Thursday, February 7, 2013

Horrible Traffic

Yesterday I faced one of worst experience in my history of driving car.

I was supposed to be a Judge of for a Speech Contest held by the Motivators Toastmasters Club which take place at the Mayapada Building, Central Jakarta, which starts at 6.30 pm. 
Usually, it would take me not more than one hour to get to that place. But considering that it was raining quite heavily since 4 pm, I left my office in Pondok Indah, South Jakarta, at 4.30 pm.

The streets that I passed were so heavily crowded with cars, motorcycles, bicycles, taxis, big and small buses. Some of the streets were inundated by water at the depth of around 10 centimeters, forcing drivers to move very slowly and stop causing a very bad traffic jam.
At 6.30pm I only reached the street in front of the Hotel Sultan, Central Jakarta, which means that I only reach a half way of my destination, and the vehicles in front of me were almost not moving. 
I tried to call Tantia the Chief Judge at Motivators but not answered so I sent a text message via Blackberry Messenger (BBM) telling her about the ugly situation and apologize that I cannot come to the Club.

After half an hour, I decided to return home by taking the toll road, so I ascended the Semanggi flyover and drove to Jl Gatot Subroto. The traffic was also jammed and I reached the nearest toll gate at 8 pm. Thank God the toll road road was not so crowded.

I reached my house in South Jakarta at 9pm feeling so very tired body and soul.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Girl behind the PKS Scandal

One of the reasons for the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to arrest former chairman of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) Luthfi Hasan Iskaq last Wednesday, was their investigations that lead to the arrest of several people including a 19 years old girl i.e. Maharani Suciyono the day before.

Maharani was arrested with Luthfi's assistant i.e Ahmad Fathanah, has five wives (here), in a bedroom of Le Meridien Hotel, Central Jakarta. At that time, they were both naked, and the KPK found Rp 10 Million in her hand-bag.

Maharani is a student at a university located not faraway from the People's Representatives Council  in Central Jakarta, and she live in the same neighborhood as Luthfi (read here).

After she was released from KPK detention, Maharani and her lawyer held a press conference at Hotel Nalendra, East Jakarta, on Tuesday, during which she denied that she and Ahmad Fathanah were inside the hotel's room when they were caught by the KPK. She said that they both met at the hotel's basement and coffee shop, during which Ahmad Fathanah gave her Rp 10 Million.
Maharani told reporters that she knew Ahmad through a waiter at a coffee in Senayan City one day before the arrest. The waiter told her that Ahmad want to meet her and gave her the latter's mobile phone number (read here and here).

According to the KPK, the Rp 10 Million received by Maharani, was part of the Rp 1 Billion Ahmad received from Meat Importer as a down payment of Rp 40 Billion to be given to Luthfi who will arrange Meat Import quota with the authorities.

Photo : Courtesy of Tribune News

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Year of the Water Snake

According to the Chinese Calendar, the new year will fall on 10 February 2013, and the Year of the Water Snake will begin.

Unlike the present Year of the Water Dragon which Feng Shui experts said is good for romance, in the Year of the Water Snake people's commitments and promises will be tested.

A Feng Shui expert Gunadi Wijaya was quoted by The Jakarta Post as saying that this new year will not be very good for romance. Couples need to be very careful if they want to maintain their relationship.
He said that the snake is fast and quick as it moves while the water is robust. Couples need to watch for backstabbers, avoid any fights and excessive emotions.

Another Feng Shui expert Yohan Suyangga said that  in the coming year we will see major scandals and affairs that we have not seen before. He said that snakes have poisons with great effect, but people can use those effects negatively or positively.
He further said that the Year of the Water Snake would be good for Politics and would serve as a prelude for the elections in 2014. New leaders will emerge, those who use to compete with each other will work together and form a coalition.

I am not a believer in Feng Shui, I just like to know what people have in their minds about the future. So I hope that everything would be okay, people would be happier and luckier than in the previous year.

Picture :  Courtesy of MotherSky.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

PKS: Corruption & Polygamy

Yesterday, the largest Islam based party the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) has announced Anis Matta (44) as its new President to replace Luthfi Hasan Iskaq.

Luthfi was named a Suspect by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) last Wednesday in a bribery case centering on the government's procurement of imported meat (details here).

This is the second time that a PKS politician implicated in Corruption case after Misbakhun who was found guilty by the courts in 2010 for his involvement in the fake Letter of Credit (LC) of the troubled Bank Century but released after the Supreme Court accepted his request for Judicial Review (details here and here).

In his first speech as PKS President, Anis Matta stated his suspicion that the allegation against Luthfi was part of a grand conspiracy against the party. I think this is a "wild statement" considering that KPK is still conducting investigations on the case. It could be some sort of a "boomerang" if later on the court find him guilty. The best thing for PKS would be to cooperate with KPK in the investigation of this case.

One interesting thing about Anis Matta, formerly the party's Secretary General, is the fact that he is still young compared to chairmen of most political parties, and he has two wives, the second one being a Hungarian lady.

Beside Anis Matta, other PKS leaders also lead the polygamous life style, including its former president Tifatul Sembiring (currently Minister of Communication & Information) who has two wives, its Deputy Treasurer General Didin Aminuddin who has three wives, and its member of Parliament Zulkifliemansyah  who has two wives (details here).

Hmmmm ....... I wonder whether PKS is planing to make Indonesia a Polygamous country ?

Logo :  Courtesy of Wikipedia

The First Family's Tax Reports

President Soesilo Bambang Yudoyono (SBY) has frequently stated about the need for people to fulfill their tax obligations, and about the importance of transparency regarding the wealth of government/state officials.

That's why I was very surprised when The Jakarta Post reported about some discrepancies in the annual Tax Reports filed by him and his sons i.e. Major Agus Harimurti (Agus) and Edhie Baskoro (Ibas) for the year 2011 (below).

The paper wrote that the President's tax report mentioned that he earned Rp 1,37 Billion as President in addition to Rp 107 Million in income from Royalties. That year, SBY opened bank accounts worth 4.98 Billion and US$ 589.188 but there's no specific details for these funds.

Agus mentioned that his annual income as an Army officer is Rp 70,2 million, and he has 4 savings accounts at four different banks totaling Rp 1.63 Billion, but he did not give information about his or his wife's additional income. The total tax he paid amounts to Rp 2.7 Million.

Whereas Ibas mentioned that as a member of the People's Representative Council he earned Rp 183 Million. He also mentioned an investment in PT Yastra Capital worth Rp 900 Million, saving account of Rp 1,59 Billion, and cash money of Rp 1,57 Billion. However, he did not mention other sources of income like dividend, share etc.  The tax he paid : Rp 20 Million. Whereas his tax report in 2010 mentioned that his assets worth Rp 6 Billion including a car  Audi Q5 SUV worth Rp 1,16 Billion.

The Jakarta Post reported that President SBY has asked the Finance Ministry's Directorate General of Taxation to publicly address the above mentioned discrepancy allegations. 

In this connection, the Director General of Taxation Fuad Rahmany clarified that the President and his sons have met the required taxation administration procedures and have complied with the existing law and regulations. He said that there is no way that the President's family failed to properly fill in their tax report. Because they have a special team that thoroughly calculates their tax obligations to ensure accuracy.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Moments of Love

Many people believe that the month of February is a month of Love, perhaps this is because on the 14th of this month there is the Valentine's Day celebrated by millions of people all over the world as the day of Love.

In my humble opinion, every day is the moment of Love whereby we show our feelings and acts of love to our love ones, we do not have to wait for the 14th day of February or any other days of the year to show our Love.

Let us pray and hope that everybody would want to show their love for each other as often as possible so that the world could be a much better place for us to live.