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