Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sympathy for the Devil - A Song for Halloween

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man's soul and faith
And I was around when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game
Read More .....

   Song written by Mick Jagger & Keith Richard:  Courtesy of ST Lyrics
Image: Courtesy of Wikipedia

Viva Indonesian Bloggers

Yesterday, 1,500 Bloggers attended the Pesta Blogger 2010 held at Epicentrum Walk, a brand new shopping center located at Kuningan, South Jakarta.

The event began at 8 am with registration followed by an opening ceremony at 10 am and ended at around 5 pm.

I was invited to the event by My Gamma as one of the sponsors, but as I have go to Bogor in the morning, I arrived at the venue at 1.45 pm. Although I was very late but registration went smoothly. I received a ticket (@ Rp. 50.000), lunch and coffee breaks coupons, a decent bag containing books, T-Shirt, etc.

Another reason for me to come to the event was to meet a fellow blogger from Bandung i.e Yari whose blog: I have been following for some time.

Although I came rather late but I can clearly see that the event has been well organized, a big thanks to the Chairperson Irayani a.k.a Rara (a Dentist), the organizing committee, as well as sponsors a.o Acer, the US Embassy in Jakarta, My Gamma, Maverick PR Consultant. 

However, the most important factor for the success was the willingness and enthusiasm of the Bloggers to come and participate joyfully and peacefully.

The successful event was a culmination of a series of successful Mini Pesta Blogger 2010 held in other Indonesian cities like Makasar, Manado, Banjarmasin, Banda Aceh, Padang, Yogjakarta.

Some photos of the event can be found in the article that I have quoted from Yari's blog

Bloggers Galore!

Posted on | 3 Komentar

If a pic can depict a thousand words then I don’t have to come up with long-winded post telling you how fun the time I had during the Pesta Blogger 2010. Browse the pictures but beware of the maximum resolution of the pics especially for those who browse over a lame broadband connection, it may load forever. Voila tout!

Remember those in misfortune. Natural disasters occurred across the archipelago. This action is to raise money for those in misfortune.

A theatrical action demanding the abolishment of the statutory law of the information and the electronic transaction (UU-ITE)
Read More ...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Natural Disaster as a Part of Life

Natural disasters occurred very often in Indonesia causing the death of so many people and many others missing, beside destroying homes, offices, factories, et cetera.

First there was the flood in Wasior, West Papua that killed many people and destroyed the town. Then came the Tsunami in Mentawai, West Sumatra, last Monday that has killed more than 400 people and almost 500 others missing. This was followed by the eruption of Mount Merapi in Yogjakarta last Tuesday, that killed  at least 33  people, including the Keeper of the Mountain Mbah Marijan (80) and a TV Reporter.

I should also mention the heavy rainfall that caused floods and inundated several parts of Jakarta, the capital city, almost every year.

Beside natural disasters, there is also disaster allegedly caused by human error in oil drilling operation i.e the Lapindo Hot Mud Flow Tragedy in Sidoarjo, East Java, that has inundated large area of homes, factories, farmlands etc. since 2005.

People in Indonesia gave various comments on the said disasters. Some people, including the Minister of Information and Communication Tifatul Sembiring, said that they are signs of God's punishment to sinful people living in the disastrous region.

Considering that Indonesia has lots of active volcanic mountains, and its geographical location is vulnerable to earthquakes, many Indonesians have regarded natural disasters as part of life, therefore we should be ready to face them. 

In this regards, I would like to share with you an article written by Peter Gelling on Globe Post (below).  Happy reading.

Indonesia : It's Not Disasterland                                 
Analysis: Natural disasters are all the media tells us about Indonesia. But there's so much more.      Published: October 28, 2010 13:27 ET in Asia 
natural disasters, tsunami
BOSTON — In Jakarta, Indonesia’s sprawling mega-capital, when the ground rumbles in that all too familiar way, everyone runs.

There is no order to it. There are no clearly marked emergency exits and people do not form lines as they calmly file out of the city’s ubiquitous office towers and malls. No, no matter where you are, you get out fast — women and children be damned.

There is no telling how many movie theaters I’ve torn out of, a full fight of stairs ahead of my Javanese girlfriend.
But when the tectonics settle, usually only a few minutes later, shoulders are shrugged and everyone meanders back inside.

For Indonesians, disasters are a part of their everyday life — a reality made starkly apparent this week when three of them struck simultaneously in highly populated regions of the country. So when news organizations around the world stumble to cover them ad nauseum, it often seems incongruous to those living there.
To many messages of concern sent from home during the time I lived there, I replied, “Why? What happened?”   Read More ..

Thursday, October 28, 2010

No more Fiscal Fee

Starting January 2011, Indonesians do not have to pay Fiscal Fee anymore if they want to travel abroad. Please find below an article that I have quoted from Kompas.

This new government policy will surely increase the number of Indonesians who will travel abroad and spend their money there.  

Indonesians to Enjoy Free Fiscal Fee
Selasa, 26 Oktober 2010 | 18:12 WIB AFP

Photo taken October 18, 2010 shows dancers from India performing during the Nusa Dua Fiesta in Nusa Dua in the resort island of Bali on October 18, 2010. The annual event features cultural performances from Indonesia and other Asian countries.

JAKARTA, - Indonesians will enjoy free fiscal fee overseas travel starting next year, a senior official said. Director of Public Service and Information of the Tax Directorate General M Iqbal Alamsyah said Tuesday his office starting January 2011 would give a free fiscal facility for people aged 21 and over who did not have a tax ID number.

Previously from January 1, 2009, to December 31, 2010, free fiscal facility was only applicable to with a tax ID number. Iqbal said the new policy was part of the government’s program to make it easier for those going abroad for various purposes such as education or medical check up.

Up till now, fiscal fee traveling abroad costs Rp 2.5 million for those traveling by air, and Rp 1 million traveling by sea.

Youth's Pledge Day

On 28 October 1928, young people from various parts of the Dutch Colony of East India held the first Congress of Youth at the capital city of Batavia.

The participants of the congress have pledged as follows :
1)  We have one country   =  a country called Indonesia
2)  We have one nation     =  an Indonesian Nation
3)  We have one language =  an Indonesian Language

This pledge has unified the people in the said Dutch Colony and inspired them to declare the independence of the Republic of Indonesia on 17 August 1945.

I sincerely hope that every citizens of Indonesia, especially those in the central and provincial governments and parliaments would always remember the Youth's Pledge.

Images : Courtesy of Jimmy Zakaria (below) and Tandainama (above). 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Eruption of Mount Merapi

After several weeks of volcanic activities, Mount Merapi in Central Java erupted on Tuesday 26 October..

According to Kompas, 16 people have died and many others wounded because of breathing Hot Ash from the eruption of  the 1,968 meters high volcanic mountain.

Several weeks before the eruption the local government has urged 11,400 villagers living on the mountain to evacuate. But only the old people and children fled, while adults stayed to tend to homes and farms on the mountain's fertile slopes.

Considering the above, I would like to express my deepest condolence and sympathy to the people who have died, and hope that their families would be given the strength to carry on.

Photo :  Courtesy of Poedji Zone.

Earthquake and Tsunami in Mentawai

On Monday evening, an earthquake with a magnitude between 7.2 on the Richter Scale has struck the islands of Mentawai, West Sumatra.

According to VivaNews, the local authority has turned on Tsunami warning immediately after the earthquake, but since nothing happened after almost hour later it was turned off. However, later on it was reported that a Tsunami has struck the nearby island of Pagai.

According to Kompas,  112 people were reported dead, 502 people missing and thousand were evacuated from their homes. 9 Australian citizens who are visiting the area have been reported to be safe and sound. 

Considering the above, I would like to express my condolence and deepest deepest symphaty on those who have died, and hope that the missing people will soon be found.

Photo : Courtesy of Kompas.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Parliamentary Study Tours

Fakta-Fakta Penyebab Anggota DPR Tidur Saat Sidang

The activities of members of parliament (MP) have always attracted the attention of news reporters.

The most recent ones were about the MPs plans to visit foreign countries to conduct comparative studies.on various matters, such as : about Scouts in South Africa, about Ethics in Greece, about Poverty in the United States, and about Financial Service Authority in Great Britain, Germany, Japan and South Korea.

In my humble opinion, MPs as lawmakers and controller of the government may always conduct comparative studies to any countries of the world as long as the subject matters are necessary and our country's budget can afford them.

In this regards, I felt that only the Financial Service Authority study is necessary at this time of day  While the others can be done locally by using the internet to obtain whatever information they want to get. As MPs I am sure they can communicate easily with their foreign counterparts or others.

Last but not least I hope that the MPs would be more diligent, and do not sleep, when they are doing their main jobs as MPs, i.e. controlling the government, and making laws, especially that until September they have only made 7 out of 70 laws they planned to make in 2010.

Sources : 
1)  Menyorot Studi Banding DPR ke Empat Negara (Tempointeraktif)
2)  Bima Arya : DPR Bisa Manfaatkan PPI (Kompas)
3)  Evaluasi Kinerja DPR (Voice of Indonesia)

Image :  Courtesy of

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Burning of Forest in Sumatra

Smokes originating from the burning of forest in the Island of Sumatra in the last few days has been causing heavy air pollution in Singapore and Malaysia.

Due to this fact, the governments of Singapore and Malaysia have complained and urged the Indonesian government to take immediate action to stop the fire, for which purpose they both offered their assistance.
These offers were welcomed by Indonesian Foreign Minister Marti Natalegawa who said that the smoke problem is a transnational problem that cannot be solved by Indonesia alone, but required cooperation among countries in the region.

According to Indonesian Minister of Environment Gusti Hatta, most of the fires were set by farmers practicing slash and burn agriculture in Riau Province, Sumatra. He also said that  The minister's deputy told reporters that his office is sending a team to Riau to find our more details as to the cause of fire.

Considering that the smoke has caused heavy air pollution in other countries, they must have originated from heavy burning of forests by so many people that can either be farmers or workers or plantation companies. 
The question is : why did the Forestry Ministry blamed only traditional farmers and not the plantations ?

For details, please read the following articles :
Govt says haze from RI, blames traditional farmers (The Jakarta Post)
Sumatra Smoke Clouds Sky Over Malaysia, Singapore (The Jakarta Globe)
Return of the Haze "We can't fight alone" (Strait Times)

Photo :  Courtesy of Reuter.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Efforts to Rehabilitate Soeharto's Name

On 21 May 1998, the Indonesian people forced the late President Soeharto to step down from 32-years of authoritarian rule.

Since then, efforts have been made to investigate Soeharto's involvement in the killing of hundreds of thousand of alleged Communists between 1966 and 1968.

Efforts have also been made to bring him and his family to trial for several allegations of corruptions, disappearance of political opponents, and other bad things that happened during his rule.

However, until Soeharto died at the age of 86 around two and a half years ago, none of those allegations were proven, thus all those efforts were fruitless.

A few days ago, Soeharto's children and supporters commemorate the One Thousand Days of his death, and they have proposed the government of President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono to declare Soeharto as National Hero during the commemoration of the National Heroes Day on 10 November.

This proposal is supported by Suharto's children and followers, who claimed that Suharto has stabilized the country which enabled development, for which he was named the Father of Development.
Meanwhile, former victims of Soeharto's authoritarian rule and pro-democracy activists opposed the idea.

If Soeharto is named as National Hero, his name would surely be rehabilitated. This would benefit the Golkar Party as the heir to Soeharto's political legacy, especially that its chairman Aburizal Bakrie is a possible candidate in the 2014 presidential election.

For details, please read the following articles 
-   Indonesia Debates Possibility of Honor for Suharto (The New York Times)
-   Family Leads 10,000 Visitors in Suharto Day of Honor (The Jakarta Globe)
-   Soeharto (Wikipedia Bahasa Indonesia)

Photo : Courtesy of The Jakarta Post

The Torture in Papua is True

After several days of silence on the video showing the torture of civilian in Papua by soldiers, yesterday the government admitted about this brutality, and promised that a thorough investigation shall be carried out.

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

The decision to admit the about torture is a brave decision that should be appreciated. By doing so the government has shown to the public that it not hiding bad things and willing to reveal the truth by investigating the allegations.

However, it would be a lot much better if the said investigation involve independent party (ies) so as to get more convincing result.. 

Purnomo Yusgiantoro
Sabtu, 23 Oktober 2010 | 04:49 WIB
JAKARTA, - Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said  soldiers  found to have acted  excessively in interrogating prisoners  could be tried in a court martial.

"If they are really wrong they can just be arraigned in a court  martial," he said after attending a limited cabinet meeting on political, security and legal affairs at the president’s office in response to an indication that TNI (Indonesian Defense Forces) members had maltreated prisoners  in Papua.  READ MORE ..

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Are Students more dangerous than FPI?

In response to the demonstrations by thousands of people who protested the first anniversary of the second term of President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono in several Indonesian cities yesterday,  the Police have used tear gas, water cannon and fire arms.

In Jakarta, the Police has shot the leg of Farrel, one of the hundreds of students of the University of Bung Karno who take part in the demonstration.

This response is different from the Police's reaction on the violent protests often carried out by a group of vigilante who call themselves the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).

Considering the above, I wonder whether the students are considered to be more dangerous than FPI ?

Please find below an article about yesterday's incident that I have quoted from The Jakarta Globe.

Questions, Rage Over Police Shooting of Menteng Protester
Zaky Pawas, Nurfika Osman & Armando Siahaan | October 21, 2010

An Indonesian policeman blocks student protesters during an anti-government protest in Jakarta on Wednesday.  Police defended their use of firearms and the shooting of a student by stating that they acted in self-defense. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)  

An Indonesian policeman blocks student protesters during an anti-government protest in Jakarta on Wednesday. Police defended their use of firearms and the shooting of a student by stating that they acted in self-defense. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

Jakarta. Indonesian Police admitted to firing shots at protesters following a demonstration that turned rowdy on Jalan Diponegoro in Central Jakarta on Wednesday. 

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Boy Rafli Amar said officers at the scene felt cornered because demonstrators had turned brutal.  READ MORE ..

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More Chance for SBY-Boediono

Today is the first anniversary of the coalition government lead by President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono (SBY) and Vice President Boediono.

As planned, thousands of people have staged anti SBY-Boediono demonstrations in several cities like Jakarta, Bandung, Padang, Makasar, saying they both failed to fulfill their election campaign promises, and therefore demanded that they both should resign.

Some of the demonstrations were anarchic, for example in Jakarta the Police was forced to open fire and shot one student and arrested two others. The shooting is now being investigated.

For me, the demonstrations brought mixed feelings, on the one hand I felt happy because there are people who represented me in expressing disappointment at SBY's  government. This is obvious because I have given my vote for him during presidential elections in 2009 and 2004.

On the other hand I am sad because of two reasons. Firstly, some of the demonstrations were anarchic.
secondly, the demonstrators demanded the resignation of of SBY-Boediono, while actually the government was a coalition of several parties a.o SBY's Democrat Party, Golkar Party, PKS. In other words, if the government failed, all those parties should back-off from the coalition too, and new election should be held.

Considering that SBY-Boediono won more than 60% popular votes during last year's election, they have only
spent the first year of their five years term, and until now we still do not have other candidates who are better, I felt that it would be much better to give them more chance to carry on..

For details, please read the following media articles :
We will Open Fire on "Anarchic Demonstration" Jakarta Police said (J. Globe).
Hundreds mark SBY first year in second term with protest in Makasar (J. Post).
SBY Dianggap Gagal Sejahterakan Rakyat (Kompas)
Satu Mahasiswa Tertembak, Dua Ditangkap (Kompas)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Death Penalty for Corruption Criminals

Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court Mahfud MD seems to be very sick and tired of the efforts that has been made to eradicate corruption in Indonesia that he proposed Death Penalty for those who are guilty of committing Crime of Corruption.

Please find below a news article that I have quoted from Kompas.

I hope that the Chief Justice's statement is sincere, not just some sort of lips service for whatever reason he may have.

Minggu, 17 Oktober 2010 | 02:27 WIB
Indonesian laborers burn an effigy of a rat symbolizing corruption during a May Day rally outside the presidential palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Saturday May 1, 2010. Tens of thousands of workers thronged the streets of Asian cities Saturday in annual May Day marches, demanding job creation and minimum wage hikes. Writings on the effigy say "Corruptors Regime".
JAKARTA, — Indonesia needs to follow China’s example and sentence officials convicted of corruption to death in order to stamp out massive graft in the country, a top judge said Saturday. Indonesia’s current sentences for corruption are too soft and do nothing to deter corrupt officials, said Mohammad Mahfud, the chief justice of the Constitutional Court.

Officials “are sentenced to only three to four year in jail, which is lighter than sentences given to petty criminals,” Mahfud said.   He advocated the use of a provision in Indonesia’s Anti-Corruption Law that allows judges to sentence convicts to death. It has never been used.

“In China, which carries out the death sentence for those convicted of corruption charges, there is a deterrent effect,” he said. “If death sentences were used in Indonesia for corruption, it would reduce the cases.”
China is trying to reduce the number of crimes that get the death penalty, but a legislator last month said China’s lawmakers have never considered dropping the death penalty for corruption. People convicted of corruption should be subject to harsh penalties, lawmaker Chen Sixi said in an online chat with citizens, according to the People’s Daily newspaper.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been widely credited for the success of an anti-corruption campaign that started after he took office in 2004. Scores of corrupt politicians, entrepreneurs and law enforcement officials have been tried and convicted, including the father-in-law of one of the Yudhoyono’s sons.

According to advocacy group Transparency International’s corruption index, Indonesia ranks 111th out of 180 countries.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Stand Up Against Radicals

 Most Muslims in Indonesia adopt moderate ways of thinking and living, in the sense that they adapt with local traditions and customs, and tolerate differences with people from other religions.

This can be seen from the fact that two of the largest Muslim organizations in Indonesia, i.e. Nahdathul Ulama and Muhammadiyah are moderates.

Unfortunately, this majority tend to be very silent compared to the very few minority i.e. fanatic people  who are very vocal in expressing themselves i.e. all Muslims should think and live exactly the same way as those in countries with authoritarian regimes like Saudi Arabia. Their females wear dresses that close every parts of their bodies except for their eyes, while their men wear beard and short cut trousers.

Personally, I don't really care what other people think or do, as long as they do not bother other people.

The problem with these fanatics is that they tend to force others to follow them. Some of them would not hesitate to act violently and chaotically, some are even willing to kill others who are different from them.

The saddest thing is that the government and law enforcement agencies tend to be silent and almost do nothing.
Considering this fact, I was rather surprised and very glad when I read the news that Vice President Boediono has urged Indonesians to stand up against those radicals.

Please find below an article about this that I have quoted from The Jakarta Globe. 

Indonesian Vice President: Stand Up Against Radicals
Ulma Haryanto & Anita Rachman | October 18, 2010

Jakarta. Vice President Boediono has received cautious praise after calling on the “silent majority” to take a stand against a growing radicalism that he describes as threatening to take the country down a path of destruction.

“Once we allow radicalism to take over our way of thinking, it will lead us toward destruction,” the vice president said in a speech on Saturday at the opening of the Global Peace Leadership Conference, organized by Nahdlatul Ulama.  READ MORE ..

Photo: Courtesy of Wharton

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Muslim Leaders and Polygamy

The Marriage Law No. 1/1974 allows a man to practice Polygamy i.e marry more than one woman if a Court permit him to do so.

This is not easy, because the Court would only give the permission if the man's wife permitted him to marry another woman, and that he is able to take care of more than one family.

In this regards, I would like to share with you a related article written by Khairil Azhar, a researcher at the Paramadina Foundation in Jakarta, that I have quoted from the Opinion section of The Jakarta Post (below).

Sex, hypocrisy and Muslim leaders                                                                          
The way to be at peace and free from the anxieties of unjust behavior is to have only one wife…. I have had plenty children with both of them. Day and night, I feel unrest since there is one thing I always think of: fairness. …. Never experiment with polygamy since we are dealing with humans. I myself am weak in this case, Abdulmalik.”
— Hamka, Tafsir al-Azhar

Hamka (1908-1981), a renowned Indonesian Islamic scholar, is quite different from Tifatul Sembiring, a so-called observant Muslim, leader of an Islamic political party as well as the communications and information technology minister. Tifatul practices polygamy and often shocks people with his statements related to sex.  READ MORE ...

Photo: Courtesy of SFGate.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Moratorium on Deforestration

The destruction of rain forest and peat lands is the major reason Indonesia has been considered as the world's third-largest emitter of Greenhouse Gases blamed for Global Warming.
In order to stop the destruction, on 27 May Indonesia and Norway signed an agreement whereby Indonesia pledged a two years Moratorium on Deforestation, and Norway will pay US$ 1 Billion in return.

To ensure the implementation of said agreement, the government has taken necessary steps to stop the new cutting of forest trees, among others by stop giving new licenses.

Beside that, steps has also been taken to reduce criticism on the massive deforestration in Indonesia, i.e. by denying the entrance of Greenpeace's ship Rainbow Warrior into Indonesian territory. This is obvious because Greenpeace has been criticizing Indonesia for massive destruction of forest and peatlands to make way for Palm Oil plantations.

I hope that the government would always set and implement forestation policy based on the interests of the Indonesian people. Therefore illegal and massive cuttings of forest trees must be stopped, and ensure that protected forests would not be violated, with or without other countries' assistance. 

For details, please read the following articles :
Indonesia puts Moratorium on New Forest Clearing (Reuter)
Rainbow Warrior denied entry to Indonesia : Greenpeace (AFP)

Photo: Courtesy of Flickr.

Yusril's Case

Before the late President Soeharto stepped down from power on May 1998, the economic condition of Indonesia was so bad that we have to begged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help us survive.

In return for their help, IMF demanded us to follow their instructions, among others privatize state owned companies and allow foreign equity in businesses which were previously closed.

As a consequence, many companies' articles of association should be changed immediately. This is no possible if we used the conventional administration system of the Ministry of Justice. and the only possible wayout  would be to apply computerize administration system. However, it was crisis back then, neither the Ministry nor the government has money to build such system.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Shipwreck Treasures off Cirebon

   Underwater Shipwreck in Cayman Brac
In 2004, a massive haul of shipwreck treasures was found off Cirebon, West Java.

The treasures comprises some 271,000 pieces including rubies, pearls, gold jewelery, Fatimid rock-crystal, Persian glassware and exquisite Chinese imperial porcelain dating back to the late 10th century.

The Indonesian Maritime and Fishery Ministry has held two auctions for the treasures, but no investors show up to pay the US$ 16 million deposit.

Recently, an official of the Ministry said that China is interested in the shipwreck treasures. AFP quoted him as saying :that  the Chinese are very interested as this treasure is unique and there are no similar collections in any museums in China.

Considering the above report, I felt that the shipwreck treasures may be able to reveal more about our history, therefore it would be best if the government do not merely think of it as a commercial project.  

Photo: Courtesy of Blogu'lu

Thursday, October 14, 2010

No more Book Ban

Yesterday, the Constitutional Court passed a historical verdict which canceled a law that provides authority to the Attorney General to ban books and other printed materials.

According to the said Court, the Law No 4/PNPS/1963 regarding "Securing Printed Materials whose content might Disrupt Public Order" is contradictory to the Constitution of 1945.

It also ruled that the banning of printed materials should only be done through a Court's verdict.

Please find below a news article that I quoted from The Jakarta Globe.

This is really a Great News that provide great opportunity for Indonesian writers to make great writings.

Indonesian Attorney General Loses Power to Ban Books
Camelia Pasandaran, Heru Andriyanto & Ismira Lutfia | October 14, 2010

Jakarta. In a landmark verdict, the Constitutional Court on Wednesday struck out a law that gave the Attorney General’s Office the power to ban books, saying such power should rest with a judicial court. 

“The 1963 Law on Securing Printed Materials whose content could disrupt public order is against the Constitution,” court chief Mahfud MD said. “The law is no longer legally binding.” 

Justice Ahmad Fadlil Sumadi gave a dissenting opinion but his argument was not immediately clear. 

Muhammad Alim, another justice, said that in a state governed by law, confiscating or banning publications and books should be done through the process of law.   
Read more .....................

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pesta Blogger+ 2010 : Registration

Bloggers in Indonesia will be gathering once again on 30 October at the Rasuna Epicentrum Walk, Jl. HR. Rasuna Said, South Jakarta.

In the past (from 2007 until 2009) the event was named Pesta Blogger i.e. a party / gathering of Bloggers in Indonesia.

This year, the name has slightly been changed by adding a "plus (+)" sign into Pesta Blogger+ 2010, this is to accomodate the growing numbers of non-blogger online activists like Facebookers, Twitterers, etc.

For those who wish to attend the event, you may register now by sending e-mail to: mentioning the subject: Registrasi PB2010. Attendance fee would be like last year i.e. Rp 50.000,-/person.

Further details on Pesta Blogger+ 2010 can be found on the following blogposts :

Registration begins for Pesta Blogger+ 2010 (
Registrasi Blogger+ 2010 (

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Candidate Police Chief

President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono has named Comm.Gen Timur Pradopo as the only candidate to replace National Police Gen. Chief Bambang Danuri who is about to retire from his job.

Although such nomination is the prerogative right of the President, however it has been protested by members of Parliament who will make the final decision on this matter, non government organizations such as Transparency International and Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) who doubt his ability to reform the Police and questioned his background.

Please find below a related article that I have quoted from Kompas.

Now that the president has named Timur as sole candidate, I hope that the Parliament would make a decision based on the very best interest of all the people of Indonesia.

Reformists lose hope for Indonesia
Senin, 11 Oktober 2010 | 07:02 WIB
                                                                                                                    KOMPAS IMAGES/DHONI SETIAWAN 
Commisioner General Timur Pradopo has been named by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as candidate for 
the next National Police chief to replace General Bambang Hendarso Danuri
by Arlina Arshad

JAKARTA, - The vaunted Reformasi era of democratic change in Indonesia is coming to a dead end under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s leadership, if his candidate for police chief is any indication, activists say. Some are already drafting obituaries for the spirit of openness and liberal reform that energised the country of 240 million people in the years after the resignation of the dictator Suharto in 1998.

The latest nail in the coffin, according to these rights activists, is the imminent appointment of three-star General Timur Pradopo, 54, as chief of the mainly Muslim country’s notoriously corrupt police force. When Yudhoyono came to power in 2004, defeating the daughter of Suharto’s predecessor Sukarno in a poll seen as free and fair, he was considered a potential reformer himsel
f. Click for more ..........

Monday, October 11, 2010

Indomie in Taiwan

Last Friday, authorities in Taiwan announced the recall of Indomie Instant Noodle after two forbidden preservatives, i.e. Methyl p-hydroxybenzoate and Benzoic Acid, were found.

These preservatives are only allowed for usage in Cosmetics and are banned in Taiwan, Canada and Europe.  
If consumed, they may cause vomiting, and if they are taken for long periods or in substantial amounts, they may cause metabolic acidosis - a condition due to too much acid.

Due to the ban in Taiwan, two large supermarkets in Hongkong have stopped selling Indomie noodles.

In response to these allegations, a Director of PT Indofood Consumer Brand Product (ICBP) as producer of Indomie, i.e. Taufik Wiraatmaja, told reporters that the instant noodles ICBP exported to Taiwan met the local food safety requirement. He also said that his Company shall check with the authorities in Taiwan and take necessary steps to protect its consumers.

Meanwhile, Kustantinah, head of Indonesia’s National Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM), said that Indomie instant noodles are safe. 

What happened to Indomie in Taiwan has caused the decrease in the price of stocks of INDF and ICBP at the Jakarta Stock Exchange today. 

Considering that Indomie instant noodle is very popular in Indonesia, and have good market positions in Taiwan and Hongkong, I hope that ICBP would do its very best to prove that their products are safe for consumption.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Musicians Urged to Boycott Cigarette Sponsors

Most live music concerts in Indonesia are sponsored by cigarette manufacturing companies, for example the Java Rockin' land Music festival held at the Ancol Beach, North Jakarta from 8 until 10 October 2010

Considering this fact, an Asia Pacific summit of anti-smoking campaigners has urged Indonesia to regulate its tobacco industry and urged musicians to boycott events sponsored by cigarette manufacturing companies. Please find an article that I have quoted from AFP/Google.

Anti-smoking summit urges Indonesian action
SYDNEY — An Asia Pacific summit of anti-smoking campaigners Saturday urged Indonesia to regulate its tobacco industry and called for musicians to boycott events sponsored by cigarette companies.

The Asia Pacific Association for the Control of Tobacco (APACT) said Indonesia was creating a "public health disaster" by rejecting the global tobacco treaty and allowing cigarette promotion to thrive.
APACT also condemned international bands including Australia's Wolfmother and The Vines for playing a major music festival this weekend in Jakarta which is sponsored by Gudang Garam, Indonesia's largest tobacco company.

"Tobacco advertising and promotional activities in Indonesia are unmatched anywhere else in Asia," APACT said in a resolution passed Saturday.

"Rock groups from western countries such as USA, UK and Australia, who would not allow tobacco sponsorship of their concerts in their own countries or anywhere else in the world, are performing in Indonesia under tobacco brand names," it added.

"These bands have ignored international protests about their double standards."
The Sydney summit of 700 delegates from 41 countries made an "urgent" appeal that Jakarta sign on to the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and ban tobacco advertising and sponsorship.

It called for "all international artists and athletes performing in Indonesia (to) reject tobacco sponsorship of their concerts and events" and refuse to participate in events that promoted smoking.
APACT also asked Wolfmother and The Vines to make a public statement "that they will no longer endorse tobacco sponsorship and do not encourage smoking (and) they condemn the distribution of free cigarettes at concerts."

Wolfmother has responded to the criticism by issuing a statement on its website saying it does not "support or condemn the sponsors" and will play the gig for the fans who have "parted with their very own cold hard cash".

Indonesia earns billions of dollars a year in tax revenues from tobacco companies, which employ millions of people across the country.

APACT said more than 200,000 people died every year from tobacco-related causes in Indonesia, with 60 percent of the country's men estimated to be smokers and a "disturbing" trend of children taking up the habit.

The Supreme Court's Gift to Prita

Prita Mulyasari, mother of two toddlers, was detained by the Police for three weeks last year because she sent e-mail to her friends complaining about the sub-standard service provided to her by OMNI International Hospital in Tangerang, Banten province.

Prita was then named Defendant in both Civil and Criminal cases of Defamation brought by the hospital and its doctors.

In the Criminal case, the Tangerang District Court acquitted Prita of all charges, however, the Prosecutors filed an Appeal with the Banten High Court.

Whereas in the Civil case the said Court, and afterward the High Court fined her Rp 204 million in damage.

And last Friday, the Supreme Court passed a verdict for the Civil case and decided that Prita should not pay the fine.

I hope that for the Criminal case, the Supreme Court would also pass a verdict that would be favorable for Prita and free her from all charges.

For details, please read the following articles :

Prita Mulyasari and "That" Defamation Judgment ... (Rob Baiton)
Victory: Supreme Court Wipes Prita Mulyasari's Fine for Alleged Defamation (The Jakarta Globe)

Photo :  Courtesy of Suara Merdeka.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Wanted : Playboy Indonesia's Ex-Editor

The South Jakarta District Attorney issued a warrant on Thursday for the arrest of Playboy Indonesia's Ex-Editor Erwin Arnada after he failed to show up to start his two years prison sentence.

Last August the Supreme Court  found Arnada guilty of violating the Criminal Law Article 282 regarding Indecency, overruling an earlier acquittal by the Jakarta High Court and South Jakarta District Court.

Earlier, Arnada's lawyers said that he will serve the prison sentence, but until Friday they were still unaware of his whereabouts. 

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Press Council Bagir Manan said that the Supreme Court has been wrong in  using the Criminal Law as basis for the trial. Because this case is a Press Case, therefore its trial should be based on the Press Law. Due to this fact, Bagir said that Arnada can request for a Judicial Review with the Supreme Court

For details, please read the following media reports :
Playboy Indonesia's Former Editor at Large (Kompas)
Playboy Editor Now a Fugitive as Jail Surrender Date Passes (The Jakarta Globe)  
Dewan Pers : Vonis atas Playboy Bentuk Kriminalisasi Pers (Gatra)

Friday, October 8, 2010

KPK Leaders' Judicial Review Denied

The Supreme Court today rejected the Judicial Review for the Bribery Case of two Deputy Chairmen of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Bibid Riyanto and Chandra Hamzah.

Please find below a news report that I have quoted from The Jakarta Post.

With this rejection, trial of Bibit and Chandra, which was stopped by the Attorney General Office but then challenged by the Defendant, should now be resumed.

KPK leaders face detention as court rejects case review motion      

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 10/08/2010 4:37 PM | Headlines

Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) deputies Bibit Rianto and Chandra Hamzah are facing imminent detention after the Supreme Court has turned down Friday their motion for a review of their bribery case.

The two KPK leaders had previously defied the Jakarta High Court’s ruling which declared the state prosecutors’ decision to suspend their bribery case illegal. The high court’s verdict should have been enough to send Bibit and Chandra to jail pending their trial, but they challenged the ruling by demanding a case review, which many consider a bad precedent for law enforcement in the country.

Bibit and Chandra were quick to consult their lawyer to find legal measures to keep them from prison for the second time.

“I am leaving for the KPK office. Later I will disclose legal measures that we will take,” Taufik Basari, one of the KPK leaders’ lawyers, said as quoted by

The Attorney General’s Office dropped bribery and abuse of power charges leveled on the two KPK leaders for sociological reasons. Bribery suspect Anggodo Widjojo then contested the policy in court, insisting that Bibit and Chandra received bribes from him.

Anggodo was sentenced to four years in jail after the court found him guilty of obstructing a KPK investigation and attempting to bribe KPK officials.

Tape recordings of conversation between Anggodo and several senior police officer and prosecutors played in a Constitutional Court hearing revealed that the bribery and abuse of power charges leveled on Bibit and Chandra were orchestrated.

Bibit and Chandra were arrested under the false charges, but were released a few days later following mounting public pressures.

Anggodo’s lawyer, Bonaran Situmeang, said Friday both Bibit and Chandra had no more reason to avoid detention as the Supreme Court had stated that their trial for alleged bribery and abuse of power should go ahead.

“Never treat them as prophets so that they can evade prison. The state prosecutors should detain them for the sake of equality before the law,” he said.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Flood in Wasior, West Papua

Heavy rainfall in West Papua on Monday has flooded the town of Wasior, Teluk Wondama district, causing the death of almost 100 people and many others missing.

Please find below a related article that I have quoted from Kompas.

Various TV stations have quoted officials of environmental organizations i.e. Walhi and Greenpeace, as saying that the most possible cause of the flood is massive deforestation that has been going on for so many years in the province.

Kamis, 7 Oktober 2010 | 14:03 WIB
A picture shows the aftermath of deadly flooding caused by torrential downpours in Teluk Wondama, Indonesias West Papua on October 5, 2010. At least 56 people were killed and 24 remain missing after the flash floods.
JAKARTA, - The death toll from flash floods in a remote region of eastern Indonesia has climbed to at least 97 with dozens of people still missing, an official said Thursday. Rescue workers were still searching for survivors from floods which hit West Papua province’s Teluk Wondama district on Monday following torrential downpours, a rescue official said.

“At least 97 people were killed and more than 800 people were lightly and badly injured,” Papua search and rescue official Mochamad Arifin told AFP. “We are still searching for dozens of missing people,” he said.

Those killed had reportedly drowned and been swept away by the powerful waters along with uprooted trees, rocks and debris. Experts warned such events will become more common in the archipelago due to a combination of climate change, land conversion and logging, which can contribute to landslides and flash floods after monsoonal downpours.

Indonesia’s climatology agency said most parts of Indonesia had experienced torrential rains, strong winds, high waves and flooding due to extreme weather this year.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

President SBY and the RMS

Yesterday, President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono (SBY) made a last minute cancellation of his visit to Holland.

SBY told reporters that he canceled the visit because a Court in The Hague examined a petition filed by a rebel group in southern part of Maluku province (RMS), requesting for the arrest of SBY for human right violation. He said that he is not afraid to be arrested, but he felt that such Court proceedings insults the national pride of Indonesia.

The Dutch government regretted the cancellation, saying that it has offered SBY diplomatic immunity against criminal prosecutions.

Meanwhile, the Court in The Hague has rejected the RMS's petition, due to which RMS plan to file an appeal against said ruling.

SBY's said decision was supported by government officials and members of his Democrat Party, while political observers and the opposition regarded it as an undiplomatic action that draw world attention on the RMS as a tiny rebel group. They questioned the credibility of our inteligence agency and the presidential Security Unit (Paspampres) in preparing for the visit.

Considering the above, I felt that the said cancellation has given RMS the biggest benefit since it declared independence and crushed in 1950 i.e. world attention they really need right now as a tiny unknown rebel organization.
From now on,  I hope that the government would be more careful in handling such matters, e.g by acquiring professional advice from world class experts in international relation and law.

Related acrticles : 
Breaking News: 'Insulted' Indonesian President Cancels Dutch State Visit (The Jakarta Globe)
RMS admits defeat, plans to file appeal after SBY rearrange Dutch visit (The Jakarta Post)
Republik Maluku Selatan (Wikipedia)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Military Today

Today, 5 October, the Indonesian National Military also known by abbreviation of its Indonesian name i.e. TNI, celebrated its 65th anniversary.

The celebration was held at the at the Halim Perdana Kusuma Airbase in East Jakarta. lead by President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono, attended by some cabinet ministers and commanders of the Army, the Navy and the Air force.

I hope that at the age of 65, TNI would be matured enough to position itself as an organization which would always based its plans and actions only for the very best interests of the country and the people of Indonesia, therefore would not merely be the tools of the government or the parliament.

Related articles :
- President SBY Pimpin Upacara HUT TNI (Kompas)
- A professional track for TNI anbd Yudhoyono (The Jakarta Post)

Photo : Courtesy of Kompas.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Who's reponsible for the Train Crash?

On Saturday morning, a train collided with another train in Pemalang, Central Java, killing 36 passengers and injuring many others.

The incident occured when a train i.e Argo Bromo from the capital, Jakarta, plowed into the rear of another train i.e Senja Utama, that was sitting at a station in Pemalang, Central Java, knocking several carriages off the track.

After questioning 9 people including two drivers of both trains, the Police announced that the incident has been caused by human error, and therefore named the driver of the train Argo Bromo as a suspect. Thus, just like in previous trains accidents where only the driver has been deemed to be responsible..

Considering that a train driver does not do his job by himself, but must rely on others outside the train   e.g traffic controller, schedule arranger, train condition inspector, etc. I wonder whether or not it would be better to investigate first all possible aspects that might cause the accident, before blaming anyone.

Related articles :
Indonesia investigates train crash that killed 36 (AP/Google)
Argobromo train machinist named (The Jakarta Post) 

Photo: Courtesy of Koran Baru.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Batik

On 2 October 2009, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultutal Organization (UNESCO) has announced that Batik as Indonesia's traditional textile dying technique as an intangible element of the world's cultural heritage.

Since then Indonesians wear Batik shirt/dress more often than before a.o wearing them to the office on Fridays.

The growth in consumption of Batik textile and garment is obviously a very good development for Indonesia's Batik textile industries.

However, with the ASEAN China Free Trade Agreement effective 1 January 2010, Batik textiles and garments from other countries especial cheap ones from the People's Republic of China have also enjoyed this growing market.

- UN Batik Recognition Swells Indonesia (The Jakarta Globe)
- Yudoyono calls for batik day (The Jakarta Post)
- Batik Cina Kian Mengancam (

Photo of Batik : Courtesy of Deplu.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hari Kesaktian Pancasila

Every year on 1 October, a commemoration of Hari Kesaktian Pancasila is held at the Pancasila Monument, Lubang Buaya, East Jakarta.

The words Hari Kesaktian Pancasila can be translated as Pancasila Sanctity Day. Pancasila is a symbol of Indonesia as a nation, that can be translated Five Principles consisting of : Believe in God, Humanity, Unified  Indonesia,  Democracy and Social Justice.

Today's event was attended by President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono accompanied by Vice President Boediono, cabinet ministers, military commanders and chief of police.

A Brief History :

On the night of 30 September 1965, six Army Generals and one lieutenant were kidnapped from their homes in Jakarta by unidentified men, who killed and buried their bodies under the present location of the Pancasila Monument at Lubang Buaya (English: Crocodile Hole).

The Army accused that the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) was responsible for said kidnappings and killings, and on 11 March 1966 they have persuaded former President Soekarno to allow the Army led by Maj.Gen Soeharto take repressive actions against PKI, and ban it afterward. 
Actions against PKI,  at that time world's third largest communist party after China and USSR, have caused many of its members died, and many others sent to an isolated detention camp on the Island of Buru in Maluku Province.

On March 1967, Soekarno was replaced as President by Gen. Soeharto who then ruled until May 1998. And since then, 1 October has been commemorated as the Pancasila Sanctity Day.

Bicycle Bomb in Bekasi

A bicycle is the most safest means of transportation, because we can ride on it without using any fuel, thus saving our environment from any pollution.

But yesterday, I learned that a bicycle can also be used to injure or kill people, i.e. after I heard the news about the explosion of a home made bomb strapped to the back of a bicycle in Bekasi, Wwsta Java (town outside Jakarta), badly injuring the rider of said bicycle i.e Ahmad.
More story about the bicycle bomber can be read on the article (below) quoted from The Jakarta Globe.

Considering that the alleged Bicycle Bomber carried two threatening letters, and location of explosion was near two Policemen, I wonder whether the bomb was targeted at the Police.

Bicycle Bomber No Terror Expert, Bekasi Police Say
Ulma Haryano, Farouk Arnaz & Zaky Pawas | October 01, 2010

Jakarta. A man who allegedly tried to blow up two policemen in a botched suicide attack in Bekasi on Thursday was an amateur, police said.

National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Iskandar Hasan said the suspect, identified only as Ahmad, was in critical condition as officers investigated possible links to terror networks.

“What he did is still categorized as terror, no matter what the background. We are still investigating what his motive was, and where he managed to get a homemade bomb,” Iskandar said.

The 38-year-old man, described by police as a drifter who moved from one mosque to another, suffered serious injuries to his face, neck and torso in the blast and broke his right arm and leg.

Iskandar said it appeared Ahmad had sought to kill himself and Adj. Comr Herry Azhari and Second. Brig. Sugianto, who were unharmed in the attack.

The officers were stationed at the Sumber Artha traffic police post, near Sumber Artha market in Kalimalang, Bekasi.

People had seen Ahmad “roaming around the area for the past five days,” Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Boy Rafli Amar said.

Iskandar said that just before the blast, Herry had told Ahmad not to ride his ontel (vintage bicycle) on the sidewalk.

“Ahmad then lost control of his bicycle and hit the road divider and the crude bomb detonated,” he said. “We do not know whether the bomb detonated prematurely or not.”

Police said the bomb contained about 50 nails and gunpowder.

They added that Ahmad was carrying two suicide notes.

One of them read: “This bomb is for all you kafirs [infidels]! We will come chasing after you even if you run up to the clouds. Your death is certain. Mujahideens are still living in Indonesia.”

University of Indonesia criminologist Erlangga Masdiana agreed with the police view that the attack was amateurish.

“Real terrorists have clear goals,” he said.

“Unclear ones are usually only for sabotage. Of course every terrorist attack has a message, but it will not be on a piece of paper and very much obvious to regular people.”

He also pointed out the attack came days after the police, military and lawmakers had been talking about the need to cooperate in the war on terror.

“There is a strong suspicion that the person was just being used in order to achieve a certain agenda,” he said. “A real terrorist would not be that clumsy.”

Erlangga dismissed the idea that the target had been the traffic police as they were not a threat to terrorist movements.

The International Crisis Group’s Sidney Jones gave examples in which terrorist groups had hit back against law officers.

“We’ve seen policemen killed in March and April in Kebumen and Purwerojo, retaliation against prosecutors in Poso and plans from other terrorist in Indonesia for attacks that were never carried out on the National Police,” Sidney said.

She said the attack by 10 gunmen that killed three policemen in Medan last month was retaliation. “We can’t accuse the police of being lax. All terrorist attacks are difficult to predict.”

Ismail Hasani, a researcher with the Setara Institute for Peace and Democracy, said Thursday’s incident further highlighted weakness in the country’s intelligence-gathering efforts.

He believed there was an “internal tug-of-war” between antiterror squad Densus 88, the police and the military over how to deal with terrorists.

The botched bombing came on the same day Densus 88 chief Brig. Gen. Tito Karnavian was replaced by his deputy, Sr. Comr. Muhammad Syafii.

Tito will be the top deputy at the new National Anti-Terrorism Agency (BNPT).

The body, which answers only to the president, is charged with preventing terrorism, protecting civilians, deradicalizing terrorists and building national preparedness.