Thursday, February 26, 2009

Apologize to Improve Image

When I was a young boy, I usually apologize to my mother whenever she caught me doing something wrong, afterwards she would not be so angry.

That’s what I thought few days ago after I read Rick Kelly's post in Bernstein Crisis Management’s newsletter about two international sport figures who have recently been reprimanded by their organizations for their bad habits.

The first one was Baseball star Alex Rodriguez (33) who has been reported by Selena Roberts & David Eipstein of Sports Illustrated on 7 February as tested positive for taking performance enhancing drugs in 2003. This has shocked his fans and drew public critism. In order to improve his image, on 9 February he gave an interview with Peter Gammons of ESPN, admitting that he has taken "a banned substance" and he is "very sorry and deeply regretful." After that he announced that he will join a foundation which fights the use of Steroids.

The second one was Olympic Swimming Champion Michael Phelp(23) who has been reported and displayed by News of the World on 2 January smoking from a Bong (glass pipe for smoking drugs). Frightened by the grave consequences that the news might bring on his swimming career, few days later he released a written statement to Associated Press saying that he was sorry and promised his fans and the public that it will never happen again. Further, he has accepted the U.S Swimming Committee's decision to suspend him for 3 months. Further more, he didn't protest when Kellog dropped its sponsorship of him.

In conclusion I felt that sports celebrities have been playing games with the hearts of their fans and the public, by simply apologizing for mistakes which are against public moral standard, i.e. consumption of illegal drugs.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Judicial Review on the Pornography Law

Legal action in Court must be prepared very carefully if we want to win the hearts of the Judges. For which purpose, any one who wants to take such action are advised to appoint a lawyer to represented to them if they want to succeed.

However, appointment of a lawyer does not always guarantee the success of a legal action. That’s exactly what happened to the Petition for Judicial Review of the Pornography Law filed with the Constitutional Court by famous lawyer O.C Kaligis on behalf of 11 North Sulawesi individuals who claimed to be the representatives Non Government Organizations (NGO) in North Sulawesi.
According to The Jakarta Post/E.Maulia, during the first court hearing yesterday, the council of judges demanded the Petitioners to prove their status as representatives of the NGOs. Besides, they were asked to mention correctly the Articles of the said Law that they want to be reviewed; and asked them to elaborate what harm that the Law might cause to the North Sulawesi community. The judges gave the Petitioners 14 days to revise their request.
Earlier, The Jakarta Globe/C. Pasandaran reported that 11 individuals who claimed to be the representatives of several Christian, student & minority organizations in North Sulawesi have requested the Judicial Review on three Articles of the Pornography Law i.e. Art. 1. about the Definition of Pornography, Art. 4. about the Production and Distribution of Pornographic materials, Art. 10. about the ban on Public Performances deemed to be Pornography.

The above shows that anyone who wants to fight in court should be very careful in preparing their actions although they are represented by well known lawyer.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Candidates for the Presidential Race

This year, Indonesia will hold two elections i.e general election on 9 April to elect the members of national, provincial & regional parliaments; and the Presidential election on 8 July.

The General election will be participated by 38 political parties in the national level, and 6 additional political parties in the province of Aceh.
For the Presidential election, more than 10 public figures have announced their candidacy. But considering our Presidential Election Law stipulated that only candidates supported by a political party or group of political parties with min. 20% of the votes in the national parliamentary election can do so, most likely there will only be 3 candidates i.e. President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono (SBY), Vice President Jusuf Kalla and former President Megawati. As president, SBY has maximum public attention although his Democrat Party now has less parliamentary seats than Kalla’s Golkar, or Megawati’s Democratic Party for Struggle (PDIP).
Kalla's announcement about his candidacy last week surprised many people, because initially he and many members of his Golkar Party have stated that he will only run for SBY's Vice President. The change took place after SBY refuse to name his running mate.
According to The Jakarta Post/AP Simamora, Kalla's candidacy has been welcomed by elites of the new and old political parties who hope that it will provide more options for coalitions.
While The Jakarta Globe/Febriamy Hutapea quoted what President SBY has said in an interview with MetroTV that he hope Kalla's candidacy would not disturb the running of his government until its term end on 20 October.
Further, Kompas/Suhartono reported that based on a result of survey from 8 till 16 February there are three alternative possibilities for President-Vice President pairings, i.e. SBY-Kalla, Kalla-Hidayat Nur Wahid/PKS, and Megawati-Sri Sultan.

In view to the above, I hope that the parlimentary elections would result only few (5-7) political parties who will get parliamentary seats, and force the others to merge with them. Therefore our political system would be less complicated. While the Presidential election will result a proven strong, reliable, fair, unselfish, capable & motivating person as a winner.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Blawgers are human beings

As a human being, I tend to get bored in doing the same things for a very long time. But for things that are related to my day job, my family and other important things, I would usually get my passion back quite easily.

One of the things that I have been doing very passionately for the last five months is blogging, for which purpose I have read/heard/watch news media & other blogs for inspirations. But considering that when I first created this blog I have limited the topics to the Laws and Regulations in Indonesia, I often face some sort of " Writer's Block" whereby I don't have idea what to write about.

In this regards, I have read an interesting posting by Robert Ambrogi in saying that it is usual for blawgers to face boredom. He even mentioned that two American Copyright Blawgers have ended their blawg. The first one was Google's Copyright Lawyer William Patry who ended his blog The Patry Copyright Blog last August, because his readers refused to separate him as Google's Lawyer and as a personal blawger. Besides, the present condition of Copyright Law is depressing him. Two months later, another Copyright Lawyer Keith Henning ended his blawg Copywrite for similar reason.

Considering the above, and the fact that I really love blogging, I have decided to expand the topic of my blog, thus not merely limited to the Laws and Regulations but include other matters related to the implementation of the laws e.g Politics, etc.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Sales of Ponari's Water

Indonesia has been dubbed by foreigners as a haven for infringement of Intellectual Property Rights owned by Indonesians as well as foreigners.

Here are examples of possible infringement of trademark of a well known POCARI, and name of the currently popular 'Ponari's sacred water':

The photos show that the Tin Cans are basically similar to that of the popular drink POCARI, only the letter "C" is changed with "N". At a time when many people in Jombang, East Java, are craving for Ponari's Water, circulation of Drinks bearing said trademark would surely misleading.

The photos also mentioned the website Http://, but after I checked it turned out to be the site of a Sport Clothes manufacturer.

Considering these facts, I hope that the above photos would not inspire people into selling tin canned drinks bearing those trademarks, so that our country's image as a haven for Intellectual Property Rights infringement would improved.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ponari's Sacred Water

Since early this month, our news media has been reporting a story about a 9 years old boy i.e Ponari, who lives in the village of Balongsari, Jombang, East Java, and able to cure sick people by dipping a stone he hold in his hand into their pail of water.

At a time when conventional medical treatment is very expensive yet often not effective, low cost alternative healing that promise quick recovery has attracted thousands of sick people, that they are willing to queue for a long time every day so that Ponari can dip his hand and stone on their water.

In this regards, the Chairman of the National Commission for Protection of Children Seto Mulyadi has remind Ponari's parents that they should protect Ponari's rights as a child i.e. go to school and play. And Ponari said that he wants to go to school.
But according to Tempo, Ponari is still absent from school, in stead he has been curing many Police & Army officers and government officials as well as their families.

In conclusion, I would like to say that the Ponari phenomenon is caused by the bitter facts of life where medical treatment is very expensive yet uncertain result. Therefore, if there is not change in condition, such practice of superstition would always exist in our country.

A friendlier U.S.A

A great PR strategy! That’s what I thought this morning when RCTI shows U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chatting with beautiful Actress Luna Maya & other Indonesian artists during her 2 days visit to Jakarta.

I am neither pro nor anti Hillary Clinton, or any other Americans, but seeing Mme. Clinton talked about non political matters e.g that she is a big fan of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, has brought me a feeling of sympathy for her and her country.

Actually that’s the second time that I got such feeling, the first one was several weeks ago, when our TVs show U.S President Barack Obama uttered some Indonesian words and explained that he lived 4 years in the ‘ugly’ part of Menteng, elite area in Jakarta, which he described as “Menteng below”. For me and many Indonesian citizens those words reflect Mr Obama’s humility. Because many citizens of Jakarta would be shy to admit living in a non luxurious part of town. Although I, like many Indonesians, was happy when Mr Obama was elected as president, but I never thought that Indonesia still mean something to him, considering that when he lived 4 years in Jakarta he was still very young.

The above incidents have brought a new hope for me and other Indonesians that the U.S.A would not only be friendlier with our country, but also help solve pending legal cases, e.g the murder of Munir (OkeZone). At a time when we are facing a global crisis, such hope is very important for us.

Pic: Seputar Indonesia

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Intellectual Property Piracy

For many years, Indonesia has been regarded by countries like the U.S.A, the European Union, Japan, as a haven for Intellectual Property Rights piracy.

In order to improve our country’s image, our government and parliament have promulgated laws to protect domestic and foreign Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights and Industrial Designs, and punish violators. Besides, we have ratified International Intellectual Property Rights conventions and treaties. Further, our law enforcement agencies have implemented those laws, e.g by regular police raids in shopping places selling pirate products and prosecute the pirates in courts. However, foreign and local pirate products keep on circulating in many modern & traditional shopping places throughout Indonesia.

Due to this fact, foreign countries and international organizations have demanded Indonesia to improve the protection of those rights; some even threatened to impose trade sanction if our country doesn’t improve protection of those rights.
Bisnis Indonesia/Suwantin Oemar reported that the United States Trade Representative is currently evaluating the protection of Intellectual Property Rights in Indonesia. According to the Director General of Intellectual Property Rights Andy Sommeng, one of the objectives of said evaluation is to push for amendment of Intellectual Property laws in Indonesia.

In view of the above, I felt that our country can eliminate or at least minimize infringement of Intellectual Property Rights, if we consistently implement laws regarding Patent, Trademark, Copyright and Industrial Designs. Besides that, considering that many of the pirate products are imported, the Customs Office and the Department of Trade should also be involved, so that cheap imported pirate products would not be allowed to enter our country.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Street Children & Adoption

Whenever I stopped my car at the traffic light on many streets in Jakarta, little children at the ages between 4 and 10 years old, would approach my car to beg for money.

It breaks my heart to see those children who are supposed to be studying at school and/or play many kinds of games afterwards. At that time I would wonder who are their parents, why are they allowed to be in the streets. If the parents cannot raise their children properly, why didn't the Department of Social take care of them. If the department can't, they can always arrange individuals to do it under supervision, for example through adoption. However, adoption process in Indonesia is not an easy thing.

I remmember accompanying an American couple to Sayap Ibu Orphanage in South Jakarta, ten years ago. The couple, Mike and Annie Jones, married for 8 years but childless and had lived in Indonesia for 4 years, wanted to adopt a 2 years old baby girl from the orphanage. Although they have fulfilled most of the conditions (Media Anggara Blawg) e.g married min. 5 years, lived in Indonesia for min. 3 years, but considering that Mike was 47 years old and Anne 42 years old, while according to regulation the husband should be 45 max. and the wife 40 max. their adoption request was rejected by the orphanage.
Beside Mike and Anne, I also knew several Indonesian couples whose adoption requests were rejected due to same reason.

I can understand the reason for limitation of age of the persons who want to adopt children, but in my opinion it should not be implemented very strictly. For example even if the couple are older but if they can secure the children's future, for example by insurance policy, then they are eligible to adopt the children.

In conclusion, I felt that adoption is one of the way that can reduce the number of street children. For which purpose, the adoption regulation should not be so strict on only one aspect for example age of parents, but should consider other aspects as well.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rob's Blog

My blogging activity for today is visiting other blogs that I have frequently visited, one of them is a blog that I have followed i.e The RAB Experience authored by Rob Baiton, an Australian, English Editor of Indonesian online Legal Website: Hukum Online.

Rob’s blog featured the tagline: Musings about the law, politic, culture, people and life in Indonesia, Australia and elsewhere. It consistently posts relevant topics, using words that are clear and easy to understand. People not only read and give comments, but they don’t seem to allow Rob to take a break from blogging activity, although he has given reasonable explanation i.e. to have more time with his new born baby son Will.
That's because most of Rob’s bloposts are interesting, for example Little Girl on a Plane, Parent at 13-years Old, Madonna (for adults), they all worth reading. Nice works Rob!

As a conclusion, I felt happy that I have been following Rob’s blog, and also glad that he has followed mine as well.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Erotic Lawyer got Fired

Deidre Dare, a U.S lawyer working in Moscow, who wrote a sex fiction novel in, was fired by her employer the law firm Allen & Overy, on 30 January.

According to a blogpost by Robert J. Ambrogi in the law firm has released a statement explaining that the dismissal was done after following its normal disciplinary process and concluding that her behavior "was unacceptable and totally at odds with the standards of behavior that we expect from all of our people." But Ms. Dare told The Telegraph that the real reason for her dismissal was because she had complained about sexual harassment made against her by a male boss.
Although the 44 years old Ms. Dare said that she will fight against her ex employer, however she doesn’t seems to be very sad, perhaps because the traffic to her website has jumped from 3,500 a month to almost a million in just a few days.
In an interview with The Bitter Lawyer, she said that she has been hired by The Moscow News to work as a Columnist, and she plans to finish the sex novel “Expat” that has got her into trouble.

It is very sad to know that a Senior lawyer like Deidre Dare (a.k.a Deidre Clark) has been fired because of a reason that is still uncertain. I hope that the she and her former employer will settle their differences amicably soon.

Tommy wins again!

The youngest son of the late former President Soeharto, Hutomo Mandala Putra a.k.a Tommy, has once again beaten the Indonesian government’s efforts to recover money that the state lost from the national car project during the last years of Soeharto’s reign.

According to Kompas, last Wednesday the District Court of Central Jakarta has rejected a lawsuit filed by the government against Tommy on charges of selling the assets of his “Timor “national car project to his own company. The judges said that the Prosecutors have failed to provide sufficient evidence to back out said lawsuit.
The Jakarta Post reported that the case started in 1999 when the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (a.k.a BPPN) took over the assets of Tommy’s national car company, PT. Timor Putra Nasional, as collateral for outstanding debt of Rp 4 trillion to the state. Later on, IBRA sold the said assets to Tommy’s other company PT. Vista Bella for only Rp. 445 billion, thus giving Tommy a Rp. 4 trillion gain from the sale.

This court’s verdict shows once again that our Attorney General Office seems to be weak in prosecuting Tommy. The irony is that Tommy has escaped prison for one year without being punished. Instead of getting more prison term, he got reduction.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Facebook paid a US$ 65 million Lawsuit

Good public image is very vital for business entrepreneurs that provide services to the society, therefore it should always be protected at any price.

Perhaps that's what in the minds of the management of social networking website Facebook when they paid US$ 65 million to settle Trade Secret Theft Lawsuit filed against Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg by a Harvard University students & alumni website ConnectU.
According to a blogpost by Carolyn Elefant in, the compensation was supposed to be Top Secret, but was exposed by ConnectU's former lawyers of a Los Angeles law firm Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges in its newsletter which was later on quoted by a San Fransisco legal newspaper The Recorder.
The reason for said disclosure was unclear, but one thing for sure was that last year ConnectU fired the said lawyers who demanded US$ 13 million for fees.

The above case clearly shows that every one who provide professional services should always safeguard any information related to the work they are doing for their clients or employees.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Robert Plant & Grammy Awards

Last night I was so happy when I saw on TV Robert Plant (60) and Alyson Krauss (37) have been announced as the winners of 5 Grammy Awards, i.e Best Album of the Year for their album Raising Sand, Record of the Year for their single Please Read the Letter, Best Contemporary Folk/American Album, Best Country Collaboration with Vocals and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals(BBC).

Why? Because Robert Plant was the former vocalist of the super rock group Led Zeppelin, a band that me and my late kid brother Dody Lesmana grew up with and cherished. We were big fans of Led Zepelin, and from the very first time I listened to Robert Plant’s songs I was sure that one day he will become one of the world’s best vocalist & songwriter not only for rock music but also pop as well. And last night I felt as if my dream has come true.

I strongly believe that Robert Plant got the Grammy Awards because he has worked very hard for the last 40 years, from the time when he was still with Led Zepelin and after the group broke up 28 years ago.

The Conficker Worm

A deadly computer virus called the Conficker Worm (a.k.a Kudo, Downup & Downaup) surfaced in 2008, brutally attacking Civilian & Military targets around the world.

Detik reported that the virus has attacked the database of a French Navy jet fighter aircraft, making its computer system unable to download flight plans. informed that the virus has forced the municipal court in Houston, USA, to shut down its operation last Friday.
Wikipedia mentioned that it has attacked the computer systems of the British Naval ships & submarines. Wikipedia quoted The New York Times which reported that Conficker had infected 9 million PCs by 22 January 2009, and The Guardian which estimated 3.5 million infected PCs. By 26 January 2009, an antivirus software vendor F-Secure reported that Conficker had infected more than 15 million computers, making it one of the most widespread infections in recent times. And in order to fight the virus from spreading any further, Microsoft has developed an antidote.

Considering the Conficker Worm has a big potential to destroy computer systems, I hope that its spread can be stopped immediately.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Current Issues

The Death of a New Student
The New Students Orientation programs have caused the death of many new students; however, older students seemed to love the program so much that they keep on organizing it eventhough without permission from the campus' authority. And this time the tragedy hapened to Dwi Yanto (22), a student of the Civil Engineering Faculty of the prestigious Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), who died last Sunday night during the activity in Lembang, Bandung, West Java. Detik quoted two of ITB's Deputy Rector as saying that the activity is illegal because the campus authority has never gave permit for it. Due to which fact, ITB's Discipline Committee shall conduct an investigation and shall take action against those responsible for the death.

The Death of the Speaker of North Sumatera Parliament
In connection with the death of the Speaker of North Sumatera Parliament (DPR) Abdul Aziz, in Medan, North Sumatera last Tuesday, The Jakarta Globe reported that the Chief of National Police Bambang Danuri has dismissed the North Sumatera Police Chief and the Medan Police Chief for “negligence.”
While Tempo reported that the Police have named 31 persons as suspects, including four members of Parliament, and 70 persons as witnesses.

The Existence of Anti Corruption Court
On December 2006, the Constitutional Council has decided that the existence of the Anti Corruption Court (Tipikor) would cease by December 2009. In this regards, The Jakarta Globe reported that the Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) has urged President SBY to rush the preparation of the bill of the Anti Corruption Court Law that would set a new Anti Corruption Court to replace the current one.
According to ICW, major political parties in the Parliament (DPR), including SBY’s Democratic Party, are seemingly reluctant to pursue such bill of law, because they are now busy preparing for the Parliamentary election on April 9.

The Presidential & Vice Presidential Candidates
During the opening of his Democratic Party national meeting, President SBY declined to name the Vice President who will run with him in the Presidential election on 8 July. According to The Jakarta Post, the President said that the name of candidate will only be announced after the result of Parliamentary election on April 9 has been known. This statement has leads to speculation that he would leave the option open to others than the incumbent Vice President Jusuf Kalla.
The report also mentioned that Jusuf Kalla's Golkar Party will not name a Presidential candidate during its national meeting this week.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Say it with Shoes

Say it with Flowers!” that’s an old adage which implies that Males should express their feelings of Love to Females they loved by giving her Flowers.

Apparently, said adage has now been changed to express Hatreds, in some parts of the world, including Indonesia. In which cases, the Flowers are changed with Shoes. Here are the excerpts of news reports on four incidents:

The Telegraph reported that on 3 February 2009, a protester threw a shoe at Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao during his visit to London.
CNN reported that on 14 December 2008, an Iraki journalist threw a Shoe at the US President George W. Bush while he was giving a press conference in Bagdad.
Tempo reported two separate incidents of Shoe Throwing at the District Court of Central Jakarta, as follows :
On 8 May 1998, during the trial of Political Case against Dr. Sri Bintang Pamungkas, a spectator threw a shoe at the Council of Judges, for giving heavy sentence.
On 18 August 1987, during the trial of Fraud Case, Mimi, the victim, threw her Shoe at the Council of Judges for punnishing the Defendant lower than she expected.

As a conclusion I felt that people tend to express their hatreds towards other people by throwing their possession i.e. Shoes, which perhaps symbolize extended Kicking of the feet.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Political Storytelling

Politicians around the world have used storytelling to win the hearts of people who listens to their speeches. In this regards, Caren S. Neile, Ph.D wrote an interesting article titled Spinning on the Stump in the Toastmaster magazine last November. Here is an extraction of the said article:

One of the late US President Ronald Reagan’s favorite stories concerned the meeting of two men, one from the USA, the other a Soviet citizen.
In my country,” said the American, “I can walk straight into the Oval Office and say that I don’t like the way Ronald Reagan is running the United States.”
I can do that with Gorbachev, too,” replied the Soviet.
Having heard about Soviet repression, the American was incredulous. “You’ve got to be kidding!” he said.
Not at all,” replied the Soviet. “I can walk straight into Gorbachev’s office and say, “I don’t like the way Ronald Reagan is running the United States!”
In our cynical age, you might readily agree that politicians make great storytellers. After all, a common definition of “storyteller” is liar. But even the most jaded observers of politicians know that storytelling has long been a powerful tool for persuasion.

On May 13, 1901, Winston Churchill, who went on to become Prime Minister, gave a speech to the British Parliament in which he argued against increased government funding for the British Army. The language is a bit flowery, but the story stands out loud and clear:
The government of the day threw their weight on the side of the great spending Departments, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Churchill’s father) resigned. The controversy was bitter, the struggle uncertain, but in the end the Government triumphed, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer went down forever, and with him, as it now seems, fell also the cause of retrenchment and economy, so that the very memory thereof seems to have perished, and the words themselves have a curiously old-fashioned ring about them.”

Mahatma Gandhi, a lawyer, became a famous proponent of non-violence as he led the successful Indian protest against the British occupation, or Raj. In a1919 speech he said:
I am talking the other day to a member of the much-abused Civil Service. I have not much in common with the members of that Service, but I could not help admiring the manner in which he was speaking to me. He said: Mr. Gandhi, do you for one moment suppose that all we Civil Servants are a bad lot, that we want to oppress the people whom we have come to govern?” “No,” I said. “Then, if you get the opportunity, put in a word for the much-abused Civil Service.”

While these techniques may seem relatively benign, there are numerous ways in which political storytelling can seriously mislead and manipulate listeners, with often horrific results. Both Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich and its predecessor, the Weimar Republic, reworked old German fairy tales such as “Sleeping Beauty” to reflect their anti-Semitic agenda. In many countries, women’s rights are curtailed due to cultural beliefs and local folklore saying a woman’s place is in the home. And because the prevailing storyline of the American South for 350 years was that Africans were less than human, slavery was considered perfectly moral.

In connection with the general election in Indonesia on April 9, I felt that we should try to learn from history. Storytelling, like any other powerful tool, can be used by the power elite and the opposition – for good or for evil. So, it is our obligation as voters, to recognize when it’s being used.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tragedy in Medan

Since May 1998, Indonesia has gone through a process of democratization which has often been excessive and even chaotic.

And last Tuesday, the process faced its worst test when the Speaker of North Sumatera Parliament (DPRD) Abdul Aziz Angkat died of heart attack after an angry mob ransacked the house of parliament last Tuesday.
According to The Jakarta Globe, the tragedy happened after Abdul Aziz, who was meeting with other member of DPRD, refused to meet with 2,000 demonstrators who came to the DPRD to demand the creation of a Tapanuli Province separate from North Sumatera. Angered by the said refusal, the demonstrators forced their way into the meeting room.
A video footage of Metro TV showed the politician in severe pain, his hands holding his chest, beleaguered by the mob. Several riot policemen and security guards tried to take him out of the building, but failed because they were outnumbered by the mob. A diagnosis by the Gleneagles Hospital in Medan described that Abdul had died from a heart attack.
Due to the above tragic incident, Kompas reported that many politicians have demanded the Chief of North Sumatera Police and Chief of Medan Police to resign. As a response, the Chief of National Police Bambang Danuri has instructed the Police Supervision Inspector to conduct on the spot investigation in Medan.

What happened to Abdul Aziz is clearly a tragedy for human being, therefore the law enforcement agencies should take legal action on those responsible for the incident, and take appropriate actions to prevent it from happening again. That way, the democratization process can be carried out smoothly & safely.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Trafficking of Children

For many years, Indonesia has been plagued by big problems related to the illegal trafficking of children, but only few were exposed to the public.

One of the victim was Erwin, who according to Hukum Online was two months old when an Irish couple Joseph and Lala Dowse brought him to Ireland in 2001, processed adoption, changed his name to Tristan Dowse and arranged Irish nationality for him.
According to Wikipedia, two years later Lala got pregnant, so the couple sent Tristan back to the orphanage in Jakarta where they have adopted him, saying that the adoption didn't work.
The Indonesian Department of Social reacted by claiming that the adoption was illegal, which was denied by the Irish Adoption Board.
In 2006, an Irish court ordered the Dowses to pay an immediate lump sum of €20,000 to Tristan, maintenance of €350 per month until he is 18 years of age, and a further lump sum of €25,000 when he reaches the age of 18. In addition, Tristan would remain an Irish citizen and enjoy all the rights to the Dowses’ estate, and Tristan’s mother Suryani was appointed his sole legal guardian.

What happened to Erwin=Tristan is actually not so bad compared to many thousand others whose faith were uncertain. According to The Jakarta Globe, Local and international groups have estimated that more than 100,000 Indonesian women and children are trafficked annually for commercial sex exploitation, to foreign countries, including Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

In order to prevent Trafficking of Women & Children to foreign countries, nine years ago, our government has signed the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crimes, which was ratified by the parliament (DPR) last December. Further, on Tuesday the DPR ratified the UN Protocol Againts Human Trafficking.

As a conclussion, I felt that now that we have our national laws and the above UN Conventions, the law enforcement would have no more problem to protect our Children from becoming victims of human trafficking, and to take actions against any violators.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Elections Preparations

The Parliamentary Election (9 April 09) is still two months away yet rivalry among candidates is heating day after day.

Faces of the candidates appeared on street banners, TV, newspapers/magazines, etc. making big promises which are often confusing and boring. For example last Thursday evening, Laksamana Sukardi of Partai Demokrasi Pembaruan/PDP (Democratic Reform Party) told the audience of MetroTV about his plans, while actually the audience asked him about his achievements.
And there was the polemic between Megawati and President SBY regarding the latter’s decision to decrease fuel several times as reported by Kompas.
The latest one is the uproar caused by President SBY’s allegation that some Army and Police generals are waging Anti S campaign as reported by Detik.
Moreover, there is the verdict of the Constitutional Court which ruled that the election would be determined by majority votes, which according to The Jakarta Globe is protested by female activists who feared would lessened their chances to be elected.

This year's election is troublesome because there are 34 political parties competing, but only those which win 20% of the vote can name a candidate for the presidential election next July. Thus, although there are many people who want to be president, incl. 4 retired generals, only 2 will have a chance i.e. President SBY and former President Megawati.
On top of that, the elections would costs more than Rp 3 Trillions according to Nielsen as quoted by Kompas, which is too much to waste at a time when we are facing a global economic crisis.

As a conclusion I felt that the election candidates should do their very best to win the hearts of the people in order to be elected, and to keep their promises after they are elected.