They say there is a very thin line between bravery and folly.
Today we saw something extraordinary when investor/business man/poster-boy-for-the-next-generation-of-business leaders, Sandiaga Uno pinned his flag to the Bakrie/Bumi Plc mast with his opinion piece in The Jakarta Globe.
In doing so Sandiaga has gone where most people concerned about image making – their own and others’ – fear to thread. The reason is that the Bakrie empire seem to be one of the most unlikeable business entities, if casual anecdotes are anything to go by. At any rate Unspun’s not met any business person not beholden to the Bakries for a living to like them or extol their virtues.
Defending such a hugely unpopular business entity takes guts, or great folly. Sandiaga has done it and the reaction in Twitter has not been very favorable. But that may only be the gripes of the chattering class, so rather than pass judgement if Sandiaga Uno’s brave act is one of great judgement or misjudgment, its best to let the readers of this blog judge for themselves with the survey below:
A leading Indonesian businessman has come to the defense of the Bakrie family’s companies in their bitter corporate governance feud with British businessman Nathaniel Rothschild.
In a scathing opinion piece published exclusively in the Jakarta Globe today, Sandiaga S. Uno said the Bakrie-controlled companies had been treated unfairly by a slew of parties, including the media, corporate analysts and international rating agencies.
The colorful intervention by Sandiaga threatens to escalate the year-long feud.
The conflict dates back to the 2010 move by Rothschild and his London-listed energy company, now called Bumi Plc, to embrace two Indonesian units — Bumi Resources and Berau Coal Energy — controlled by the Bakrie family.
But relations had been fraying for a year and worsened last month when Bumi Plc announced it was conducting a probe into operations at the Indonesian companies, hinting at impropriety.
While no evidence of wrongdoing has been made public, the case has attracted international attention and put the spotlight on the gulf between corporate governance in Asia and in the West.
In his article, Sandiaga claims much of the coverage has been slanted against the Bakrie companies. “Many media outlets portray the Bakrie family as being on the defensive. As part-owners of Bumi Plc, the Bakrie family is unfairly portrayed almost as a bully who violates governance standards and regulations,” he wrote.
“I say ‘unfairly’ because this is not the first negative rumor surrounding the family. It is undeniable that the endless public allegations against the Bakries have never proved to be correct, but even so, the accusers have never apologized.”
He went on to attack market sources who made critical statements about the companies to the media but hid behind anonymity.
“It is sickening because those unnamed sources act as though they want to stay neutral and professional. Yet what they have added to this saga is at best speculation and at worst further confusion.”
He later attacked rating agency Moody’s, which downgraded its assessment of Bumi Resources in the midst of the conflict.
Sandiaga’s company Saratoga Capital has investments across the Indonesian economy, including stake in coal producer Adaro Energy, telecommunications company Tower Bersama and avaiation company Mandala Airlines.
In 1997, Sandiaga co-founded Recapital Advisors with high school friend Rosan Perkasa Roeslani. Rosan is a non-executive director at Bumi Plc and Recapital Advisors is affiliated with Bumi Resources, Berau and Bumi Plc.
On Tuesday, shares in Bumi Resources fell 1.5 percent to Rp 670, while shares in Berau fell 2.6 percent to Rp 147, lagging the 0.3 percent gain in the main stock gauge on the Indonesia Stock Exchange.
So there you have it. According to a survey conducted by the Ulster University, reports detik.com, Indonesian men are a more gifted lot than their neighbors with Singapore and Malaysia trailing a few millimeters behind. The survey claims that Indonesian men are actually the most gifted of the lot in Asia.
The survey also says that the World’s Biggest Swinging dicks belong to the Congolese at 18.3 cm, while the North Koreans fall short of everyone else at a mere 9.65 cm with their Dear Little Leaders.
Unspun is left puzzled by the purpose of the survey and am innately curious about the empirical data gathering methodology used.
Jakarta, Membandingkan ukuran alat vital pria Asia dengan bule Amerika jelas tidak adil karena dalam hal ini ras dan etnis sangat mempengaruhi. Untuk etnis Asia, khususnya Asia Tenggara dan Asia Timur, pria Indonesia boleh bangga dengan ukuran alat vitalnya.
Sebuah penelitian terbaru yang dilakukan Prof Richard Lynn dari Ulster University menunjukkan panjang rata-rata alat vital pria Indonesia adalah 11,67 cm. Angka ini lebih tinggi dari Malaysia yang panjang rata-ratanya 11,49 cm dan Vietnam yang hanya 11,47 cm.
Rata-rata untuk etnis Asia Tenggara secara keseluruhan menurut penelitian ini adalah 10,95 cm. Negara yang panjang alat vital penduduk prianya berada di bawah rata-rata adalah Thailand (10,16 cm), Filipina (10,85 cm) dan Kamboja (10,04 cm).
Selengkapnya, ukuran rata-rata panjang alat vital pria di negara-negara Asia Tenggara dan Asia Timur menurut penelitian ini adalah sebagai berikut:
Indonesia 11,67 cm
Singapura 11,53 cm
Malaysia 11,49 cm
Vietnam 11,47 cm
Jepang 10.92 cm
China 10,89 cm
Filipina 10,85 cm
Taiwan 10,78 cm
Thailand 10,16 cm
Kamboja 10,04 cm
Korea Selatan 9,66 cm
Korea Utara 9,65 cm
Secara global di seluruh dunia, penelitian Prof Lynn ini menempatkan:
1. Republik Kongo di urutan pertama dengan rata-rata panjang alat vital 18,03 cm.
2. Ekuador (17,78 cm)
3. Ghana (17,27 cm).
Sedangkan posisi paling buncit dari 113 negara yang disurvei ditempati Korea Utara dengan 9,65 cm.
Seperti yang sudah-sudah, penelitian untuk membuat peringkat negara berdasarkan panjang alat vital penduduk pria selalu mengundang kontroversi. Kali ini Prof Lynn juga dikritik karena hanya menggunakan data yang dihimpun dari internet termasuk dari situs targetmap.
“Ini adalah penelitian yang sangat berani di ranah yang kontroversial, tetapi data yang didapat sama sekali tidak memakai metodologi,” ujar salah seorang ilmuwan yang mengkritik, yakni Prof Jelte Wicherts dari Tilburg University seperti dikutip dari Telegraph, Senin (1/10/2012).
Kounila Keo, who is one of the most active bloggers and digerati in ASEAN, and her mates are organizing a Blog Fest in Siem Reap on November 1-5. Registration for the event is now open and those who are financially challenge may apply for a sponsorship.
Below is her message to Indonesian bloggers:
Dear Indonesian bloggers,
We are very happy to announce the BlogFest Asia 2012. The regional gathering will take place this year in Siem Reap, Cambodia from November 1st to 5th. It is organized by Cambodian bloggers (http://2012.blogfest.asia/blogfest-organizers). We also have a team of volunteers who will help us with arranging your travels within Siem Reap.
BlogFestAsia has been organized twice in Hong Kong and Malaysia in order for technologists, bloggers, social media enthusiasts and tech lovers in the region to come, share, learn and exchange information related to technology development in the region.
Visit our website (http://2012.blogfest.asia) for background information on the purpose of our gathering. More information will be provided very soon.
Please register now: http://2012.blogfest.asia/registration-form. The organizers here would like to provide accommodation as well as meals to participants, but participants or speakers should be able to cover their own air tickets from their home country to Siem Reap.
However, if you need an invitation letter to find sponsorship for your travel, please shoot us an email (email@example.com).
Over the next few days and weeks, we will be adding the complete program, adding speakers’ bios and a list of attendees. Please do keep coming back to the site http://2012.blogfest.asia for blog posts, commentaries from blogfest partipants as well as updates of travel funds as we’re seeking for sponsorship from different companies and institutes to sponsor you as well. We cannot promise, but we’re trying our best. This can only be informed to you after you register.
So far, the BlogFestAsia 2012 has been made possible thanks to the very generous support of the US Embassy, the Asia Foundation and several individuals. We hope to hear from other potential sponsors by mid October.Thank you!
School violence has been around in Jakarta for the better part of at least the past 25 years. Each time there is an intensifying of violence, the Government and others make the appropriate concerned voices and vow to put it to an end.
Then the problem ebbs from the headlines and everyone forgets about it…until the next spate of violence. This is a big pity because the ways of combating the violence have been discovered and even applied to at least one school. The solution is there but it’s all forgotten.
Unspun, wrote about it in this posting in 2006, about an article I wrote when I was still a journalist in 1997. But what do you do with a government with no political will to do the right thing and to make things right?
Iman Mahditama and Multa Fidrus
Portrait of grief: Endang Puji holds a picture of her slain son, Alawy Yusianto Putra, during his burial procession at the Poncol public cemetery in Tangerang, Banten, on Tuesday. Alawy was allegedly killed by a student of SMA 70 state high school in South Jakarta while he was having lunch nearby. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)
The death of 15-year-old Alawy Yusianto Putra, victim of the everlasting enmity between two neighboring schools, not only brought tears to the eyes of many, but also brings hope for an end to fatal student brawls, as the government took matters into its hands.
Education and Culture Minister Mohammad Nuh said on Tuesday that Alawy would be the last victim of student brawls throughout the country and that the government would take all necessary measures to prevent further clashes.
“We are sorry that violence is still rampant at schools. We are determined to make this case the very last of these brawls ever, and to transform these two schools into harmonious, top-quality neighborhood schools,” Nuh told a press conference with Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo and the principals and the two school committee heads of SMA 6 and SMA 70 state high schools in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta.
read more here
The Malaysian Education Ministry has outdone itself in wisdom and concern to protect the young, nubile minds in Malaysia. It has endorsed guidelines to let parents know if their children are not going to grow up straight.
The come in the form of four symptoms that parents should be on the lookout for as their children grow into adults.
Those who have muscular sons who like to wear V neck, sleeveless shirts should be getting worried, according to the guidelines because their son would have one of the symptoms of being – horror of horrors – gay!
What they have not said in the guidelines if they should be banned from watching the Rambo movies because, well, Sylvester Stallone is buffed and he wears tight, V neck and sleeveless T shirts when he’s toting an RPG (no doubt a phallic symbol indicating that he may have deviant tendencies of explosive proportions).
For this public service to homophobic parents the Malaysian Education Ministry earn’s Unspun’s coveted shit-for-brains tag.
The Education Ministry had endorsed “guidelines” to help parents to identify gay and lesbian “symptoms” in their children so they can take early corrective measurements.
The guidelines list four symptoms each of gays and lesbians:
Symptoms of gays:
Have a muscular body and like to show their body by wearing V-neck and sleeveless clothes;
Prefer tight and light-coloured clothes;
Attracted to men; and
Like to bring big handbags, similar to those used by women, when hanging out.
Symptoms of lesbians:
Attracted to women;
Besides their female companions, they will distance themselves from other women;
Like to hang out, have meals and sleep in the company of women; and
Have no affection for men.
“Once the children have these symptoms, immediate attention should be given,” the guidelines warn.
According to Sin Chew Daily, the guidelines published by Yayasan Guru Malaysia Bhd and Putrajaya Consultative Council of Parents and Teachers Associations, and endorsed by the Education Ministry, were launched during a seminar in Penang yesterday.
The seminar on “Parenting in addressing the issue of LGBTs (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders)” was organised by Yayasan Guru Malaysia Bhd and officiated by Deputy Education Minister Mohd Puad Zarkashi (right).
Penang is the fourth state to hold such a seminar, after Selangor, the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and Perak, and yesterday’s seminar in Penang was the 10th in the country.
Puad is quoted by Sinar Harian today as saying that the exposure of symptoms of gays and lesbians was the best approach to address the spread of such unhealthy phenomenon among students.
“Youths are easily influenced by websites and blogs relating to LGBT groups. This can also spread among their friends. We are worried that this happens during schooling time,” Puad told some 1,500 teachers and parents.
The guidelines were distributed to all those who attended the seminar.
In an immediate response, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin sent out this tweet message: “I wear fitted, v-neck t-shirts. I’m okay.”
If the Huffington Post‘s Stanley Weiss is right, and Prabowo is leading the pack among Indonesia’s presidential candidates, the implication is that SBY is Prabowo’s biggest electoral asset.
Why? Because SBY’s namby-pamby, make-no-tough-decisions style is driving Indonesians to the level of frustration that Prabowo starts to look very good in contrast. In politics and logic this is called occupying the extremes. One someone else occupies an extreme position, you start to look good relative to that person.
So well done as Prabowo’s most effective campaigner, SBY!
The Courage to Jump in Indonesia
JAKARTA–Five years ago, one of the most respected soldiers in U.S. history died too soon. Wayne Downing was a West Point graduate and four-star general who served two tours in Vietnam and came out of retirement after 9/11 to serve as anti-terrorism advisor to President George W. Bush. Known as the father of the modern Rangers , Downing commanded America’s elite counter-terrorism teams in the 1990s and spent decades training foreign soldiers who came to Fort Bragg to learn about democracy. Not long before he died, I had lunch with General Downing at the White House. He told me that of all the foreign soldiers he ever trained, two stood out. One was Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein , the reigning King of Jordan. The other was Prabowo Subianto , the former commander of Indonesia’s special forces, and the current front-runner to be Indonesia’s next president in 2014.
Meeting with Prabowo , now a successful businessman, and his wealthy brother Hashim Djojohadikusumo here in this capital city, it’s not hard to see what General Downing saw. Prabowo is strategic and insightful, remarkably idealistic about his country and confident about its future. The scion of one of Indonesia’s most prestigious families, he grows passionate when he speaks about the nation’s income inequalities. He embodies a strength that is later captured well by Juwono Sudarsono , the respected former Minister of Defense, who tells me, “Prabowo leads the pack because he projects grit, firm leadership and decisiveness–which are seen to be lacking in our current leadership.”
That Prabowo is part of the conversation at all here is a testament to both his survival skills and the growing pains felt by this archipelago nation in its second decade of democracy. In some ways, he is the last person Westerners expected to be in a position of leadership–which has some wondering what his ascension means for Indonesia, and the future of Asia’s democracies.
Fourteen years ago, the former general was one of the most detested men in Indonesia . The then-son-in-law of former dictator Suharto, Prabowo was accused of leading deadly crackdowns against democracy activists in Suharto’s waning days, inciting riots that led to Suharto’s ouster and leading a coup attempt against his replacement. Although never charged with wrongdoing, Prabowo was found guilty of “exceeding orders ” by a military ethics committee and dismissed by the army . For his alleged role in the riots, he was the first person in U.S. history to be denied a visa for violating the United Nations Convention Against Torture. He is anathema to human rights organizations in the West- -but Indonesia may be willing to look past that history.
How well does Jakarta do when it comes to location branding (a fancy modern word to substitute for reputation of a place)?
According to a study by Public Affairs Asia and Ogilvy PR called Location Branding 2012, not that well at all. Out of 16 cities Jakarta came 14, just above Manila.
Another dubious distinction for this city. perhaps it is time for its residents to sport more checked shirts to get the city going.