Saturday, April 30, 2011

Communist and Heroes Cemetery

(Ret) Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Heru Atmodjo has been declared as an Independence Fighter by the Indonesian government, so when he died last January, he was buried at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery.

However, on 27 March his grave was silently removed to another cemetery.

MetroTV quoted the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces Admiral Agus Suhartono as saying that the grave was removed because Heru Atmodjo was not eligible to be buried at the Heroes Cemetery. However  he refused to explain what was the reason for the removal..

The most possible reason was because some people in Surabaya, East Java, have alleged that he was part of the banned Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) therefore they demanded the removal.
According to VivaNews, Heru Atmodjo was the Assistant Director of the Air Force Intelligence Agency when the PKI rebelled on 30 September 1965, and he was accused of participating in the rebellion.
Because of this reason, the Military Extraordinary Tribunal (Mahmilub) has sentenced him to life in jail but later on they reduced it to 15 years in jail.

One of those who accused Heru Atmodjo a Communist was Prof.Dr. Coen Holtzappel, a researcher at the Leiden University, Netherlands, who said that the 1965 Communist Rebellion was an intelligence operation carried out by the Air Force Intelligence headed by Heru Atmodjo.

The grave removal was protested by a member of the House of Representatives who said that it was illegal because Heru Atmodjo has been declared a Hero, therefore eligible to be buried at the Heroes Cemetery.

This incident makes me wonder whether or not the authorities would remove the grave of other Heroes who were alleged of Corruption.

MUI Refused to Issue a Fatwa against NII

The Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) refused to issue a Fatwa (Edict) that declare the Indonesian Islamic State (NII) movement as Haram (forbidden).

Gatra quoted MUI Chairman KH Amidhan as saying that MUI shall not issue such Fatwa because radical movement is already prohibited by the laws in Indonesia, therefore such Fatwa is not necessary.

Amidhan said that a Fatwa is issued for things which are still not clear (forbidden or not), whereas radical movement is clearly against the Law and Religion.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Atika Shubert of CNN

Something's wrong with my home's cable TV this evening, it can only show CNN program.

Because of this I have to watch the wedding ceremony of Great Britain's Prince William and Catherine Middleton, which was really good. Their wedding dresses, wedding vows, and balcony double kisses.

CNN has a team of to report the event, the one that I noticed most was Atika Shubert. It was the first time that I saw her reporting again after she reported the Tsunami that devastated the Province of Aceh in late 2004.

The reason why I was interested in Atika because she has an Indonesian name.

According to CNN's website, Atika has been stationed at CNN's bureau in London since 2008. She is responsible for covering general news in the U.K and other regional assignments.

She joined CNN in 2000 and covered news from the Jakarta Bureau. She was one of the first CNN correspondents to report live from Aceh, Indonesia on the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004 that killed more than 200,000 in Aceh alone. Her reports from the devastated region helped earn CNN the prestigious Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia Award in 2005.

In 2004 Atika moved to CNN's Tokyo bureau and then Jerusalem, Israel, in 2006.

According to Wikipedia, prior to working for CNN, Atika was a correspondent for The Washington Post and The New Zealand Herald in Indonesia as she speaks both English and Indonesian fluently. She is a graduate of the Class of 1991 of Jakarta International School. She is an Economics graduate of Tufts University in Massachusetts,.U.S.A.

Please Protect Us

Yesterday, President SBY called on Indonesians not to rely on the Police and asked us to help fight extremism.

The Jakarta Globe quoted the President as saying that Indonesia is now facing a continuous and serious threat in terrorism and in horizontal violence.

Horizontal violence, a term often used in reference to student bullying, refers to abuse or aggression by individuals on their peers around them. 

I hope that the President has instructed the intelligence networks, especially the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) to improve their performance in monitoring and detecting any kinds of activities that might pose a threat to our national security, such as the so called Indonesian Islamic State (NII) movement, those who spread Book Bombs, those who plan any kinds of violence, and other acts of crimes.

Moreover, I also hope that the President has instructed the Police to improve their performance in serving and protecting the society.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Promise to Reduce 26% CO2 by 2020

During the summit meeting of the leaders of the world's G20 countries in 2009, President SBY promised that Indonesia shall voluntarily reduce 26% Carbon Emission by the year 2020.

He went on to say that Indonesia can even reduce Carbon Emission up to 41% if it is assisted by other countries.

In this connection, on 26 May 2010, Indonesia and Norway concluded an agreement in which Indonesia promised to stop cutting forest trees (forest moratorium) for two years and Norway will invest a total of  US$ 1 Billion in forest conservation projects in Indonesia.

But promise is promise, until this now President SBY has still not yet issued a Presidential Decree regarding the 2 years forest moratorium.

Kompas quoted a government official as saying that Indonesia does not need to prioritize the target of reducing carbon dioxide by 26 percent in 2020 as Indonesia does not belong to a group of countries required to reduce their Carbon Emissions.

Considering that President SBY has already made promises to foreign countries that Indonesia shall reduce Carbon Emission, I hope that the government would be very serious in keeping the said promises.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Terrorist at the Jakarta Lawyers Club

TVOne's Jakarta Lawyers Club talk show last night surprised me when the host Karni Ilyas invited Ali Imron, one of the terrorists who was responsible for the suicide bombing in serving life time prison sentence, to speak via teleconference.

Although Ali Imron spoke through a television set, however it gave him as a prison convict, a very rare chance to talk an audience of millions of TVOne's viewers.

Claiming that he is still a terrorist, Ali Imron said that the recent Book Bomb terror and plan to bomb the Gas pipeline in Serpong on Good Friday were carried out by new generation of terrorists, and the 200 Kilograms of explosive they used were only materials for Fire Crackers, thus its destructive potential is very much lower compared to that of a TNT bomb.

He suggested anyone who wish to fight terrorists should meet and talk to him first if they want to succeed because as a terrorist he is the best person to seek advice for fighting terrorists.

The talk show was attended by the Chief of State Anti Terrorists Agency Asyaad Mbai, Chairman of NU, Chairman of the Indonesian Church Council Nathan Setiabudi, former Chairman of Muhammadiyah Safei Maarif, former leader of the Jamaah Islamiya Nasir Abbas, and many lawyers.

Considering that Ali Imron still proudly claim that he is a terrorist, I hope that our security agencies would be much more careful next time before they allow him to appear and talk in public.We do not want him to control activities of other terrorists from jail, the same way that jailed drug dealers control their retailers outside.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Citibank, Malinda, Money Laundering

Inong Malinda Dee (47), former Senior Manager of Citibank Indonesia who handled customers with a minimum account of Rp 500 Million, has been named by the Police as a suspect in the embezzlement of Rp 17 Billion of the bank's customers' money.

Republika quoted her lawyer Indra Sahnun Lubis as saying that Malinda has admitted about the customer's money laundering. He also said that Malinda's ex bosses in the bank knew about this practice since 10 years ago.  

Asian News Network reported that the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) has launched an investigation of the Money Laundering allegations on 18 April 2011 and found indications that the customers include Police Generals, local administration leaders and their families. 
However, the Police has repeatedly denied that any of its officers had Citibank accounts.

PPATK's investigation would determine if Citibank exercised due diligence in opening accounts for “politically exposed” customers, such as public officials who might be more likely to engage in money laundering. 

The Jakarta Globe reported that  the Police has alleged Malinda of laundering at least Rp 2 Billion through PT. Sarwahita Global Management, a company that she partially owned.
Due to this allegation, Air Vice Marshall Rio Mendung, a Commissioner of PT Sarwahita, was removed from his position as Deputy Chairman of the National Defence Institute (Lemhanas).

I hope that investigations by the Police and PPATK would reveal the truth about this case.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Please Take Action Against Violence

The Minister of Education Muhammad Nuh said in Jogyakarta today that the government is considering plans to include tolerance class as an effort to avoid conflicts among people of different religion, race, tradition in Indonesia.

The Jakarta Globe quoted the Minister as saying that schools were in the “front lines” in the battle against intolerance, which he said was a serious threat to national unity.  He cited deadly attacks against Ahmadiyah, a minority Muslim sect, as well as riots against Christian communities perpetrated by hard-liners.

Frankly speaking, I believe that Indonesian school students have already been fully fed with indoctrination. 

We already have the Pendidikan Moral Pancasila (Pancasila Moral Education) which teaches about the Pancasila as our five national principles i.e. Believe in God, Humanity, Unity, Democracy and Social Justice. But considering the various intolerance that often exists,  I often heard people ask what's the use of having such lesson.

In my opinion what is urgent right now is to start taking actions against anyone or organization that adopted violence. President SBY should be consistent with his promise to take action against such organizations. He must not tolerate Cabinet minister who speak and act differently, like the Minister of Interior Gumawan Fauzi who met and talked friendly with the leader of violent organization FPI soon after SBY threatened to ban violent organizations. This sign of weakness has made FPI reacted by threatening to overthrow the government, which is simply a nonsense.

By taking serious legal actions against anyone or organization that adopt violence it would make others hesitate before using violence. It would therefore make the society feel secured.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Justine Bieber's Peaceful Show

Last night, Canadian teen pop singer Justine Bieber (17) mesmerized 10,000 teenage audience during his first show in Indonesia which took place at a convention center in Sentul, West Java, around 50 kilometers from Jakarta.

I didn't come to watch the show, but I am very happy to know, from media reports, that everything went smooth, although most of the audience came from Jakarta and vicinity, who have to queue many hours before they can enter the gate of the show building.

For me this was a very great news, a relief after more than one month of reading and watching news in the media about terrorists and their bombing threats.

I sincerely hope that this kind of peaceful situation could be maintained in our daily life.

A Peaceful Easter


To each and everyone of you who are celebrating Easter, thank God things seems to be okay today. 
And Happy Holiday to everybody.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Massage Addict

Every month I indulged myself by having a full body massage at a massage parlor.

My favorite place is Bersih Sehat, an ISO Certified chain of massage parlor, in Bintaro Sector 7, a residential estate located in the outskirt of Jakarta. and my favorite therapy treatment is a 2 hour session of traditional massage, reflexology and shiatsu massages.

All their female therapists are dressed in proper white 'nurse' style outfits and let us assure you they will take very good care of you. They seem to communicate with the 'clients' only when necessary to ensure the utmost comfort and to ensure that they can properly focus on certain muscles and areas where they feel need special attention.

Their other services include the traditional body scrub-lulur, using Green Tea, Jasmine, Avocado, Bengkoang, Ginger and also Coffee which is great to treat cellulite due to its antiseptic properties and at the same time can release stiffness in the muscle. 

I choose Bintaro because of several reasons i.e. it's the area where I used to live in 2002-2003, before I move to my present home at South Jakarta, only 15 minutes drive from my home, no traffic jam and easy to park my car, usually not so crowded so I don't have to queue very long. 

Like other Bersih Sehat in Jakarta, the one in Bintaro is equipped with a hair saloon and a nice Japanese restaurant, although there is no Sauna or Jacuzzi pool..

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Mother Earth

Flag of the United Nations.svg
Earth Day is a day that is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment.

In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly designated 22 April as International Mother Earth Day.

It recognizes that " the Earth and its ecosystems are our home " and that it is necessary to promote harmony with nature and the Earth.

The term " Mother Earth " is used because it reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit.

However, people seemed to prefer to use the term Earth Day, which  is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year. 

Sources :  Wikipedia
1.  International Mother Earth Day
2.  Earth Day

Good Friday 2011

Happy Good Friday 
To each and everyone of you who are celebrating Good Friday. 

And a wonderful long weekend to all of us.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kartini Day 2011

Today, 21 April, is the Kartini Day i.e. a day that people of Indonesia celebrate Kartini's struggles for woman's emancipation.

I have not written a special article on this topic, so I will share with you articles related to Kartini that I have read on the blogs of fellow bloggers.

Blogger Triesti's article ( titled "Kartini Day" described that the celebration is now reduced to a day of wearing Kebaya i.e. traditional dress that women usually wear to celebrate the day. 

Blogger Sawali's article ( titled "Semangat Kartini dan Nasib Tragis TKW" which means : "Kartini's Spirit and the Tragic Faith of Women Workers", talked about women working in countries like Saudi Arabia who were treated very badly by their employers, some even died. One of them is Darsem, from Subang, West Java, who is facing death penalty in Saudi Arabia

The terrible thing was that the Speaker of the House of Representatives i.e. Marzuki Alie said that Darsem's faith is bad for our country's image. He also said that Darsem was treated violently because she was foolish.

I hope that the celebration of the Kartini Day would not only be just a tradition, but should be more than that. For which purpose state officials and other public figures must have more respect on women's rights, that they are equal to men. The government must make sure that every women who wish to work abroad must be given enough trainings and will be well protected. The House of Representatives must supervise the implementation.  .

Bravo Police

The National Police Anti-Terrorists Unit today has finally arrested 6(six) men who were reported to be responsible for spreading Book Bombs in Jakarta and vicinity last March.

Beside that, the Anti-Terrorists Unit has also been successful in finding two bombs that were placed near the Gas Pipeline not far from a Church in Serpong, Banten, this afternoon.

I am very happy with the above results, and therefore would like to congratulate and thank our National Police Anti-Terrorists Unit for their great jobs.

I hope that the Police and our intelligence network would do their very best to find who masterminded the spread of all those bombs and eliminate their terrorist network.

Moreover, I hope that every citizens will support the efforts to eliminate terrorists among others by keeping our eyes and ears open on what's going on near us and report to the Police if there is something suspicious.
Perhaps we could follow the people of Cirebon who do not allow the body of the suicide bomber who blew himself inside a Police Mosque last week to be buried in that town, that the Police has to find another burial place in East Jakarta.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Mysterious Suicide Bomber in Cirebon

On 15 April 2011, a suicide bomber blew himself inside a crowded Mosque at a Police station in Cirebon, West Java, injuring 28 persons mostly Police officers who were having their Friday prayer.

According to MetroTV, this is not the first time that the bomber, later identified as Muhammad Syarief, appeared in public. TV stations show that Syarief have participated in various demonstrations including beating a vehicle of the local Prosecutors office in Cirebon.    

Further, The Jakarta Globe reported that Syarief was suspected of killing an army officer i.e First Corporal Sutejo, and stabbed his friend Ali, in early April, because they heard him taking about the suicide bombing plan. Besides, he was also suspected of being involved in the destruction of a mini market.

The Police is still investigating the suicide bombing case, among others by raiding the houses of Syarief's parents, his brother, and his father in law.

The suicide bomb blasted exactly one month after the first Book Bomb exploded at Utan Kayu, East Jakarta on 15 March 2011, that caused a Police officer to lost his right arm. Unfortunately, until this moment the Police still unable to name a suspect responsible for the delivery of Book Bombs to certain public figures in various parts of Jakarta.

Considering that Muhammad Syarief was active in several public protests, destruction of mini market and suspected of killing an Army officer, I felt that it was very weird that he was able to enter the Police's Mosque without being noticed.

Under normal circumstances, a man with such reputation should have bein in the Police's Most Wanted Person List and monitored very closely by the intelligence network.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Controvertial PT Newmond Nusa Tenggara

PT. Newmont Nusa Tenggara (NNT) is the operator of a Gold and Copper mine located at the Island of Sumbawa, Nusa Tenggara province.

Currently, NNT's shares are owned by Newmont, U.S.A and Sumitomo, Japan : 56 percent, and two Indonesian companies i.e. PT. Pukuafu Indah : 20 percent  and PT. Multi Daerah Bersaing : 24 percent.

Based on a working contract signed in 1986, foreign ownership of the shares must gradually be reduced to 49 percent after 10 years of commercial operations under the so-called mandatory divestment program. And the central government has the right to purchase the divested shares.

According to Tempointeractive, the central government and the Regency of Sumbawa are now competing with each other to purchase the shares, valued at US$ 271.6 million.

According to The Jakarta Post, the central government planned to purchase the shares through Government Investment Center (PIP). By purchasing the shares the government aimed to monitor more closely the  implementation of the 1986 working contract to “provide a more conducive investment climate” and “contribute in adding value and governance” in the firm.

While the Regency of Sumbawa wants to purchase the shares through PT. Multi Daerah Bersaing, a joint venture between PT Daerah Maju Bersaing (owned by Regency government) and PT Multi Capital (owned by Aburizal Bakrie/Golkar).

The Regency of Sumbawa not only insisted that the shares should be sold to them, but the Regent threatened to close the mine if they do not get the shares. To support this demand, thousands of Sumbawa citizens have demonstrated in front of NNT's mine.

Opposition also comes from members of the House of Representatives who supported the demand of the Sumbawa Regency.

Considering the growing protests by local citizens in Sumbawa, I felt that the central government should meet with the government of Regency of Sumbawa to find a win-win solution for this case.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Caterpillars Invasion

The District of Probolinggo in East Java is popularly known as the producer of Mango fruit.

Since March, millions of hairy Caterpillars have cropped up in at least five sub-districts in Probolinggo, invading fields and homes destroying more than 8,800 Mango trees and causing itchy rashes among residents.

Though the phenomenon is centered largely in Probolinggo smaller reported outbreaks in Madiun, East Java; Kendal, Central Java; Yogyakarta; Buleleng, Bali, Sumedang, Subang and Bekasi, West Java; and most recently West Jakarta, have prompted fears of a widespread infestation.

Unpredictable weather together with a decline in natural predators of Caterpillars is blamed to be responsible for the plague of caterpillars in parts of the country. 

But an entomologist at the Bogor Institute of Agricultural (IPB) says there is no connection between the outbreaks in Probolinggo and those in the other areas. He said that there are at least 120,000 types of caterpillars in the world, so those found in Bekasi and Probolinggo would be different from each other.

Health Minister Endang Sedyaningsih on Thursday said that the government would offer free treatment to anyone suffering ailments as a result of the Caterpillar outbreak.

She further said that the hairy Caterpillars mainly caused skin irritations. She advised anyone coming in contact with the creepy crawlies to first wash their skin to get rid of any Caterpillar hairs. If the itchiness doesn't go away, people can then go to a local health clinic.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Living Years

A popular song in the '80s, written by Michael Rutherford (Genesis) and B.A. Robertson, performed by Mike & The Mechanics. 

Every generation
Blames the one before
And all of their frustrations
Come beating on your door

I know that I'm a prisoner
To all my Father held so dear
I know that I'm a hostage
To all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Crumpled bits of paper
Filled with imperfect thought
Stilted conversations
I'm afraid that's all we've got

You say you just don't see it
He says it's perfect sense
You just can't get agreement
In this present tense
We all talk a different language
Talking in defence

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye

So we open up a quarrel
Between the present and the past
We only sacrifice the future
It's the bitterness that lasts

So Don't yield to the fortunes
You sometimes see as fate
It may have a new perspective
On a different day
And if you don't give up, and don't give in
You may just be OK.

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye

I wasn't there that morning
When my Father passed away
I didn't get to tell him
All the things I had to say

I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I'm sure I heard his echo
In my baby's new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Father Passed Away

Innalilahi Wa Inna Illaihi Rojiun  (English: 'Surely we belong to God and to God shall we return').

At 24.50 a.m Monday morning, my beloved Father ATJE SACHRIP passed away at the age of 81 years old.

According to his doctor, the cause of death is merely old age, although two weeks ago he has been treated ten days in a hospital.

For me, my sister and my brothers, our Father was a very good, loving and responsible man, who'll do all the good things to make our family happy. We are very grateful that he and our beloved Mother (80) have really been successful in raising us.

I pray to God that my Father's Soul shall rest in peace.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Capture of MV Sinar Kudus by Somalian Pirates

On 16 March 2011, an Indonesian bulk cargo carrier i.e. MV Sinar Kudus with 20 Indonesian crews, was captured by Somali pirates around 320 miles north east of the island of Socotra, Somali Basin.

According to the European Union Naval Force Somalia, MV Sinar Kudus was on its way to Suez, Egypt, from Singapore, when it was attacked. Initial reports from the crew stated that 30 to 50 pirates had boarded and taken control of the vessel.

In a teleconference between the Captain of MV Sinar Kudus Djuhari Selamet and his family in Jakarta facilitated by MetroTV this morning, the Captain said that the ship was carrying Rp 1 Trillion = US$ 90 Million worth of Nickels when it was captured. The pirates demanded a ransom of US$ 3.5 Million for the release of the ship and crews but the ship owner PT. Samudera Indonesia did not give any response. Due to which fact, he and his family request the government to help by paying the ransom.

Considering that it has been three weeks since the capture of MV. Sinar Kudus and its 20 crew, I hope that our government would take steps to solve this problem, for which purpose it would be better to consult first with the governments of countries that already have their naval ships in the region such as the U.S and the European Union.

The question is, why have the news media not been reporting intensively about this incident before ?  Is it because they think that this incident is less important then the Malinda Dee-Citibank case ?

How about the members of the House of Representatives and others who love to shout loudly ? Don't they care about this incident ?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Killings in Freeport

Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold the world's biggest Copper & Gold miner and its Grasberg mine on the Indonesian province of Papua has the world's largest reserves of Copper and Gold.   

Although Freeport has been mining in Papua since early 1970s, however according Reuter  until now it owns 90.64 percent of PT Freeport Indonesia, which operates the mine, while the Indonesian government owns the remainder.
The mine has been a frequent source of friction in Papua because of its environmental impact, the low share of revenue going to local Papuans and the legality of payments to Indonesian security forces who help guard the site.

Local separatist movement have been attacking the mine for many years, killing Indonesian and foreign workers. But so far the military and police generally keep a tight rein on the province.

Last Thursday, two senior security officers of PT Freeport were killed when their car was overturned and burned around 37 miles from the huge mine. One day earlier, two other people were wounded in a shooting nearby. Other workers on the mine have demanded better security.

To the family of both victims, I would like to express my sympathy and condolence.

I hope that our government would not only react by sending more security troops to the Freeport mine but also pay better attention on the real causes of the problem there i.e very unfair share of revenue for the central government and well as the province. Freeport MacMoran's share of 90.64% is absolutely unfair.

Further Freeport must be asked to be fully responsible for all the environment damages their mining operation has done to the area and its surrounding.

Furthermore, the central and provincial governments should accelerate the building in the province, especially infrastructure, education, industry, plantations, etc.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The House of Representatives and Porn Movie

I always thought that members of the House of Representatives are respectable persons who would uphold laws, regulations and moral value in our country.

This is obvious because people elected those politicians to represent them, therefore voice their aspirations, act for an on their behalf, in the running of the country, including controlling the government.

Unfortunately, those politicians often forget the people who elected them. For example, Arifinto from PKS, a party that claimed to be based on Islam, was caught red handed watching porn movie on his tablet computer.

Kompas reported that Arifinto has admitted watching the blue movie unintentionally, he said that at that time he was checking e-mail when he accidentally opened an e-mail containing the porn movie.

Considering that members of the House of Representatives are elected by the people and paid by tax payers money they always do their very best efforts to do their job properly. If they want to watch porn movies they can always do it after working hours at home or other places. 
Therefore, I hope that the House of Representatives Ethics committee,  the PKS and the Police would take action based on the Law No 11/2008 regarding Electronic Information and Transaction, .

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

FPI Beaten by Housewives

All this time, the news media have always been reporting about FPI frightening people with their violent actions.

That's why I was surprised, and very happy, when I read on The Jakarta Globe that the Chairman of FPI in North Sumatera, and a number of his armed followers were forced to flee to safety after they attempted to evict a mother and her newborn baby from a disputed property in Medan, last Tuesday. 

Though the FPI men escaped without injury, their car was badly damaged by the rampaging women.

I hope that what those housewives done would be followed by other people who are attacked by FPI, and the Police would not hesitate to take actions against them.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Saudi Court Acquitted Maid Torturer

An appellate Court in Medina, Saudi Arabia, last Saturday acquitted a Saudi woman who had been sentenced to three years in jail after being found guilty of torturing her Indonesian maid i.e. Sumiati Binti Salan Mustapa (23).

According to Arab News,  the Court judge  "said there was no evidence that the 53-year-old woman tortured her maid, Sumiati Binti Salan Mustapa, 23, while her lawyer said he would seek damages for his client."

"The court suspected the truth of the accusations made by the maid because she refused to take her oath in court," the Saudi woman's lawyer, Ahmad Al-Rashid, told Arab News..

In January, the Indonesian Consulate in Jeddah appealed against the verdict of a lower Court that sentenced the Saudi woman only three-years in jail for stabbing, beating and burning Sumiati, because it has considered the sentence as being "too light."

The English Speaking media quoted a spokesman of the Indonesian Consulate in Jeddah, Didi Wahyudi, as saying on Monday that an appeal would be lodged with the higher court soon regarding the case. 

Frankly speaking, I am not surprised at the above mentioned Court verdicts, because Saudi Arabia is a very closed country ruled by an absolute authoritarian monarchy, therefore almost impossible the expect a fair court verdict.

I am also not surprised at the fact that organizations like PKS, FPI, FUI have been silent on this case.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Citibank and the Murder of a Cardholder

Beside facing an embezzlement of prime customers funds by its Senior Manager, U.S based bank Citibank is facing a very serious criminal charges i.e. the torture to death of  a credit card holder by its debt collector.

The tragedy happened on 29 March when a holder of Citibank credit card i.e. Irzen Octa, Secretary General of United Nation Party, came to the bank's office at Menara Jamsostek, South Jakarta, to complain about the incredible sudden increase on his card bill from Rp 48 Million to Rp 100 Million.

Unable to handle the complain properly, an officer of the bank and two outsourced debt collectors took Irzen to the bank's room at the fifth floor of the building and brutally beat him to death.

The Jakarta Post quoted a Police officer as saying that traces of blood were found on the curtains and walls
and an autopsy performed on Irzen showed he suffered damage to his brain.

The Citibank officer and the two debt collectors were arrested and named suspects in the murder case and could be charged with Battery and Torture based on the Criminal Law, which carries a maximum jail sentence of five-and-a-half years.

Citibank PR officer Ditta Amahorseya refused to comment on the Police investigation but said that Citibank had and obeyed a strict code of ethics in regards to debt collection.

It is very sad to know that a big and famous U.S based bank like Citibank could ever use violent loving gang of thugs to handling the bank's customers, instead of legal proceedings. I hope that the government, especially Bank Indonesia as central bank, and law enforcement agencies would take serious actions, so that other banks would not use violence anymore.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Citibank Case : Melinda Dee

U.S based Citibank is the largest and a well known foreign bank in Indonesia.

This is obvious because according to Wikipedia,  Citibank has had it presence in Indonesia since 1918 when its precursor, The International Banking Corporation, set up branches in Batavia (present-day Jakarta) and Surabaya. The International Banking Corporation withdrew from Indonesia in the late 1920s, but Citibank reopened in Jakarta in 1968.

Many banks in Indonesia have adopted system quite similar to Citibank and hired ex officers of the said bank

Because of many decades of good performance and public image, I was very surprised when I read on the media that Citibank's Senior Manager for Prime Customers i.e. Inong Melinda a.k.a Melinda Dee (47) who has worked in the bank for around 20 years embezzled Rp 20 Billion of the bank's customers' money. 

During a talk show on TVOne tonight, a PR officer of the Police said that it is now investigating the case thoroughly, for which purpose they have arrested and named Melinda and a Teller of said bank as Suspects.

Beside that, the Police has confiscated money, apartments, expensive cars i.e. Hummer, Ferrari, Mercedes Benz. worth Rp 20 Billion.

I am very interested to know the development of the investigation of this case.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Too Many Foolishness

Today, 1 April, is widely recognized and celebrated as a day where many people play all kinds of jokes and foolishness.

The day is marked by the commission of good humoured or funny jokes, hoaxes, and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, teachers, neighbors, work associates, etc.

But unfortunately, unlike previous years, no one ever tried to tell jokes, hoaxes or surprised me today.

Maybe it is because people are too sick and tired with the so many funny, foolish, stupid and surprising things that have happened in our society recently, such as :
-  The House of Representatives' refusal to investigate the Tax Mafia Case.
-  The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) leadership dispute
-  The on-and-off Cabinet Reshuffle
-  The unstable coalition government 
-  The House of Representatives' plan to build a very expensive new building

I hope that from now on there will not be to much fools in Indonesia, so that we can celebrate April Fool's Day again next year.