Monday, May 28, 2012

Ani Yudoyono: a Presidential Candidate?

During the general elections in 2004 and 2009, the political party of President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono (SBY) i.e. the Democrat Party, won majority popular vote

And based on those victories, the Democrat Party nominated SBY as candidate in the 2004 and 2009 Presidential elections, which were won triumphantly.

According to the amended Constitution of 1945, SBY can only hold Presidential office for two terms,  five years each, therefore he cannot be nominated again when his second office term ends in 2014.

As the strongest political party, the Democrat Party should have an eligible candidate for the next President election, so as to compete with candidates from other strong parties such as the Golkar Party which seems to plant to nominate its Chairman Aburizal Bakrie, the business conglomerate, as candidate.

Although, Aburizal Bakrie's name has been marred by the disastrous Hot Mudflow caused by his company's failure to follow standard procedure in gas exploration in Sidoardjo, East Java, however until now he is the most popular candidate.

Of course, there is former President Megawati of the Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle (PDIP) but many people questioned her ability, besides she is too old  (65).

So if the Democrat Party wants to lead the government again in 2014-2019, it has to nominate someone who can beat the popularity and quality of Aburizal Bakrie. But unfortunately, the Party doesn't seem to have one.
Its Chairman, Anas Urbaningrum is said to be allegedly connected with the wrong doings by members of Democrat Party, its other leader i.e. the Speaker of House of Representatives Marzuki Alie is not popular because of the bad public statements he has made.

Considering this fact, one of the Democrat Party leaders i.e. former lawyer Ruhut Sitompul has repeatedly made public statements saying that the best candidate would be President SBY's wife namely Mrs. Ani Yudoyono (click here).

However, according to the presidential spokesman Julian Pasha (click here) SBY has no plan to prepare any member of his family to be his successor.

Photo:  Courtesy of Skala News

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Schapelle Corby: Prison Sentence Reduction

Schapelle Leigh Corby (born 10 July 1977) is an Australian woman serving a 20 years sentence in Kerobokan Jail, the Island of Bali, for Smuggling 4.2 Kilogram Marijuana into the island on 8 October 2008 (click here for details)

At the time of her arrest, Corby said that the drugs were planted in her body board bag and that she didn't know about them. Her trial was a major focus of attention for the Australian media.

The District Court of Denpasar, Bali, found her guilty on 27 May 2005 and sentenced her to twenty years in Jail and Fined her Rp 100 Million with an additional six months in Jail if unpaid.

On October 2005, the Bali High Court reduced the Sentence to 15 years, but the Supreme Court overturned the 5 years sentence reduction and re-instated the 20-years Prison term on 19 January 2006.

On August 2006, Corby and her lawyers requested for an extraordinary appeal with the Supreme Court but was rejected on March 2008.

In 2010, Corby and her lawyers made a Clemency Appeal for full remission on Humanitarian grounds to President SBY, and on May 2012 she was granted a five-year reduction of the sentence.

The granting of Sentence Reduction to a Illegal Drugs Smuggler like Schapelle Corby was strongly protested by the public (click here) because it shows the government's failure to implement its own policy to stop giving remission to Illegal Drug dealers.

Besides, it shows that the government is not serious in eradicating  Illegal Drugs problems in Indonesia, and that it is weak in facing pressures from Australian government.

Photo: Courtesy of 3 News

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Housing for the Poor

The Indonesian Constitution stipulated that every citizen is entitled, among others, to live in a decent housing.

In order to implement this stipulation, since the 1970's the government has given subsidy for the development of houses with minimum building area of 21 square meters specially for low income citizens.

However, after 2011 low income citizens cannot buy such kind of houses anymore, because the Housing Law No. 1/2011 does not allow the building of such kind of houses anymore.

According to Kompas, Article 22(3) of the said Law stipulated that the floor area of houses should at least be 36 sq. meters. 

As a consequence, the government could not provide financial subsidy, therefore banks would not provide soft housing loans for buyers of houses with area less than 36 sq.meters.

The Minister of People's Housing Djan Faridz was quoted as saying that this Law will not inflict financial losses to the people. He said that the Law does not contradict with Article 28(1) of the Constitution. And based on the Indonesian National Standard for City Housings, the minimum building area is 9.6 sq.m for an Adult and 4.8 sq.m for a Child. So, the minimum total building area for a family would be 36 sq. meters.

The Minister also said that the Law is in accordance with Art. 2 (1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) which has been ratified by Law No. 11/2005, and United Nations Charter on Human Rights Art. 25 (1) regarding the Rights to Adequate Housing.

However, the Association of Indonesian Housings Developers said that the Law will make it impossible for low income citizens who earn less than Rp. 2.5 Million/month to own houses. Considering this fact, the Association has requested the Constitutional Court to Review Art. 22 (3) of the Law.

As the price of land is increasing, it would be very difficult for lower income citizens, which happen to be the majority of people, to buy houses. Therefore, I hope that the Constitutional Court would review the said Law.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Saturday, May 19, 2012

From Migrant Worker to Lecturer

For many decades, we have read and heard so many tragic stories about the faith of Indonesian Migrant Workers in foreign countries, especially Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.

All that has been caused by very poor protection provided by the Indonesian government and its representatives a.k.a embassies and consulates in countries where the Migrant Workers lived.

For example, when a Migrant Worker come to work in Saudi Arabia, they should give their passports to their bosses, and not allowed to keep phone numbers and addresses of our embassy and consulate, therefore they cannot do anything if something went wrong to them.

For that reasons, many of our Migrant Workers were victimized i.e. humiliated, raped, tortured, or even killed by their bosses. Some of them were sentenced to death on allegations of murdering their bosses.

Due to above, I was surprised when I saw on Trans-7 TV this morning, story about Nuryati Solapari (click here), a 32 years old Migrant Worker from Serang, Banten, who worked in Saudi Arabia after finishing High School, in order to be able to save to study at a university.

Before she left for the town of Tabuk, Saudi Arabia in 1998, the migrant worker recruitment agency did not provide her with any training, but they gave her a training certificate so as to obey regulations.
She therefore has to learn about her work and about local culture and tradition from fellow Indonesian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia.

And for her personal security, she wrote important things like passport number, phone and address of the Indonesian embassy/consulate in Saudi Arabia, not in an ordinary way but by knitting them on her pasmina/ scarf so that her boss would not find out about them.

After two years and eight months, she came home and studied at the Faculty of Law of the University Sultan Agung Tirtayasa in Serang, where she graduated in only three and a half years (click here). Afterwards, she got her Master in law degree.

Currently Nuryati is working as a Lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the above mentioned university. Beside that, she also has a license to practice as an Advocate/lawyer.

Nuryati frequently gave motivations and shared her experiences with candidate Migrant Workers, and because of that she has received the Indonesian Migrant Workers Award in 2010, and award from the government of Saudi Arabia.

I hope that other Indonesian Migrant Workers would follow Nuryati's above mentioned steps, and the Indonesian government would strictly control the training and dispatch of Migrant Workers abroad, and request the government of said foreign countries to provide much better protection for them

Photo :  Courtesy of Era Muslim.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sukhoi Superjet 100 Crash

Inilah Ambisi Sukhoi Superjet 100
On Wednesday, 9 May, a Sukhoi Superjet 100 plane directly struck the rocky side of Mount Salak, a dormant volcano near the West Java town of Bogor (60 kilometers from Jakarta), killing all 45 passengers and crews.

According to The Jakarta Globe, the twin jet engine plane was on a sales promotion trip to Indonesia, carrying mostly Indonesians, 8 Russian crews, plus an America and Frenchman.

The plane vanished from radar screen 50 minutes into what was meant to be a short Joy Flight for prospective buyers as Russia tries to rebuild its civilian aircraft industry.

Indonesian aviation officials said that before the plane vanished, its pilot has requested permission to descent to about 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) which is lower than the mountain's height of 6,500 feet (1,800 meters).
The Jakarta Post reported that The Chief of the Indonesian National Rescue Agency i.e Vice Marshall Daryatmo has announced a few days ago that all of the crash victims remains has been evacuated from the mountainside crash site. 37 body bags containing the remains of victims of the crash have been sent to the National Police Hospital in East Jakarta.

The agency's search and rescue team has found the plane's damaged Black Box last Tuesday but it only contained the Voice Cockpit Recorder (VCR), and not the FDR which records Speed, Pitch and Altitude of the plane during flight.

Meanwhile, the leader of the the Russian team who was sent to help the search and rescue efforts, i.e. Michael Chupalenkov, was quoted as saying that his team would maintain ten men to keep on looking for the crash victims remains and the planes' FDR.

To all the families, relatives and friends of the crash victims, I would like to express my deepest sympathy and condolence. And to all members of the Indonesian and Russian search and rescue teams, I would like thank you all for your efforts, and hope that you would keep on doing your job until it is finished.   

Photo :  Courtesy of Wikipedia

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lady Gaga Concert Cancelled

I am not a fan of Lady Gaga, simply because she is not the kind of singer that I like, and I am not familiar with any of her songs, because they are not the kinds of songs that I like.

However, I was very happy when I heard that she will come to Jakarta and entertain tens of thousands of her fans at the Gelora Senayan Soccer Stadium on 3 June.

I was also happy when I read on The Jakarta Globe that ticket sales for the concert were strong selling 52,000 tickets since 10 March, which according to the organizer Big Daddy were sold the prices ranging from Rp 445.000,- up to Rp 2,250,000,-

I was happy when the Ministry of Tourism and Culture allowed the concert to go on in spite of the protests from few minority groups of people who claimed to be protectors of Islam like the FPI and FUI who love to use violence in expressing their protests.

Frankly speaking, as a member of a liberal democratic society I don't mind if those groups of people do not agree with Lady Gaga's concert in Jakarta because they don't agree with the sexy dresses she use to wear in her concerts and lyrics of some of her songs which they consider indecent and contradictory to the religion of the majority people in Indonesia.

But I am very sad that those groups have threatened to use violence if the concert is carried out, and the Jakarta Police's refusal to give permit because of that threat.

On top of it all, I am more sad to know that the said concert has not obtain full approval from all the relevant authorities although the organizer has sold 52,000 tickets.

I hope that from now on, every similar concerts should obtain permits from all those authorities first before they sell tickets, therefore the public, in this case her fans, would not have to be disappointed and lose money because of the cancellation.

Regarding Lady Gaga's concert, I wish that the Police would not just make decision because of the threats from the above mentioned groups. The Police can always give strict conditions for the concert e.g requiring Lady Gaga not to appear very sexy.

Nevertheless, I hope that the above cancellation would stop Big Daddy and other organizers in Indonesia from organizing popular international artists concerts in the future.

Banner : Courtesy of Lady Gaga

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Distrust Society

Almost every day we saw on television, heard on the radio, and read in the news paper about so many people getting easily angered and staged violence in public places, although only triggered by trivial matters.

They show their anger in many ways, such as the emergence of motorcycle gang after the murder of a Naval officer, clashes between member of the Army and the Police in Gorontalo, and an Army Captain acting arrogantly against a civilian in Jakarta.

Kompas wrote that aggressive behavior is a result of pressure due to various uncertainties in our country, ranging from Legal, Social, Politic, Economic, and even Religion.

Muji Sutrisno, a lecturer at the Dyarkara Philosophy School in Jakarta, was quoted as saying that today's society is losing a good role model. Figures or institutions that are expected to set an example and wisdom, it turns out most of them become part of the problem. It's hard to find someone who can be trusted.                    

He went on to say that such society can be called a Distrust Society i.e a Society that losses trust. If this goes on and on, our nation may loss Morality, Ethics and Wisdom.

Considering the above, I hope that all our politicians would always think and act as patrons for our society i.e. by upholding national unity based on our Constitutions, Laws, Pancasila and Traditions. And most of all, the laws must be enforced properly.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day 2012

Today, 1 May, is the international Labors Day (a.k.a May Day) which is celebrated by labors in most countries of the world.

1 May is a national holiday and celebrated officially in more than 80 countries, and celebrated unofficially in many other countries. Usually, workers and labor unions celebrate by demonstrating and marching in the streets.

According to Wikipedia, 1 May was declared as the international Labor Day by the World Socialist Congress in Paris, France, in 1889, to commemorate the general strike by thousands of workers in Chicago, U.S.A, to demand for eight-hours workday. At that time, an unknown person threw dynamite at the Police, and in response the Police fired at the workers killing a dozen demonstrators and several of their own officers.

In Indonesia, 1 May was first celebrated in the year 1920. But during the government of former President Suharto from March 1966 until 21 May 1998, celebration of May Day was forbidden because it was regarded as a Communist activity.

Since 1999, May Day celebration was allowed Indonesia although unofficially, all of which were carried out quite peacefully in cities like Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Surabaya, Medan, Makasar, Manado, etc. to demand the protection of workers rights. None of them can be considered as "endangering public order".

Today, the celebration in Jakarta was carried out at the Gelora Bung Karno Soccer Stadium in Senayan, in front of the Presidential Palace, House of Representatives. Tens of thousands of workers participated in the celebration but it was quite peaceful except that it caused very bad traffic jam in many streets of the city.

Among the issues being protested by the workers were Workers Welfare, Health, Retirement, Outsourcing, subsidy for workers, etc.
Beside that, they also demand that the government provide better protection for our Migrant Workers abroad, including investigate on the shooting of three of our workers in Malaysia.