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.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Maid Brutally Tourtured in Saudi Arabia

Many Indonesian women have been working in countries like Saudi Arabia where women are discriminated by men, therefore legal protection is limited.

Due to that country's closed society, many of those women have been treated very badly by their employers but cannot do anything.

One of those unfortunate women is Sumiati (23) who just worked there for three months but has frequently been inhumanely tortured by her Saudi masters using hot iron, scissors and other tool until almost paralysed.

The Indonesian government has strongly protested this brutality, and will dispatch a fact finding team headed by the Minister of Empowerment of Women Linda Agum Gumelar to Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Ambassador to Indonesia has call on the Indonesian government not to over react and asked them to trust his government's efforts to handle the case.

I hope that our government would make sure that this case would be investigated properly, anyone who are  responsible would be tried in Court and punished accordingly, so that our workers can work peacefully abroad.

Sources :
- Housemaid viciously abused, says Indonesian diplomat (The Saudi Gazette)
President demands ‘all-out’ action in maid abuse case (The Jakarta Post)
Saudi Arabia Asks Indonesia Not to Overreact (Kompas)

Photo :  Courtesy of The Saudi Gazette

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Shares of Krakatau Steel

Last week, the government sold 3,155 Billion shares worth Rp 2,6 Trillion or 20% of the Paid up Capital of PT Krakatau Steel through Initial Public Offering (IPO) at the price of Rp 850 per share.

When it was first listed at the Jakarta Stock Exchange last Wednesday, public's demand for the share of said State Owned Company was extremely high that the price has sky rocketed to Rp 1.270 per share and up again to Rp 1.340 per share on Thursday.

Due to this fact, some members of Parliament and NGO have suspected that the share has intentionally been offered very low i.e. Rp 850. They said that during the roadshow to promote the IPO, people have shown interest to buy the share at around Rp 1.150 - Rp 1.200 per share.

For details, please find below an article that I have quoted from Kompas.

Sabtu, 13 November 2010 | 02:53 WIB

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - The polemics over the sale of PT Krakatau Steel (KRAS)’s shares through an initial public offering (IPO) could discourage foreign investors and have bad impact on the investment climate in the country. 

Following the IPO,  a controversy surfaced where many quarters were of the view that KRAS’ share price which was set at Rp850 percent was too low and might have benefited certain parties only while disadvantaging the state.
Read More ...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Invisible Gayus

Gayus Tambunan, a Defendant in the Tax Mafia case at the District Court of South Jakarta, finally admitted today that he was the man wearing wig and eyeglass watching an international tennis tournament in Bali

Gayus made the confession to reporters after the court trial session. He said that he went to Bali on 4 November stayed at the Westin Hotel and watched international tennis tournament on 5th and 6th. The Police took him back to detention on 7 November.

During the trial, Gayus has tearfully told the judge that we was very stressed detained at the headquarters of the Police Mobile Brigade since last July, therefore has has been asking for leaves like the other detainees.

According to reports, since he was detained Gayus has left 68 times. That was possible because he bribed the warden with 368 Million Rupiah. Besides, he has also paid One and a Half Million Rupiah per Week. Because of this, the Police have arrested nine officers responsible for his detention.
The above clearly shows that our country's detention and prison system is very bad whereby detainees who have lots of money can do things they want to do.

Due to which fact, I hope that the government and the Parliament would set up an independent body to investigate this case thoroughly, including who arrange Gayus' trip to Bali, what did he do and who did he met there.This must be done considering that Gayus was indicted for his involvement in the Tax Mafia cases where he has helped certain businessmen in Tax Crime.

For the purpose of this investigation, it would be best if Gayus is not given access to his money and/or meet people, thus should be isolated.

Sources :
- Bali Mystery Man Was Me' Says Gayus (The Jakarta Globe)
- Warden says Gayus had 68 times since July (The Jakarta Post)

Image:  Courtesy of Flickr

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What Makes You An Indonesian ?

During his recent visit to Jakarta, U.S President Barack Obama has properly pronounced several sentences in the Indonesian language, and also mentioned the Indonesian basic principle of Bhineka Tunggal Ika i.e. Unity in Diversity. .

This makes me wonder whether Putri (Miss) Indonesia 2010 Nadine Alexandra Dewi, born in England in 1991, came to Indonesia three years ago, cannot speak Indonesian language properly, is the right person to represent Indonesia in the Miss Universe Beauty Contest 2010. 

In order to find out the answer, I have read the following article on the blog Finally Woken authored by Anita, an Indonesian lady married to a Scottish gentlemen, now living in Perth, Australia. Happy Reading!

What Makes You An Indonesian?

Indonesia — By Finally Woken on September 1, 2009 12:00 am 

ist1_9204431-indonesia Somebody posted intriguing threads on twitter on the other day. I wasn’t sure what subject that triggered her posting, but she was ranting about Indonesians living overseas who pretend to know more about Indonesia [compares to those who are inside the country], who only like to criticize but do not help. She surprised me when she then said these people should stop being self-righteous, and should do something real to help Indonesia. If they think that the country is beyond help, these people should just stop being Indonesians.

ist1_4518328-indonesia-boyHer threads about being Indonesian – or stop being one, for that matter – got me thinking: what actually does make you an Indonesian?

It is the same question asked to me by a researcher from Glasgow University a couple of weeks a go. The research is looking into the nationality and immigration aspects in Scotland, but half of the questions were about me being an Indonesian. Her questions have opened up my eyes on issues I have never thought about before.

So, what does make you an Indonesian? Is it by birth, by ancestry, or by domicile? Do you have to have all three aspects to be a true Indonesian?

I was born in Indonesia, my parents are Indonesian, I have spent most of my life in Indonesia, but have been away from the country since a couple of years a go. Does it make me an Indonesian, still?

How about my friend Rose*, who was born in Indonesia from Indonesian parents, has spent most of her life in Indonesia but since she is married to a British, she has been living overseas for a couple of years and is holding another country’s passport. Is she not Indonesian anymore? No? Then what is she, British? Do you think British people will call her British?


Friday, November 12, 2010

The Controversial Handshake

A photo (courtesy of The Jakarta Globe) showing the Minister of Information and Communication Tifatul Sembiring (middle) reaching out to shake the hand of Michelle Obama (right) during U.S President Barack Obama's recent visit to Jakarta.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gayus the Taxman

Gayus Tambunan, the Taxman (picture: Left) has been detained by the Police for alleged Corruption and Bribery charges now being tried at the District Court of South Jakarta.

Gayus has been detained by the National Police at the headquarters of the Police' Mobile Brigade, but the news media reported recently that a man who looks like Gayus (picture: Right) appeared at an International Tennis Tournament in the island of Bali.

Due to this report, the Police has investigated and arrested nine Police officers responsible for Gayus' detention at the headquarters of the Police's Mobile Brigate in Jakarta.

Photo:  Courtesy of Kompas.

Obama's Mesmerizing Visit

"Bakso, Nasi goreng, Kerupuk, Emping, Semuanya Enak" these are Indonesian words which in English means "Fried rice, Meatball, Crackers, they are delicious"

Those words were mentioned by U.S President Barack Obama when he spoke at a dinner banquet hosted by President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono in Jakarta, yesterday evening.

For me and million other Indonesians who watched the event on TV, those words, and other words uttered by Obama when he visited the Istiqlal Mosque and the University of Indonesia the next morning, implied that Obama has a good memory about his childhood days in Jakarta from 1967 until 1971.

This perception has made me and other Indonesians understand and accept the Indonesia-U.S.A Partnership Agreement signed earlier by both presidents, and also the granting of Indonesia's Highest Civilian Award to the late mother of Obama i.e. Anne Dunham.

Obama's 18 hours visit to Jakarta has also made surprising changes to two Indonesian public figures, i.e former president Megawati finally show up at the State Palace after her six years of refusal, and Minister of Information and Communication Tifatul Sembiring shook hands with a lady, U.S First Lady Michelle Obama, something that he did never before.

For me, what Obama said and done during his 18 hours visit show that he is friendly toward Indonesia and the Indonesian people, something that cannot be matched by any other foreign leaders. And this is very good for Indonesia, because Obama is the President of the most powerful country on earth today.

I therefore hope that our leaders would be able to use this very good opportunity for the best interest of Indonesia.

Sources :
How Obama Charmed Indonesia in Just 18 Hours (The Jakarta Globe)
Bakso, nasi goreng ... semuanya enak (The Jakarta Post)
Tifatul Sembiring, Michelle Obama, and A Raging Online Debate (Kompas)

Photo : Courtesy of The Jakarta Post.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

National Heroes Day 2010

Today, Indonesia commemorates the bloody fighting in Surabaya, East Java, on 10 November 1945, between local patriots and the British military forces who came to help the Dutch re-conquer the country.

Actually the fighting also took place in other parts of Indonesia a.o in Bandung, West Java,  but the one in Surabaya was the fiercest one that killed so many people.

I hope that today's commemoration would remind Indonesians that the country exists because there were patriotic men and women who sacrificed their blood, sweat and tears to defend the country's independence.

Photo : Courtesy of Terselubung.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Expensive Elections

Since 2005, provincial governors, town/city mayors and heads of regencies in Indonesia are directly elected by the people in their provinces/regents/cities..

After that, many governors, mayors and heads of regents have been brought to trial in courts for corruption charges.

In a talk show held by the Jakarta Lawyers Club at TVOne last night, the master of ceremony Karni Ilyas told the audience that since the direct election there were 17 provincial Governors and 150 mayors/regents who have been tried in Court on charges of Corruption.

Gamawan Fauzi, Minister of Home Affairs and former Governor of West Sumatra, the main speaker of teh show, acknowledged the correlationship between the said direct election and corruption.
He said that this is obvious because in order to be an eligible election candidate, one must meet the standard requirements and supported by a political party or group of political parties that have a minimum of 15% seats in the local parliament.

For which purpose, the candidate must have access to lots of money to get support from political party (-ies), for campaign logistics and rallies, for advertisements on the news media, for withness fees, etc.

The Minister estimated that in order to be elected, a candidate governor should spend around 50 Billion up to 100 Billion Rupiah, which is so many times very high compared to the basic salary of 8,7 Million Rupiah that he will receive as Governor. Note :  Beside basic salary, a governor would receive additional money so many times more for attending meetings etc, for clothes, receive benefits like official home, cars, 

Considering that Indonesia is a Unitary State, whereby provincial governors are representatives of the central government in Jakarta, I felt that it would be better if governors are nominated by the central government and elected by the parliaments of each provinces, just like before 2005. That way excessive spending of money for campaign would not be necessary anymore, and corruption can be prevented or at least be minimized.

Sources :
Pemilihan Umum kepala daerah dan wakil kepala daerah (Wikipedia)
Gamawan Fauzi: Pilkada Mahal Sebabkan Korupsi (TVOne)

Photo: Courtesy of UDFL.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Banned by Facebook

When I joined Facebook two years ago, I often receive recommendations to add certain people to my friends lists, and I would usually add them.

The reason was because I thought that my friends must have recommended those people to me, therefore they should be eligible to be my friends. 

Several months ago, all that has changed, in the sense that although our friends recommended us to add certain people to our friends, Facebook will only allow us to do so if we know that person.

In this regards, I would like to share with you a story about a woman who sued Facebook in U.S Court because she was banned by Facebook. Please find below the story written by Bruce Carton on Legal Blog Watch. Happy reading.

12,000 Miles and a Court Case Later, Maryland Woman Still Banned from Facebook

As I wrote here, I admittedly have a weakness for stories where a corporation rolls out its ultimate "death penalty" punishment on a customer: "You can never come here [buy here] [eat here] again!!"
So you can imagine my keen interest in the story of Karen Young, who was banned by Facebook from, um, Facebooking, and did not take kindly to that ban. In an e-mail, Facebook said it had banned Young for the following transgressions:
  • Sending friend requests to people you don’t know
  • Regularly contacting strangers through unsolicited Inbox messages
  • Soliciting others for dating or business purposes
Read More ... 

Reactions to Natural Disasters

Three natural disasters struck Indonesia recently i.e flood in Wasior, West Papua, on 4 October killed 147 people, earthquake and tsunami on the islands of Mentawai, West Sumatra, on 25 October killed 445 people, and eruption of Mount Merapi, Yogjakarta on 26 October and 4 November killed 116 people. Besides, many others were wounded, and more than 150 thousand people must be evacuated.   .

Many people, including celebrities, have given positive reactions to the above mentioned natural disasters, e.g by collecting donations, becoming rescue volunteers, and other good things to help victims. And others have given different reactions.

First there was the Minister of Information and Communication who linked the natural disasters with declining public moral.

Then there was the Australian Qantas airlines that blamed Mount Merapi's volcanic ash for the emergency landing of its aircraft in Singapore. This was followed by13 foreign airlines that canceled their flight to and from Jakarta, after Mount Merapi erupted again last Thursday.

Further, there was the Governor of West Sumatra who traveled to Germany last Wednesday although rescuers are still facing difficulties to help tsunami survivors and thousands of people are still living in evacuation.

But like they say " every cloud has a silver lining ", beside the above bitter reactions, there were also good and positive reactions i.e the Vice President Boediono immediately flew to West Sumatra after the tsunami, followed by President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono (SBY) who temporarily left the East Asia Summit meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam.

And for better coordination of disaster relief efforts, SBY has temporarily moved his office to Yogjakarta, and appointed the chief of the national disasters agency Syamsul Maarif as the top coordinator of disasters management, thereby uplifting Maarif's position to a ministerial level.

I hope that more people in Indonesia, especially those who love to gather and protest, would do whatever they can to help the victims of natural disasters in our own country.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Prospective Leader : Jokowi

With a total population 238 million people, Indonesia has lots of men and women who are young, capable and eligible to lead the country at the national and regional levels.

One of them is Joko Widodo (49) a.k.a Jokowi, the Mayor of the city of Solo, Central Java for two office terms (2005-2010 and 2010-2015).

Please find below an article about Jokowi written by a Jakarta based Public Relation Consultant Unspun, whose company organized Pesta Blogger 2010, on his blog http://theunspunblog.com.

Water lilies, Joko Wi and Indonesian corruption                        

November 4th, 2010 § 1 Comment

What Unspun loves about living in Indonesia is that every once in a while, amid all the muck, detritus of corruption, indecision and self interest there will emerge something wonderful, like a water lily flower blooming resplendent even though it emerged from the mud.

Last night was such an occasion. It was Pecha Kucha Night, the seventh that Maverick has organized and it had a star studded list of speakers that included film director and Indonesia’s most influential Twitterer Joko Anwar, iconoclast Pragiwaksono, “Bapak Blogger” Enda Nasution was Joko Widodo, more commonly known as Joko Wi, the legendary mayor of Solo.

Joko Wi has become a legend in Indonesia because he has shown what one man with integrity and political will can do for a city and, by extension, the country. Last night he shared with the audience of about 250 people who gathered at  Es Teler 77 Resto on Aditywarman what he’s been able to achieve in Solo.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Who must be blamed for Police Corruption ?

According to Wikipedia, Police corruption is a specific form of police misconduct designed to obtain financial benefits, other personal gain, and/or career advancement for a police officer or officers in exchange for not pursuing, or selectively pursuing, an investigation or arrest.

However, as many other things in life, Police Corruption can also be defined differently. Because like they use to say, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder

In this regards, I would like to share with you an article in The Jakarta Globe about who must be blamed for Police Corruption. 

Indonesian Police General Blames Public for Corrupt Force
Ulma Haryanto & Antara | November 02, 2010

Comr. Gen. Nanan Sukarna, left, and antigraft official Muhammad Yasin after meeting to discuss corruption on the police force. (JG Photo/Afriadi Hikmal) 

 Jakarta. The public was to blame for corruption within the police force, Comr. Gen. Nanan Sukarna, head of the National Police General Supervision Inspectorate, said on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Runaway Governor of West Sumatra

The works of a governor of a province that has been struck by Tsunami must have been so frustrating that he wants to runaway from his responsibilities.

That's what I thought when I read the news about the Governor of West Sumatra Irwan Prayitno going to Germany although part of the province, the Islands of Mentawai is under the state of emergency after struck by Tsunami on Monday 25 October killing more than 400 people.

Please find below the story that I have quoted from The Jakarta Globe.

Breaking News: West Sumatra Governor Heads to Germany as Tsunami Disaster Continues 
Jakarta Globe November 03, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Prosecution of Bibit-Chandra

Last Friday, Acting Attorney General Darmono told reporters about his decision to " deponeer " i.e set aside, the prosecution of two deputy chiefs of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Bibit Samad Rijanto and Chandra Hamzah.

Darmono explained that this action is necessary to serve greater public interest i.e. to safeguard the fight against corruption. In this connection he will seek the supports of the Parliament, the Constitutional Court and the Government.

Although this decision is considered by many people as the best option for Bibit-Chandra, but considering that it is contradictory to an earlier verdict of the Supreme Court which ordered the resumption of said prosecution, and because Darmono is not a definite Attorney General, there might be a possibility that it may be challenged.

Photo : Courtesy of Mata News

Sources :
Kejaksaan Agung Resmi Putuskan Deponeering Kasus Bibit-Chandra (TVOne)
Deponeering kasus Bibit-Chandra lawan perintah pengadilan (Primaironline)

Monday, November 1, 2010

No Smoking In Public Buildings

Smoking cigarettes in public places is one of the worst enemy of the government of Jakarta, beside traffic jams and floods.

In 2005, they issued a regulation that forbid smoking inside certain public places like Religions places,  Schools, Hospitals, etc. Other public places like Shopping Malls are required special places for smoking. Although said regulation threatened violators with Fine, however due to weak law enforcement, we often see people smoking inside the mall.

Due to this fact, this year the government issued a tougher regulation (click) that totally forbid smoking inside public buildings, which sanctioned not only with usual form of punishment like Paying Fine, but also with public sanction i.e. announcement of their names in the mass media

Several groups of people i.e. Indonesian Tobacco Farmers Association, Kretek Cigarette Community, etc. alleged that this new regulation shows that the Jakarta government have surrendered to pressures of foreign anti-tobacco activists Swiss Contact.

This allegation was denied by the Governor of Jakarta Fauzi Bowo who said that the new regulation was made to accommodate the aspirations of Jakarta residents, therefore free from foreign intervention.

Inspite of the tough regulation, Smoking Rooms still exists in Jakarta government offices a.o. Office of the Mayor of Central Jakarta (click).

I hope that this new regulation would be enforced consistently, otherwise it would be as useless just like the  previous one.

Image : Courtesy of No Tobacco.