Sunday, November 4, 2012

Indonesian Maids for Sale

News about female Indonesian citizens working as Maids/Housekeepers in Malaysia always seems to attract news reporters in indonesia.

Desi Anwar: ‘Indon’ Maids for Sale
Desi Anwar | November 03, 2012

Unlike some of my friends, who are more than ready to take up arms against neighboring Malaysia over some little flyer advertising “Indonesian maids for sale,” I’m inclined to view the offending material with a less uncharitable spirit. After all, it was not a product of diplomatic correspondence, nor was it aired as a 30-second spot commercial on national TV. It was just a piece of paper most likely produced by someone who probably copied the idea from an ad selling vacuum cleaners.

“Indonesian maids now on SALE!!!” The modest flyer screams. “Fast & Easy Application. Now your housework and cooking come easy. You can rest and relax.” The offer also comes with an attractive 40 percent discount and a cute little cartoon drawing of a maid complete with knotted headscarf and mop and bucket, much like you would see on Tom and Jerry.

Obviously this was done by someone who, despite a limited knowledge of English, understands the market and has access to what seems to be an abundant supply of the commodity (maids) to satisfy an existing demand (homemakers who can’t wait to rest and relax and have their housework and cooking come easy).

The hefty discount can only mean that the supplier can’t wait to offload the goods as quickly as possible, probably the supplies were smuggled in or didn’t come with the necessary papers. Which makes me suspect that rather than the culprit being Malaysian, it might have been street savvy, creative Indon — how Indonesians are referred to next door. We know that only Indons have the guts and are crafty enough to bend the rules and fiddle with the system wherever they go. In Malaysia, Indons are notorious for being thieving, trouble-making illegal migrants. After all, the country is one crazy democracy ... and the purveyors of maids because we do produce a lot of maids.

Many firms specialize in making money from “selling” maids. They can almost be classified as headhunters or employment agencies placing professionals. Instead, they entice uneducated, unskilled young women from the poor parts of the country who need to make money for their families but with little chance of getting work in their hometowns, and offering them to households overseas who find elbow grease beneath them.

These maids don’t provide a service, in that they work for set hours and then go home, but they are bound to the house 24 hours a day, paid a minimal wage and if they’re unlucky enough to have horrible employers, vulnerable to all sorts of mental and physical abuse.

Many of these placement agencies, especially the shady ones, are little more than human traffickers, often extorting a huge amount of money from these women with the promise of paid employment. Or, they’ll take a few months’ salary out of their wages as payment for the placement. Often, these women are abandoned before they reach their destinations, or their lives are at risk in the hands of smugglers plying leaky boats.

Here, we call these workers “heroes” to mask the fact that the country can’t provide them with jobs at home and because their remittances bring needed income to their families who would otherwise increase the country’s poverty rate. We are proud of the foreign dollars they bring, though we’re ashamed of what they stand for: low-skilled, abject and doing tasks that no respectable person would.

For middle-class city-dwellers, however well we treat them, at the end of the day they come and go with the sole purpose of cleaning, washing, ironing, cooking, babysitting and serving us hand and foot. We house and feed them, give them a monthly retainer and keep them at the back of the house.

In developed countries, unless you live in “Downton Abbey,” these duties belong to us. That’s why it’s often hard when expats have to go back home. Here, they have plenty of opportunity to rest and relax, because cooking and cleaning come easy.

Desi Anwar, a senior anchor at Metro TV, can be reached at or

Monday, October 15, 2012

Are We Serious in Fighting Illegal Drugs ?

I always think that the circulation of Illegal Drugs in Indonesia has reached a very dangerous level, that our country has been dubbed by some news media as a haven for illegal drugs.

Those who have members of families and/or friends who are Drug Addicts/Junkies would know for sure that they would would do anything to satisfy their needs for illegal drugs, including lie, steal or even kill.

For that reason I always hope that the Courts of Justice in Indonesia would pass heavy punishments to anyone involved in the trade of illegal drugs as stipulated  by the Anti Narcotics Law No 22/1997 Article 80 i.e maximum Death Sentence, and the Anti Psychoactive Drugs Law No. 5/1997 Article 60 i.e maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison. Please read here for details.

Unfortunately, the facts show that the above laws have not been implemented properly. Those who were involved in Illegal Drug trades have been punished lighter than they supposed to be.

For example, last Friday President Susilo Yudoyono (SBY) granted Clemency to an Indonesian drug trafficker that has been sentenced to death by the District Court of Tangerang, Banten, the High Court and the Supreme Court. And last May, President SBY trimmed five years off Australian drug convict Schapelle Corby's 2 years prison sentence. Please read here for details.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court revoked the punishment of an Illegal Drug Lord i.e. Hengky Gunawan, from Death Sentence into a 15 years Prison Sentence. Please read here for details.

The saddest thing is that the above lightening of punishments were done based on the reason to upheld human rights of those Drug Traders/Dealers. I wonder whether the human rights of the Drug Addicts/Junkies and their families and friends have been forgotten.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Deadly Student Fightings in Jakarta

On Monday 24 September, two groups of students from two neighboring high schools in South Jakarta, i.e. SMA 6 and SMA 70, fought against each other using knives and other sharp weapons, causing the death of a student of SMA 6, Alawy Yusianto Putra.

Two days later on Wednesday 26 September, two other groups of high school students i.e. SMA Yayasan Karya 66 and SMK Kartika Zeni in Manggarai, South Jakarta, causing the death of Deni Yanuar of SMA YK 66.

On the same day, Susilo, a student of SMK Mahardika, East Jakarta, was stabbed by two students of another high school, luckily he was able to be brought to the hospital on time so his life has been saved.

The above three fighting were parts of many decades of fighting among students of high schools in Jakarta that seemingly cannot be prevented by the schools' management, students' parents and the Police.

In this connection I would like to quote an interesting opinion of blogger Unspun as follows :

School violence has been around in Jakarta for the better part of at least the past 25 years. Each time there is an intensifying of violence, the Government and others make the appropriate concerned voices and vow to put it to an end.
Then the problem ebbs from the headlines and everyone forgets about it…until the next spate of violence. This is a big pity because the ways of combating the violence have been discovered and even applied to at least one school. The solution is there but it’s all forgotten.

Considering that the student fighting is getting more deadly and regular every day, I hope that the government, the school management and parents of students would be more serious in finding ways to end such fighting.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Trapped in a Secret Love

Last month, I met an old friend of mine i.e. Joni Junaidi (54), at the Pan d'Or Restaurant in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta.

I first met Joni more than 30 years ago when we were both studying at the Trisakti University in West Jakarta, where I studied Law and Joni studied Accounting. Since then we became close friends.

Upon graduation, Joni worked as an accountant with a Jakarta based multinational oil and gas company for 30 years. He lived with his wife Aisha (52) whom he had married for 26 years, and a couple of wonderful children Josie (25) and Jennny (23) at a nice home in South Jakarta.

All of this time, I always thought that Joni's family is one of those model happy family whereby Joni is an ideal husband/father and Aisha as an ideal wife/mother.

For that reason, I was very surprised when Joni told me that he want to talk about a problem related to his family life.

Joni revealed that for the last four years he has been having a secret affair with Rosa (49), his old girlfriend whom he broke up one year before he married Aisha.
Rosa is married to Eddy with no children and unhappy because Eddy is an alcoholic and often beat her brutally when he gets drunk. For that reason, she has filed a Divorce Lawsuit with the Religious Court of South Jakarta.

The problem for Joni is that Rosa asked him to marry her soon after her divorce lawsuit has been granted by the Religious Court.

In this connection, I told Joni that according to the Indonesian Criminal Law, he and Rosa can be regarded as having committed the Crime of Adultery. Article 284 of the said Law stipulated that Adultery is sexual intercourse between a married man and a woman (married or unmarried) which is punishable by the Court to a maximum penalty of 9 months in Jail, provided that their spouse file a complaint with the local Police.

I advised Joni to end his love affair with Rosa, and Joni said that he already talked to Rosa about that possibility but she refused by saying that she agreed to have sexual intercourse because Joni has promised to marry her. Rosa even threatened that she would reveal their love affair to Joni's i.e wife Aisha if Joni ever leave her.

I urged Joni to try his very best to persuade Rosa not to reveal their love affair to Aisha because it would make both of them end up in Jail.

Note:   I have changed the names of all the persons, time and places.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Jokowi, the rising Leader

On 5 November 2010 I posted an article titled  " Prospective Leader: Jokowi "  most of the content was actually a copy paste of a blog-post of Unspun of Maverick PR Consultant in Jakarta.

In the blog post, Unspun wrote that Joko Widodo a.k.a Jokowi (51), mayor of Solo, Central Java, for two terms (2005-2010 and 2010-2015) has become a legend because he has shown what one man with integrity and political will can do for a city and, by extension, for the country.

I was not surprised when Jokowi and his running mate Basuki a.k.a Ahok won the first round of election for the governor of Jakarta on 11 July 2012, and final round on 20 September 2012. although they were only supported by minority nationalist parties i.e. the PDIP and Gerindra, each of which own 11 and 6 seats out of the total of 94 seats in the Jakarta regional Parliament.

Congrats and goodluck Jokowi and Ahok.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fading Nationalism

Every year, the Indonesian people celebrate our country's Independence Day on 17 August.

During that day, the Red and White national flag are all over the country, at office buildings, factories, schools, houses, and public places.

Besides, people participate in various competitions like Sports, Krupuk/Cracker eating contest, Sack Race or Climb a greasy Pole.

In this connection, I read an article written by Desi Anwar on The Jakarta Globe (below) which assume that people do not seem to have such kind of spirit and energy anymore in celebrating Indonesia's 67th anniversary last 17 August.

As an example, Desi said that her friend who lead the flag-raising ceremony at her office told her that the company had to entice its staffs with Door-Prizes consisting of iPads and other gadgets to make them come and stand in the sun and salute the Red and White Flag.

Is this a sign of fading nationalism ? I really don't know.

Happy reading.

Writer's Block: Independence Spirit 
Desi Anwar | August 18, 2012

There’s a red and white flag flying on my front gate. That’s about the extent of my participation in celebrating Independence Day. Unless you’re still at school or work at an office or institution that holds a flag-raising ceremony, the day feels like any other weekend. And it being the fasting month and the beginning of the holiday traffic, one might as well postpone or cancel this year’s celebration altogether, as I don’t think anyone is really up for a sack race, a krupuk eating contest or a climb up a greasy pole.

After all, the spirit and energy just doesn’t seem to be there. A friend of mine who has to lead the flag-raising ceremony at her office says the company had to entice the staff with door prizes consisting of iPads and other gadgets to get them to come and stand in the sun and salute the Red and White.

Maybe we’re all just a bit tired of this same old routine, year after year, and talking about the same things and griping about the same old problems. What does independence mean, what is the country all about and why is everything still a mess, etc.

For the older generation who experienced the predemocracy era (and that includes me), beneath the momentary pride of seeing the flag being raised runs a cynicism that is a constant feature since the authoritarian New Order regime. That Indonesia has never been truly free from oppression, first by the Dutch, then the Japanese, and then by our fellow countrymen.

Read more ..........................

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Eid Ul Fitr 2012

After one month of dawn-to-sunset Fasting during the entire month of Ramadhan, on Sunday, 19 August 2012, Moslems in Indonesia celebrated the Eid Ul Fitr.

According to Wikipedia, Eid is an Arabic word meaning "Festivity", while Fitr means "Breaking the Fast".

In Indonesia, Eid Ul Fitr is known as Hari Raya Idul Fitri or Lebaran and celebrated for two to three days. Many people of Indonesian big cities return to their hometown to celebrate the festive. For which purpose, most employers provide special bonus and long holidays to their workers. Some employers even provide free transportation v.v for their workers.

This year, many workers spend holidays from 17 August (our Independence Day) to 26 August.

Before the festive, we Moslems voluntarily paid financial contribution known as the Zakat i.e. an Arabic word that means "that which purifies" or "alms". The amount of Zakat depends on the financial capability of the Moslem concerned.

The Eid festive began with Moslems performing Eid Prayer and listened to Sermon in mosques from 7 am until around 8 am. Afterwards, we shook hands with each other, apologize and forgive each other.

After that we went to visit our parents and other elderly people like uncles, aunts, employers, etc.

Considering that many citizens of Jakarta went home to their hometown, citizens who stay in the city, including me, enjoyed traffic-jam-free streets.

In this connection, I would like to wish my fellow Moslems a Happy Hari Raya Idul Fitri, and apologize for any mistake that I may have made. God Bless Us All.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bullying of Students in Jakarta

One of the hottest topics in the Indonesian mass media today is the story about the alleged bullying of four new students of the Don Bosco Senior High School in South Jakarta, by 18 of their senior students.

According to The Jakarta Globe, the Jakarta Police have questioned nine of the senior students, seven of which have been named as Suspects.

The Spokesman of the Jakarta Police Sr Comm Rikwanto was quoted as saying that the Police will determine whether to place those students in a detention center or let them stay free but must report regularly to the Police.

He further stated that the bullying was done outside the school compound and after the school's new students orientation program i.e on 24 July 2012.

Meanwhile, the Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo said that the school would not be sanctioned if the bullying was not done at the school.

I hope that this alleged bullying case would be processed very soon, in this case the students' young ages and the fact that this is the first time they bullied should be taken into consideration.
I also hope that all schools would adopt a strict anti-bullying policy which punish any students who bullied fellow students by ousting them from the school.

Nevertheless, I am very surprised at the very high profile reporting of this alleged bullying case, considering that high school students in Jakarta have been fighting among themselves in the streets quite often for so many years, and until now the authority still can't prevent them, and news reporters do not seem to be interested to write about them.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tere, the Political Idealist

Political parties have been recruiting public figures especially artists to join them for many decades.

For example former Miss Indonesia Angelina Sondakh (Angie) and singer Theresia Pardede (Tere) who were recruited to join President SBY's Democrat Party, and elected as members of the House of Representatives for the term 2009-2014.

This kind of deal brings a win-win benefit for the artists and the political party. On the one hand, the artist got a chance to have a career as a states-person, therefore they can get lots of money. On the other hand the political party can expect to easily get more popular votes during elections.

The fact that politicians always been reluctant to release their public offices although the Police have named them as suspects in crime, have made me believe that those artists really enjoy their political status and would not want to release it.

But now I realized that my above assumption is wrong, that is after Tere (32) told the media last Friday that on 21 May 2012 she has resigned from the House of Representatives and the Democrat Party.

She was quoted as saying that she wants to take care of her father who is suffering heart illness. She is also very sad that Corruption still exist although political Reform (Reformasi) has been carried out 14 years ago.
And as a person who took part in the 1998 students demonstration to support Reformasi, she felt very sad that she cannot do anything to improve all that in her position as member of the House of Representatives.

I really respect Tere's decision to resign from political life, and hope that other artist-turned-politician would follow her path and give lesson to political parties i.e never forget that the main goal of Reformasi is to eliminate Corruption in Indonesia.

Photo : Courtesy of Tempo.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Is Pancasila still Relevant?

On 1 June 1958, Indonesia's first President, Soekarno, delivered a speech saying that Pancasila i.e. Five Principles, is the ideology of the the Republic, since then the said date has been celebrated as the birth date of Pancasila.

Pancasila consists of the following idealistic principles :  1) Belief in One God;  2) Civilized Humanity; 3)  Indonesian Unity;  4) Representative Democracy;   5) Social Justice.

Before liberal democracy came to Indonesia on May 1998, the ruling governments of President Soekarno (1945-1966) and President Soeharto (1966-1998), have force the adoption and implementation of Pancasila in the sense that every people and organizations must adopt Pancasila as a single ideology, otherwise they would face legal consequences.

The introduction of liberal democracy after Soeharto stepped down from 32 years of authoritarian rule on May 1998 is like the opening of a Pandora Box that enabled all sorts of social disease to come to Indonesia.

Every people and organizations in Indonesia are free to adopt all kinds of ideologies they want, whether they are moderate, or extreme, fanatic, religious, tribal etc (except Communism).
As a result, the belief of the majority of the country's population i.e the Religion of Islam, became the ideology of many socio-political organizations.

The adoption of religious ideology by extreme and fanatic people has caused social conflicts in provinces of Maluku, and Central Sulawesi, also a series of suicide bombings of innocent local and foreigners, in Jakarta and Bali.

Moreover, indecisiveness and failure to enforce laws against repetitive violent actions by fanatic organizations like the FPI against Christians and Ahmadiyah, has made those organizations more stronger, and weaken the government.

In spite of the above mentioned facts, I believe that Pancasila is still relevant for a multi-racial, tribal, religion, country like Indonesia, provided that the Rule of Law is upheld, therefore the concepts of Supremacy of Law, Presumption of Innocence, and Equality before the Law is maintained.

Symbol :  Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ani Yudoyono: a Presidential Candidate?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo:  Courtesy of Skala News

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Schapelle Corby: Prison Sentence Reduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Courtesy of 3 News

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Housing for the Poor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Saturday, May 19, 2012

From Migrant Worker to Lecturer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo :  Courtesy of Era Muslim.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sukhoi Superjet 100 Crash

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo :  Courtesy of Wikipedia

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lady Gaga Concert Cancelled

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Banner : Courtesy of Lady Gaga

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Distrust Society

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Arrest of Angie

After he was arrested in Colombia several months ago, Nazaruddin told the Commission for Eradication of Corruption (KPK) that there were some top officials in President SBY's Democrat Party who were involved with him in the alleged Athlete Housing Bribery and other Corruption cases.

Among the names mentioned were Democrat Party Chief Anas Urbaningrum and Deputy Secretary General Angelina Sondakh a.k.a Angie the Miss Indonesia 2001.

Based on this revelation, politicians and the news media urged KPK to immediately investigations on those persons. So, on 3 February 2012, KPK announced Angie as a Suspect based the Anti-Corruption Law.

After that KPK focused on prosecuting Nazaruddin to the Court, and did not seem to take further actions on Angie and the others, which angered politicians.

Last Friday, 27 April 2012, the KPK finally arrested Angie. Suara Karya quoted KPK Spokesman Johan Budi as saying that Angie is arrested for alleged corruption in the Ministry of Education, and she will remain in its custody for 20 days.

Kompas reported that Angie's lawyer Teuku Nasrullah protested the arrest because KPK only issued Investigation Order after the arrest, while actually it should be done before it named Angie as a Suspect more than 2 months ago.

I hope that the arrest of Angie is purely based on legal grounds as stated by KPK, and not merely because of pressures from the news media and politicians.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Is KFC safe ?

KFC a.k.a Kentucky Fried Chicken is a well known fast food franchise that has more than 14,000 outlets in more than 80 countries of the world.

The first KFC outlet in Indonesia was opened in Melawai area, South Jakarta, in October 1978, by the sole franchise holder i.e PT. Fastfood Indonesia Tbk (Gelael group). Since then, KFC has won the hearts of millions of people in Indonesia, and grown quite rapidly.

Kompas quoted the General Manager Business Development of PT. Fastfood Gandhi Lie as saying that by the end of this year there will be 460 KFC outlets in Indonesia.

Apart from the general issues about bad things that fast food products might cause to their consumers, so far there has not been any bad news about KFC and/or its products in Indonesia.

For that reason I was very surprised when I read on The Jakarta Globe  that KFC has been ordered by the New South Wales Supreme Court (Australia) to pay compensation amounting to US$ 8.3 Million to Monika Samaan who suffered severe brain damage and was paralyzed after eating a chicken wrap.

Monika was seven when she suffered Salmonella Encephalopathy i.e. a brain injury linked to food poisoning that also left her with a blood infection  and septic shock in October 2005.

Her family, who also fell ill, claimed that Monika's injuries were caused by a "Twister" wrap containing chicken and salad from a KFC outlet in Sydney.

As a person whose family have been consuming KFC products for so many years, I sincerely hope that the Department of Health would immediately inspect KFC outlets in Indonesia to make sure that their products are safe for consumption.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Latest Fight Against Corruption

During the trial of Nunun Nurbaeti at the Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court last Monday, the Prosecutors of the Commission for Eradication of Corruption (KPK) demanded the Court to punish her to four years in Jail, pay Rp 200 Million Fine, and Confiscate the amount of Rp 1 Billion.

Although her lawyers protested, but Nunun looked so happy, this is obvious because the jail term was one year lighter than the maximum ruled by the Anti-Corruption Law. Moreover, the Prosecutor did not mention her effort to avoid legal charges by leaving the country for two and half years.

The 61 years old wife of former Deputy Chief of Police Adang Darajatun is on trial for allegedly bribing 28 members of the House of Representatives with Rp 480 Billion in travelers checks. The checks were given after the members voted for Miranda Gultom in an election for Senior Deputy Governor of the Bank of Indonesia in 2004.

This is the second time that a Defendant was punished lightly after the Corruption Court sentenced former Treasurer of President SBY's Democrat Party i.e. Nazaruddin to four years and ten months in jail and a fine of Rp 200 Million for receiving Bribe of Rp 4.6 Billion in the Athlete Housing case last Friday.

This Court's sentence was much lighter than demanded by the KPK Prosecutor i.e. seven years in jail and fine of Rp 300 Million.

Beside the above crime, Nazaruddin must still face other legal charges such as the alleged money laundering in the purchase of Garuda Shares, the Hambalang case.

The above mentioned Prosecutors's Demand in Nunun's case and Court Verdict in Nazaruddin's case and other previous Court Verdicts (please click here) show that we are far from winning the fight against Corruption.

We can only hope that in the future the KPK would always do their very best to prepare every Corruption cases properly, obtain strong and convincing evidences before they brought them to the Court, and demand heavier punishments.

I would prefer that KPK's Prosecutor would always demand very heavy penalty, including Life or even Death Sentence, that way the Court can be expected to consider passing heavier Sentences.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Biker Gangs, Terrorists and Law Enforcement

One hot topic that the Indonesian news media has been reporting in the last few weeks is about violence carried out by biker gangs in some parts of the archipelago.

These gangs seems to be very strong that the Police seems to be facing big difficulties in taking action against them. Maybe because there were some strong people who were involved in the gangs' activities, for example in the latest incident the Police arrested four Army soldiers allegedly involved in a string of assault that left one man dead and at least 13 others injured.

The case was totally different when the Police were facing alleged "terrorists", who were reported to be trained and well armed, whereby they always succeeded in killing most of them and arresting some of them.

The above mentioned facts have made me asked the following questions :
Are the biker gangs more powerful than the trained and armed "terrorists" ?
Or, they were only made to look as if they were that strong ?

Photo : Courtesy of Republika

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Farewell Professor Widjajono

Yesterday afternoon I was shocked when the news media reported that the Deputy Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Widjajono Partowidagdo (60) has passed away while he was climbing Mount Tambora (2,851 m), West Nusa Tenggara province.

The Jakarta Post quoted the province's official as saying that Widjajono was exhausted and fainted during the climb.

His body was evacuated and taken back by airplane to Jakarta yesterday evening, and buried at the San Diego Hills Cemetery in Karawang, West Java this morning.

Widjajono was known for his passion for mountain climbing, a sport he started while he was still in high school. He had climbed several mountains in Indonesia including Mount Kerinci, Mount Rinjani and Mount Semeru.

Among the ministers in President SBY's Cabinet, Widjajono can be easily recognized due to his long hair. He quickly received media attention for his down to earth attire, wearing mostly denim pants, batik shirts.

Born in Magelang, Central Java, he was a professor at the Bandung Institute of Technology, and member of National Energy Council and has no political background before he became Deputy Minister.

Before he died. Widjajono argued in many occasions that the government must increase the price of subsidized fuel from present Rp 4.500 (US$ 0.49) per liter to at least 33% to prevent overspending of the state budget.
In spite of this fact, many people are beginning to like him because of his "no nonsense approach" whenever he discussed Indonesia's energy policy in public.

I remember watching Indonesia lawyer's Club on TVOne two weeks ago in which Widjajono outsmarted two politicians/critics of government policies i.e. former Ministers Kwik Kian Gie and Fuad Bawasir.

For me the demise of Widjojono is a big loss for Indonesia. Among the present Cabinet Ministers, I felt that only the Minister of State Owned Enterprises namely Dahlan Iskan who is a non politician, no nonsense and down to earth man. I really hope that more of them would show up very soon.

 Farewell Prof. Widjajono, may you rest in peace.

Photo : Courtesy of Antara

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The National Examinations

Since last Monday, 16 April, my son Virya has been facing examination organized by his school i.e a private elementary school in Pondok Indah, South Jakarta.

Today is the last day of said examination, and I am sure that Virya is very happy about it, this is shown on his bright face when I drove him to school this morning.

He has every reasons to be happy because he could temporarily rest and relax from from studying very hard every day to prepare for the said exams.

But, this rest and relax is only temporarily because Virya still has to study hard to prepare for the National Examination next May.

The legal basis for the National Examinations is the National Education System Law No 23/2003, Article 58, which stipulated that evaluation of Students and Education Units and Programs should be carried out periodically, generally, transparently and systemically by an independent institution. The purpose is to achieve national standard qualifications.
Implementation of this law regulated by Government Regulation No. 19/2005 regarding Standard Education System, Articles 63, 66, 69.
The problem is that the implementation of the the National Examination doesn't seems to be smooth. This can be seen from the fact that every year i.e. before and during the National Examinations, the news media have been reporting about problems arising, among others about the leak of some exam materials, about eligibility of participants etc.

Considering the fact that good standard quality education is very important for the development of our nation, I hope that the government would make sure that the National Examination would be carried out properly and smoothly in the future.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A New Domain for this Blog

Ladies and Gentlemen,

After several months having no domain of my own, on 9 April 2012 I finally registered a new domain for this blog i.e.

With this new domain I hope that I will be able to update this blog more often, therefore fulfill the requests of many of my readers. The topics would not be different than before i.e. about Laws and Politics in Indonesia.

Besides, I shall also visit the blogs of fellow bloggers.

Best regards,
Harry Nizam

Friday, February 3, 2012

Temporary Domain

Last night I visited this blog's domain : and I was very surprised because I was directed to the website of Go Daddy i.e the site which I have purchased my said domain via, saying that the domain is for sale.

After I protested via several e-mail communications with Go Daddy admin, I was told that they will immediately fix the matter.

Due to this fact, I have decided to temporarily return to my previous domain until Go Daddy fix my domain. I hope that it would not be long.

Sorry for any inconveniences. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Credit Card Limitations

There are so many people in Indonesian who love credit cards.

According to news report, there are 14.3 million credit cards holders among our country's 240 million population.

This is obvious because credit cards provide possibility for people to live conveniently i.e. it provide them the chance to buy things by credit.

The bad thing about credit card is that it drove many of its holders into very consumptive people, it makes them buy things they want even though their financial position is weak.

I know some people whose monthly salary only enable them to pay the minimum payment limit i.e. 10% of the total credit card expenditures, therefore they facing trouble settling the credit and interest.

The most sadistic case happened last year when a holder of credit card issued by Citibank was beaten to death by debt collectors at the major U.S bank's Jakarta office.

In order to prevent credit card crisis, the Central Bank i.e. Bank Indonesia, issued regulation No. 14/2/PBI/2012 regarding Credit Card Transaction Procedures, among others as follows :
1) Minimum age of a holder is 21 (currently 17) years old.
2) Minimum salary of a holder is Rp 3 Million, maximum credit limit is 3 times the amount of salary.
3) Those who have salary below Rp 10 Million may only have two credit cards
4) Those who have salary above Rp 10 Million may get higher credit limit from the bank

The new regulation will become effective on 1 January 2013, with a two years transition period for banks to adjust their existing regulation with the said new regulation.

I hope that this new regulation would prevent any credit card crisis in the future.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Please keep Aceh Peaceful

The signing of the Helsinski Peace Agreement on 15 August 2005 has ended many years of violence in Indonesia's eastern most Province of Aceh, and since then people in the province have been enjoying a peaceful life.

This peaceful situation was confirmed after Irawadi Yusuf, an independent candidate supported by former separatist GAM, won the Governor election on December 2006, and the Aceh Party (reincarnation of GAM) won the provincial parliamentary elections in 2009.

And then there was a verdict of the Constitutional Court on December 2010 which determined that independent candidates may be nominated as candidates in the 2011/2012 Governor and Regents elections. The Court's reason was to provide opportunity for not-political party backed candidates to be nominated, and the fact that more than 50 % of the Regents and Governor were independent candidates.

This verdict was protested by the Aceh Party who said that independent candidates can only be nominated in the 2006 election, after that all candidates should be nominated by political parties.
The general election commission plan to implement the Constitutional Court's verdict, therefore the Aceh Party said that it will boycott the elections.

In recent months, there has been lots of shootings that have killed 13 people and wounding 13 others. According to the Coordinating Minister of Politics, Laws and Security General Djoko Suyanto this violence is related to the Regional Election in Aceh.

Due to this violence, there is a possibility that the regional election in Aceh will be postponed.

Considering the above, I hope that the central government in Jakarta, the general election commission and all the parties in Aceh would seat down together and find the best solution acceptable by all the political parties, including the Aceh party.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Weekend in Jambi

Last Saturday and Sunday I visited Jambi, a province in the southern part of the Sumatera Island.

This was my first visit to mainland Sumatera. Many years ago I visited Batam, an island on on the province of Riau on the eastern part of Sumatera, as a transit point for several visits to Singapore.

I left Jakarta at 9.40 am with two of my old law school friends i.e Arief and Phillip, flying on Lion Air, and arrived at Jambi City airport at 10.50 am. We were picked at the airport by a driver of Chairul, another old friend at law school.

Chairul held a wedding ceremony for his eldest daughter i.e. Mirna on Saturday at 4 pm, and he arranged that we stay at the Ratu Hotel next to the Ratu Convention Center where the wedding party was held on Sunday 11 am - 3 pm.

As soon as we have put our luggage at the hotel, we took a taxi to Jamtos (Jambi Town Square)  shopping mall for lunch. Later in afternoon we took a taxi to a place on the side of the Batanghari River which seems to be a place where people of the city of Jambi entertained themselves. We ate roasted Corn cob and Padang Satay.

In the evening we walked to nearby Ramayana Shopping mall which looked like malls in Jakarta with Hypermart, Kentucky Fried Chicken, A&W, etc.

We returned to the hotel using three Ojek i.e. motor-cycle taxi, one for each of us. It was still early so we spent 3 hours at hotel's Karaoke until 2 am.
On Sunday morning we have breakfast at the hotel after that we went to the wedding party at 11.30 am. Chairul was happy when we shook hands with him, his wife, the bride and groom and parents.
The party itself was a big fat wedding party with a whole lots of guests, organizing committee, delicious food, etc.

At 1.30 pm, we returned to the hotel, packed our bags, took a car taxi to look for souvenirs on our way to the airport. Our plane departed at around 6 pm and arrived in Jakarta at 7 pm.

The trip was enjoyable, but it would be much better if better public transportation are available i.e, argo-metered taxi and minibuses with better routes. Besides, more arts and souvenir shops should also be available in the city. This are important if Jambi wants to attract more tourists from other provinces and other countries.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Weight Reduction

Like most people, before or during the changing of a year to another year I made resolutions on basic things that I want to achieve on the following year.

And one of my resolutions for the year 2012 is to reduce my Weight from 90+ Kg.  to around 78 Kg. For which purpose, I am going to step up daily physical exercise e.g gymnastic, seat up, push up. I will also control consumption of food among others by eating less Rice and Meat, and eat more Fish, Vegetables, and Fruits. Moreover I will also be Fasting maybe one or two days in a week.
Based on my previous experience, I am aware it would not be easy to achieve this resolution, however considering that I really want to reduce my weight and therefore live more healthily, I am sure that I can make it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.
Let us pray to God and hope that 2012 would be better than 2011.

PS: I hope that I can up date this blog as frequently as in the past.

Yours sincerely,
Harry Nizam