Indonesia. This is obvious, because he was born in Semarang, Central Java, on 6 December 1950, and his parents originated from the Province of Maluku, although later on he became a Dutch citizen.

Watching Daniel on TV, reminded me that Indonesia has friends in the Netherlands, including those originating from the islands of Maluku. I personally know this because my late brother's ex-wife Cherry is living there with her daughter Kemilau and relatives. And my other niece got a Law Master degree there. Besides, I also have friends there including blogger Colson, who until now always gave positive opinions about Indonesia.

Photo : Courtesy of the official website of Daniel Sahuleka

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Billionaires almost Doubles in 1 Year

More than 12 years ago, Indonesia was struck by one of the worst global economic crisis that toppled the 32-years of authoritarian rule of former President Soeharto.

Since then, Indonesia became one of the largest democratic country in the world, and a very liberal economic system was adopted. Politics became top priority and the economy became less important..
 
This sudden change has caused mismanagement of the country, so many bad things occurred i.e. abuse of power and corruption by government officials, members of parliament and the legislative bodies.    

Due to the said mismanagement, the country's very rich natural resources have only been enjoyed by few people. While the majority of the people are poor.

In this regards, Bloomberg reported (below) that the number of rich people in Indonesia has almost doubles in just 1 year.

I hope that in the future there will be another report which shows that the number of middle class people, i.e. those whose economic conditions are somewhere between the poor and the rich, also increased significantly.

Number of Indonesian billionaires nearly doubles
Click here to find out more!


The number of billionaires in Indonesia has nearly doubled from a dozen last year to a record 21 today -- thanks largely to booms in coal, palm oil and other commodities.

Forbes Asia also said in its December issue that the collective net of the country's 40 richest people jumped from $42 billion to an all-time high of $71 billion.

Indonesia, home to 237 million people, has one of the fastest growing economies in the region. That's thanks to a strong stock market -- boosted by the wealth of many on the list -- abundant natural resources, and consumers who are eager to spend.

The richest Indonesians were once again brothers Budi and Michael Hartono. Money generated by the Bank Central Asia, clove cigarette giant Djarum and palm oil interests gave them a combined net worth of $11 billion.

That's up from $7 billion last year.

Photo: Courtesy of Fotokita/M.Iqbal

Friday, December 3, 2010

Warteg Tax

Warung Tegal (Warteg) originated from the words Warung i.e a small and simple place that sells cheap foods/drinks, and Tegal i.e name of a  town in Central Java.

In Jakarta and vicinity, Warteg is very popularly known as small and simple places that sell cheap foods/drinks on the sides of streets, where people of low-to-medium level income eat and drink.

But next year, the prices of food and drinks in Warteg would not be as cheap as they used to be, because starting 1 January, the Provincial government of Jakarta plans to collect Tax of 10% on every food and drinks sold there.

According to an officer of the Jakarta Tax Service Agency, there are now are now around 2,000 Warteg in Jakarta, but based on the Regional Tax Law No. 28/2009, only those who earn an income of Rp 60 Million a year or Rp 5 Million a month will be taxed. Right now the agency is still studying how many Warteg will be taxed, but they expect to collect Rp 50 Billion from Warteg.

This plan has been protested by many people including members of parliament of Jakarta who demanded that the minimum taxable income should be higher and starting date of collection should be postponed. .

In reaction to the protests, the Governor of Jakarta Fauzi Bowo said that the the Warteg Tax plan is still not fixed.

I hope that the Warteg Tax plan would be reviewed very carefully especially because consumers of Warteg are people of low-to-medium level income. 

Sources :
Warung Tegal Kena Pajak 10% (Pajak.com)
Warung Kecil Jangan Dibebani Pajak (Kompas)
Fauzi Bowo : Pajak Warteg Baru Wacana (VIVAnews)

Photo:  Courtesy of Antara

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Texting While Driving is Dangerous

" Be careful guys, the Police will Fine you Rp 750,000,- if they catch you texting while driving. " That's the text message that I received from my big sister Aty as I was driving to my office this morning.

I was thankful that she reminded me that the Jakarta Police will now enforce the Traffic and Land Transportation Law 2009 Article 283 which prohibits activities that distract drivers from focusing on the road. Violation of this law carries a maximum sentence of three months in Jail, or Rp. 750,000,- Fine.

According to The Jakarta Post, the Police impose this ban because of the very high numbers of traffic accidents in Jakarta. Their record shows that between 8 November and 1 December 2010, there were 416 accidents with 61 fatalities, 139 injuries and total loss of Rp 846 million. Due to which, 92,282 drivers were caught violating traffic regulations, 78,882 violation tickets were issued.
The biggest offenders were motorcycle riders with 66,555 violations, drivers of public transportation with 18,443 violations and drivers of private cars with 9,076 violations.

I believe that the texting while you are driving is dangerous for yourself and for others, therefore should be banned. In this case, I hope that the Police would be consistent in issuing the violation tickets.

HIV/AIDS Awareness Campaign

During last night's Bukan Empat Mata talk show on Trans7 TV, presenter and social activist Dr. Luna Kamal shared about the difficulties she encountered in campaigning HIV/AIDS awareness to the public.

She said that when she talked to some men and women about the importance of using Condoms for men who make love to prostitutes, one woman has asked her why is she promoting  free sex.

It seems that the Ministry of Education is also having difficulty  in campaigning HIV/ AIDS awareness to school students.  This can be seen from its refusal to provide special lesson about HIV/AIDS at schools.

Kompas quoted the Minister of Education M. Nuh as saying that information about HIV/AIDS shall not be given in special lesson at schools but will instead be integrated into various lessons e.g Religion, Biology, Sociology etc.

Considering that HIV/AIDS is an incurable and very contagious decease, and the number of people infected  in Indonesia is growing rapidly, I hope that the government would drastically increase HIV/AIDS awareness campaign to the public, especially school students.    

Logo :  Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Preservation of Cultural Heritage

Last year, some people in Indonesia protested against the use of Cultural Works of Arts like the Balinese Pendet Dance, Reog Ponorogo and Batik by some people to promote tourism in Malaysia.

Every time they protested, I would ask myself the following questions : Would we care about those Cultural Works of Arts if others have not use them ? What have we done to preserve them ?

In order to find the answer, I would like to share with you an article that I read on Kompas (below).

I shall be very grateful if you could kindly give opinion on this matter. Thanks.

Minggu, 28 November 2010 | 04:52 WIB

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - UNESCO has pointed out that many forms of intangible cultural heritage are in danger of extinction. Therefore, governments, non-governmental and local organizations are encouraged to appraise, protect and utilize their national heritage in order to maintain the cultural diversity of all countries, within the overall trend of globalization.

Read More ...

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Virginity Survey

According to recent survey by the National Family Planning Coordination Agency (BKKBN), 51% of school girls in Jakarta and surrounding towns of Bogor, Tangerang and Depok, have experienced premarital sex, there fore not Virgin..

According to TvOne, the survey shows similar results in other cities i.e. Surabaya 54%, Medan 52%, Bandung 47% and Yogjakarta 37%.
 
The survey also show an estimate of 2,4 million persons conducted abortions every year, 800 thousands of them are teenagers. 

Further, until June 2010 there were 21,770 cases of AIDS, and 47,157 HIV Positive, 48.1% among people between 20-29 years old, and 30.9% between 30-39 years old.

Furthermore, the survey also shows that 78% of the 3,2 million Drug Addicts are teenagers.

Considering the above, I hope that school students would be provided with information about Sex and its consequences.

Photo :  Courtesy of Okezone.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Selling Carbon Credits for Indonesian Forests

Trees smolder after a clearing fire near Bukit tiga puluh natural forest in Riau, Central Sumatra, Indonesia (file photo)
Indonesia has around 1 million square kilometers of forests, the second-largest in the world after Brazil.

The World Bank estimates that if the world put a monetary value on the Carbon stored in trees, Indonesia could earn up to $2 billion a year by selling Carbon Credits.

Indonesia is getting ready for an international  plan known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD).

Last year, President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono (SBY) has promised world leaders that Indonesia shall reduce Carbon Gas Emission by 2020 i.e 26% if we do it by ourselves, or 41% if helped by other countries.

On 26 May 2010, Norway and Indonesia has signed a US$ One Billion deal aimed at reducing Deforestation, in return Indonesia shall suspend new concession on conversion of natural forest and peat land into plantations for two years.

There are several pilot projects throughout the country, and earlier this year the Russian company Gazprom bought the first carbon credits from a REDD project.

Considering that President SBY will end his second presidential term by 2014, I hope that his successors will fulfill all the commitments that have been made.

Source :
-   Indonesia Hopes to Sell Carbon Credits for Its Forests (VOANews) 
-   Norway and Indonesia sign US$ 1 billion forrest deal (REDD Monitor)

Photo :  Courtesy of VOA News

Friday, November 26, 2010

Legalization of Alterina's Sex Status

Alterina Hofan, right, ended with the court finding that he is a man. He faced charges of fraud because he was registered female at birth and only later developed male genitalia. Wife Jane Deviyanti, left, never ceased to stand by her man. (JG Photo/Afriadi Hikmal)
Last Tuesday, the District Court of South Jakarta has cleared Alterina Hofan (33) of Criminal charges i.e. Identity Fraud and Falsifying Documents, therefore legalized his status as a man.

The Court decides that although Alterina has falsified his documents as charged by the Prosecutor, however considering that this was done merely for his interest and did not inflict loss on other people,  therefore the Court has not regard it as a Crime.                        

The case began on 1 October 2009 when Bernard Hadipuspito dan Grace Maria reported Alterina to the Jakarta Police for marrying their daughter Jane (23) in Las Vegas, U.S.A, on September 2009. Bernard, CEO of Binus University Jakarta, claimed that Alterina is a female therefore cannot marry their daughter. He alleged that Alterina has falsified his identity. As a result of this report Alterina was detained by the Police from 30 April until 31 May 2010.

The Court trials revealed that according to his birth certificate, Alterina was born as a baby girl in Jayapura, Papua on 1 November 1977. At the age of 7, male genitalia began to develop, followed by breasts.later on.
In 2006, Alterina went to a hospital in Canada to remove of the breasts.
And in 2009, the Public Registrar office in Jayapura legalized Alterina's status as a male. 

The Court made it's decision after its all-male-judges closely observed that Alterina has a small penis, but no vagina. 

In reaction to the above Court Verdict, the Prosecutor has stated its plan to file an appeal against it.

Sources :
Court Declares Alterina Male on Eyewitness Testimony (The Jakarta Globe)
Pengadilan Lepaskan Alter Dari Segala Tuntutan (Hukumonline)
Alterina Lelaki Sejati Dibebaskan PN Jaksel (Warta Kota)

Photo :  Courtesy of The Jakarta Globe.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The New Attorney General: Basrief Arief

President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono (SBY) announced on Thursday evening the appointment of Basrief Arief as the new Attorney General.

Basrief, former Vice Attorney General 2005-2007, will replace former Attorney General Hendarman Supanji and take over the day-to-day job from Acting Attorney General Darmono.

President SBY will induct Basrief as Attorney General tomorrow.

Although Basrief Arief has retired three years ago, I hope that he would be able to improve the performance of the Attorney General Office among others prosecution of corruption cases.

Photo : Courtesy of Detik.

The New Chief Corruption Fighter

Busyro Muqoddas has been elected head of Indonesia  
Busyro Muqoddas has been elected by the House of Representatives Commission III as the Chief of Corruption Erradication Commission (KPK).

Out of 55 members of the Commission III, which oversees Legal Affairs, 34 have voted for Busyro, current Chief of the Judicial Commission, 20 voted for Bambang Widjajanto, Lawyer, 1 abstained.


According to The Jakarta Globe, Busyro has impressed House members with his desire to see stronger punishment for those convicted for corruption and his proposal to make Corruption a Human Rights violation rather than just an ordinary Crime.

Although Busyro would only be Chief of KPK for a period of one year, however I hope that he would be able to do his job smoothly.

National Teachers Day




National Teachers Day in Indonesia is celebrated together with the anniversary of the Association of Teachers of the Republic of Indonesia (PGRI) which was established on 25 November 1945.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Brutality in Saudi Arabia

I believe that Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that most Indonesian Muslims are familiarize with.

This is obvious because Saudi Arabia is the birth place of Islam which is the religion of the majority people in Indonesia.

Beside that, the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca with its Ka'bah Stone is a direction where Muslims around the world should face every time they pray.

Further, the Al-Qur'an which regulates the principles of Islam is written and must be read in Arabic.

Furthermore, every year more than 200 thousand Indonesian Muslims carried out their Hajj pilgrimage at the holy city of Mecca and vicinity.

Moreover, in the last few decades, Saudi Arabia has become the working place for around one million Indonesians who therefore sent Billions of U.S Dollars back home every year.

In spite of the above mentioned fact, relationship between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia is not always smooth.
Whereby, thousands of our citizens working in that country have been treated very badly, brutally tortured, raped and even murdered by their employers.

The latest victims were Kikim Komariah who was murdered by her employer who dumped her body in a garbage bin, and Sumiati who was brutally beaten and cut by her employer.

The worst thing was that the absolute monarchy that ruled Saudi Arabia has seemingly been insensitive to the sufferings caused by their citizens' brutal behaviors. Its Ambassador to Jakarta has asked our government not to over-react, and seemingly refuse to grant visa for our cabinet minister who was assigned to head a fact finding mission on the brutality and murder.

Considering the above, I hope that our government would do whatever it can to convince the Saudi Arabian government that the brutal torture and murder of our workers in their country are against universal human rights, and Islam of course, therefore should be investigated thoroughly and those responsible should be legally punished.

I also hope that our government would improve the quality of workers who will be send to Saudi Arabia and other countries, i.e. by making sure that they are given proper training i.e. foreign language and particular skills.
At present the Manpower Ministry only required a minimum training of 200 hours or 20 days, this is surely not enough, therefore they should be trained for at least 600 hours or 60 days.

Photo : Courtesy of Google Map

Monday, November 22, 2010

Beach Volleyball: Indonesia vs Yemen

During the Asian Games Men's Beach Volleyball match in Guangzhou-China last Tuesday, the Indonesian team has beaten the Yemeni Team.


The funny thing was that the Yemeni team has blamed their lost on the Bikini-clad cheerleaders who have been entertaining during breaks.

 

Please find below an article by Rob Baiton (http://therabexperience.blogspot.com)

 

Indonesia vs. Yemen: Beach Volleyball & Cheer Squads...

 


Yemen played Indonesia in the beach volleyball tournament at the Asian Games being held in China. Yemen lost. However, what makes this story interesting and fun is the reason Yemen lost. According to the Yemenis, they lost the match because the bikini wearing cheer squads that jump out and then jump around during the breaks in the volleyball action were too distracting.

It is a pretty good excuse when you think about it. I am guessing that the young men from Yemen do not get a lot of scantily clad bikini cheer squads at their local tournaments. In contrast, Indonesia has no trouble at all in cobbling together a few sexy bikini wearing women to wow their local crowds.

Or maybe, the Yemenis were just beaten by a better and more skillful pairing from Indonesia.

In any event, they are there to play volleyball and not be distracted by the women, aren't they?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Raja Ampat Shark Sanctuary

The Islands of Raja Ampat, off the South Western coast of the Province of Papua, is one of the richest source of marine biodiversity in the world.

But unfortunately, not many people in Indonesia know about this region which has just been declared by our government as a Sanctuary for Sharks and other sea creatures..

Considering this fact, I would like to share with you an article about it that I have quoted from the site Good News From Indonesia.



Indonesia has declared a vast sanctuary for sharks, turtles and manta rays in a region known as one of the world’s richest sources of marine biodiversity, officials and conservationists said Tuesday.

The sanctuary covers 46,000 square kilometres (17,760 square miles) of waters around the Raja Ampat islands in eastern Indonesia, part of the so-called Coral Triangle region of Southeast Asia.

Sharks, manta rays, mobulas, dugongs and turtles are fully protected within the sanctuary, and destructive practices including reef bombing and the aquarium fish trade are banned, local officials said.

Read More ..