Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Congratulation, Police.

This afternoon, the Indonesian national Police have successfully brought back the high profile fugitive tax man Gayus Tambunan from his hideout in Singapore.

It is obvious that such success can only be reached because the Police have successfully coordinate with other agencies in Indonesia, like the national anti-legal mafia task force, the immigration office and Department of Foreign Affairs. Most importantly, they have coordinated with the Singapore authorities,  considering that Indonesia and Singapore have no judicial extradition treaty,

This achievement prove that the Police's professional ability in fighting crimes in Indonesia, after they have successfully eliminated  many deadly terrorists in the last 9 months.

I hope that in the future such good cooperation among public agencies would always be maintained, and bad performances that happened in the past, i.e escape of criminals to foreign countries, can be prevented.

Julia Perez, candidate Regent of Pacitan

Singer Julia Perez (Jupe) has been nominated by eight political parties as candidate Regent of Pacitan, East Java, in the regional election next December.
The political parties includes PAN, Gerindra and Hanura.

Jupe (29) told Tempo that she doesn't know about politics and Pacitan, therefore she is now learning. She said that if elected, she is ready to leave show biz and consentrate on her duties as Regent. She also said that she will announce her vision and mission later.

Many people doubt the ability of celebrities like Jupe in holding public office. However as long as she fulfil all the requirements for the election, she has a right to be nominated as candidates in elections. The result of which shall totally depend on the decision of the voters..

Photo: Courtesy of KapanLagi.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Gayus, theTax Man

On 19 March 2010, former Chief of Detectives of the National Police Susno Duadji told the media about some middlemen involved in Tax violations.

One of them was Gayus Tambunan (30), officer of the Tax Dispute Tribunal of the Directorate of Tax, who in spite of his low official salary was known to have a bank deposit of Rp 25 Billion, luxurious house and cars.

Actually, the above case has been tried by the District Court in Tangerang, Banten, who acquitted Gayus. But Susno revealed that only Rp 400 million of was recovered, while the other Rp 24.5 Billion is still a mystery.

Earlier, Gayus told the Police that the Rp 24.5 Billion belongs to Andi Kosasih. a businessman, for property purchase. 

Last Wednesday, two days before the Police named Gayus a Supect, Gayus left Indonesia with his wife (a staff of Jakarta regional parliament) to Singapore, a country that has not extradition treaty with Indonesia.

This case has made many Tax payers very angry and protested by opening accounts in the social media Facebook that urged people not to pay tax to protest the foul play at the Tax office.

For details, please click here, here, here, here, here and here, 

Considering that Tax is a very important source of income for Indonesia, I hope that this case would be investigated openly and thoroughly, so that the people in general and taxpayers in particular would still have trust on the government. 
However, I hope that said investigation would not divert the law enforcement's consentration  from the mysterious Rp 6.7 Trillion bail out of Bank Century.   

Photo : Courtesy of VivaNews.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Pornography Law

Last week the Constitutional Court rejected the requests filed by several non-government organizations for Judicial Review on the Pornography Law, therefore the law would be validly effective in Indonesia.

However, according to Kompas (below) the provinces of Bali and Papua have refused to obey said Law.

Considering that according to our Constitution, all laws issued by the national government together with the national parliament in Jakarta should be valid in the whole territory of Indonesia, it would be very interesting to know how will the reactions would be.

Indonesian Provinces Plan to Ignore Anti-Porn Law
Sabtu, 27 Maret 2010 | 07:57 WIB

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com — Authorities in two Indonesian provinces said Friday that they will not comply with a controversial anti-pornography law they say would stifle traditional Balinese and Papuan culture. The Constitutional Court upheld the law a day earlier, rejecting appeals arguing that it defined pornography too broadly and could be used to impose conservative Muslim values on other groups and to justify attacks on art.

Legislators in Papua province — a largely tribal region where women customarily go topless — said the law  passed in 2008 has never been implemented there  because it can’t be effectively enforced. The governor of Bali, a Hindu island that draws many tourists, said he has consistently opposed the law because it goes against Balinese society.

Komarudin Watubun, deputy house speaker for the Papua provincial council, said it would be impractical to impose the law in Papua. “The people here in Papua have never bothered with the law. It’s like other laws in Indonesia where many people just realize that it cannot be enforced so why should we bother with it,” he said.

The legislation passed with strong support from conservative Islamist parties, though more than 100 legislators walked out to protest its approval. It outlaws overtly sexual images, gestures and even conversations. Violators can be sentenced to up to 12 years in prison and fined up to $795,000.

Meanwhile, Bali’s governor Made Mangku Pastika said he has long objected to the anti-pornography law since it goes against Balinese society. “We reject porn crimes, but this law also does not suit the sociological and psychological aspect of Balinese society,” he said, speaking to a group in the provincial capital of Denpasar.

Ninety percent of Indonesia’s 235 million citizens are Muslim, most practicing a moderate form of the faith. But many of its islands have large Christian and Hindu populations.

In January, four exotic dancers, along with two club managers, were arrested in the Java city of Bandung, where the mayor had announced a crackdown on behavior considered un-Islamic. The six were believed to be the first to be prosecuted under the law. Law professor Adrianus Meliala, from the University of Indonesia, said the law’s provisions are unlikely to be applied evenly across the country.

“Law enforcers are reluctant to perform legal actions which are not popular and will cause a controversy, so they will avoid charging people,” he said.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Birth of Komodos

The Komodo is a pre-historic giant lizard that live in the Island of Komodo, East Nusatenggara, whose population is decreasing from time to time.

Due to this fact, I am very happy when Kompas reported that three Komodo females have give birth to 25 baby Komodos at a zoo in Surabaya, East Java.

Indonesian Zoo Welcomes Birth of 25 Komodo Dragons
Jumat, 26 Maret 2010 | 07:36 WIB

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com — An Indonesian zoo is welcoming the births of 25 endangered Komodo dragons, hatched after eight months in incubators. Veterinarian Rahmat Suharta says the eggs, from three giant female lizards, hatched at the Surabaya Zoo in East Java over the past week.
He said Thursday that the babies, weighing between 2.8 ounces (80 grams) and 4.2 ounces (120 grams), brought to 69 the number of the giant lizards at the zoo, one of the largest in Southeast Asia. Eleven more eggs are expected to hatch in coming weeks.
Komodo dragons can be found in the wild primarily on the eastern Indonesian islands of Komodo, Padar and Rinca. The lizards — thought to number around 2,500 — can grow longer than 10 feet (3 meters) and weigh 150 pounds (70 kilograms).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tax Report Submission

The end of March is the deadline for submitting annual tax report with the local Tax Office, and many people including me, would usually wait until the last day to do it. Here are the details about it that I have quoted from The Jakarta Globe.

 A tax office employee stamping tax forms at a drop box in Jakarta. Taxpayers are required to file by  March 31. (Antara Photo)

Indonesia's Tax Deadline Looms


Indonesian taxpayers have until March 31 to fill out their annual tax declaration or SPT. Here are some tips:

You can download an SPT at the Directorate General of Taxes website, http://www.pajak.go.id, or pick it up at your local tax office.

There are three kinds of forms:

1.SPT PPh 1770: for taxpayers who have their own business.
2.SPT PPh 1770 S: for taxpayers who work as a company employee with an annual salary above Rp 60 million (about $6600).
3.SPT PPh 1770 SS: for taxpayers who work for individuals or informal businesses.

If you have any questions when filling out your form, you can seek help at the Tax Office where you are registered or at the tax stations or mobile tax facilities available in many office buildings and shopping malls.

The SPT must be printed on size F4 paper (8.5 X 13 inches). The form must not be folded or wrinkled. It must be signed or it will be considered invalid. You can fill out the form by hand or on a computer.

You can file your taxes directly to the local Tax Office or in numerous other places such as Tax Corners, Mobile Tax facilities, Drop Boxes and post offices. You will receive a receipt which you must keep.

Taxpayers who miss the deadline and fail to file for an extension face a fine of Rp 100,000 (about $11).

Followers' Blogs

Dear Followers,

First of all I would like to thank you all for following my blog on Google Friend Connect and Mybloglog.

As you may have been aware, I will automatically visit and follow your blogs as soon as I know that you have followed my blog, that is by clicking the avatar on the Google Friend Connect and Mybloglog.

Unfortunately, there are some blogs which I failed to follow because they are not mentioned on the Google Friend Connect or Mybloglog profile. Please accept my apology.

Considering the above, if any of you have followed this blog and I have not follow back, please tell me and mention your blog that you want me to follow.

Looking forward to hear from you again soon, I thank you for your attention and cooperation.

Best regards,
Harry Nizam
Twitter: twitter.com/multibrand
Facebook: www.facebook.com/multibrand

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Surabaya banned Gays and Lesbians Conference

The municipality of Surabaya, East Java, has banned an international Gays and Lesbians conference which    is scheduled to be held on 26-28 March 2010. Please find below an article in Kompas for reference.
I hope that the decision has bee informed to the conference organizer much earlier so that they can find alternative place for the event.
Int'l Gays and Lesbians Banned from Flocking to Surabaya
Rabu, 24 Maret 2010 | 14:00 WIB
SURABAYA, KOMPAS.com — Surabaya deputy mayor Arif Affandi has banned the international  gay-lesbian conference from being held in Surabaya on March 26-28, 2010. The committee of the conference will have to find a new city for its venue.

Arif stated that the rejection can't be categorized as antidemocratic or against human rights. Democracy and human rights must also mind socio-cultural conditions.

"I don't think Surabaya is suitable for such an international seminar or conference," he said in Surabaya, Wednesday. But the Surabaya government can't declare an official statement on the issue. The permit is entirely up to the police.

"Because it has an international scale, so the permit must come from the police HQ by recommendation of the regional and district police. But I heard that the Surabaya chief police has also denied the permit with the reason that it has a potential to disturb law and order."

The gay-lesbian conference was scheduled for this weekend in Surabaya, and to be attended by 200 people from various countries. (RAZ/C17-09)

Fatwa/Edict

On Monday evening, I watched on TV-One a talk show organized by the Jakarta Lawyers Club with the topic: Anti-Cigarettes Fatwa/Edict.

The show was moderated by senior journalist Karni Ilyas, with speakers representing  Muhamaddiyah, the second largest Muslim organization which issued the Anti-Cigarette Edict/Fatwa; Nadhatul Ulama (NU), the largest Muslim organization, Doctors Association (IDI), Cigarette Producers Association, cigarette smokers, attended by an audience of mostly lawyers.

Wawan, head of Muhamadiyah's Legal Dept. explained that the edict has been planned for many years, but postponed due to differences of opinions among the organization's leaders. As a matter of fact few years ago Muhamadidyah has even issued an edict which neither forbid nor permit cigarette smoking.

The most interesting was when Wawan was cornered by the other speakers and the moderator who were not anti cigarettes, tobacco farmers and cigarette factory workers, that he said that the Fatwa/Edict is meant for Muslims who smoke cigarettes which he referred to as people who are not smart. He also said that smoking cigarette would weaken people.

Iskandar of NU protested by saying that cigarette smokers cannot be regarded as not smart, and cigarette smoking does not weaken people. He said that cigarette smoking NU clerics/ulama slept only few hours to teach pupils and prayed in the evening but still able to visit their four wives in the next morning, therefore they cannot be described as weaklings. Iskandar suggested that Muhamaddiyah cancel said edict and replace it with one that suggest smoking is not good for health but does not forbid it.

Considering the above, I hope that religious organizations would always based its Fatwa/Edict on the best interest of its disciples in particular and the country in general.
Because, although an Fatwa/Edict is not  part of our legal system, however it would surely have moral effect on the disciples, therefore might cause social-economical-political impacts in Indonesia.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Susno to join KPK?

After he was dismissed from his position as Chief of Detectives of the National Police, Commissioner General Susno Duaji  has become a rising star in the Indonesian political theater.

First, there was his controversial testimony at the Court trial of former Chief of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Antasari Ashar, whereby he said he was not not involved in handling this case, because the Chief of National Police has assigned Susno's deputy to do the job.

And then there was the recent launching of his book : Bukan Testimoni Susno (Not Susno's Testimony) which mentioned among others that three high ranking Police officers received Rp 25 billion (US$ 2,75 million) in bribes to halt a tax-evasion investigation. He also alleged that some officials have acted as Middlemen for handling Legal Cases. These allegations have been strongly protested by the said officers in particular and the leaders of the National Police.

 

And the most recent news was about Susno nomination by the Golkar Party as candidate Chief of KPK currently vacant, which was protested among others by the ruling Democrat Party and NGOs because there were some questions about Susno's past i.e. his recommendation to the troubled Bank Century to release large sum of money, and it was Susno who dubbed KPK as Gecko and the Police as Crocodile.

 

For details, please click here, here, here, here, here and here.

 

Considering Susno's questionable past, and the fact that KPK has four Deputy Chiefs, I hope that selection  of the new KPK Chief shall be conducted very carefully. In order to maintain KPK's good image as a reputable anti-corruption fighter, it would be better to let one of the four existing Deputies become the Chief. If Susno is finally selected to join the KPK, it would be much better if he become an advisor for its leaders.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sony Corp Dropped its Demand

Sony Corporation of Japan has finally realized that the word SONY that it used as a Trademark is a common name of a person.

According to Kompas, last Friday, 19 March, Sony Corp. has reached an agreement with Sony Arianto Kurniawan, an Indonesian who owns the website : www.sony-ak.com, which allowed Sony AK to keep using said website, therefore dropping its demand for the cessation of operation of the said website.

Considering that Sony AK has used the website since 2003 only for providing free information to other people, thus very different from Sony Corp's money making electronics manufacturing operations, therefore it is obvious for Sony Corp to drop its demand and settle the case amicably.

Carbon Gas Emission

During the summit meeting of World G-20 learders in Pittsburg, U.S.A last September, President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono (SBY) promised that Indonesia will reduce Carbon Gas Emission by 26% in the year 2020.

As a consequence of this promise, Indonesia should stop deforestation and start  replanting trees in the  forests that have been cut down for commercial plantation, mining, etc.

Today, 6 month after SBY made his above promise, unfortunately the media have been reporting that there is no sign that deforestation will stop, as a matter of fact it seems that deforestation will be getting worst in   the years to come. This can be seen from the government's plan to give licenses to mining companies, commercial plantations and  electric power company to operate  in protected forests.

In spite of the above, there are also good news i.e. about the actions of international food companies i.e. Unilever and Nestle to stop buying Palm Oil from Indonesian company Sinar Mas because it's Palm Plantations continued to expand into rain forests and critical Orangutan habitat.

For details, please click here, here, here and here.

I hope that the government would stop giving license to commercial companies to operate in protected forests and start massive replanting of forest, so that SBY can fulfill his promise to reduce 26% Carbon Gas Emission in 2020.


Photo : Courtesy of Google.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Volcanic Alert Status

Indonesia consists of more than 17,000 islands, some of which have volcanic mountains.

According to Kompas, 17 of 18 volcanic mountains have been declared by the Indonesian Geological Agency as on Alert Status (Level II). 

Among those mountains are Bromo Mountain, Anak Krakatoa, Batur, Kaba, Semeru, Slamet, Sangeang Api, Rinjani Rokatenda, Soputan, Dukono, Lokon, Gamalama, Papandayan, and Kerinci.
 
Considering the above alert status, visitors are warned not to come within one kilometers from their craters due to the dangerous toxic gas emission.
 

Photo:  Mt. Bromo with Mt Semeru (East Java) on the background, courtesy of Kompas.

Endangered SumatraTigers.

The Sumatra Tiger is an endangered species whereby only around 400 of them left in the wild forests, and the number is decreasing due to hunting by men and deforestation.
Kompas reported that last Thursday one of the hunters i.e.Wiryo (92) was caught by the natural conservation agency in Riau Province, Island of Sumatra while sailing on a traditional wooden boat in a river carrying the Skin, Skulls and 8.3 Kilogram of Bones of a Sumatra Tiger.
 
The man said that he has been making money by hunting tiger since he was 17 years old in Java Island, before he transmigrated to Riau, Sumatra in 1960 where he killed 50 Sumatera Tigers, and sold the parts in Singapore.
The man is just one out of the hundreds or perhaps thousands of men who hunted the endangered Sumatra Tigers either for making money or just for fun. If there is no serious efforts to prevent hunting, stop deforestration, and enforce the laws, those Tigers could one day become part of history.

Photo: Courtesy of Kompas.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Indonesia & Obama

U.S President Barack Obama, spent four years of his childhood, 1967-1971, living with his American mother and Indonesian step father in Jakarta, Indonesia.

This fact has made many Indonesians become over confident that Obama will be a very good friend of Indonesia.

From some of his speeches and books, Obama implied that he would be friendlier toward Indonesia than other US presidents. Because he realized that Indonesia is the world's largest Moslem country and third largest democracy, with a steady economic growth.  Moreover, our government adopted a constant friendly policy toward the US and its allies, and made very serious and successful efforts to eliminate terrorists.

However, I doubt that Obama will be our very good friend, because as a U.S President he has lots of things to think about and take care of in his own country. He also has to prioritize U.S allies like Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Australia, etc.

Besides, our country's non-align foreign policy, and existence few but vocal radicals who protested Obama's plan to visit Indonesia next June, would prevent Obama from becoming our very good friend.

In this era of globalization, Indonesia needs supports from other countries to develop successfully. Therefore I hope that our people, especially the government and the parliament, would maintain a positive attitude toward Obama. In the sense that we treat him like any other presidents of other friendly countries, but do not be overconfident that he will a very good friend.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Police Actions in Surabaya

Yesterday I read two articles in The Jakarta Globe about Police actions in the city of Surabaya, East Java.

The first one was about the Police raiding a shop that sells Sex Pills and Toys without any license from the Department of Health. A Police officer predicted that the customers of Pills are probably young men who consumed them so that they can satisfy women who pay for their services. While customers of the Toys are women who are not satisfied with their husbands, or widows or divorcee.

The second one was about a Police finding an American man during a regular patrol at a whore house. When questioned, the man said that he is member of the United States Marine Corps on a mission to prepare the visit of US President Obama to Jakarta and Bali. The man was only able to show his passport but no Marine ID. The Police released the man after he said that he prefer to be shot rather than be arrested.

I wish that the Police have handled the American man as firmed as when they handled the sex shop, in the sense that if they really have reason to suspect the American of doing something wrong, they should have taken him to the Police station for investigation, and later on clarify with the U.S Consulate in Surabaya.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Anti-Cigarette Fatwa

As a person who has stopped smoking cigarettes for 15(fifteen) years, I believed that there should be strict regulations to limit cigarette smoking so as to keep our environment clean.  

But I also realized that people who smoke must also be given a choice whether they want to endanger their health by smoking, or stop smoking. As long as they do not disturb non-smokers, it's okay for me.

Based on this thought, I was happy when I heard that on Tuesday, 9 March, Muhamaddiyah, an Islamic organization in Indonesia that based its actions on intellectual analysis, issued a Fatwa (Edict) which declared Smoking Cigarettes as Haram (Forbidden). Muhamaddiyah said that the Fatwa has been planned 20 years ago, with the intention to save millions of  people from the danger of smoking cigarettes.

Although a Fatwa is not part of our national legal system, therefore there is no legal consequences, however it would bring moral obligations among Muslims, especially members of Muhamaddiyah,  to follow such Fatwa, thus would prevent cigarette smokers from doing their bad habit arrogantly.

However, I was very surprised when I heard that the said Fatwa was connected with financial aid amounting to Rp 3.7 Billion that Muhamaddiyah received from the USAID, AUSAID, Global Fund and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, for conducting clean air campaign in Indonesia.   

For details, please click here, here and here

Considering the above, I wish that the issuance of said Fatwa has not been related with the aid Muhamaddiyah received from the foreign institutions, thereby would not effect Muhamaddiyah's image as a religious organization. 

Photo :  Courtesy of  VivaNews/Yahoo.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sony AK vs Sony Inc.


Recently, electronics manufacturer Sony Corporation demanded Sony Arianto Kurniawan (Indonesian) to close down his website : www.sony-ak.com, because the Japanese company alleged that the website is an infringement of right on its trademark Sony.

Sony Corp. made said demand because it has spent many years and lots of money for research, production and promotion of electronics products bearing the trademark Sony. Especially if the trademark Sony has been registered in Indonesia and other countries.

In my humble opinion, Sony Corp. have been over confident in making the said demand, because protection given by trademark registration is limited to certain types/kinds of products covered by said trademark.
In this case, Sony Corp. is a manufacturer of electronics products, whereas the website: www.sony-ak.com is only a personal website of its owner that provide free information.

Efforts to settle the problem has failed because Sony Corp. insists that Sony AK should close his website, while the later refused because he has created the website using his own name since 2003 for personal usage, and he does not produce and sell anything, and has no bad intention in doing so.
And according to the demand letter issued by Sony Corp.'s Jakarta lawyer, Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners, the company would pursue legal action if Sony AK refuse to comply.

Considering the above, many people have come to the support of Sony AK, among others through the social networking media Facebook.

For details, please click here, here, here, here, here and here.

I hope that both parties would find a best way to settle their differences according to the applicable laws and regulation.

Image : Courtesy of Detik


I am back!

It has been four days since I last posted on this blog, and stopped updating without any notice to my beloved followers and visitors.  Please accept my apologies.

During those "lost" days I have been "plagued" by my works at the office which I have to complete by yesterday. I am so glad that it is now finished, thank goodness.

Wishing you a Happy Nyepi

To all my friends who are celebrating NYEPI today, I would like to wish you all a Happy SAKA NEW YEAR 1932.
Photo: Nyepi celebration at Jakarta Monday 15/3/2010  - courtesy of Kompas.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Manohara vs. the Kelantan Prince

The High Court of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, today awarded the Prince of Kelantan, Tengku Fakhry, the sum of  US$ 1.8 Million in Defamation Lawsuit against his teen Indonesian wife Manohara Adelia Pinot.

The Jakarta Globe quoted Tengku Fakhry's lawyer Muhamad Haaziq as saying that the said High Court verdict was passed in the absence of Manohara as Defendant who never appear during the who trial.

The Jakarta Globe also reported that considering that the Indonesian Laws cannot compel Manohara to adhere to the Malaysian High Court ruling, therefore the Prince plans to fly to Jakarta next week to file a similar lawsuit based on the Indonesian laws.

Due to the fact that there have been too many stories about Manohara, her Mom and the Prince reported by the media and bloggers for so long, I prefer not to give any comment until there is further development of this case.

No Smoking in Bogor

In connection with the World's No Tobacco Day on 31 May 2010, the Municipality of Bogor, West Java, will impose a strict No-Smoking Regulation.

According to Kompas, said regulation would cover public places, working places, worship places, children playground, health and sports facilities. Beside, there will not be anymore Smoking Rooms in public places. People who are caught smoking in those places would be punished with three days imprisonment or fined of up to One Million Rupiah.

Now the regulation is being socialized to the public. And according to local health officials, a recent survey shows that 91% of Bogor citizens support this regulation.

As a person who has stopped smoking for around 15 years, the above regulation is really good for me. However,  I hope that the authorities in Bogor would also study the implementation of similar regulation in Jakarta which was imposed around one year ago, but with doubtful result, due to weak law enforcement.

11 March 1966

11 March, is a very important date for Indonesia, because on this date forty years ago the late President Soekarno handed over power to Minister of the Army Leutnant General Soeharto.

According to the official version during the Soeharto era that ended on 20 May 1998, Soekarno hand over power by signing a letter dated 11 March 1966 prepared by Soeharto's staff, giving the following instructions  to Soeharto :

1)  To act for and on behalf of President Soekarno in taking whatever necessary to ensure the security, peace and stability of the government and the revolution, and to ensure the safety and authority of Soekarno and his doctrine;
2)  To Coordinate implementation of this instruction with the other Commanders in the Armed Forces;
3)  To report everything related to the above mentioned authorities and responsibilities;
From that day, the above mentioned power transition letter was popularly names as Surat Perintah Sebelas Maret a.k.a SUPER SEMAR.

Considering that according to the 1945 Constitution, such transition of power can only be conducted by the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), in 1967, a plenary session of a Temporary MPR (MPRS) was held to appoint Soeharto as Acting President, and then Permanent President on 11 March 1968.
For details, please click here and here.

The very strange thing was that that the original letter has seemingly vanished into the thin air, especially after Soeharto and the three Army Brigadier Generals who brought the letter to Soekarno in Bogor Palace at that time i.e. Muhammad Yusuf, Amir Mahmud and Basoeki Rahmat have all passed away.

Nevertheless, for the sake of Indonesia's historical truthness I hope that there will be an open investigation on what really happened to the original letter.

Image :  Courtesy of Detik.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dulmatin

Before ending his speech at the Australian Parliament, President Suslio Bambang (SBY) said that yesterday the Indonesian Anti Terrorists Unit has killed the most wanted terrorist in South East Asia i.e. Dulmatin.

SBY has every reason to be proud, because Dulmatin (39) was wanted by Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia and the United States for his acts of terrorism since 2000 in Jakarta, Bali and the Philippines, that has killed hundreds of Australians, Americans, Philippines, Indonesians and people from other countries.

For details, please click here, here and here.

I am glad that the Police's Densus-88 anti Terrorists Unit has once again proven their top abilty in combating terrorism in Indonesia. I hope that the government would follow up this success by eradicating the causes of such evil acts, i.e injustice, poverty, unemployment, corruption.

Photo :  Courtesy of Wikipedia.

SBY in Australia

President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono arrived in Canbera on  Tuesday, 9 March, greeted by a 21-guns and a military band with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Governor-General Quentin Bryce waiting on the red carpet.

Later, Quentin Bryce presented SBY with an honorary Order of Australia for his works after the 2002 Bali Bombing that killed 88 Australians.

On Wednesday, SBY became the first Indonesian President and the Fifth foreign president to address a join sitting of Australia's Parliament.

Further, President SBY and PM Rudd have reached an agreement to combat the smuggling of people to Australia through Indonesia, and agreed to eradicate terrorist network.
Afterward, SBY flew to Sydney to meet with businessmen before leaving on Thursday.

For detailed media reports, please click here, here and here.

Considering that Indonesia and Australia are neighbors, I hope that relationship between both governments, parliaments and the people would always be well maintained based on mutual respect and understanding.
Like it or not, we have no other choice, we have to like each other. 

Photo : Courtesy of AFP/Yahoo.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lawsuit Against Freeport

    Freeport McMoRan operates this mine in Papua. (AFP Photo)

International giant mining conglomerate, Freeport-McMoran has been mining Gold and Copper in the Province of Papua since 1967.

 

All of those years, Freeport has caused GREAT DAMAGE to the environment in the province and also taken the ancestral lands of the local Amungme Tribe.

 

Due to this fact, the tribe has initiated legal actions against Freeport, first last August  and the second one last October, both were unfortunately unsuccessful.

 

But the Amungme Tribe never give up, so yesterday they submitted a lawsuit with the District Court of South Jakarta, where Freeport's representative office is located, to seek for US$ 32.5 Billion in material (US$ 2.5 billion) and non material damages (US$ 30 Billion).. 

 

The Jakarta Globe quoted the tribe's lawyer Titus Natkime as saying : “ Previously, our lawsuit covered illegal land acquisition, environmental damage and human rights violations. This time, we have broken down our lawsuit and will first focus on land acquisition,”  “Next month, we may file new cases of environmental damage and rights violations.” 

 

Meanwhile, Freeport's PR Manager Budiman was quoted as saying “Previous lawsuits against Freeport making similar baseless environmental and human rights claims have been dismissed in both Indonesian and United States courts due to the inability of the plaintiffs to present facts to support their allegations ”.  

 

I hope that this time the Amungme Tribe and their lawyers have sufficient evidences to prove their claims.

Wives Competing for Husband's Office

On 19 August 2010, Soetrisno i.e. the Regent of Kediri, East Java, will end his office term, therefore a regional election for a new Regent should be held before that date.

Soetrisno does not seem to be interested to be elected for a second term. Maybe that's the reason why his two wives are very eager to nominate themselves as candidate Regent in the election.

Soetrisno's first wife is his legitimate wife, i.e. Haryatie a Medical Doctor (Picture-Left), supported by the opposition PDIP and Golkar. While his second wife is his illegitimate wife that he married based on the Islamic law only (Siri Marriage) but not registered on the official registry i.e. Nurlaela (Picture-Right) who has been the Chief of a Village of Wates for 24 years, and supported by PAN which is part of ruling coalition.

For detailed news reports (in Indonesian), please click here and here.

Considering the above and the fact that both ladies are supported by different political parties, it would be very interesting to know further news regarding their rivalry.

Photo :  Courtesy of Detik.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Police Vs Terrorists in Aceh

On 15 August 2005, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Central Government in Jakarta and the separatists in the Province of Aceh, ending 29 years of violence there.

Since then, the media stopped reporting about violence and changed its focus into the adoption of strict Islamic Syariah Law in the province.

Last week, the media has reported about the shoot out between the Police's Anti Terrorist Unit, Densus-88, and a group of fully armed terrorists in Aceh Besar Regency, killing 3 Police officers 2 terrorists and 2 civilians. 13 terrorists were arrested and sent to a detention center in Jakarta.

After the shoot out, a group called the “Tandzim Al-Qoidah Indonesia Serambi Makkah” claimed on its blog: alufuq.wordpress.com that they belong to Al-Qaedah terrorist network. The Police is investigating about the said claim.

For details, please click here and here.

Considering that the number of the alleged terrorists were quite big and fully equipped a.o with M-16 automatic rifles, GPS communication, etc. I believe that they must have spent some time to organize themselves.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

White Water Rafting


The Citarik River, located at the Village of Cikidang, Sukabumi, West Java, around 140 Kilometers from Jakarta, is a very popular site for Outbound Activities, especially White Water Rafting, for Corporate as well as families. People can go there just for one day package tour or spend a night in the area.

For details about Citarik, please visit the following sites:
1)  Perjalanan Wisata/88DB
2)  Magnet Adventure

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Java Jazz Festival

For those who love Jazz Music, and happen to be spending their weekend in Jakarta, you can come, listen, watch and enjoy  performances by local and international Jazz Musicians at the Java Jazz Festival which is held from 5, 6 and 7 March 2010, at the Jakarta International Expo in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.

President SBY's Positive Speech

Last Thursday, President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono (SBY) delivered a speech to comment the House of Representative's plenary last Wednesday which decided that the Bank Century Bailout was illegitimate.

SBY defended former Governor of the central bank and current Vice President Boediono and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani who were accused by the House responsible for the bailout, and called them as the best people to hold such positions with good track record.

Further, SBY said that he supported the decisions made by both top officials, and said that public policy cannot be prosecuted.

Furthermore, SBY said that the ruling coalition will carry on in spite of the fact that three members of the coalition i.e. Golkar, PKS and PPP, have voted against the Bank Century Bailout, therefore contradictory to the decision of SBY's Democrat Party which voted in favor of the Bailout. He said the most important thing is what is best for the people and country.

For detailed media reports, please click here and here.

Some points in SBY's above speech are debatable, for example about the timing of the speech, if it has been delivered prior to the House's Chaotic plenary, it could have reduced the tensions.
Also about his statement about Policies cannot be prosecuted, contradictory to reality whereby in the past there were officials prosecuted and imprisoned for their policies. For example a Director General at the Department of Laws punished by the court for the issuing and implementing Department's Online System,  and also former Consul General in Kota Kinabalu for issuing and implementing policies regarding Visa fees.

But overall, SBY's above speech, which did not criticize his rebelling allies, is positive for  the Social, Politic and Economic stability in Indonesia. That way we can concentrate on other matters which are not less important than the Bank Century case, such as implementation of the China-Asean FTA.

Beautiful Blogger Award

Two days ago, I was surprised and honored when an on-line friend i.e. Umihoney in Kuala Lumpur, presented me with a Beautiful Blogger Award. Thanks a lot, Umi.

The said Award was presented with the following rules :
1. Thank & link the person that gave you the award.
2. Pass this award onto 15 bloggers you’ve recently discovered and think  are fantastic.
3. Contact said Blogs and let them know they’ve won.
4. State 7 things about yourself.

I am passing this award to the following blogger that in my opinion are truly beautiful :

  1.  Ana the Imp. History 
  2.  Anggara, Law
  3.  Boja Linuxer, Computers 
  4.  Pelopor, General 
  6.  Dhyarga, General
  7.  Sang Kuda Api, Parenting
  8.  Sector Edwin,General
  9.  Saung Web, Internet 
10.  Link Tea, Internet
11.  Kiwi Riverman Post, General
12.  TheRabExperience, Laws, Politics.
13.  Love Ely, General   
14.  Jakarta News, General
15.  Spektrum,General

Now it's the hard part LOL. 7 things about me.

 1.  My name is Harry Nizam
 2.  I am an Indonesian Muslim and very proud to be one.
 3.  I love blogging about the Indonesian Laws, Politics & Environment
 4.  I always want to be positive in life
 5.  I like people with a great sense of humor.
 6.  I appreciate beauty in everything...especially in mannerism.
 7.  I love traveling

I see you again soon. Take care.

Harry

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bank Century Bailout - Final

After two days of meetings, members of the House of Representatives decided that the Bank Century Bailout on November 2008 which cost 6,7 Trillion Rupiah of taxpayer's money was illegitimate.

During last night's meeting, 325 members belonging to six political parties, i.e Golkar, PDIP, PKS, PPP, Gerindra and Hanura, voted against the Bailout. And 212 members belonging to three political parties, i.e the ruling Democrat Party, PKB and PAN, voted in favor of the Bailout.
PPP's decision was surprising considering people presumed that it will be in favour of the Bailout.

Considering that Golkar, PKS and PPP are members of President SBY's Coalition government, led by his Democrat Party supported by PAN and PKB, the result of voting has changed the balance of power at the House, and therefore shaken the government's power in the coming years.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Inul, Candidate Regent of Malang

Many Chief of Regencies in Indonesia will end their office terms this year, therefore many regional elections will be held.

In this connection, some celebrities have stated their wishes to participate as Candidates in the said election, among others film actress Ayu Azhari who wishes to be Candidate Vice Regent of Sukabumi, West Java.

And recently, Dangdut Singer Inul Daratista has also stated her wish to run as Candidate in the Election of Regent of Malang, East Java, next August.

Detik quoted Inul as saying that for that purpose she will pick the Chief of the National Awakening Party (PKB) in Malang as her running mate, and shall prepare finance amounting to Rp 60 Billion Rupiah to support her election campaign.

Considering that celebrities are famous and have lots of financial resources, it is obvious that they want to get top position in society. In this case, I hope that they would do their very best to improve their knowledge, abilities, moral, behaviors and everything needed to fulfill all the needs of the people and country.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bank Century Case Update

After four months of "investigation", yesterday the House of Representative's Special Commitee on the Bank Century case conducted its final session. As predicted, the session was chaotic, inside and outside the House's building.

Outside, around 20,000 students, anti-corruption activists and other activists demonstrated to give some sort of pressure to the 560 members of the House to make proper decision on the mysterious bailout that costed 6.7 Trillion Rupiah of tax payers money.

And inside, members of the House defended their perceptions of the case, as follows :
1) Four political parties (PDIP,Golkar, PKS & Hanura) claimed that the bail out was illegally and
    demanded that former Governor of Central Bank, current Vice President Boediono, and Finance 
    Minister Sri Mulyani should be responsible;
2) Two political parties, including the ruling Democrat Party(PD), claimed that the bail out was legal
3) Three political parties claimed that the bail out was illegal without mentioning any names.

The Democrat Party (PD) was very annoyed that the above four parties that have been very agressive includes two members of their Coalition i.e Golkar and PKS. PD tried to lobby both parties to change their stance. One of PD's lobbyists is President SBY's Special Assistant for Natural Disasters i.e. Andi Arief who accused Muhamad Makhbuhin of PKS of issuing an unsettled LC amounting   to US$ 22,500,000.00 with the Bank Century.

After the Head of Special Committee Idrus Markham finished delivering his final report, the House Speaker Marzuki Alie closed the session causing overwhelming protests from the opposing members.
After several hours, the House leaders announced that the Session will be continued the next day i.e. today, during which they would make decision on the case by voting.

I only hope that the members of the House would make their decisions on this cased merely based on the best interests of the people of Indonesia, not on their political parties' interests (I'll keep my fingers crossed).

Source :  Various mass media (TV, Radio, Papers, websites)

Monday, March 1, 2010

More Deforestration

Last year, President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono promised the international community that Indonesia will reduce its Gas Carbon emission to 26% by 2010.

When I read about that promise, I thought that Indonesia would stop deforestation and start replanting forest trees.

That's why I was very surprised when I read on The Jakarta Globe that President SBY has signed a decree that will allow mining, power plants and other projects deemed strategically important to take place in protected forests. This means that more deforestation can be expected in the coming future.

Frankly speaking, I hope that the news is not true.

Indonesia continues to have one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world. (Reuters Photo/Yusuf Ahmad)

Indonesia's Protected Forests Now Open to Development

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has signed a decree to allow mining, power plants and other projects deemed strategically important to take place in protected forests.

The decree, which took effect on Feb. 1, is certain to anger environmental groups given that the country already has one of the fastest rates of deforestation in the world.

“The use of forest areas for development activities can be done for unavoidable strategic purposes,” said the decree, which said key development projects included power plants, renewable energy, toll roads and train lines.

The decree said open-pit and underground mining could take place in production forests, which is a forest area considered neglected or abandoned after trees have been cut.

“In a protected forest, mining can be done through underground mining,” the decree said.

The decree defined mining activities as including oil and gas, minerals, coal and geothermal.

Yudhoyono has pledged to cut red tape and prevent overlapping regulations from slowing down projects ranging from mining to toll roads. Increasing exploitation of mineral resources and speeding up infrastructure development are seen as keys to boosting growth and creating jobs.

State-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina has urged the Forestry Ministry to allow geothermal activities in protected forests as most of the country’s geothermal reserves are located in these areas.

There has frequently been confusion over whether companies can exploit resources in forest areas, with various ministries requiring permits.

The Forestry Ministry recently asked Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold to submit a request to use land in a protected forest area, a ministry official said on Tuesday. Freeport operates the huge Grasberg copper and gold mine in Papua. Grasberg has the world’s largest recoverable reserves of copper and the largest gold reserves.

In 2004, the government allowed 13 mining firms, including Freeport, to continue mining operations after the introduction of a law in 1999 that banned open-pit mining in forested areas.

Last month, police temporarily shut the Jorong coal mine in Kalimantan operated by a unit of Thailand’s top coal miner, Banpu, over a permit problem. Banpu said the closure would only have a slight impact on production at its domestic unit, PT Indo Tambangraya Megah.

Indonesia has struggled to attract fresh investment into mining, as well as for developing new oil and gas fields, partly due to uncertain regulations and red tape.

The government has previously said it expected mining investment to hit $2.5 billion this year, up from $1.81 billion in 2009, supported by greater certainty after the introduction of new mining regulations.


Reuters

Falun Gong Radio

Radio Era Baru in Batam, Riau Province, airs 30 percent of its programs in Mandarin and targets the Indonesian-Chinese community as its market segment.
One of the radio's favorite topics is about the activities of the Falun Gong movement which is banned by the Communist government in the People's Republic of China, and Beijing is very disturbed with such activities that they have requested the Indonesian government  to ban the radio.

According to The Jakarta Post, the Ministry of Information and Communication through the Radio Frequency Spectrum Monitoring Center plans to force the radio off air.

I hope that the final decision of the Ministry, or it's agency, on this case would merely be based on the best interest of the people of Indonesia..