Friday, April 23, 2010

Violence in Batam

" When in Rome do as the Romans do  " that's a well known adage which imply that foreigners should respect the laws, regulations, traditions, ethics of a country they are visiting.

That's what I thought when I read on The Jakarta Globe about the violence against Indian nationals working in the Island of Batam,  which was triggered by a humiliating remark made by one of the Indian workers about the Indonesian people.

I never condone violence, but I can never understand why foreigners humiliate Indonesia. Therefore, I hope that a comprehensive investigation would be carried out to find out the cause of violence, and anyone responsible would be prosecuted and punished according to the law.

April 22, 2010
Jakarta Globe

Breaking News: Violence at Batam Port Targets Foreigners

Reports are emerging of violence directed against Indian nationals employed by PT Drydock World Graha in Batam, Riau Islands province.

State news agency Antara is reporting that 41 Indian workers employed by the company were escorted by 400 police, including the armed Mobile Brigade (Brimob), from the company premises after they were attacked by local workers.

At least four of the workers were injured and about 20 vehicles set alight, Antara reported. The offices have also been trashed,.

One worker was quoted by Antara as alleging that the unrest was triggered after an Indian national said “Indonesian people were stupid.”

“This is national pride, so we are all angry,” the local, identified as Baim, said.

About 10,000 Indonesians were observed crowding the company premises singing “Great Indonesia” and other patriotic songs, Antara reported.

The National Maritime Institute (Namarin) said the recent violence at Tanjung Priok in North Jakarta was likely to raise shipping insurance costs, and its “international reputation as an export and import gate will plummet.”

The Joint War Committee, a London organization that analyzes shipping risks, had listed maritime regions in Indonesia as “war risk zones” that might pose dangers to domestic or international ships.

10 comments:

colson said...

Though agreeing that insults may provoke a ( violent) reaction, I have many doubts here.

Violence is, like you implied too, extremely disproportionate to the alleged insult of course.

But I interpret the report in such a way that the angry crowds went by a rumour, an alleged insult.Someone successfully spread the word: "Indians insulted Indonesians".

However the insult, if there was any, may well have been directed at one specific person ( and with some justification) and in a (very) different wording.

In short: to me it looks like a case of a majority running amok against a minority of strangers.

H. Nizam said...

Colson,
I really hope that the tragic inciident caused by some sort of misunderstandings or rumour spread by someone with bad intention. Let's hope police investigation would lead to the fact of the matter.

kalukpuk said...

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Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

I would hope that the violence was caused by more than just insulting somebody as being stupid, which is a bad enough comment from somebody working in the country, but just imagine what would have happened if somebody's mother or wife had been insulted - World War 3?

H. Nizam said...

@Kalukpuk,
Thanks a lot. One of the things that I like about blogging is the idea of sharing. Let's keep in touch.


@Peter/Kiwi,
Yes you are right, everytime we want to insult or say bad things about other people we should always imagine how would it feel if someone isults us or our family.
Note: Result of Police investigation revealed that the insult was really be done and the representative of his group has publicly apologize.

Rob Baiton said...

There really needs to be more to this story than an Indian calling Indonesians stupid.

I really do not see how the insulting of an Indonesian in this way provides the right to respond with the degree of violence that occurred in this case.

Are you arguing that it is a breach of Indonesian law to call someone stupid? Would it have made any difference if the Indian national had called the person "kampungan"?

It is interesting that you cannot understand why foreigners humiliate Indonesia which is quite a broad sweeping of the brush with respect to the alleged insult in this case. Yet, there seems to be a degree of toleration by Indonesians when it comes to insulting others (Malaysia and Malaysians for example or certain individuals that labels all white people as maggots and pigs)...

What is good for the goose is good for the gander as well.

Would it be fair to say that the level of violence used in response to the alleged insult was stupid?

Harry, you are always an interesting read even when I do not agree with you or the manner in which you express your ideas. But, the honesty with which you express your ideas is refreshing and challenging.

Don Shepard said...

I can say that in America a general lack of respect demonstrated by many of our people has created many problems. I think if people were able to defend themselves against disrespect in an acceptable manner than this would not be so bad. People know they can disrespect others with little or no repercussions.

H. Nizam said...

Rob,
As I have said in my post that I do not condone violence. Although I don't understand the insult, it doesn't mean that I agree with the violence.
I never condone any kind of racial discrimination. I never condone usage of bad names like you said: Pig etc. it is just not my style. When I wrote about Malaysia, e.g Manohara or Batik or Ambalat, I only see it from my personal point of view.
Even when I am speaking verbally I will always try my best never to curse or call other people bad names, although few times failed.

@Don,
There should be more to it than the insult. According to the media the workers have been holding grudge against the employer for several matters.

My Beauty Flash said...

big boss aku orang expat, dan dia suka men-stupid2kan lil' boss ku...trus lil' boss juga jd suka marah2 ama staffnya....so lots of staffnya pengen mbakar si big boss hahahaha....

H. Nizam said...

Beauty Flash,
Terima kasih anda telah berbagi dengan kita tentang masalah dikantor anda. Saya juga pernah dengan dari teman tentang pengalaman serupa.
Tapi saya juga alami sendiri dan banyak dengar dari teman tentang expat yang bagus2. Semuanya tergantung pada kita sendiri. Makanya saya berusaha untuk terus belajar, termasuk dengan blog ini.
Saya terima kasih sekali anda telah ingatkan saya untuk menulis lebih banyak yang bagus2 tentang Indonesia.