Sunday, June 27, 2010

Guest Writer: Rob Baiton

When I started this blog on October 2007, my intention was to write about matters related to the laws in Indonesia.

But considering the "very complicated characteristics" of the implementation of laws in Indonesia, after some time I get bored with disappointment. In order to keep on blogging, I write about other matters i.e. Politics and Nature in Indonesia.

One of the blogger who inspired me to keep on writing is Rob Baiton, who at that time lived in Jakarta and worked as English Editor of the Indonesian legal website: Besides, he has also mentored and lead Indonesian law students compete in international Law Speech Contests.

I learned a lot from Rob's blog i.e., which muse about the Laws, Politics, Culture in Indonesia and Australia.

Today Rob is living in Sydney, Australia, with his Indonesian wife and a handsome young son.

Please find below one of Rob's latest post about a case which has been highly exposed by the Indonesian media for the last couple of weeks.

Ariel, Luna Maya, + Cut Tari ...

Indonesia and porn, porn and Indonesia seem to go hand-in-hand, don't they? It never ceases to amaze me the level of hypocrisy that exists on this single issue. There are those jumping up and down waving the morality flag demanding that long jail sentences be handed down to people who find the need to film themselves doing the deed and then have this very deed find its way into the public domain. Yet, most surveys and other statistical data pegs Indonesia as one of the biggest consumers of porn on our little globe called earth.

I think Desi Anwar says it best in her opinion piece on the matter when she talks about moral censure, peeping toms and playing god. It is worth a read and you can find it here.

The realities here are that it is against the law, people know it is against the law, and they must certainly know that if they get caught then there is a pretty good chance that the relevant law enforcement agencies will go the whole nine yards to get a conviction. This seems particularly so if you happen to be a celebrity. Ariel, Luna Maya, and Cut Tari are going to find this out in the most public of ways. One arrest has been made and another two seem imminent. The Porn Law and the Criminal Code are destined to get a work out on this one.

It really is sad that this is being played out in the way that it is. There are just so many more important things that politicians could be doing rather than legislating morality. There is in a similar vein so many more important things that the police and other law enforcement agencies could be dealing with rather than a couple of starlets getting the once over by a singer who seems to be afflicted with a little bit of the "Don Juanism" condition.

However, it must be noted that none of this is surprising on any front. All of us who are either Indonesian or who have long associations with the place understand that Indonesians have an insatiable appetite for gossip, particularly celebrity gossip. Indonesian TV is testament to that. We also know that the politicians and law enforcement people often look for any good gossip in order to deflect attention from real issues that need real work and real responses to see them resolved.

Yes, the reality here is that you have a couple of sex videos, pretty tame by most accounts, and nothing to write home about. Yet, it is news that has diverted the attention of a nation, and seen the story picked up by the international press. On the importance scale, the size of Ariel's penis, his sexual prowess, or the preferred methods associated with any climax activity, ranks, at least in my opinion, a very distant last on a long line of really important issues such as the systematic attempts to dissolve the KPK from its current form, the failure of parliament to speed up the legislative process, or myriad of other issues. Then again, I am sure that it will not be too long before we are hearing that Ariel's escapades have directly contributed to an earthquake or a tsunami or some other natural disaster that befalls the innocent in Indonesia. Sad!

As a matter of priority, it is time that people thought about the things that are really important and worked towards resolutions on those fronts.

Then again, good gossip and a sex video is something that most people just need to talk about!


Herdoni Wahyono said...

This article is very interesting. We get something valuable in it after reading the article. The video has seized our attention and drown other things more priority. Indonesia is in the process of maturation. Thanks for you’re sharing.

Joni Arief said...

This video thing has been 'poisoning' the Indonesian people for the last few weeks. This will only benefit certain parties like producer of Ariel's band new album who will surely benefit from this free promotion. Also those involved in corruption cases, etc.etc.

umihoney said...

Thank you for sharing the article.A brilliant piece. Admittedly the media plays an important role in "sensationalizing" and issue. Media must play a more responsible role in educating the readers by downplaying senseless issue like this and highlighting a more pressing issues for the sake of the nation.

Rob Baiton said...

@ Harry...

Thank You!

I must return the favour one day soon. I do not have nearly the same number of readers as you, but I have had in the past a dedicated crew of readers.

@ Herdoni...


@ Joni...

I disagree that this film was released so that Ariel or Peterpan could garner some free media. It is a high risk strategy and one that has a sizable jail sentence attached to it.

@ Umihoney...

The media must sensationalize the news / gossip. Circulation / viewers are money in the bank. Simple equation is more sensational = more readers / watchers = more money!

Thanks (if you were referring to what I wrote :D)

umihoney said...

I was Rob :)

TUKANG CoLoNG said...

wah semua pada kkomen pake bahasa inggris. oke deh..

'good baye, thank you"..

*aku udah fol back

H. Nizam said...

It is very sad that our media has participated in distracting public attention from far more important facts of life in Indonesia.

I am not sure whether Ariel or his band would really want to promote their album by exposing a video which according to the laws is a crime.

The media should be educating
people by reporting more pressing issues, instead of exaggerating less important ones.

I believe that bloggers every where should work hand in hand to provide alternative information which we believe to be true to our readers.

@Tukang ColoNG,
Terima kasih sudah follow blog saya.