Thursday, June 30, 2011

Electronic ID Card in Indonesia

Starting this year, citizens of Indonesia would be having an Electronic Identity (ID) Card, thus different from the ordinary (paper) cards that we are having now.

Kompas quoted Dr Hammam Reza, head of the Communication and Information Technology Center of the Technology Application and Study Agency (BPPT) as saying that out of the 172 million people illegible to have ID Cards in Indonesia, 67 millions will get the e-ID Cards this year.

And the remaining 105 million will have the e-ID cards in 2012.

I hope that the use of e-ID Cards would simplify things in life, in the sense that we do not have to make a photocopy of our ID Card, but only mention our e-ID Card Number. Therefore, saving the use of papers.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

MUI's Fatwa Haram on Subsidized Fuel

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Darwin Saleh seems to have low self confidence nowadays, that he need to ask the Indonesian Muslim Cleric/Ulama Council (MUI) to announce the plan to restrict the sales of subsidized fuel (Premium).

After meeting with the Minister last Monday, MUI's official Ma'ruf Amin told reporters that MUI is planing to issue a Fatwa/Edict Haram for rich people to buy subsidized fuel (Premium).

He said that the purpose of such Fatwa/Edict is to make rich people realize that subsidized fuel is only for people who has low income. It would not be fair if people who can afford to buy higher priced fuels (Pertamax) to buy subsidized fuel.

The Chairman of MUI H. Amidhan, who was not present during the above meeting, said that the matter is still being discussed and MUI would not issue a Fatwa based on order.

Basically I agree that rich people should not buy subsidized fuels (Premium), because I don't agree with the use of money collected from Tax Payers to subsidize fuel except for public transportation.

But in my opinion, MUI as the highest Islamic level organization in Indonesia should not issue a Fatwa merely based on the request of the government, because by doing so MUI would only be a political tool.

However, I would fully agree if MUI issue Fatwa Haram on Corruptions, and/or Bribery and/or misuse of Taxpayers Money.

The Controversial Mayor of Bogor

The Mayor of Bogor, West Java, Diani Budiarto (56), is one of the most controversial public officer in Indonesia today.

Diani is serving his second term as the mayor of Bogor. He was re-elected in 2009 based on the support of some major parties, i.e. Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Golkar and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

Some of his decisions were not just controversial but also against regulations and court verdict.. For example he refused to allow the opening of the GKI Yasmin Church in Bogor although the Supreme Court has passed a verdict which sided on the church.

And recently, he married a nineteen years old girl as his fourth wife, in a way that violates the Government Regulations No. 10/1983 and No. 45/1990 that restricted civil servants from practicing Polygamy.

Due to the above facts, hundreds of students have protested against the Mayor.

I hope that the members of the Bogor House of Representatives, especially those from the parties that supported Diani in the election, would persuade him to obey the laws/regulations and court verdict.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Darsem spared from Death Execution

A Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has spared an Indonesian worker i.e Darsem, from death execution after the Indonesian government paid a compensation of Rp 4.6 Billion (US$ 534,000.00).

According to The Jakarta Globe, Darsem from Subang-West Java, was convicted on May 2009 and sentenced to death despite her plea that she had killed her boss in self-defense because he had attempted to rape her.

Last January, the victim’s family forgave Darsem and agreed to spare her, but only if she could afford to pay the above mentioned compensation.

I am very happy with this news because I thought that a court's death sentence can only be cancelled by a superior court or by pardon given by the head of state, not by the victim's family pardon and compensation to them.

I wonder whether the bloodshed that has been going on for many years in the Arab world could be settled this way (by pardon and paying compensation).

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Obedient Wives Club in Jakarta

On 18 June 2011, a club called the Obedient Wives Club was established in Jakarta.

Earlier this month, a similar club was established in Malaysia by a fanatic organization called Global Ikhwan which was behind the controversial Polygamy Club which encourage Polygamy among Muslims several years ago.

The club claims that they can cure social illness such as Prostitution and Divorce by teaching women to be submissive and to keep their men happy in the bedroom. Because good sex is the foundation for healthy marriages and a strong society.

According to the leader of the Jakarta club i.e. Gina Puspita who shares her husband with three other women, a wife must be 100 percent obedient to her husband in all aspects, especially in Sexual Treatment. For which purpose the club would offer its members a package of teachings including how to treat their husbands in bed.

In my opinion, this club is making efforts to promote Indonesia.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Girl offers her Virginity for an iPhone4

Two weeks ago I was very shocked when I read the news about a school boy in China who sold one of his kidneys just for an iPad2.

This morning, I was shocked again when I read on Korean Herald about a girl in Guangdong, China, who wrote on Weibo (Chinese version of Twitter) that it is her dream to own an iPhone4 but her father wouldn't let her get one. The girl posted a photo of herself along with information about herself saying that she is willing to sell her virginity to any man who buys her an iPhone4.

Very scary!!!

Photo: Courtesy of Beijing Phone Repair 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Harry.

Today is my birthday, and I have been receiving Happy Birthday greetings and wishes from my friends and relatives since last night.

There is no special arrangement, except that I shall meet my Mom in the afternoon, and gather with my  Toastmasters friends at 6.30 p.m (I'll be the MC), venue: Mercantile Athletic Club, World Trade Center 18th Floor, Wisma Metropolitan Complex, Jl. Jend. Sudirman, Central Jakarta.

I shall be very happy to see you there.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Jakarta

Jakarta is the capital and the largest city of Indonesia, with a population of 9,580,000 people (2010 census), living in a land area of 661 square kilometers.

The administrative status of Jakarta is a Province consisting of five municipalities i.e. Central Jakarta, South Jakarta, West Jakarta, East Jakarta, North Jakarta, and one regency i.e the Thousand Islands Regency. 

For details about Jakarta, please read here.

Now that Jakarta is 484 years old, I hope that its present and future governments would be more serious and do their very best to drastically improve the overall infrastructure of the city especially congested traffic, renovate slum area, prevent floods, build much more green area and longer roads, i.e by building Mass Rapid Transportation (MRT), low cost public housing, stop building shopping malls in crowded area, revitalize green area, road pavements and riversides etc.

Photo :  Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The KPK Chief will serve full term

The Chief of the Constitutional Court Mahfud MD announced yesterday that the Chief of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) i.e. Busyro Muqoddas, should serve full 4-years term, not just one year as decided by the House of Representative when they elected him on December 2010.

The Court's ruling was made in response to the request the Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) and Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) that office term of the Chief of KPK should be 4 years as stipulated in Article 34 of the KPK Law.

I hope that with this ruling, the KPK would be more confident in fighting corruptions, and the government and its law enforcement agencies would always give their full support.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Saudi Arabia Beheads an Indonesian Worker

The authoritarian regime of Saudi Arabia has carried out a death execution on an Indonesian female worker namely Ruyati on Saturday in the country's western Province of Mecca.

The execution was carried out by using a barbaric middle-age-method i.e cutting-off the head of Ruyati with a sword.

The SPA news agency quoted an official of the Saudi Interior Ministry as saying that Ruyati was found guilty of murdering Khairiya binti Hamid Mijid by hitting her in the head with a meat chopper and stabbing her in the neck.

A spokesman of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry i.e. Michael Tene criticized that the execution was done  without observing international practices related to consular protection. He said that the Ministry was aware of the case and Ruyati has confessed to the murder, but was not informed of the timing of the execution.

Meanwhile, according to his spokesman, President SBY expressed his condolence over the death of Ruyati.

I would like to expressed my deepest sympathy and condolence on the death of Ruyati. I hope that her family would be given the strength to live without her.

I also hope that our government would show much stronger reaction toward the Saudi government and try its very best to stop more beheading of our workers in the future.

Sources :
Saudi Beheads Indonesian Woman Convicted of Murder (Kompas)
Indonesia Criticized Beheading of Maid (The Jakarta Globe)
President saddened by Ruyati execution: spokesman (The Jakarta Post)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ba'asyir Jailed for 15 Years.

Yesterday, the Judges of the District Court of South Jakarta have sentenced radical Islamic cleric Abubakar Ba'asyir to 15 years in prison for planning, motivating and collecting funds for military training of radical people in Indonesia.
The said Court Verdict was passed based on Articles 7 and 14 of the Terrorism Law No.15 Year 2003.

The question is : Will this end terrorism in Indonesia ?

In my opinion, the prison sentence would have an impact on Ba'asyir's network, however it would not end terrorism. 

Not only because terrorism has grown independently in Indonesia but also because it has many roots here i.e. Poverty, Injustice and Corruption.

As long as there are so many beggars/tramps on the street and so many poor people living in the slum area in many parts of Jakarta and other places in the country, as long as the courts punished big money robbers lighter than petty thieves, as long as education and health are still expensive, as long as bribery is a common practice, as long as politicians, government officials only think about themselves and their parties, there would always be people who would protest  violently/barbarically or even take the laws into their own hands.

Sources :
1)  Bashir Sentenced to 15 Years (The Jakarta Globe)
2)  Baasyir: Indonesia Bela Amerika (Kompas)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Treatment of Human Beings and Cattle in Australia

Last week the Australian government banned export of live Cattle to Indonesia, because they accused our slaughter houses have been treating those animals brutally.

Yesterday, I read on The Jakarta Globe that three boys that were snatched by people smugglers from a poor Indonesian village have been held for months in an Australian jail together with hardened criminals.

The Australian Federal police had ignored the Immigration Department's assessments and extracts of birth certificates showing that the boys were under 18, contravening federal government policy to return children apprehended on asylum seeker boats.

Instead, the boys — aged 15 and 16 who were cooks and deck hands on an asylum-seeker boat — face five years’ jail in a high security adult jail under harsh mandatory sentencing laws.

I hope that the Australian government would treat human beings from other countries better than they treat their animals.

Monday, June 13, 2011

SBY, Democrat, 2014

President SBY told a meeting of Indonesian Young Leaders Forum in Jakarta last Thursday that he, his wife Ani Yudoyono or his kids, will not be running as candidates in the 2014 presidential election.

SBY also said he has not prepared a successor, and will he leave it all up to the people to decide who they want to elect as president in the election.

Speaking in a TV talk show last night, one of the leader in SBY's Democrat Party i.e Mubarak said that his party would welcome anyone, from inside or outside the party, who is eligible as candidate president in 2014.
He mentioned among others the name of  IMF Director Sri Mulyani.  

Some people believe that SBY's above statement is an effort to distract public attention from the big problems that his Democrat Party is facing after they dismissed Nazaruddin as General Treasurer because of Bribery and Corruption allegations. 

The problem became uncontrolled after Nazaruddin runaway to Singapore and refused to return home when the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) wants to question him on those allegations.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Student Sells Kidney for an iPad

The sales of human organs is a growing issue in China and the government has so far failed to eliminate the practice.

There have been many reports of "transplant tourists" who come from rich countries to buy much-needed organs from the poor, desperate people.

The black-market trade is driven by the fact that there are many times more people waiting for organs than there are legitimate organ donors.

Kompas reported that a high school student in China's Anhui province, Xiao Zhang, has reportedly sold one of his Kidneys for 20,000 Yuan (US$ 3,170.00) so that he could buy an Apple iPad 2.

The student's mother later discovered the iPad 2 and forced him to reveal how he was able to afford to buy it. He then confessed that he was motivated to sell the Kidney after seeing an internet advertisement offering cash to people who want to become organ donors.

Afterward, the mother and son report the matter to the Police, however the agents who had organized the organ trade cannot be found. Police are reportedly trying to track down the buyers.

This is a tragedy, and I hope that it would not happen in Indonesia or other countries

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Barbie Doll Helped the destruction of Indonesian Forest

Environment organization Greenpeace announced on Wednesday that the famous Barbie doll has helped the destruction of rain forests in Indonesia as habitat of endangered species like the Sumatera Tigers.

Greenpeace said that the material used in Barbie doll boxes contained timber produced by the Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), a subsidiary of palm oil and paper giant Sinar Mas group, which it described as a notorious destroyer of Indonesian natural forests especially in the Province of Riau where APP's production facility is located.

It also urged the producer of Barbie doll, Mattel, to stop wrapping the world’s most famous toy in rain forest destruction. APP denied the allegations that its activities posed any threat to the rain forests and endangered species in Indonesia.

I hope that the above Greenpeace announcement would make Sinar Mas extra careful in cutting the forest trees, and force them to make better efforts to save the forests in Indonesia

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Australia banned export of Live Cattle to Indonesia

On May 30 2011, Australian ABC television broadcast footage from Indonesian slaughterhouses that showed live cattle being whipped and left to die after their throats were cut.

This has sparked very strong protests from animal lovers in Australia who demand that their government stop the export of live cattle to Indonesia.
In order to calm down the protests, on 31 May the Australian government banned 12 abattoirs in Indonesia from slaughtering Australian live cattle.
But the protests never stop, so the Australian government on Tuesday totally banned export of US$ 330 Million/a year worth of live cattle to Indonesia.

Live Australian cattle account for up to 40 percent of Indonesia's beef consumption, while Indonesia buys 60% of Australia's live cattle export worth US$ 330 Million per year.

About 770 slaughterhouses operate in Indonesia and only five use the stun-gun method, according to the animal welfare group Animals Australia, which filmed the footage.

I believe that Australia's ban on live cattle export is some sort of a blessing in disguise, in the sense that it could make us consume local cattle meat, and/or eat more chicken and/or goat and/or fishes/sea food.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Indonesia & Singapore Extradition Treaty

I thought that Singapore would never want to sign an extradition treaty with Indonesia because it has enjoyed receiving lots of money brought by bad guys who ran away from Indonesia.

That's why I was very surprised when The Jakarta Globe reported that Indonesia and Singapore have already signed an Extradition Treaty and a Defense Cooperation Agreement on 27 April 2007 in Bali, witnessed by President SBY and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

A diplomat at the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta was quoted as saying that his country remains fully committed to the treaty and agreement and look forward to their ratifications by Indonesia.

The Indonesian House of Representatives refused to ratify the extradition treaty and defense agreement because of a clause that would allow Singapore to conduct military exercises in the island of Sumatra

Considering the above, I could understand the House of Representatives' refusal to ratify the Extradition Treaty. One thing that I could not understand is why our government agreed to give Singapore military training facility on our country's soil without any consultation with the House of Representatives ?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Advertising or Terrorizing?

I was very surprised this morning when I read a post on the blog of  Unspun ( titled: "Coffins delivered to your doorstep: effective viral campaign or bad taste?".

Unspun said that he received a coffin, measuring about a meter in length, delivered by an ambulance to his office. The person delivering it said that there would be an event on June 9th. The coffin was painted brown with the word R.I.P above. Below it was Unspun's name and address. Inside were some flower petals and a rose, with a label attached that read on one side: “You are number: #4444″ and on the other side “”  But the when he visited the site he found “under construction sign.”

The senders have also been active on Twitter with the handle @restinpeacesoon. They sent Unspun a message “Death is the surest calculation that can be made”
Later in the afternoon various TV stations reported that similar coffins were delivered to several mass media like Okezone,,, The Jakarta Post, RCTI, SCTV, ANTV etc. And the person behind those coffins delivery was Sumardi MA the boss of Buzz & Co. an advertisement company. The coffins were part of his strategy to launch his book : " Rest In Peace Advertising : The World of Mouth Advertising. "

The Police has raided the office of Buzz & Co, and questioned Sumardi for delivering those coffins.

Considering that Coffin is a symbol of death for normal people and only used when people died, therefore the delivery of those coffins without mentioning the sender's clear identity would surely shock or even scare the recipients.. The impact would be very fatal if the recipient has heart problems.

Photo: Courtesy of Unspun.

The Currency Law

On  31 May 2011, the House of Representatives has enacted the Currency Law.

According to Hukum Online, this Law's Article 21 (1) stipulated that business transactions carried out within the territory of the Republic of Indonesia should use the Rupiah currency. And Article 33 stipulated that violation of this Law would be a Crime that can be punished with a maximum fine of Rp 200 Million, or one year imprisonment.

However, Article 21(2) stipulated that the obligation to use Rupiah does not apply to transactions within the framework of the implementation of state budget revenues and expenditures, receipts or grants from or to foreign countries; international trade transactions; deposits in banks in the form of foreign exchange, or transactions international payments.

Some Lawyers have protested against this new Law, saying that the Lawyer profession has a trans-border scope of activities therefore it is very likely they would use foreign currency

According to Infobanknews  this Law will be valid starting 17 August 2014.

Considering that we still have more than two years before the new Law becomes valid, any businesses that used foreign currencies, including Lawyers etc, should prepare adapting themselves with this new Law

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Protection of Indonesian Workers in Malaysia

Last Monday, the Minister of Manpower and Transmigration Muhaimin Iskandar and Malaysian Human Resource Minister Dr. Shubramaniam signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the protection of Indonesians Workers in Malaysia.

This MoU, which is an amendment of an MoU in 2006, would end a two-year freeze on Indonesian maids coming to work in Malaysia.

Antara reported that the MoU will provide the workers with one day off every week, passport shall be kept by the worker and workers' salary, and the creation of a Joint Task Force that would deal with issues raised by employers and their employees.

Meanwhile, Malay Mail reported that the Malaysian Human Resources Ministry has assured that the MoU would enable Malaysians to pay only RM 4,511 fees to hire a maid.

However, a survey on 10 maid employment agencies in Malaysia showed that prospective employers would have to pay between RM 6,000 and RM 9,000 in fees to secure the services of a maid.

One maid employment agency said that it usually charged a RM 6,000 fee to start the application process. The prospective employer would then need to pay at least another RM 3,000 for other variables to bring the maid into the country.

Another agency explained that the RM 6,000 initial fee was fixed by its Indonesian counterpart, and the additional RM 3,000 for the levy, medical examinations and visa processing and “a small profit for our agency".

Currently, most Indonesian maids received an average monthly salary of RM 400. Indonesia had proposed the salary be raised to RM 800 a month but the Malaysian government had not agreed to it, insisting it be governed by market forces.

The joint task force that will be set up, among others, will look at salary issues based on demand and supply principles.

The Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies questioned the stipulatedfee of getting a maid from Indonesian agents, saying that the cost was unrealistic, especially to agents in Indonesia, as it had yet to be seen whether Indonesian agents are willing to send maids if they do not agree with the fee stated in the MoU.

I hope that our government would be very strict in allowing workers who will be send to work in Maid and make sure that they would be given enough time to learn and practice all the things that they will be doing there. Any maid supplying agencies that cannot fulfil their obligations should be banned.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Pancasila