Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Dirty Judges

The concept of Rule of Law is adopted by most democratic countries of the world, emphasizing on the upholding on of the following basic principles :
-  Supremacy of Law
-  Equality before the Law
-  Human Rights protection

As a consequence, Judges of the Courts of Law must consists of high quality people who uphold the above principles and morality so that they can make wise and fair decisions/verdicts.

Considering the above, I was very upset when I read on the news media that in the first three months of 2012 (January - March) , 28 Judges have been punished by the Supreme Court. And this number is growing bigger as time goes by, the latest one being the Head of South Sumatera High Court M. Daming Sunusi who thinks that Rape is an act of fun enjoyed by the Rapist and the Victim.

What make me more upset is the opinion of former Chief of the Constitutional Court Jimly Assiddiquie that Daming should not be severely punished because what said was just a slip of the tongue not intentionally.
Hmmm ..... as the Head of a High Court with 24 years experience as Judge, Daming has no right to talk that way about Rape to anybody especially to members of the People's Consultative Council.

We can only hope that the Supreme Court would do its best to make sure that the Judges are doing their job properly so that Indonesia would be a lot much better place to live in.

Picture :  Courtesy of Bestuff.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Arrest of 17 Celebrities

They are all well known presenter, actor, actress, and singer in Indonesia.

As such, they own lots of money, wear expensive dress/shirt/pants, ride fancy cars, live in beautiful houses and have easy access to many important people and facilities.

Ordinary citizens like me and most of the 240 million people in Indonesia would envy them and ask :  " What more would you ask for? "

That's the question I asked my self when 17 famous people including presenter Raffi Ahmad, member of Jakarta Parliament Wanda Hamidah, Actor Irwansyah, Actress Zaskia Sungkar and 13 others, were arrested by the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) last Sunday around 5 a.m, for possession of 14 Ecstasy pills and 2 Marijuana joints (please read here).

BNN Director Benny Mamamoto was quoted by The Jakarta Globe as saying that his detectives arrested all 17 of them at Raffi's house in Lebak Bulus, South Jakarta. This arrest was done after three months of investigation.

BNN is still waiting for the overall results of tests on Urine and Hair of all 17 which started last Sunday. But a source at the agency said that initial result of the urine test shows negative, and nor still waiting for hair test (for details please read here).

I hope that the BNN would conduct a thorough investigation on this case not merely on the 17 of them but also the suppliers of Ecstasy pills and Marijuana.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

No flood today

On 17 January rain falls very heavily and continuously inundating some important parts of the Indonesian capital city of Jakarta.

Many parts of the city's downtown area like the Presidential Palace, the HI Roundabout & Fountain, were inundated that President SBY's meeting with Argentinian President Mme. was postpone for a few hours.

Due to this fact, the Governor of Jakarta Joko Widodo has announced Jakarta under state of emergency for ten days until 27 January 2013 which is today. One factor that influenced Jokowi in making such decision was the weather forecast made by the Meteorology and Geophysical Agency (BMKG)  that the rain will fall heavily and continuously and shall reach the highest level on 27 January 2013.

Thank God when I woke up this morning the sun was shining very bright and it goes on the whole day until dusk.

I pray to God so that Jakarta shall not be inundated again like last week.

Photo: Courtesy of PlazaMSN

Fake Facebook Girlfriends

Just because you are a lonely man in real life doesn't mean that you have to be lonely in your virtual life anymore.

ABC reported that a Brazilian website,, will be happy to create a Fake Facebook Girlfriend profile for you that includes comments & all-important "relationship status" change for thirty days at the price of  US$ 39.00. Or, if you are in a tight budget it can create for you a Fake ex-Girlfriend for only US$ 19.00.

The website said that there are some possible reasons why a man wants to have a Fake Girlfriend :
1) He wants to be popular with the women and increase his self esteem
2) He wants to make jealous his ex-girlfriend by showing that he has someone new

In order to increase the ranks of the Fake Girlfriend, the website invites women to send their profiles with a 50% profit sharing incentives.

Currently the website doesn't have any Fake Facebook Boyfriends for women, but they plan to create them in the future.

For further information about Fake Facebook Girlfriend, please read here and here.  

Picture : Courtesy of ABC

Saturday, January 26, 2013

No International Standard for Public Schools

Public Schools in Indonesia are built, maintained and funded by the government under coordination of the Ministry of Education.

In order to upgrade the quality of those schools, the Ministry of Education has allowed few of those schools to adopt international standard of education. Such schools are named Laboratory Schools.

Later on, some other public schools also adopted the international standard.

On 8 January 2013, the Chief of the Constitutional Court Mahfud MD announced the legal basis for such kind of schools i.e. Article 50  (3) of the National Education Law No. 20/2003.
Mahfud MD was quoted by JNN as saying that the purpose is connection with national character building i.e the use of the word "international" will erode the nation's culture and language. Besides, the existence of such schools will cause discrimination between such schools and ordinary public schools.
However, Mahfud acknowledged the need to learn the English language and the output of such schools are good quality students.

My understanding is that the above decision of the Constitutional Court is valid for the state control and subsidized public schools like the Laboratory Schools, BUT not for international standard Private Schools which never receive any support from the state.

Picture : International Education symbol courtesy of 123RF

Female Circumcision

Last week I read the blog of Colson from Holland titled " How to Curb Female Sexual Desire " in which he quoted an official of the Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) saying that the purpose of Female Circumcision is to control Female Sexual Desire.

After reading Colson's said blog post, I deemed it necessary to write about Circumcision in general and Female Circumcision in particular.

According to Wikipedia, the word Circumcision (from Latin Circumcidere meaning : to cut around) is used to describe Male Circumcision i.e. the surgical removal of the foreskin from the human Penis, an established practice adopted by Moslems all over the world.

Beside Moslems, Circumcision is also practiced by Judaism, Coptic Christianity and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. For further details about Circumcision, please read here.

A very scary young girl about to be Circumcised
Unlike the Male Circumcision, Female Circumcision is considered dangerous by the World Health Organization (WHO)  which gave it a very scary name Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and define it as " all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female organs for non medical reasons."  Details about FGM can be read here.

For that reason, in April 2006 the Indonesian government, through the Department of Health, banned Female Circumcision (here). This decision was strongly protested by MUI which issued a Fatwa (Edict) in the year 2008 stating that the ban of Female Circumcision is against Islamic regulation. An MUI official explained that Female Circumcision is done by "incising the the skin that covers the front part of the Clitoris without harming the Clitoris."  

In response to said MUI's Fatwa, the Minister of Health has issued a regulation which allow Female Circumcision on the condition that it done based on modern medical standard to ensure the safeness of the female being Circumcised.
Considering that Female Circumcision is more dangerous than Male Circumcision, I hope that the government would ban Female Circumcision, or if it is to be allowed, must be based on the female's consent and strictly conducted by authorized medical professionals based on modern medical standard.

Photo :  Courtesy of Berita Aneh

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sexual Gratification in Indonesia

On 12 June 2012, former Director of Singapore's Central Narcotics Bureau Ng Boon Gay, faced two charges of obtaining Sexual Gratification from the Senior Sales Manager at Oracle Corporation Singapore Pte. on December 2011 as an inducement to help further Oracle's business interests. 

According to Reuters, Ng also faces two other charges of obtaining Sexual Gratification from the same individual when she was an employee of Hitachi Data Systems Ltd. 

The charges against Ng come one week after the former head of Singapore's Civil Defense Force Peter Lim faced 10 Sexual Gratification charges involving three different women working for IT firms in the city state.                                                                                                
Unlike Singapore, where the laws stipulated that Sexual Gratification is a Crime, the laws in Indonesia do not explicitly mention Sexual Gratification as a Corruption Crime (Bribery).

The website of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) quoted the Anti Corruption Law No. 31/ 1999 Article 12B and Law No. 20/2001 : "Any Gratification to a Civil Servant of State Official is regarded as Bribery, if it is connected to his/her position and contradictory to obligation or duty, as follows ....."

Further, the Explanation of said Art. 12 B : "Gratification: is widely defined as any acts of giving money, goods/things, discount, commission, interest free loan, travelling ticket, accommodation, package tour, free medical treatment, and other facility in Indonesia or abroad using manual or electronic facility.

Actually Sexual Gratification if not something strange in Indonesia. The Indonesian Corruption Watch was quoted by Okezone as saying that Sexual Gratification has long existed and often been used in Indonesia.

While the Chief of the Constitutional Court Mahfud MD was quoted by as saying that Sexual Gratification may have stronger impact than Money Gratification, therefore he support inclusion of Sexual Gratification in the Anti Corruption Law.  

Although our Law has not regard Sexual Gratification as a Corruption Crime (Bribery), I hope that Marketing people, especially the ladies, would not use Sex as part of  their efforts to win the hearts and the minds of their customers.

Last but not least, I also hope that Sexual Gratification would soon be regarded as a Corruption Crime (Bribery) that is by the amendment of the Anti Corruption Law.

Photo : Courtesy of Photo Search

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Midlife Crisis

"Life begins at 40!" That's what people used to say when they reach the age of forty years old.

In my humble opinion, those words have two meanings i.e. first, the person saying it is very optimistic about him/herself and his/her future, because he/she felt that he/she already has all the necessary knowledge and experiences for the future. Secondly, the said person is not confident at all in him/herself, and hesitate to face what lies ahead of him/her. People facing the 2nd condition can be described as having a Midlife Crisis.

I do not have an educational background in psychology, I only say and feel what I have read in books or website and from some people that I knew quite well.

The term Midlife Crisis is coined by Elliot Jaques in 1965 stating a time where people between the age of 40 and 60 years old come to realize their own mortality and how much time is left in their life. A Midlife Crisis is experienced by many people during the midlife transition when they realize that life may be more than halfway over. Sometimes a crisis can be triggered by transitions experienced in these years, such as andropause (men) or menopause (women), the death of parents or other causes of grief, unemployment, realizing that a job of a career is hated but not knowing how else to earn an equivalent living, or children leaving home. People may reassess their achievements in terms of their dreams. The result may be a desire to make significant changes in core aspects of day-to-day life or situation like career, work life balance, marriage, romantic relationships, large expenditures, or physical appearance.

Those experiencing a Midlife Crisis have some of these feelings :
1) Search of an undefined dream or goal
2) A deep sense of remorse for goals not accomplished
3) A fear of humiliation among more successful colleagues
4) Desire to achieve a feeling of youthfulness
5) Need to spend more time alone or with certain peers

They also exhibit some of these behaviors :
1) Abuse of alcohol
2) Acquisition of unusual or expensive items such as motorbikes, boats, sport cars
3) Depression
4) Having remorse for one's wrong
5) Paying special attention to physical appearance such as baldness, clothes
6) Entering relationship with younger people (sexual or professional or parental)
7) Placing over importance on their children to excel in areas such as academics.

However, academic research in the USA since the 1980s rejects the notion of Midlife Crisis as a phase that most adults go through. In one study, less than 10% of people has psychological crisis due to their age or aging.

I wonder what would the result of similar study in Indonesia (if any) would be like.
But I have a lady friend who is 52 years old, a mother of two kids but still looks, feel and talk sexy, wear mini skirts and other sexy looking dresses. She is energetic and love to travel a lot, not menopause yet therefore still sexually active thanks to Yoga Pilates that she practiced regularly.

For me she is okay, as a matter of fact I like to be around her, but other men think that she wants to have some fun with them. Especially because she always go by her self and/or with friends inside or out of town. Her husband who is a few years older almost never accompany her.
She said that she love all the attention she go from men, and do not care what others think of her because actually she does not do bad things.

Painting: Courtesy of Arnet.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Jokowi-Ahok 100 Days

Since they were elected last September, Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo a.k.a Jokowi and Vice Governor Basuki a.k.a Ahok have been the "darling" of the mass media. Almost everything they said and done have been reported to the public. 

Although Jokowi-Ahok never set any target for their first 100th. day in offices, which happens to be today, but the news media seems to be very anxious to report about their progress. 

According to news media reports, during the election campaign, Jokowi and Ahok have promised, among others :
1)  Construction of mass transportation to reduce traffic jam : MRT and Monorail
2)  Development of villages and slum area
3)  Distribution of Health card and Smart card, e-ID card

What has been done was the distribution of Health, Smart and E-ID cards. The development of villages and slum area is still being planned, while the MRT and Monorail construction projects are being reviewed and discussed with the Jakarta People's Representative Council..

Their works was obstructed by the continuous heavy rainfall that has widely inundated Jakarta and vicinity last Thursday until Sunday.  

In my opinion it is too early to assess the work of Jokowi-Ahok in just 100 days, considering that there are so many problems that must be solved in Jakarta.

Picture: Courtesy of Kompas

Monday, January 21, 2013

Me & Toastmasters

Last Saturday, I attended a gathering of Indonesian Toastmasters which was held at the Prasetya Mulya Business School in Cilandak, South Jakarta.

The event was organized by the Toastmasters Leadership Institute of District 87 to provide training for members of the Executive Committees (EXCO) of Toastmasters Clubs in Indonesia.

I am not a member of Exco of my club i.e. the Jakarta Toastmasters Club or other clubs, but I was there as Governor of  Area I1 which covers 4 Toastmasters Club : Jakarta TMC, Carsurin TMC, Masterpiece TMC and Sari Husada TMC.

We gathered at 12.30 pm for socialization and lunch, and the training itself started at 1 pm and ended at 6.30  pm.

Me (standing - No.4 from right) and Exco of the Jakarta Toastmasters Club
For those who are not familiar about Toastmasters, I deemed it necessary to explain that Toastmasters is a non profit organization based in California, USA, which provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment for its members to develop their communication and leadership skills (in English) which in turn foster self esteem.

With Fathia (left) & Valeria (right)
Toastmasters came to Indonesia on October 1979, with the setting up of the Jakarta Toastmasters Club. Today, there are 78 Toastmasters Clubs all over Indonesia i.e. Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Bali, Medan, Batam, Riau, Balikpapan, Soroako. And the number of clubs is growing every year.

Toastmasters in Indonesia is part of District 87 of the Toastmasters International, which covers Indonesia, West Malaysia and Brunei.

For further details, please visit the following websites :

If you want to develop and practice your English communication skills, Toastmasters is the answer.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fake Identity on Facebook

I opened an account on Facebook in the year 2008, but I have not been active continuously, only on and off.

One reason that made me do that is because I found some weird things on Facebook such as the use of photo which shows very different person, fake name, fake address, fake sex, et cetera.

For example a man from Yogjakarta tried to impress a lady friend of mine from Jakarta by claiming that he graduated from the Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He preferred to put on his FB page the sign of Pemuda Pancasila youth organization instead of the sign of said famous University. I later learned that his name was not on the list of Indonesians who graduated from said university.
He claimed that he has written and published a book about the lady and two other women, but until now he never show or give a copy of the book and it cannot be found on Google or bookstore.
No wonder he never want to mention complete name/complete identity and does not write proper English.

Beside that man, there was also other men and women doing the same deceptive things on Facebook.

Due to the above facts, I prefer to use Twitter which only allow 140 characters text messages therefore minimizing nonsense.

The Alternative Candidates for President & VP - 2014

In 2014, Indonesia will hold a General Election to elect members of the national, provincial and district People's Representative Councils, and afterwards the Presidential Election.

According to the Presidential Election Law No. 42/2008, a Presidential Candidate must be nominated by a political party or a group of political  parties that won at least 20% of the total seats in the national People's Representative Council or won a total of 25% of the electoral votes.

In this connection, on 7 January the General Election Commission announced 10 political parties that are eligible to compete in the General Election based on General Election Law No. 8/2012.

Among those 10, only the National Democratic Party is a new party, the others are existing parties i.e. President SBY's Democratic Party, Golkar Party, Democratic Party in Struggle (PDIP, Social Welfare Party (PKS), National Mandate Party (PAN), National Awakening Party (PKB), United Development Party (PPP), People's Conscience Party(Hanura), and Indonesian People's Movement Party (Gerindra).

Currently, President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono (SBY) is serving his second 5-years term, and based on the Constitution he cannot be nominated again in 2014. But until now his Democratic Party still has not announce who will be SBY's successor.

There are some public figures whose names were often mentioned by the traditional mass media as potential candidates, like Golkar Party Chairman Aburizal Bakrie, former President and PDIP Chairperson Megawati, former Vice President Jusuf Kalla, (Ret. General) Prabowo, Chief of the Constitutional Court Mahfud MD.

However, this Sunday I want to write about a very controversial Polygamous person who declared himself as a Presidential Candidate i.e. Dangdut Musician Rhoma Irama.

Last December, the media reported that someone posted Rhoma Irama's name and photo (above - Left) on Twitter micro-blog. Standing next to Rhoma Irama was the very controversial Regent of Garut West Java Aceng Fikri (above - Right) who illegally married Fani Oktora an 18 years old local girl on 14 July 2012 and divorced her via Text Message (SMS) 4 days later because he said that she was not a Virgin.

As shown on the above photo, for the candidacy their names were nicknamed as  RHOCENG 2014 which implied that Rhoma Irama as Candidate President, and Aceng as Candidate Vice President (VP).

Friday, January 18, 2013

Jakarta the Big Durian - 2013

The city of Jakarta, officially known as the Special Capital Region of Jakarta headed by a Governor, is Indonesia's political, economical and cultural center.

Jakarta is located on the northwest coast of the island of Java, with a population of more than 10 million people, it is the most populous city in Indonesia and in South East Asia, with a land area of 661 Square Kilometers.

Together with the neighboring towns of Bogor, Depok, Tanggerang and Bekasi, Jakarta formed the metropolis of JABODETABEK (JAkarta BOgor DEpok TAnggerang, BEKasi) with a total population of around 28 million people living on a total land area of 6,392 Square Kilometers.

The city has a terrible traffic jam from early morning to late evening not just during work days, but some times during holidays too. Lack of mass rapid transportation has forced most citizens to use their own vehicles i.e. auto cars and/or motor cycles.
An effort has been made to set up a mass public transportation i.e the Transjakarta busway system however considering that it was operated on existing road and limited bus units therefore it failed, so people keep on using their personal vehicle and the roads are getting more and more crowded every day.
The Jakarta government and the central government have planned to develop a mass rapid transportation  (MRT), and a Monorail system.

Further, many parts of the city are heavily  inundated by floods during rainy season, because the level of many parts of the city's land area, especially the northern part, is lower than the sea level, decreasing water reservoir area and clogged waterways.  Although an anti-flood control canal has been built on the eastern part of the city, but it failed to reduce the area effected by the flood.
In every five years, the rain falls much heavier in Jakarta and surrounding area, therefore causing much more devastating floods. The last terrible flood happened in 2007.

Furthermore, the city has so many slum area where the low income citizens i.e. majority of citizens live. beggars/tramps at traffic lights, food hawkers scattered in so many parts of the city, trashes, etc.

Because of the above reasons Jakarta has been given the nick name The Big Durian i.e the name of tropical fruit (picture above) which is full of thorn on the outer skin but contain delicious fruit inside and has a very strong odor which is loved by most Indonesians but probably not by Westerners.

Jakarta can be described as quite similar to the Durian i.e. it does not look good/friendly on the outside but has lots of good things on the inside especially because Jakarta is a Melting Pot of the various people in the country. Most of its citizens come from other parts of Indonesia, they bring along their cultures, languages, foods, etc. to the city.

I have visited many places and I still think Jakarta as the best place for me.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Jakarta in State of Emergency

                        Downtown Jakarta inundated by flood (The Jakarta Globe)

In the last three days the rain falls heavily in Jakarta and neighboring towns of Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi.

             President SBY (blue shirt) inspecting flooded Palace (The Jakarta Globe)

And today, Thursday 17 January, the heavy rainfall has caused severe flooding in most parts of the city forcing many government and business offices to close because their staffs cannot come to work.
The media reported that thousands of people in Jakarta and vicinity have been forced to leave their homes, the Presidential Palace was flooded that President SBY (the above photo) has to rescheduled his meeting with Argentinian President from morning to afternoon. The Busway transportation network has to stop its operation at 9.15 am, and trains from out of town must stop at certain train stations that are not flooded, cannot reach the city's downtown.

                                          Flooded residential area (Kompas)

According to an official of the Meteorological, Climatology and Geophysical Agency the rainfall could get worse in the next few days.

Considering the above facts, the Governor of Jakarta Joko Widodo a.k.a Jokowi, has placed the capital city under state of emergency starting today until 27 January 2013. The announcement was made after he discussed with the Coordinating Minister of People's Welfare and the Head of National Disaster Mitigation Agency at his office earlier today.

Under this emergency status, the municipality government to take extraordinary actions to respond to the flooding crisis. According to Jokowi, this is a short term solution for the flood which enable the government to purchase necessary things like toilets, blankets and other needs without going through a tender.

Meanwhile, the Police and the Army has send their men to help victims of the flood. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Dirty Candidate Judge

I always think that Judges of the Courts of Law are high quality people who would always think, talk and act fairly, wisely and extra careful based on the Laws, Tradition and Moral Standard.

These requirements are very important so that Court Judges can be expected to pass fair and non-biased verdicts.
For that reason, the recruitment and selection of new Court Judges should always be doe extra careful by a team of high quality and reliable public figures. 

Unfortunately, the above mentioned requirements seemed to be difficult for certain Candidate Judges to fulfil,

The Jakarta Globe reported that during a fit and proper test of new Supreme Court Judges by the national Parliament on Monday 14 January, a Candidate Judge i.e. Daming Sunusi, gave a very shocking and insensitive statement when he was asked about Death Penalty for Rapist.

Daming Sunusi, a senior Judge with the High Court of South Kalimantan, said :
“Both the rapist and the victim enjoy it. So, [we] have to think again about death sentence.”

This crazy comment caused mixed reaction among members of Parliament, some of them think that it is a joke, others protested. However, in the end the members of Parliament urged that Daming Sunusi should not be selected.

I hope that the Parliament would reject Daming Sunisi, and the Supreme Court would reconsider his eligibility and qualification as a High Court Judge.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Do we need the Ministry of Youth & Sports?

Last December, the Minister of Youth & Sports Andi Malarangeng resigned from his position because the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named him a Suspect in the Hambalang Sport Center project Corruption Case.

Due to this fact, President SBY has named the Coordinating Minister of People's Welfare Agung Laksono as interim Minister of Youth & Sport.

And last Friday afternoon, President SBY announced a controversial Democratic Party lawmaker, the self proclaimed IT Expert Roy Suryo as the new Minister.

When Andi Malarangeng was Minister (October 2009-December 2012) the development of Youth and . Sports in Indonesia was not running well. In Sports, especially the never ending conflict between leaders of the All Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) which has been divided into two parts.

And the condition of Youth in Indonesia can be described as not good considering so many fighting among students of schools in Jakarta and other cities.

The worst thing about the Ministry of Youth & Sports was the fact that so many corruption cases happened.

Due to the above, President SBY has tasked Roy Suryo with supporting Indonesian athletes in the upcoming South East Asia Games, eliminating Corruption in the Ministry, and working to re-unite the divided All Indonesian Football Association.

Roy Suryo acknowledged that this would not be an easy job for him considering that he does not have back ground as an athlete or as a famous youth figure.

I hope that Roy Suryo would be successful in doing the above mentioned tasks, otherwise what's the use of  having a Youth and Sports Ministry, much better if it become a subordinate of the Ministry of Education as in the past (during Soeharto era).