Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Endless Lapindo Tragedy

Three years have passed since the Hot Mud flow began in Sidoarjo, East Java, flooding its surrounding farmlands, house/office/warehouse buildings, and displacing thousands of families.

According to Wikipedia, the Mud flow started on 29 May 2006, when PT. Lapindo Brantas drilled a borehole for Gas in the Brantas area. In the first stage, the Drill String first went through a thick clay seam (500-1,300 m deep), then sands, shells, volcanic debris and finally into permeable carbonate rocks. At this stage the borehole was surrounded by a Steel Casing to help stabilize it. Later, second stage of drilling began and the Drill String went deeper to about 2,834 m, this time without protective Steel Casing, causing eruption of water steam and a small amount of gas followed by other eruptions on June. Considering that borehole protection by steel casing is a common procedure in oil or gas exploration, therefore the most likely cause of the Mud Flow is PT Lapindo’s failure to use the Steel Casing in the second stage of their drilling operation.
However, there is controversy on what has caused the eruption and whether or not it was a natural disaster. PT Lapindo Brantas said the Mud Flow eruption was not triggered by their drilling activities, but by an Earthquake with a 6.3 Richter scale Earthquake that hit Central Java & Yogyakarta two days before the mud eruption killing 6,234 people.

After investigations by independent experts, police have concluded the mud flow was an "underground blow out", triggered by the drilling activity. It is also noted that the Steel Casing lining had not been used which could have prevented the disaster.
The government announced that PT Lapindo Brantas must compensate thousands of victims affected by the mud flows. A criminal investigation was then started against several senior executives of the company because the drilling operation has put the lives of local people at risk. But unfortunately, the compensation has still not been fully given, and result of legal actions seems to be fruitless.

The most interesting thing is that although the Lapindo Mud Flow has been going on for so long and victimized so many people without any clear solution, however it has not seemed to attract political parties competing in the Parliamentary Elections last April. Even the Ulama in East Java prefer to discuss about other things like Facebook, than about the Lapindo Mud Flow.

Manohara Returns

After several months living under the captivity of her husband i.e. Crown Prince Fakhry of Kelantan Malaysia, Manohara Odelia Pinot was finally allowed to return to Jakarta, this morning (photo: courtesy of Detik).

Detik reported that the 17 years old beautiful model was fetched by her mother Daisy Fajarina and sister Dewi Sri Asri at Hotel Royal Plaza in Singapore, and took her back to Jakarta.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of our Foreign Affairs Department i.e Tengku Faizasyah was quoted as saying that his office has sent a diplomatic note to the Malaysian government regarding Manohara’s case. He added that our Ambassador has met with people from the Sultanate of Kelantan who promised to let Manohara meet her family. He also added that our Embassy helped arranged Manohara’s departure from Singapore, which also involved the local Police.

The release of Manohara gives some valuable lessons for her family, for other Indonesian citizens and government and also for Malaysia, especially the Sultanate of Kelantan.
For her family, especially her mother, this is a lesson for allowing a very young teenager (16 years old) marries a much older foreign man whom neither her daughter nor she knew well. For other Indonesians, we should not be easily tempted to live & work abroad without clear legal status. And for our government, to provide better advocate to those who want to travel, live and work abroad.
Whilst for Malaysia, whose head of state is chosen from amongst the Sultans every 5 years, its people & central government should be very careful because as Crown Price of Kelantan, Fakhry would be the future Sultan of Kelantan and has a chance to be a head of state one day. If that happens, I am sure that it is not only our people and government who would not forget about his behaviors, but also people and government from other countries as well.

The Candidate Presidents and their VPs

On Saturday, 30 May 2009, the General Election Commission (KPU) has officially announced the names & numbers of pairs of candidate President/Vice President who will be running for the Presidential Election on 8 July 2009.
(Photo: courtesy of The Jakarta Post).

The Jakarta Post reported that the result of drawing of numbers by each of the pairs shows that they will be competing as follows:
No.1 - Megawati Soekarnoputri(President) & Prabowo Subijanto (VP)
No.2 - Soesilo Bambang Yudoyono (President) & Boediono (VP)
No.3 - Jusuf Kalla (President) & Wiranto (VP)

According to Kompas, last Friday KPU announced the amount of campaign fund that will be used by the three pairs:
SBY-Boediono: Rp 20.750 Billion; Megawati-Prabowo: Rp 15.5 Billion; and Yusuf Kalla-Wiranto: Rp 10 Billion.
KPU also announced those candidates' wealth as follows :
1)Prabowo: Rp 1.5 Trillion plus US$ 7.5 Million
2)Jusuf Kalla: Rp 314.5 Billion plus US$ 25,668.00
3)Megawati: Rp 256.4 Billion
4)Wiranto: Rp 81.7 Billion plus US$ 378,625.00
5)Boediono: Rp 22 Billion plus US$ 15,000.00
6)Susilo Bambang Yudoyono: Rp 6.8 Billion plus US$ 246,389.00

In compliance with the Presidential Election Law, earlier all candidates have gone through general medical chek-up by a special medical team, and wealth review by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). But considering that all the processes have been completed earlier than schedule KPU has moved the campaign starting day from 12 June to 2 June until 4 July 2009.

With the above announcement, the candidates will now surely sharpen their campaign strategy to win the hearts of the people to vote for them. In this regards, I hope that they would only use fair, peaceful and non violent ways. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Indonesia & Australia Extradition Exchange

On 26 May 2009, the Indonesian government has extradited Hadi Ahmadi, a dual Iranian-Iraqi citizen, to Australia.

According to Bloomberg, Hadi Ahmadi has been wanted and named as a suspect of Human Smuggling by the Interpol since 7 September 2007. The Australian government accused him of 21 people smuggling offences. He allegedly helped bring illegally people from the Middle East into Australia. He was arrested by our Police on June 2008, and last month Presidernt Susilo Bambang Yudoyono agreed to extradite to Austrlia where he will face Human Smuggling charges with a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.

Earlier, ICW mentioned in its website that on 10 december 2008, President SBY and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd have reached an agreement on the extradition of Hadi Ahmadi in exchange with Australia's extradition of Adrian Kiki Aryawan to Indonesia. Adrian, former President Director of Bank Surya, was tried at the District Court of Central Jakarta on July 2002 for missapropriation of debt given by the Indonesian Central Bank (Bank Indonesia). During process of trial, he ran away to Australia. So, on 28 November the Court passed an In Absentia verdict sentensing Kiki with Life imprisonment and Fine of Rp 1.5 Trillion.
However, Tempointeraktif reported that Adrian's extradition shall be decided by a Court in Perth, Western Australia on August 2009.

I hope that Indonesia's extradition of Hadi Ahmadi to Australia will soon be followed by Australia's extradition of Adrian Kiki Aryawan to Indonesia.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Prosecutor's Website

In the last few months, the news media has reported about Prosecutors who have not done their job properly, two lady Prosecutors have even been arrested by the Jakarta Police for alleged selling of Illegal Drugs used as evidence in a Court case.

In order to improve its image as a law enforcement agency and to enable the public submit reports regarding anything related to the Prosecutors, on Wednesday, 26 May, the Attorney General Office (AGO) has launched the website:

In this regards, Detik quoted the Deputy Attorney General Mochtar Arifin as saying that the public should not be afraid to submit their report because they shall be treated confidentially and shall be followed up immediately.

The launching of the website shows that the AGO is very serious in improving its performance.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Murder of a Reporter in Bali

People all over the world are expecting that members of Parliament consists of respectful, good, honest and patriotic persons who have high moral standard and self integrity. That way, they can properly serve the people who elected them as representative in handling state affairs.

In reality, we saw/heard/read news about unlawful conducts of Members of Parliament (MP), many of which have been prosecuted & jailed. The latest one being a candidate MP in Bali i.e Nyoman Susrama, who according to Temporinteraktif, has been arrested by the Police and named as suspect in the murder of a Journalist of a local news paper Radar Bali i.e. Agung Gede Narendra Prabangsa.
The arrest was made 3 months after the Police found the dead body of Agung near the Padangbai sea port on 16 February 2009. Earlier, the Police said they are investigating the possible motives of the murder, the most likely being Agung’s article in Radar Bali about misappropriation of funds in the development of an international kindergarten project headed by Nyoman.

Considering that Nyoman is a candidate in the local Parliamentary election last April, in which his political party won a seat, I hope that the Police would thoroughly investigate whether or not he is really involved in the murder.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Losing Islands

On 17 December 2002, the International Court of Justice has decided that Indonesia must release its sovereignty over the islands of Simpadan and Ligitan, to Malaysia.

Soon afterward, Foreign Minister Hasan Wirayuda was quoted by website of the Defence Department as saying that our government accepted said Court's decision. He added the reason we loose those islands because our country’s territorial borders are unclear.
Many protests were raised against said Court’s decision and our government’s failure to keep those islands. But the government at that time refused to be blamed because Court case was initiated in 1997 by the previous government.

After loosing those islands, according to Tempointeraktif, Indonesia still have 17,506 other islands, many of which are inhabited and have been given names, many others are still uninhabited and nameless.

A few days ago, the news media reported about the sinking of two islands i.e. Bangkai Island (10 Hectare) & Satu Island (2 Hectare), which are part of the Islands of Enggano in Bengkulu Province, Sumatera.
As the cause of sinking was abrasion of the land by high rising sea water. Actually, the abrasion can be minimized by planting Mangrove and trees that would serve as reservoir of rain water in the earth, and forbidding the use of Tiger Fishing Net and Bombs for catching fish.
If the condition does not improve, it is predicted that two nearby islands, i.e Dua Island (11 Hectare) and Marbau Island (7 Hectare) may sink in the next five years.

Considering the above mentioned facts, I hope that more serious efforts would be made to retrieve the sinking islands and to stop sea water abrasion of the other islands so that we would not be losing anymore island.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Side Effects of Social Media

Last night I saw on SCTV the Chairman of the Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) i.e. Umar Shihab stating that Facebook is good because it enable people to conduct socialize with others, therefore in line with the Islamic rules. He also said that MUI has no plan to discuss about Facebook.

Shihab made the statement in the wake of the news reports that a certain Ulama organization in East Java has declared that Facebook and Friendster are Haram (forbidden) in East Java if they are used excessively for gossipping and flirting.

The above statement brings a relief for me because MUI as the highest Islamic Organization has realised abouth the true benefit that Facebook and other Social networking sites could bring to people in general and Moslems in particular. Although MUI's eddict/fatwa would not have legal impact, however it would have a social impact on Moslems who would think that it would be sinful not to obey the eddict/fact.

Fears on the side effects of Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter not only exist in Indonesia, but also in the U.S. According to Legal Blog Watch there were some cases of Defamation using Twitter. According to a lawyer i.e. Howard Price if an employee spreads Defamatory postings on the company's blog or Twitter account, it's not just the employee who face liability but the company may be liable as well.
The speed and fluidity of media like Twitter can also invite disclosure of trade secrets or classified information about a publicly traded company. Due to which fact the Securiy Exchange Commission (SEC) has provided guidance which makes clear that a company employee "speaking" in a company-sponsored interactive forum would not be deemed to be acting in an individual capacity. Thus, a company could not disclaim liability by arguing that the employee's communications were unauthorized.

As a Blogger and owner of accounts in Facebook and Twitter, the above made me more passionate in writing more things which would be informative and meaningful to others, but also more careful, so that my words would not annoy others, therefore peacefulness can be maintained.

Friday, May 22, 2009

N.Z Court & Facebook

Facebook has now been used as a method to convey very important messages in foreign countries, including the service of Court papers.

According to Legal Blog Watch, last March a High Court Judge in New Zealand has permitted lawyers to serve process on a Defendant in Britain through the social networking site Facebook. The lawsuit, brought by a New Zealand company Axe Market Garden, alleges that the owner's son, Craig Axe, took NZ$241,000 (+/- US$126,000) from the company's bank account. The permission was given after the Company's Lawyers said they cannot locate the Defendant's precise where about, but know that he has a Facebook account.
One of the lawyers, Daniel Vincent, believed that such Court permit is the first in New Zealand. He said that his request for the Court order was inspired by an earlier Court order in Canberra-Australia which approved the use of Facebook to notify a couple that they had lost their home after defaulting on a loan.

The above news interestingly indicate that Facebook is now playing an increasing role in people's lives. Therefore, I hope that we in Indonesia can also realize that Facebook is not merely beneficial for private purposes but also for professionals too.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The crash of Hercules C-130

Yesterday, our Air Force transport plane, i.e Hercules C-130, crashed on rows of houses in Magetan, East Java, causing the death of at least 99 passengers and 2 vilagers.

Viva News quoted Air Force's spokesman Air Marshall Bambang Sulistyo as saying that the plane was flying from Jakarta carrying 112 passengers & crews, and was about to land at Madiun Airbase when the accident happened.

Earlier, Air Force spokesman Sagoem Tamboen was quoted by MetroTV as saying that the plane's condition was good and the weather was clear before the crash.

This is the third accident that happened to our Air Force's plane in one month.
The first was on 6 April when a Fokker F-27 Transport plane crashed on an hangar in Bandung airport killing 24 of its crews and passengers. The second one was was on 9 May when another C-130 loose its rear wheels when it landed.

According various news media reports, the series of plane crashes suffered by our Air Force is caused by the long underfunded and handicapped by a recently lifted U.S ban on weapons sales.
The Air Force has operated C-130s since early 1960s, when it received 10 of them from the United States in exchange for the release of a CIA bomber pilot shot down in 1958 while supporting an anti-government mutiny.
Around 40 more were delivered over the next 20 years, many were secondhand, before the U.S government imposed sanctions on military deliveries because of violence that broke out during East Timor’s 1999 break for independence.
The Air Force has complained that many of the planes quickly became unserviceable because of the lack of spare parts. Though the embargo was lifted several years ago, the air worthiness of many is still in question.

President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono has instructed the Air Force to conduct a thorough investigation on the accident.

Considering that our country has been trying its very best to persuade European Union to lift its ban on our airlines flying to those countries, we should do our very best to investigate the above plane crash to show that we are serious in maintaining safe air travel.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ILO & Maids in Indonesia

Most Indonesian families, especially those living in the cities, have at least one maid or domestic worker who help them in cleaning & guarding the house, cook food, and some even take care of children.

Most of those maids came from the country sides by themselves or through the intermediary of official and/or unofficial maid providing agencies. Most of them are living in the homes of their bosses, therefore their working time are unlimited, and depend on the discretion of their bosses.
Until now, working relationship between those maids and their bosses are governed by regulations issued by local government. However, considering that there are so many maids are available for employment, their faith is under the mercy of their bosses.

Due to this fact, according to The Jakarta Globe, the International Labor Organization (ILO) has urged our government to boost protection for those maids, saying that they were vulnerable to mistreatment and forced labor. ILO Indonesia Director i.e Alain Boulton said:
“The workers are not receiving proper wages, are paying unreasonable fees to recruiting agencies, have become victims of physical and sexual abuse and are forced to work long hours" He said the problem can be tackled through integrated policies and programs, mixing law enforcement with proactive measures of prevention, protection and empowering those at risk of forced labor to defend their own rights. The ILO estimates there are 2.6 million domestic workers in Indonesia, most of them working and living at their employers’ homes.
Albert Bonasat, an ILO project coordinator, said: “There are no requirements for a contract between workers and employers, so the workers are forced to work long hours and do little against unfair treatment, abuses, harsh working conditions or unlawful termination of work”. Since domestic workers were categorized as informal workers, their rights were not protected by labor laws and their employers were not required to provide a standard minimum wage. In this regards, next year ILO plans to held an international conference to call for an end to forced labor.

Considering that most of us who live in the cities are dependend on those Maids, but often take them for granted, it is about time for us to show more care for them, that is by treating them as persons who have rights as citizens.

Endangered Orangutans, Tigers & Elephants in Sumatera

Temara is a 16 years old Orangutan born at the Zoo in Perth, Western Australia. And 3 years ago, she was released into the Bukit Tigapuluh National Park, in Sumatera so that she can live peacefully with around 100 other Orangutans.

However, it seems that Temara and her friends would not be able to live peacefully very long. The Sydney Morning Herald quoted conservation groups like the World Life Fund (WWF) as saying that the Asia Pulp Paper (APP) & Sinar Mas Group have been granted license to use 300,000 hectares of forest surrounding the national park as source of raw material for their Pulp industry.

The sad thing is that the said unprotected forest is also the habitat of other wild life. Google Alert mentioned that the said forest is the home of 100 out of the last 400 endangered Sumatera Tigers in the wild, and around 50 Sumatera Elephants. Deforestation would force the Tigers and Elephants into closer contacts with villagers. This year, at least nine people have been killed by tigers on Sumatra, while villagers have killed four tigers.
However, APP’s Sustainable Director Aida Greenbury said that its plans to log forest areas around the national park would actually help the orangutans, not harm them. She said : "Well managed pulpwood plantations act as buffer zones, which have been proven to deter illegal logging -- this ensures that protected areas remain protected."

Considering the above, I hope that the central government in Jakarta as well as the local government will make sure that the license for APP and Sinar Mas would not disturb the Orangutans in the national park, also the Tigers and Elephants in the surrounding forest.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Presidential Election Candidates

On Saturday, 16 May 2009, 3 pairs of candidate President-Vice President who will run forthe Presidential Election on 8 July have registered themselves with the General Election Commission (KPU). Afterwards they have all gone through general medical checkup and reported their wealth so as to comply with the Presidential Election Law.

The first pair is incumbent Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Chairman of the Golkar Party as Candidate President, and retired Army General Wiranto, Chairman of the Hanura Party as Candidate Vice President.
The second pair is former President Megawati, Chairperson of the Indonesian Democratic Party in Struggle, as Candidate President, and retired Army General Prabowo Subijanto as Candidate Vice President.
The last pair is incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono, Head of the Supervision Committee of the Democrat Party, and the non partisan Governor of Bank Indonesia i.e Prof.Dr. Boediono as Candidate Vice President. Justice Welfare Party (PKS), National Mandate Party and the National Awakening Party (PKB), plus 21 other smaller parties.
All candidates are confident that they will pass the medical check-up. If KPU declare that they eligible, they should prepare themselves for the election campaign. And according to KPU Regulation No. 28/2009 Art.33 Par.1, the campaign period would be 3 days after KPU declared their eligibility until 3 days before the Election Day on 8 July.

Now that the political parties have announced their candidate Presidents & Vice Presidents, I hope that they would all make sure that the efforts to win their candidates would be done peacefully and respectfully, avoiding any violence and foul play including money politics.

Election Disputes

The Chairman of the Constitutional Court (M.K), i.e. Mahfud MD, has warned political parties initiating legal action against the parliamentary election result not to contact said Court’s Judges and Registrar, saying the Court will decide based on based on standard parameter.

According to VivaNews, Mahfud was quoted as saying MK shall be in a neutral position thus would not take side on any of the disputing party, and shall make decisions based on the facts and evidence presented in the court trials.

Until 12 May 2009, the Court has received 71 disputes cases related to the Parliamentary Elections, consisting of 42 cases presented by political parties and 29 cases presented by candidates for the Regional Representative Council (DPD).
Those cases shall be examined by the Court until 22 May 2009, and 16 of which shall be examined starting today.

With the above the statement of MK’s Chairman, it is obvious that all disputing parties should not be worried about the result of their legal action pertaining to the last election. That way, the Presidential Election on 8 July 2009 can be conducted peacefully & more people can be expected to cast their vote.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Manado Ocean Declaration

From 11 to 15 May 2009, representatives of 76 countries attended the World Ocean Conference (WOC) & the Coral Triangle Summit in Manado, North Sulawesi.

According to The Jakarta Globe, the attendants have agreed on a pact called the Manado Ocean Declaration (MOD) which includes the following key points:
• Achievement of long-term conservation, management & sustainable use of marine living resources and coastal habitats through the appropriate application of precautionary and ecosystem approaches, and to implement long-term strategies in meeting the internationally-agreed sustainable development goals.
• Stress the need for national strategies for sustainable management of coastal and marine ecosystems, in particular mangrove, wetland, sea-grass, estuary and coral reef, as protective and productive buffer zones that deliver valuable ecosystem goods and services that have significant potential for addressing the adverse effects of climate change.
• Cooperation in continuation of marine scientific research & sustained integrated ocean observation systems, promote education and public awareness, work together for the improved understanding on the role of oceans on climate change and vice-versa, and continue developing reliable scientific information on the roles of coastal and marine ecosystems in reducing the effects of climate change.
• Taking adequate measures to reduce sources of marine pollution assure integrated management and rehabilitate coastal ecosystems.
• Invite parties to the UNFCCC to consider developing and submitting climate change adaptation project proposals for coastal and ocean management to the Adaptation Fund Board for consideration.
• Stress the need to promote affordable, environmentally sound and renewable ocean technologies, and know-how, particularly in developing countries.

The Indonesian Minister of Maritime and Fisheries Affairs i.e. Freddy Numberi said that the MOD has been unanimously agreed by the attendants, therefore it will be brought to the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark next December.
However, the US head of delegation i.e Mary Glackin said that the declaration is non binding and contain no specific commitments for funding or emissions targets.
Further, an Australian scientist i.e. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg said that the result was "dissapointingly weak given the severity of the problem.”
While Desima Williams, representative of Grenada to the UN and chair of the Alliance of Small Island States, said that the conference had escalated “the connection, attention, potentials and values of oceans as important into negotiations.”

I hope that Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen would enfore the Manado Ocean Declaration, which is important for Indonesia whose most of its territory consists of seas.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Governor & Facebook

Lately, the Social Media especially Facebook has been plaguing the Indonesian society. People from all walks of life, including government officials, have been using it as a means to communicate message.

Detik reported that the Governor of South Kalimantan i.e Rudy Ariffin have been using Facebook for the last five months, and since then he spent between 30 to 60 minutes in the evening to communicate with the citizens in said province, including responding to their protests. He said that Facebook has been very beneficial for him in doing his duties, whereby it enabled him to communicate directly with his citizens. As a matter of fact it has been so beneficial that he has opened two accounts. And he did that all by himself, without any help from his staffs.

In conclusion, I felt that the Governor of South Kalimantan has made a good way to use Facebook to communicate directly with his citizens, thereby enabling him to get a first hand information about what is actually going on in the province. This, will enable to determine what should be done by his government.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Man Behind Antasari

The Police have arrested Antasari Azhar, non active Chief of the Corruption Eradication Commision (KPK), as Prime Suspect in the murder of Nasrudin Zulkarnaen, Director of a State owned Company.

According to news media, Antasari did not plan it by himself, but someone arranges & financed the operation i.e Sigit Haryo Wibisono, President Commissioner of the Merdeka daily newspaper.
According to Politikana, Sigit is the son of the former Chief of Staff of the Diponegoro Military Command who started his political career by joining the Golkar Party, and has served as Assistant to the Minister of Social Bachtiar Chamsyah of the People Development Party (PPP). After he left the Golkar Party, Sigit joined former President Abdulrahman Wahid's (Gus Dur) party i.e the Nation Awakening Party (PKB), & persuaded the latter to dump Muhaimin Iskandar and his men from the party’s leadership, splitting the party into two i.e. pro Gus Dur and pro Muhaimin. And during the Parliament Election last April, PKB was represented by Muhaimin's group.
Moreover, he was also reported as being involved in intelligence activities of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN).
And Sigit has also been reported to have connections with some prominent figures in Indonesia i.e former President Megawati, former Soeharto’s son in law Prabowo and former Chief of the Armed Forces Wiranto. His relationship with KPK began when he was Assistant Minister of Social Affairs, during which he reported about corruptions in the Department. Besides, he was a member of Antasari’s success team when the latter was nominated as the chief of KPK.
Sigit's role in the murder was revealed by the former Chief of South Jakarta Police i.e Collonel Williardi Wizar, who said that Sigit has gave him Rp. 500 million for operational costs of the murder.

In spite of media reports that the cause of murder was the dispute between Nasrudin & Antasari over a Golf Caddy Girl i.e. Rani Juliani who is now under Police protection, however there were some doubts about it. Kompas quoted Antasari’s lawyer Juniver Girsang as saying that there is a hidden scenario behind this murder case, especially because Antasari has been fighting corruption intensively.

Considering the above, I believe that Sigit knows about what really happen, that this case is not merely a romance case. I hope that the Police investigations of this case would lead us to the real answer.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The result of Parliamentary Elections

On Saturday, 9 May 2009, the General Election Commission (KPU) announced the final result of ballot counting for the Parliamentary Election on 9 April.

Viva News reported on Sunday morning that of the 38 political parties that participated in the said election, only 9 of them managed to pass the 2.50% parliamentary threshold, thus based on the Parliamentary Law No. 10/2008, eligible to participate in the 560 seats National Parliament (DPR) 2009-2014, as follows :
1) Democratic Party = 20.80% equivalent to 148 seats (26.43%).
2) Golkar Party = 14.40% equivalent to 108 seats (19.29%)
3) PDIP = 14.10% equivalent to 93 seats (16.61%)
4) PKS = 7.90% equivalent to 59 seats (10.54%)
5) PAN = 6% equivalent to 42 seats ( 7.50%)
6) PPP = 5.30% equivalent to 39 seats ( 6.96%)
7) Gerindra = 4.50% equivalent to 30 seats (5.36%)
8) PKB = 5% equivalent to 26 seats (4.64%)
9) Hanura = 3.80% equivalent to 15 seats (2.68%)

Based on the Presidential Election Law No.42/2008, a political party or group of political parties that obtained 20% seats in DPR or 25% of the votes in the national election may name its presidential candidate.

In this regards, Kompas reported that the KPU has opened registration for the Presidential & Vice Presidential candidates from 10 to 16May 2009.

I sincerely hope that the above nine political parties will do their very best to improve the quality of the DPR, therefore they would make sure that the members of DPR would only give priority to serve our country & people.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Social Media for Lawyers

Social Media like Blog, Facebook and Twitter has enabled the creation and maintenance of business relationship among people, including lawyers, all over the world.

In this regards, Legal Blog Watch has quoted the conclusion of Marketing Sherpa in its 2009 E-commerce Benchmark, as follows:

Social media is essentially a set of technologies and practices that enable the oldest and most powerful marketing there is -- word of mouth. In the long term, social media may have a positive effect on margins by rewarding sellers for qualities beyond price, such as customer service, on-time delivery, social awareness and the like. In the short term, it makes sense for companies to build an expertise and social presence while consumers and
business people are still in the process of building their networks. Like the early days of email, it's probably a lot easier to make a name on Twitter or Facebook today than it will be in five years.

After blogging intensively for 8 months, registered with Twitter for one month, and Facebook for seven days, I must admit that the above conclusion is right! Therefore, the Social Media is worthwhile indeed for lawyers.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

German Court Bans Extra Long Names

Some people in Germany have extra long names including the Minister of Economics i.e. Karl-Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Freierr zu Guttenberg.

Apparently, German officials feared that the use of such names might cause administrative problems. Therefore, according to Time, last Tuesday the country's Constitutional Court rejected an appeal by Frieda Rosemarie Thalheim to use her new married name i.e. Frieda Rosemarie Thalheim-Kunz-Hallstein, arguing that it is too long.
The Court’s verdict was complying with a Law introduced in 1993 that bans the use of multiple surnames.
Before that, it was merely illegal to give multiple surnames to a child, because legislators worried that, if the child later marries someone who also had a long surname — and if their children did the same and so on — the result would be endless name chains, which could cause intolerable administrative difficulties for officials.
Thus, the said law extended the ban to couples who wanted to combine their names into 3 or 4 pronged surnames.

As far as I know, Indonesian citizens are free to choose their own names; therefore in this case we are luckier than the Germans. What do you think?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Constitutional Court & Bloggers

On Tuesday, 5 May 2009, the Indonesian Constitutional Court passed a verdict which refused to cancel Article 27 Paragraph 3 of the Information & Electronic Transaction Law (ITE) No. 11 Year 2008 that has been requested by a Team consisting of Edy Cahyono, Nenda I. Fadhilah, Amrie Hakim, Indonesian Journalists Alliance (AJI), LBH Press & PBHI.

In a Press Release that I downloaded from the legal blog Dunia Anggara, the Team expressed its disappointment with the said rejection; however it also mentioned some points in the verdict which are noteworthy:
1) Art.27 (3) : is for crime that can only be processed based on complaint made by victim of defamation
2) Art.27 (3) : should be deemed similar to Art. 310 & 311 of the Penal Code, thus only the main Role Player can be implicated with this crime
3) Art.27 (3) : can only be used by individuals and not by legal entity
4) Art.27 (3) : acknowledged that blogs and bloggers have similar role as the press i.e. implementing people’s sovereignty based on principles of democracy, justice & legal supremacy
5) As far as public domain is concerned, and privacy is not disturbed, cyber communities are free to conduct social control.

In this regards, I would like to quote fellow blogger Ndoro Kakung who said that this verdict provide an advantage for bloggers in Indonesia compared to bloggers in Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar.
However, as a citizen of our country we must use this advantage responsibly i.e. by respecting other people's privacy as well as the laws, regulations & customs/ traditions, so that peace and harmony in our society can be maintained.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Arrest of Antasari

After questioning the non active Chief of the Commission for the Eradication of Corruption (KPK) Antasari Azhar for 8 hours yesterday, the Jakarta Police has announced that the former is a Suspect who Masterminded the murder of the Director of PT. Putera Rajawali Banjaran Nasrudin Zulkarnaen.

According to Kompas, this announcement was made by the Chief of the Jakarta Police Wahyono based on the result of prior interrogation of 10 other Suspects in this case i.e Daniel the Executor, Hendrikus Walen who gave instruction, Heri Santoso the motorcyclist, A & C as field observers of the execution, AM observer of the victim’s behavior, Wiliardi Wizard (Police Colonel), and Jerry Kusuma as liaison officer, and Sigit Haryo Wibisono who financed the execution. The Police have accused Antasari of committing Pre-Meditated Murder based on the Penal Code Art. 340, with a maximum punishment of death penalty, and therefore placed him under arrest.

According to Detik, in order to safeguard Antasari’s well being, the Police have not placed him in a general detention center where corrupters caught by KPK are placed but in a Narcotic Detention Center. In this regards, Antasari’s lawyer Ari Y. Amir was quoted as saying that on Tuesday he will request for postponement of detention. He further said that Antasari has given some hints that there is a grand scenario behind this case which he plan to reveal later on.

Let's just wait and see the further development of this case.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Antasari Case

Yesterday, most Indonesian newspapers, radio and TV stations have been reporting about the controversial story of the Chief of Commission for Eradication of Corruption (KPK) Antasari Azhar.

The controversy was caused by the announcement of the Deputy Attorney General that the Police has named Antasari as a Prime Suspect in the Murder of the Director of PT Putra Rajawali Banjaran: Nasrudin Zulkarnaen. While according to the Police’s Summons Letter to Antasari, the latter would be questioned on Monday(tomorrow) as a Witness.

Based on said announcement, Nasrudin’s brother & lawyer have requested the Police to arrest Antasari because of his status as Prime Suspect, and also because he has sent a threatening SMS to Nasrudin. They also asked the Police to guarantee the safety of the 2 killers of Nasrudin who voluntarily surrendered to the Police because their lives have been threatened by certain party who wants to erase linkage to the crime.

Further, the Collective Chairmanship of KPK, consisting of four Deputy Chiefs, has decided to non-active Antasari, and takes over the leadership collectively pending the investigation of this case.
Meanwhile, the news media has still not succeeded in locating Rani Juliani, i.e. the Golf Caddy Girl who was has been said to be the cause of dispute between Antasari & Nasrudin. I have visited her two blogs i.e. and rani-juliani. In the Shout Box, a visitor asked her to show up and explain to the public, and she replied by saying that she doubt that such act would be good for her.

Considering that KPK is a Law Enforcement Agency that has been highly respected by the Indonesian people for their efforts to combat corruption, it is important that this case to be processed properly according to the Criminal Procedural Law (KUHAP) & the Penal Code (KUHPidana). Anyone involved in this case should be investigated, the sooner the better. That way, the case would not be used as a political game by anyone.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Investigation on Anti Corruption Chief

Since it was established in 2002, the Commission for the Eradication of Corruption (KPK) has been trying its best efforts to combat corruption in Indonesia.

Due to this reason, I was very surprised when I read on Tempointeraktif that the Attorney General Office (AGO) has announced the Chief of KPK i.e. Antasari Azhar, a former AGO’s Director, has been declared by the Police as a Prime Suspect in the bloody killing of Nasruddin Zulkarnaen, Director of state owned company PT Putra Rajawali Banjaran, who was shot by 2 men riding a motorcycle on his way home from playing golf at a golf course in Tangerang, Banten.
The Deputy Attorney General Wisnu Subroto was quoted as saying that based on the Police’s request; the AGO has banned Antasari from traveling abroad, so as to facilitate the investigation.
However, Antasari denied that he has been involved in the murder, saying that Nasrudin has been reporting to KPK about corruption.

It was said that the possible cause of murder was that Antasari and Nasruddin were fighting over a Golf Caddy Girl who was married by the latter through Islamic Siri way. And last Wednesday the Police have arrested 9 persons who are connected to the murder.

Further, Viva News reported that the Jakarta Police has summons Antasari to come to its office on Monday, 4 May 2009 at 10 am. to be questioned as a Witness in the murder of Nasruddin, Crime based on Penal Code Art. 340 (Pre-meditated Murder) in conjunction with Art. 55(1); Alternatively Art. 338 (Murder).

In spite of the contradiction between the AGO’s statement and the Police summons as to the status of Antasari, I hope that this case would be investigated thoroughly so that in the end the truth shall be revealed and justice shall prevail.

Friday, May 1, 2009

International Workers' Day

The First Day of May is celebrated as the International Workers' Day by workers all around the world, including Indonesia. In this connection, I would like to quote an article in Wikipedia as follows :

The International Workers' Day
is the commemoration of the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, U.S.A. in 1886, when Chicago Police fired on workers during a general strike for the eight hour day, killing a dozen demonstrators.

In 1889, a meeting in Paris for the centennial of the French Revolution and the Exposition Universelle, called for international demonstrations on the 1890 anniversary of the Chicago protests. It was so successful that May Day was formally recognized as an annual event in 1891. The May Day Riots of 1894 and May Day Riots of 1919 occurred subsequently. In 1904, the International Socialist Conference meeting in Amsterdam called on "all Social Democratic Party organizations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on May First for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace." As the most effective way of demonstrating was by striking, the congress made it "mandatory upon the proletarian organizations of all countries to stop work on May 1, wherever it is possible without injury to the workers."

Through all this turmoil in the northern hemisphere, the Stonemasons Society in the then colony of Victoria, now the State of Victoria in Australia led the battle for the 8 Hour Day, the most dramatic achievement of the early trade Union Movement.[citation needed] By 1856 Australian workers were benefiting from the results of a decision by the Collingwood Branch of the Stonemasons Society of Victoria. The same year it was recognized in New South Wales, followed by Queensland in 1858 and South Australia in 1873. A memorial statue with the numerals 888, representing 8 hours of work, 8 hours of recreation, and 8 hours of rest, sits on the corner of Lygon Street and Victoria Parade in Melbourne, Australia to this day.

May Day has long been a focal point for demonstrations by Socialist, Communist, and Anarchist groups. In some circles, bonfires are lit in commemoration of the Haymarket martyrs, usually right as the First day of May begins. It has also seen right-wing massacres of participants as in the Taksim Square massacre of 1977 in Turkey.

Due to its status as a celebration of the efforts of workers and the socialist movement, May Day is an important official holiday in Communist countries such as the People's Republic of China, Cuba, and the former Soviet Union. May Day celebrations typically feature elaborate popular and military parades in these countries.

In countries other than the United States and Canada, resident working classes sought to make May Day an official holiday and their efforts largely succeeded. For this reason, in most of the world today, May Day is marked by massive street rallies led by workers, their trade unions, anarchists and various communist and socialist parties.

In the United States, however, the official Federal holiday for the "working man" is Labor Day in September. This day was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor organized the first parade in New York City. The first Labor Day celebration was held on September 5, 1882, and was organized by the Knights of Labor. The Knights began holding it every year and called for it to be a national holiday, but this was opposed by other labor unions who wanted it held on May Day (as it is everywhere else in the world). After the Haymarket Square riot in May, 1886, President Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the riots. Thus he moved in 1887 to support the Labor Day that the Knights supported.

May Day celebrations around the World :

May 1 is a national holiday in Albania, Argentina, Aruba, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, China, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Lebanon,Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, North Korea, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, the Philippines (spelled as "Labor Day"), Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.