Asian Correspondent » Chalid Nasution Asian Correspondent Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:16:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Drought warning issued in Java, Indonesia Mon, 19 Sep 2011 02:30:33 +0000

Indonesia has almost entered the dry season.  All regions in Indonesia face the same problem of shortage of water resources to meet the necessities of life. However, worries are mounting that there will be a severe drought in Java this year.

“In a dry season like this, the water supply will be reduced drastically. However, Java’s most at risk of drought, because of large-scale land conversion,” said Head of Data Information and Public Relations of the National Disaster Management Agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a pres release Sunday.

According to the press release, changes in land use in Java has been going on since the 19th century. The area of forest remaining approximately 23 percent, 7 percent of protected forest and 16 percent of production forest. The average conversion of agricultural is increasing.

Nugroho said that in the future, management of water resources will face much more severe constraints. Water supply policy will also be largely determined by the total population and the welfare of Indonesians at the time.

“The conflict between communities for a variety of water needs will occur more frequently,” he concluded.

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Wild elephant kills woman in Aceh, Indonesia Mon, 19 Sep 2011 02:23:30 +0000

Aceh, Indonesia

A Sumatran elephant entered a village in southern Aceh and fatally stepped on a woman on September 13. The woman was identified as Linawati, aged 42 years.

Linawati’s body was found at the side of the river Kejreun Alue in Aceh Province, Indonesia. Villagers who witnessed the incident said the elephant suddenly ran and attacked Linawati, who was bathing in river.

A few weeks ago, a two people were killed when a group of wild elephants entered the village. The elephants’ dwindling habitat is believed to be the main cause of the attacks on villages.

Similar incidents do not only occur in the province of Aceh alone. It is also known to happen in some provinces in Sumatra.

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Sumatran tiger attacks villagers Sun, 11 Sep 2011 22:07:42 +0000

A Sumatran tiger (Pantera Tigris Sumatrae) reportedly attacked some village residents at Simpang Gaung, Indragiri Hilir, Riau Province, Indonesia, recently. The victims were employees of PT Mutiara Equatorial Belt.

Simpang Gaung Village Head Effendi has explained that wild tigers roam around the land that belongs to the company.

“To my knowledge, three weeks ago there were about four workers killed  by the tiger,” he said.

Effendi explained that four of  the workers of the company were in the forest cutting trees.

Some people, especially those working at the company, were worried that the tiger will re-emerge and attack again.

These fears were realised when a few days after Eid Mubarak, some residents of neighboring villages – also employees at the same company – were attacked by the tiger.

“The information I have got, after Eid Mubarak, there were about two or three people who were attacked by the tiger. One reportedly died,” he said.

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International Regatta puts Sabang, Indonesia on the map Sun, 11 Sep 2011 22:00:42 +0000

A total of 26 yachts from a variety of countries will liven up the Sabang International Regatta 2011. The event is scheduled to take place on September 13-25, 2011.

A number of countries have promised to attend, including France, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Britain, Thailand, Italy, and Germany.

Deputy Mayor of Sabang Islamuddin said that a number of ships will depart from Phuket, Thailand, and Langkawi, Malaysia; to Sabang, Indonesia. They will arrive at Sabang on September 19.

“After arriving at Sabang, participants will dock at the Beach Gapang and will participate in various competitions. They will also be given the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of Sabang,” said Islamuddin in Banda Aceh.

According Islamuddin, Sabang International Regatta 2011 is designed to promote  Weh Island, Sabang, to the international community.

“Tourist arrivals to Sabang each year continues to increase. We hope that this international event can be an attraction to foreign tourists to Sabang,” added Islamuddin.

Director of Tourism Promotion of the Interior Muhammad Faried expects the event to become an annual event for Sabang.

“Sabang has large numbers of interesting excursions…. We hope that events on this international scale continue every year,” said Muhammad Faried.

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Indonesian Doctor missing in Somalia Mon, 05 Sep 2011 13:32:26 +0000

Quick Response Medical Volunteer Action (ACT), Dr. Aisha Wardana, has been abducted in the conflict areas of Somalia. ACT claimed claimed it received information from a local guide that gunmen had kidnapped Aisha. It is not known which group was behind the kidnapping.

In a press release, ACT said Aisha was thought to have been abducted between Nairobi (Kenya) and Mogadishu (Somalia) on August 31.

“I will go immediately to Nairobi and then to Mogadishu,” a Blackberry message from Aisha steded on August 29. That is the last that was heard from her. Currently, ACT teams in Somalia are seeking information on her whereabouts.

Aisha had said goodbye to her friends on Twitter before flying to Africa.

“.. I’m on the way to Africa to the Horn of Africa .. .. wish me luck,” she wrote Aisha on Twitter account @aishawardhana.

She went to Somalia to run a humanitarian mission to Kenya to take care of Somali refugees.

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South Korea shocked by naked Indonesian airline job interviews Fri, 26 Aug 2011 12:56:38 +0000

South Korea is reeling after a case of sexual abuse committed by a team of physicians from the Indonesian airline, Garuda Indonesia. Eighteen women candidates for Garuda flight attendant jobs claim to have  been harassed by the doctors during an interview.

Media Singapore, The Straits Times and The Korea Herald, said flight attendant candidates were required to work in their underwear only. Prospective flight attendants will work on the flight route Jakarta – South Korea.

The Straits Times said, of the many applicants 18 women are asked to remove all their clothes in a recent interview session. During physical examination male doctors doctors reportedly touched the breasts area of 18 South Korean women. The act was done to check whether there were implants in their breasts.

Vice President  of Corporate Communications of Garuda Indonesia, Pujobroto, said that is not true that it was an act of sexual harassment. Pujobroto said that all the actions were appropriate health screening procedures by team doctors.

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Wikileaks: Potential Indonesian ministers to be allies of the U.S. Thu, 25 Aug 2011 13:05:30 +0000

Wikileaks back to unlock “secrets” of Indonesia. This time it’s not about abusing power by Yudhoyono, but the ministers under his rule. Wikileaks opens more secret documents of U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, which contains about ministers who could potentially become allies of the US.

A coded reference document 09JAKARTA1773 made on October 23, 2009, leaked on website Wikileaks. write the title of the document with the “Allies are promising for a comprehensive partnership in the new Indonesian cabinet.”

According to wikileaks, U.S. ambassador on that moment, Cameron Hume sent a message to Washington about the composition of Indonesia’s United Cabinet chapter II. There are a number of ministers who could be considered potential allies. In the economic field, there are Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who was then serving as finance minister and now serving in World Bank.

Minister of trade Mari Elka Pangestu and Minister of Industry, MS Hidayat, who according to the U.S. Embassy welcomed the businessmen. Coordinating Minister of economy Hatta Raja mentioned as a strong ally of Yudhoyono although not considered to have a track record of economic reform.

Dr Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih elects as Minister of Health welcomed by the United States. “This is a good sign,” the response to the U.S. Embassy. Endang acknowledged close to USAID. While Minister of Environment Gusti Hatta M is also marked as ‘a respected academics’.

Minister of Political, law and Human Rights become a very important field. The U.S. Embassy said the key figures who have held the Coordinating Minister for Politics Djoko Suyanto who apparently trained at Nellis Air Force Base. Another one is Minister of Defense Purnomo Yusgiantoro, who has worked with U.S. in advance to terms of counter-terrorism, energy and others.”

Well, SBY’s most important ministers in the eyes of the United States apparently is Marty Natalegawa. Even the U.S. Embassy Jakarta to ask Washington to give special treatment.

“U.S. Embassy Jakarta asked Clinton to call the new Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, to congratulate him as soon as possible. The post also recommend, Clinton sent a formal letter to Marty Natalegawa, requested a meeting at APEC in November to strengthen Natalegawa as associate,” writes the message.

What are the effects of the document that was released by WikiLeaks it?. Not yet clear is, unlike the case of “abusing power” that was published in the Sydney Morning Herald that reportedly could make first lady Ani Yudhoyono moved to tears.

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Asia still home to many of the world’s poor Thu, 25 Aug 2011 12:33:37 +0000

Asian Development Bank (ADB) revealed that Asia is still home to many of the world’s poor. ADB  revealed that more than 40% of the population live below US$2 per day, or at the poverty line.

ADB said Asian policy makers should take firm steps to generate productive employment if the region wants to maintain and expand the benefits of the economic growth of the last two decades.

“The percentage of workers in informal employment in Asia remain far higher than in other regions. The work of quality necessary to reduce poverty and income disparities, and promote social cohesion and political stability, “said ADB Chief Economist Changyong Rhee in the press release.

ADB explained, Asia has surpassed other regions in terms of growth and job creation since 1990. It brings substantial improvements in living standards, but progress has been uneven in Asia is heterogeneous.

“Asia still remains home to most of the poor in the world with more than 40% of the population in most countries living below $ 2 per day poverty line,” Says Rhee

Low-income countries have difficulties to meet several Millennium Development Goal targets, and in locations where progress lags behind social tensions may occur.

ADB also said demographic change, including the rising middle class and the people who are elderly, Asia will face more pressure to produce quality work to meet people’s aspirations and support inclusive growth.

Middle-income countries need to conduct trade promotion and foreign direct investment, as well as developing the quality of human resources to boost the value of the production chain, and at the same time implement social diversification protection policies.

“With the demand and supply side policies are appropriate as well as the existence of some social protection, countries can make substantial progress toward the development of high-quality work in Asia which can be in reducing poverty and improving inclusive growth, “said Rhee.

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The fugitive finally arrives Sat, 13 Aug 2011 14:24:32 +0000

On a Gulfstream charter aircraft, a fugitive and former lawmaker, Muhammad Nazaruddin, returned to Indonesia after three months of fleeing to various countries. The plane carrying Nazaruddin arrived at Halim Perdanakusuma airport at around 7.50 pm.

Dozens of police officers and the staff of Corruption Eradication Commission escorted Nazaruddin off the plane and left immediately for House Hold Mako Brrmob, Jakarta. All officers who escorted him wore masks; meanwhile Nazaruddin was handcuffed and looked down.

“Nazaruddin transit twice, in Nairobi and the Maldives,” said Head of Information Bureau of the Inspector General of Police Police Headquarters Untung Yoga Ana at Halim air base Perdanakusuma, Jakarta. The total flight duration was 36 hours and Nazaruddin was unaccompanied by his lawyer, OC Kaligis.

In his escapade for those three months, Nazaruddin became a whistle blowers and mentioned the names of law makers and politicians who are also linked to cases of corruption in Indonesia.  Nazaruddin was in contact with a reporter and claimed that he had information on corruption, some involving the current chairman of the Democratic Party of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Muhammad Nazaruddin, a former treasurer of  the Democratic Party, was arrested on Saturday night after arriving in the Caribbean city of Cartagena on a charter flight from Washington, D.C.

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Supreme Court of Indonesia: Different political views, the causes of divorce Thu, 04 Aug 2011 13:14:28 +0000

What causes between husband and wife divorce in general?. Things that are unexpected of course, such as infidelity, economic problems, discrepancies or even a quarrel between family members.

But in Indonesia there is a new trend causes of divorce, Through a release issued by the Supreme Court of Indonesia has been found in cases of divorce due to husband and wife have different political views. Or it may sound strange indeed if the political world has been touched household domain?. That’s the reality in the field found by the Supreme Court of Indonesia.

Through release from the Supreme Court of Indonesia said, “Of the 285,184 divorces throughout Indonesia, as many as 334 pairs triggered by political differences”. This trend can be said to fluctuate, the number could increase when the election. When the election is over, divorce due to this reason is also reduced.

From the findings of the Supreme Court trend found from various provinces in Indonesia. In Riau province at most, found 13 cases of divorce because of different political views. In the province of South Sumatra, South Sulawesi, Papua 2 cases respectively. While in Aceh, Bengkulu, Yogyakarta, West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan and Central Sulawesi and West Nusa Tenggara there is only one divorce case. “For the other provinces in addition to the above there were no cases of divorce due to political views. Jakarta is also not there,” described the Supreme Court.

Look at the statistics in 2009 when the General Election and Presidential elections take place. In that year, 402 cases of divorce occurs. While in 2010, when the political situation back to normal, then the politics of divorce decreased to 334 cases.

Is the trend of the Supreme Court’s findings that sounds silly and sounds too politicized?. I do not know, at least the findings could be evidence that love and politics are hard to unite.

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Pangolin meat smuggling foiled Thu, 04 Aug 2011 12:37:21 +0000

Medan, Indonesia

A truck containing hundreds of pangolin meat was secured by  Belawan Port Police in Medan on Tuesday, August 2. A personal report suggested that the police received information about a truck carrying pangolin meat meant to be smuggled to a destination abroad.

An ambush was carried out by the police on the highway, which resulted in capturing the meat of the protected animal meat in a dramatic showdown between the police and burly bodyguards. The bodyguards insisted that the truck was carrying rabbit meat and fish cork.

To avoid a fight, the police chose to resign. However, some police officers secretly followed the truck which was then entered into the Gabion area in Belawan port. Inside the Gabion area, there was a cold storage that contained fish products from the field meant to be exported all over the world. When the contents of the truck were unloaded, police saw hundreds of dead pangolin being removed from truck and loaded into the freezer.

Truck drivers and the guards were immediately arrested by the police for questioning. Chief of police of the Port of Belawan, Adjunct Senior Commissioner Police Endro Siswanto, said that it is still unknown where the pangolin meat was obtained. But suspicions suggest that it was the result of illegal hunting somewhere in the forests of Sumatra. The purpose of these exports also remain unknown as the smugglers maintain their silence.

Pangolin meat prices in the international markets have reached USD $200 per kilogram and the numbers in their native habitat of the tropical rain forests in Sumatra are dwindling due to poaching. China is one country that features pangolin on menus in restaurants.

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Indonesian comms minister blocks music sites Mon, 01 Aug 2011 18:33:37 +0000

A total of 20 free music portal will blocks by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. All the portal located in Indonesia proved to provide access to download songs without permission from the copyright holder.

“Gradually we will block.  We warn first, if they could block themselves so we do not have to do that,” said Minister of Communications and Information Tifatul Sembiring after the show “Socialization Stop Illegal Downloads”, last week.

All the portals has been contacted by the ministry, but until now no one has responded to a reprimand to cover the activities of free downloads. Because there is no response then 20 music portal will be block very soon.

Head of Information and Communication Ministry of Communications and Information Gatot S Dewabroto added, the will be blocks because of many complaints from music company and music associations.

“Although so far Indonesia has Law No. 11 Year 2008 on Information and Electronic Transactions (ITE) and Law No. 19 Year 2002 on Copyright, the ministry can only take action against appropriate complaint.” says Gatot

Later, the Ministry of Communication and Informatics will be collaborate with the company and associations of music. We will cleans the portal who spread the music without the permission from the copyright holder.

The team will use the software (software) Positive Trust which would classify the music portal into the black list and white list. “If the white list could be continued, if the blacklist will be automatically blocked,”  Gatot explained.

Regarding the scope of verification, he added, will focus on the music portal where located in Indonesia. To perform the verification measures on foreign music portals tend to be difficult due to having to deal with international arbitration.

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More than 4000 Indonesian workers prevented from travelling to Saudi Arabia Mon, 01 Aug 2011 18:15:05 +0000

Indonesia’s moratorium on workers travelling to and working in Saudi Arabia officially came into force  on Monday, 08 July 2011. National Agency for Worker Management (BNP2TKI) managed to prevent nearly 4500 workers intent on travelling to Saudi Arabia from the Soekarno Hatta Airport in Jakarta.

“I got a report  from the police and immigration at Soekarno Hatta Airport that they have secured prospective migrant workers who were allegedly going to Saudi Arabia. 4,444 migrant workers who were leaving have been prevented from doing so,” said the minister for workers and transmigration, Muhaimin Iskandar.

The minister also said that the Agency was working along with immigration forces, the foreign ministry and the police to conduct joint monitoring throughout the country.

“The department also conducts intensive monitoring for the Umrah trip (pilgrim hajj trip) so as its not a guise for sending prospective migrant workers to Saudi Arabia,” continued Muhaimin.

It has been announced that a private placement of the workers will be implemented, channelling them to  Taiwan and Hong Kong.

“Taiwan is committed to accepting this transfer. If not, the government will keep try to give them a job. Now everyone has a shelter,” said Muhaimin.

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From Shanghai with Guzheng Sun, 24 Jul 2011 17:02:30 +0000

Medan, Indonesia

Three lute master from Shanghai, Professor Sun Wen Yan (center), He Xiao Dong (right) and He Xiao Tong, plays Chun Zi Hai or Spring Sea. Japanese traditional song from 1935 which tells about the spring. The song was created by Michio Kiyagi. Pic: Chalid Nasution

Three lute master from Shanghai, Professor Sun Wen Yan (center), He Xiao Dong (right) and He Xiao Tong, plays Chun Zi Hai or Spring Sea; Japanese traditional song from 1935 which tells about the spring. The song was created by Michio Kiyagi. Pic: Chalid Nasution

The music is graceful with the mystical melody,  sounds from the stringed lutes in Medan Gloria’s theater on Sunday July 24, 2011 – starting from a melancholy tone to the passage of fast tempo played by lute masters from Shanghai collaborated with Indonesian Master, Ngartini Huang.

The concert titled “Guzheng Music” played on the tones and strains of traditional Chinese songs,  as also some traditional Japanese music and songs from the Batak tribe. Master of lute music from Shanghai, Professor Sun Wen Yan, said after the concert that Guzheng, traditional music which has been inherited for generations in China and comes from the word Gu and Zheng, means past and music. Guzheng is  identical with the lute and the lute is a Chinese identity.

In addition to Professor Sun Wen Yen, there were also present two other lute masters, from Shanghai – He Xiao Tong and He Xiao Dong, both children of Professor Sun Wen Yen. At the concert, 15 songs were performed, but all the songs used only one vowel and the rest was simply a blend of lute and piano. Due to the lack of collaboration, the concert sounded monotone and brought on drowsiness. This was perhaps because the packaging of this concert was similar to a concerts in classical music  dominated by an audience of 40 years and over.

Ngartini Huang, Principal of Jade Music School said that the concert was an Indonesia-China cultural exchange and has been held several times in  Indonesia. Ngartini Huang featured in the closing of the concert with He Xiao Dong Tong and He Xiao Dong performing a rendition of Zhan Tai Feng or Battling Against Typhoon.

In the finale, the song Battling Against Typhoon was able to create a climax for the third player plucking lute action with a high speed and harmony that seemed mystical. Naturally, this song has a fast tempo for the story behind this song is about the past struggle of workers at the Port of Shanghai.

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Google plans to open branch office in Indonesia Fri, 22 Jul 2011 11:40:05 +0000

Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is visiting Jakarta and met with the Indonesian Vice President Boediono and Minister of Communication Tifatul Sembiring on Friday, 22 July 2011 to discuss collaboration between Google and the Indonesian government regarding investment and expansion of the business; this is proposed by investing USD $ 57.5 million towards these efforts.

Tifatul Sembiring announced to journalists from the Vice President State Palace: “Google has observed the Indonesian economic development and of course, Indonesia has a huge number of Internet active users. Most of the users are Google ‘addicts’.”

Google’s chairman said that the company will open an Indonesian branch office soon. Tifatul added that the exact time for Google to openthis office has not been decided upon but one of the points from the Memorandum of Understanding is concern regarding helping the development of Indonesia’s micro economic enterprises.

“For example, Indonesia has 36 million Facebook users and at number two for the biggest users from all over the world; that is why the first step from Google is to make a search engine in the Indonesian language”, said Tifatul Sembiring.

Last, the minister explained: “It will be very soon, the minister of co-operative and micro economy is joining the meeting; there will be a creative content for software development and to promote Indonesia’s micro economy abroad.”

Uniquely, Google’s chairman arrived at the State Palace in a public taxi, an unusual vehicle to enter the secure area.  And Eric Schmidt was also wearing Batik because this is what government staff wear every Friday in Indonesia.

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Indonesia – Malaysia dispute sea boundary Thu, 21 Jul 2011 16:55:41 +0000

Months ago Malaysia – Indonesia was claiming that there were three Malaysian fishing vessels in the Straits of Malacca grabbed fishes in Indonesia’s water. Meanwhile, police of Diraja Malaysia claimed Malaysian fishermen were still in their area although the two ships successfully secured by Indonesian marine law enforcement officers at the end.

“There is an agreement about the water boundary between Malaysia and Indonesia but  not for the border in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ),  until now it is still a problem,” said Chief  Hidros Navy, First Admiral Sugeng Supriyanto in Belawan Port, Thursday, 21 July 2011.

Sugeng Supriyanto explained, Malaysia ZEE’s territory is 200 miles of Indonesia’s outer islands’ shoreline.

“The boundary of Indonesia and Malaysia waters until now is still in a “grey area”, which means both Indonesia and Malaysia fishermen do not really know their own boundary that causes them to be arrested in their other country area.” He explained.

The limit of its own continental border measured from the base line to the shore out with the farthest distance is 200 miles and depths less than 150 meters.

To maintain the safety of the fishermen fish in EEZ area, Sugeng Supriyanto, asking law enforcement officials to Indonesia’s marine patrol beyond the EEZ boundary.

“The important thing is we are asking for law enforcement officials in the ocean to do the patrol until the outside border  of the EEZ.  The police of Diraja Malaysia get into our area, so why we can’t do that too? Moreover, to maintain the safety of our fishermen,” he said.

Sugeng also urged Indonesian fishermen to use tools such as GPS positioning or ocean map while have activity at sea.

“We expect the fishermen to use GPS or maps of the sea while fishing.” He explained.

Sugeng Supriyanto also acknowledged that the question of borders of the EEZ been negotiated bilaterally. But to no avail, even Malaysia has threatened to bring the issue to the international tribunal.

Mentioned about the readiness of Indonesia against Malaysia in an international tribunal, Sugeng Supriyanto hope that these issues ends on bilateral agreement only.

“Me, personally still do not expect problems of this region goes to the international tribunal. Do not let this kind of thing happen like Sipadan and Ligitan cases. If it can be a bilateral issue,  let it be it.” he concluded.

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Phone call from the fugitive: Indonesian Demokrats implicated in corruption Wed, 20 Jul 2011 08:53:32 +0000

MEDAN, Indonesia – Nazaruddin, former Indonesian Demokrat Party Treasurer and number one fugitive in Indonesia for corruption made a phone call the Office of Metro TV Tuesday where he revealed his involvement and other politicians in corruption. Most of the people he named are his colleagues in the Demokrat Party.

There was one name Nazaruddin mentioned many times – Anas Urbaningrum, Chairman of the Demokrat Party – who he said has been involved in bribes and the misuse of State Budget.

In the dialog that lasted nearly 15 minutes, Nazar also revealed that his departure abroad was ordered by Anas Urbaningrum. At that time, Anas Urbaningrum told Nazarrudin to come back when Indonesia has a new government.

“Anas said to me, if the (corruption) issue explodes I should run away to Singapore. After the situation gets more calm, you can come back to Indonesia,” said Nazarrudin.

Where is Nazar today? During the phone call broadcast on Metro TV, he said he was “somewhere safe”. The fugitive also said, “If the Corruption Eradication Commission can prove a flow of funds comes into my account, I will be back to Indonesia.”

Nazar also pointed to his rival  Andi Mallarangeng  in the corruption scandal. Currently, Andi Mallarangeng serves as Minister of Youth and Sports.

Nazaruddin was named as a suspect in a corruption case on development housing for athletes in the SEA (South East Asian) Games in Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia. Since his escape, Nazaruddin still sends Blackberry messages to his Demokrat colleagues and to his lawyer, OC Kaligis. The content of his messages briefly mention names of other politicians who have also received funds from him from the case of the SEA Games.

This does not bode well for the state of Indonesia Demokrat Party.

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‘Blood brokers’ rampant in Medan, says Indonesian Red Cross chief Mon, 18 Jul 2011 13:04:39 +0000

Medan, Indonesia.

Chairman of the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) Jusuf Kalla on inaugurating the PMI Board of North Sumatra in Medan, Monday, July 18, 2011. Pic: Chalid Nasution

Chairman of the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) Jusuf Kalla inaugurating the PMI Board of North Sumatra in Medan, Monday, July 18, 2011. Pic: Chalid Nasution

Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) Chairman Jusuf Kalla has said that there are many “blood brokers”  in Medan. The chairman made his statement during the inauguration of the PMI Board in North Sumatra in Medan on Monday.

According to Kalla, “blood brokers” are people who donate blood in exchange for monetary profit. This seems to be a rampant affair, spreading outside of the PMI.

“To eliminate these blood brokers, the PMI must deliver 4.5 million bags of blood each year. This is according to Indonesia’s population, which has reached a staggering 237 million. Replacement donors, such as donor families, should be donating a higher volume than volunteer donors,” said Kalla.

Young people can be spotted on the streets of Medan every day who are willing to sell their blood for money.

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$10k offered for capture of Indonesian fugitive Sat, 16 Jul 2011 08:28:02 +0000

Good news for the bounty hunter.

A non-governmental organization, the People’s Barn Information (LIRA) along with the union NGOs in Indonesia, are to make the arrest of a suspect with prizes $10,000. The fugitive is a politician from the Democratic Party – Nazaruddin. This program has been launched on Thursday at the LIRA office in collaboration with the Indonesia NGO federation.

Nazaruddin is allegedly in the Southeast Asian region, moving from Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia. Prior to being named as a suspect by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), Nazaruddin was the general treasurer of the Democrat Party where the President of Indonesia served as chairman of its board of trustees.

Nazaruddin was named as a suspect in a corruption case on development housing for athletes in the SEA (South East Asian) Games in Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia. Since his escape, Nazaruddin still sends Blackberry messages to his Democratic colleagues and to his lawyer, OC Kaligis. The contents of his messages briefly mention names of other politicians who have also received funds from him from the case of athlete development homestead in the SEA Games.

A short message sent by the fugitive directly mentions the names of Democratic bigwigs, including Anas Urbaningrum, Chairman of the Democratic Party and Andi Mallarangeng, Minister of Youth and Sports also from the Democrat Party.

Actually, what is the core of this contest organised by LIRA? President of this organization, Yusuf Rizal, said the contest aims to help the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the police to help capture Nazaruddin.

On Monday July 11, at his private residence in Cikeas, Bogor, Indonesia, President Yudhoyono delivered a speech about the chaos that occurred within the party. The speech was made not in his capacity as president of Indonesia, but as chairman of the board of trustees for the Democrat Party. The contents of his speech received a lot of criticism because it seemed to blame the media for creating a split in his party. Yudhoyono said: “Faced with such divisive action, I hope the cadre of Democrat Party remain patient and tawakal. Do not be fractured in any talk show or become the object of news by the press who accidentally exposes one another.”.

The amount of state money that has been “eaten” by Nazaruddin in alleged cases of corruption have not been registered for exact figures. But if you find Nazaruddin was shopping at Orchard Street in Singapore or Malaysia KLCC and you intend to capture him, chances are he will still be able to raise the reward amount of $10,000 to avoid arrest.

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Indonesian patrol ship explodes, killing 4 Fri, 15 Jul 2011 17:54:43 +0000

Medan, Indonesia.

An Indonesian customs and excise patrol ship exploded during a routine patrol in the Strait of Malacca on Friday July 15, killing four officers.  The ship’s crew totaled nine and were from the Customs and Excise staff.

Three of the crew disappeared and a search by the navy is ongoing. Meanwhile two of the crew were rescued by fishermen from around the blast site.

The two survivors received severe burns.

From the data collected at the location of the explosion, the patrol ship burst all of a sudden and sank rapidly leaving hundreds of its pieces at sea.

The ship was owned by the Customs and Excise and was intended to perform routine operations.

The cause of the explosion is being alleged as an explosion from a generator located inside the ship.

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Indonesian comms minister in social media gaffe Thu, 14 Jul 2011 17:05:47 +0000

In the ranks of ministers under the leadership of PM Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Minister of Communication and Information, Tifatul Sembiring, is one minister who is very fond of speaking on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

On his visit to an elementary school in Jakarta on Thursday, 14 July 2011, the minister delivered a speech about control over social media. But does Tifatul want to use his influence to censor social networks? Of this discourse instantly became the talk everywhere, including on social networking domains.

In the elementary school, Tifatul revealed how the political climate change can be influenced by activity in the world of social media.

“Political changes in countries such as Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, even the upheaval in Malaysia, is one of the effects of social influence of media,” he said. Adding: “It happened because the governments in these countries were unable to control the virtual world communication networks.”

The contents of this minister’s speech can indeed create a bias between the government’s arrogance of power and a suggestion to use social media as a positive tool. This is not the first time Tifatul Sembiring has flirted with censorship. Previously he threatened to shut down BlackBerry in Indonesia.

On his Twitter account, @tifsembiring, the minister was immediately criticized. He has more than 230,000 foll0wrs.

Realizing that the content of speech can lead to blunders in government, Tifatul hastily clarified by saying that the government was never intended to restrict the freedom in the world of social media.

On Twitter account, in reply to @treespotter about the chaos of “control the social media”, Tifatul wrote “it has interpreted wrong trees, so I say social media can influence political, economic and even social structures. We must observe that.” So where lies the fault? ]

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Is Yudhoyono’s iPad certified? Sat, 09 Jul 2011 17:23:43 +0000

Not just at a press conference, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono often uses his iPad while chairing meetings with a range of cabinet ministers. Since the arrest of the two iPad sellers, Dian and Randy for the items not having an Indonesian-language manual book, talks regarding the legality of the law behind the iPad as an official gadget in Indonesia have become widespread.

The question is, what of the president’s iPad? Does it have a manual in the Indonesian language? Because the president of Indonesia has been familiar with the iPad since August 2010; however, several journalists have been informed by government sources that the iPad has had legal certification since November 2010.

The iPad was first launched on April 2010 and three months later was used by the president of Indonesia. While the gadget was certified in November of the year, this begs the question whether Apple does has a target market in Indonesia?

From informal research, it seems that a lot of gadgets that circulate in Indonesia do not have a manual in the country’s language. Palti Siregar, an IT observer and gadget lover in Medan, said it was very important to have manuals as a guide for the user, but there is one major problem: “Actually the problem in the Indonesian language manual book, it is often mistakenly wrongly translated or becomes misguided”.

Gadgets and computers like the Android and tablets, sometimes have several terms entirely mistranslated in the Indonesian language. For example “mouse” on a personal computer, when interpreted into Indonesian will be tikus or tetikus, in English this means rat. And many more terms such as these when translated into Indonesian would alter their real meaning.

Head of Industry and Commerce in Special Criminal Investigation  Directorate of the Jakarta Police, Lt. Col. Sandy Nugroho, informed reporters that he once questioned Dian and Randy about the iPad they sold: “Did they really sell the iPad without certification? Then they said Yes.  If yes, it means they are wrong and should be arrested. Moreover, they were graduated from prestigious university in Indonesia”.

Randy and Dian have been charged with violating Article 62 paragraph (1) in conjunction with Article 8 paragraph (1) letter J of Law No. 8 of 1999 on Consumer Protection as the iPad they sold had no manual in the Indonesian language.

Did the police have the courage to ask the same question to the president of Indonesia?

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Batak family feasts breaks record in Indonesia Sat, 09 Jul 2011 16:13:47 +0000

Medan, Indonesia

What would you think of an open field filled with thousands of women carrying a kilo of rice above their heads? That’s exactly what happened at Lapangan Banteng, Medan, Indonesia on Saturday afternoon, July 9 2011. This grand event was not an art show or any mass demonstration, but an internal event of a clan from the tribe of Batak.

Tor-tor is a traditional dance that seems to lack aesthetic movements yet is rich in philosophical life symbolism. Only the fingers are driven and  there’s a hand made textile called “ulos” snagged on to every dancers shoulder.

A big attraction of the event was tandok, a traditional bag made of woven mats. Tandok is usually taken to wedding ceremonies within the Batak tribe. Formerly, a tandok will fill with various crops, which will then be donated to the bride and groom. But nowadays, the tandok will only be filled with rice.

Rows of women carrying tandok overhead simultaneously. More than 1500 people took tandok containing 1 kg of rice and make a record in the museum records of Indonesia. Pic: Chalid Nasution

Rows of women carrying tandok overhead simultaneously. More than 1500 people took tandok containing 1 kg of rice and make a record in the museum records of Indonesia. Pic: Chalid Nasution

In every wedding ceremony of the Batak, the bride and groom are required to perform a tor-tor dance as it is considered custom. The bride will perform the dance with relatives in attendance. But at the Lapangan Banteng Medan, there was no wedding celebration. A clan of the tribe, named Simbolon and who are scattered across Indonesia, gathered together on this event.

The colossal event broke a new record in the Indonesian Record Museum as more than 1500 people attended voluntarily and brought the tandok and danced the tor-tor. None of the 1500 dancers were professional, as every person born in the tribe is required to dance the tor-tor.

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Merchants face jail terms in Indonesia for selling iPad Sat, 02 Jul 2011 10:59:24 +0000

Two sellers on Indonesian website  have been “trapped” by a police officer from Polda Metro Jaya, Jakarta. The sellers, Dian and Randy, made an account on the site in order to purchase and sell an iPad. This iPad was purchased in Singapore as not many stores in Indonesia stock the Apple tablet.

Police officer, Eben Patar Opsunggu, bid for a 3G WiFi Notebook (64 GB) in November 2010 and soon made an appointment to meet with the seller. Following this, undercover cops launched an investigation into the case where they suspected that both sellers were violating laws.

Since May 3 this year, both sellers Dian and Randy have been detained in a prison in Jakarta. The two peddlers, who are soon to be publicly prosecuted, face two charges for selling the imported iPad – thrift, as it was bought in Singapore and does not contain a ‘manual in Indonesian language’, hence violating Article 62 Paragraph (1) in conjunction with Article 8 Paragraph (1) sub-paragraph J of Law no. 8/1999 on Consumer Protection; also, as the iPad does not include an official communication tool, the duo face a second charge of violating Article 52 in conjunction with Article 32 Paragraph (1) Act No. 36 of 1999 on Telecommunications – this merely means that the iPad has not been categorised as an electronic means of official communication in Indonesia.

Both sellers potentially face a maximum imprisonment sentence of 5 years.


There has been a huge Twitter response to this particular case. @deelestari, a leading writer in Indonesia, tweets: “police Officer, this is TOO much”; @jokoanwar tweeted: “Please, guys ..How come someone could going to jail just because that ipad don’t provide manual book in Indonesian language?” who has gone onto hashtag his tweet # FreeDianRandy.

In Indonesia, several thousands of iPads have been sold to various sections of the society. President Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono can also boast of owning an iPad. Another government official who uses the Apple tablet is governor of North Sumatra, Gatot Pujo Nugroho.

Ismail Rahmad Batubara, an iPad user, says he is not afraid to use the tablet in Indonesia as gadgets such as these help professionals like him enormously in their work. As Dian and Randy face charges, one must pause to ask why the president of Indonesia and the governor of North Sumatra do not face jail sentences even though they access a gadget that is still considered as illegal in Indonesia?

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Indonesia’s President – France’s PM: Drugs case of a Frenchmen questioned Fri, 01 Jul 2011 15:05:00 +0000

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon held bilateral meetings with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Friday. At a press conference following the talks, journalists raised the drug case of Frenchmen Louis Blanc.

Yudhoyono said that every country must protect its citizen, wherever they are located, but local laws must also be respected.

“Indonesia also experienced the same problem, when the citizens of Indonesia get sanctions in other countries, we make efforts to approach the country even though we know we must still respect the legal system there”.

Louis Blanc was detained in Indonesia after being charged possession of 3.85kg of heroin in Bali in on 1999. Louis Blanc was sentenced to life imprisonment, and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as president of Indonesia used his authority and reduce the sentence to 20 years in prison. Blanc has 11 years of his sentence left to serve.

Questions were also raised about the new IMF director Christine Lagarde, a former French finance minister. Francois Fillon said that the election of Madame Lagarde is a great honor for France.

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