Jilbab Hitam Unveiled?

It appears that the identity of Jilbab Hitam, the nom de plume of a putative ex-Tempo reporter who caused an uproar  in the Indonesian online and journalism communities when he accused Tempo and its editors of trying to shake down Mandiri in a posting in Kompasiana.com.

That posting has been taken down long ago but in another posting in Kompasiana by Sutomo Paguchi  who describes himself as a citizen journalist in Padang, and advocate, a nonpartisan and who writes for recreational purposes, he claims that Jilbab Hitam has been identified as an ex-Detik.com reporter who had been dismissed for shaking down Karakatau Steel when it had its IPO.

The author also posts a press release, apparently from the writer’s workplace IDEA Group, saying that the writer has admitted to being Jilbab Hitam. They said they were not involved in the authorship of the controversial article and that the writer has left its employment.

All very good. But that hasn’t stopped the rumour mill from trying to hunt down what it perceives to be the true motive of Jilbab Hitam. The speculation was that he was paid to do the hatchet job. But by whom?

Nobody is naming any names yet but one or a few will probably crop up soon.







Posted in blogging, communications, Crisis and issues management, Indonesia, journalists, Media | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Strange things on the Net: Jilbab Hitam, Tempo, Abraham Samad, SBY

Strange things are happening on the Net in Indonesia.

The latest is the kerfuffle on Twitter yesterday after a putative ex-Tempo journalist with the nom de plume Jilbab Hitam wrote in a blogpost accusing Tempo and the other large newspapers of systematically extorting money and being in collusion with vested powers.

The post was taken down from its blog. It appeared briefly in Kompasiana and then was taken down. A copy now resides in Rima. news (click here). The articles named names, some of which are the most respected in journalism; made accusations and also dragged in a prominent ex-journalist turned researcher as well as a columnist turned researcher.

Reaction to the posting has been mixed but noisy. Some jumped straight away to condemning the accused prominent media and journalists. Others claimed it was an act of fitnah (libel). Others too the cautious time-will-tell route and asked the media houses named to tell their side of the story, even against an anonymous writer.

In an era when the even the highest institutions of law such as the Constitutional Court are enmeshed in allegations of corruption, one does not know what to believe.

Similarly confusing and seemingly improbably was an article in Kabarnet yesterday where the head of the Anti Corruption Commission (KPK) Abraham Samad apparently railed and threatened President SBY with arrest. Kabarnet quoted a Twitter account apparently belonging to Abraham Samad, but the article did not say whether it tried to verify that the Tweets were from Abraham Samad or whether his account was hijacked.

These are strange days on the Net, that was once supposed to unleash an era of openness and transparency now pulls a veil of confusion over its Netizenry. What is one to make of these stories?

Posted in blogging, Crisis and issues management, Indonesia, Media, Twitter | Leave a comment

Gumawan Fauzi and the Act of Killing Democracy with the FPI

In Joshua Oppenheimer’s incredible documentary The Act of Killing, Indonesia’s former vice president Yusuf Kalla, regarded by many here as a saner voice than most of the politicians, delivers a mind boggling speech to a gathering of the Pancasila Youth.


The Pancasila Youth is a paramilitary organisation that grew from a motley collection of semi-official gangsters that did the wet work for the Indonesian military against the “Communist” Chinese Indonesians in North Sumatra during Suharto’s New Order.

Kalla told an enthusiastic audience that Indonesia needs premans (gangsters)  because without them the nation would be run by only bureaucrats, who couldn’t get many things done. But preman are men of action who could get things done in Indonesia, he said to laud applause from the crowd.

He also paid lip service to the “roots” of the term preman which he and the gangsters all claim comes from the words “free man”, an insinuation that they are their own people, independent from the dictates of others. Indeed, on one level they are right. The word comes from the Dutch vrijman (‘free man’) .

But that is where the romance of the pre man, or free man ends. The fact is that they “existed in the grey areas where they treaded within the inside and outside of law. Whilst they were admired due to their autonomy, they were also feared by the locals due to their connections to the authorities.” In other words running dogs of the Dutch against their own people and because they serve a purpose to the powers that be are tolerated and even encouraged by government officials.

If you delve into the Wikipedia definition further it gets interesting:

preman is a member of an Indonesian organized gang, encompassing street level criminals up through crime bosses. Premans are often perceived negatively throughout Indonesian society due to associations with violence and criminality. This root word is derived from a term which describes the “confluence of state power and criminality”.[1]However, organized crime in Indonesian has a more enduring an complicated history, as the confluence of crime syndicates with perceived legitimate political authority has a history extending as far back as the Medang Kingdom.[2] While associated with brigandry and theft, Indonesian crime syndicates have periodically acted as enforcers to maintain authority and order.[2][3] The roles of the jago or jawara were particularly important during the Indonesian Revolution, as they often adopted political roles that helped consolidating the power of local authorities.[2] Despite their significance to Indonesian history, syndicates are universally marginalized due to associations with violence and social illegitimacy.[4][5]

And when it gets to the etymology of the word it get’s even more interesting:

The word jago literally means a rooster and refers to a type of strongman that exists as a part of the everyday life in urban and rural areas of Indonesia. The jago is a social and political actor in both recent and more distant history of Indonesia. In Indonesian popular culture, the jago is often romanticized as a champion of the people whose acts of violence are motivated by a deep sense of justice, honour and order.[6]

The preman is the modern form of the jago. This word originated from the Dutch term vrijman (‘free man’) which later morphed into preman, referring to a new breed of urban jago who “is not in the service of the Dutch East India Company, but has permission to be in the Indies, and carries out trade for the sake of the VOC,”[6]:9[1]:58–59 The vrijman, orpreman existed in the grey areas where they treaded within the inside and outside of law. Whilst they were admired due to their autonomy, they were also feared by the locals due to their connections to the authorities.

What all this means is that Indonesian leaders have been using these quasi-official gangsters to do their bidding for hundreds of years. It is baked into the DNA of the ruling class in Indonesia.

Hence we have Kalla and now Home Minister Gumawan Fauzi legitimizing  and even praising the FPI, who are no more than common thugs in Islamic clothing.

Indonesia has progressed far since the fall of Suharto in 1998, but when it comes to the preman its leaders have not moved an inch from the Medang Kingdom. It is feudal, it is wrong and it is disgusting.

But Kalla remains a popular figure among many in Indonesia who view him, in the face of SBY’s namby pamby image, as a decisive doer. And Gumawan, who’s act of praising the FPI as an asset to the nation is as reprehensible to praising Hitler’s Brownshirts in Germany today, is still keeping his job without even a slap on the wrist.

When will the populace rise up and say: Enigh is enough?






Posted in Indonesia, Muslim, shit-for-brains | 2 Comments

Today – Jakarta Marathon Day, but also Hari Blogger Nasional

It is a sign of the times, I suppose. Today is a big day for Jakarta’s fashionable crowd because it is Jakarta Marathon Day.

And since running is now the flavour of the year, it is getting all the attention from the hip crowd who, all of a sudden, have discovered the joys of running. Never mind that the running craze is now about 40 years old and probably on its third wind. Unspun knows because in his youthful days he caught the second wind of the running craze and ran two full marathons in Kuala Lumpur, on top of being conned to write a column on running for The Star then.

And yes, he was as insufferable as today’s runners with the latest in running gear, interval training, tapering, carbo loading and anything that proclaimed that he was in with the fleet footed crowd. The saving grace then, to Unspun’s detractors, was we didn’t have social media and Unspun could not annoy them with his photos and posts of triumph against all odds.

One wonders whether running will run out of steam in fad-conscious Jakarta, which has seen the cycling, and then the fixie craze come and go lately.

One victim of Jakarta and Indonesia’s propensity of flocking to the fashionable is blogging. Believe it or not, it was fashionable at one point, as fashionable as running today. Then, anyone who was anyone was blogging, or hanging around bloggers.

It is indicative of how unfashionable it has become that even Unspun had forgotten that today is National Blogger’s Day. Muhamad Nuh, when he was  Information Minister Minister, opened the first Pesta Blogger in 2007 and declared that day Hari Nasional Blogger. Those of us who were blogging then didn’t know what that meant but we were euphoric. Blogging, we felt, had become mainstream, and we would help change the world with it.

Not so. In the intervening years blogging lost its popularity to the other forms of social media such as Twitter and Facebook that required less literary skills and effort. Many bloggers stopped blogging or were reduced to reporting old posts as they switched to Twitter and Facebook in an effort to keep themselves relevant and, hopefully. popular.

The few that remained faithful to blogging had some followers but they were never to regain the cache of those early days.

It got so that everyone, and even Unspun forgot about Hari Nasional Blogger and Pesta Blogger until Unspun found this repost in Enda Nasution’s LinkedIn Page. It brought back a lot of memories, but also served to inform how much the world has moved on since then.


Sejarah Hari Blogger Nasional #hariblogger #berkatblog

by  on 27/10/2011 in BLOGREMEMBER

We do not remember days, we remember moments. The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten. –Cesare Pavese

Sejarahnya bagaimana sih tanggal 27 Oktober yang sekarang dikenal sebagaiHari Blogger Nasional?

Ceritanya sebenarnya sederhana dan singkat.

Alkisah tanggal 27 Oktober di tahun 2007, beberapa blogger Indonesia (Bang WimarMas NukmanMas WicakLita,PriyadiAttaMas Budi PutraOng) diprakarsai oleh perusahaan kehumasan Maverick mencoba mengadakan yang sekarang kita kenal sebagai Pesta Blogger. Ajang ketemu, kopdar akbar blogger Indonesia dengan Hanny Kusumawati sebagai event manager-nya. Support juga kita dapatkan dariMbak Shinta Bubu dan Satya Witoelar dan tentunya blogger-blogger Indonesia dan komunitas-komunitas blogger dari berbagai daerah.

Tempatnya blogger Indonesia unjuk gigi, karena walau blog sudah dikenal sejak tahun 2000-an awal, tapi belum pernah ada pertemuan nasional yang skalanya cukup besar.

Kebetulan di pergeralan Pesta Blogger 2007 tersebut juga saya dipercaya sebagai Chairman-nya, bertanggung jawab atas acara yang kita lakukan.

Acara berlangsung di Blitz Grand Indonesia, tidak ada yang tahu bagaimana acara satu hari, yang baru pertama kali kita langsungkan itu akan terjadi, tapi dipenghujung hari kita cukup senang, ada sekitar500-an blogger, tamu dan media yang hadir. Ada kekurangan disana-sini, sudah pasti, makanan yang kurang dan lain-lain, tapi niatan unjuk gigi itu berlangsung dengan lancar.

Saya memberikan sambutan (video part 1part 2) yang beberapa jam sebelumnya saya tulis. Acara dibuka oleh Pak Muhammad Nuh yang saat itu menjabat sebagai Menkominfo.

Dan Pak Nuh pulalah yang berinisiatif menyatakan bahwa tanggal 27 Oktober kita sebut sebagai hari Blogger Nasional di sambutan beliau.

Panitia tidak merencanakan sebutan tersebut dan saat itu tidak tahu harus bereaksi apa, tapi melihat kebelakang, dengan rasa terima kasih pada Pak Nuh, mengingat momen bukan hari, momen tersebut memang pantas kita ingat.

Tapi apa artinya?

Apa artinya Hari Blogger Nasional?

Hari Blogger bukanlah (belum) hari resmi dari pemerintah, tapi ini ada bagusnya karena mengingatkan kita bahwa kita pun boleh punya hari sendiri, dan maknanya terserah pada kita-kita, diisi oleh kita sendiri. Hari blogger ada dan terus ada atau tidak pun terserah pada kita.

Dari momen itu banyak hal yang kemudian terjadi. Blog dan dunia online makin dilihat dan disadari oleh masyarakat banyak.

Dan mengingat balik ke tahun 2007 banyak hal yang sekarang kita gunakan sehari-hari yang saat itu bahkan belum ada. Facebook belum marak, laptop, tablet, ipad, blackberry, modem dongle, social media, medsos, dan bahkan Twitter belum jadi kosa kata.

Momen itu menyambungkan banyak noktah di masa depan.

Momen praktis yang membuat saya ada di Salingsilang.com sekarang dan momen yang sama membuat kita di Salingsilang menyajikan data blogger Indonesia yang kini jumlahnya sudah ada 5.331.093

Momen itu membuat kita terus menyelenggarakan Pesta Blogger setiap tahun sejak tahun 2007. Momen itu juga membuat saya tetap terlibat dalam penyelenggaraannya sebagai steering comittee dan tidak lagi sebagai Chairman.

Momen di hari itu membuat di tahun ini kita memodifikasinya sedikit dengan menggunakan namaON|OFF 2011 yang nanti akan kita laksanakan di tanggal 3 Desember 2011

Momen itu mengenalkan dan menyentuh banyak orang, momen itu menyapa banyak isu dan bergaul dengan banyak peristiwa.

Moment itu membuat saya, kamu, dan kita semua ada di sini sekarang. Membaca kalimat terakhir di posting ini.

Selamat #hariblogger nasional!


Posted in blogging, Indonesia, Pesta Blogger, Social Media, Twitter | 1 Comment

Three is a good number

This is a post I wrote in Maverick’s blog about us winning the Agency of the Year award for the third year running.

Satisfied is a word that comes to mind. But also paranoid because I’d sure like to see us retain that title for the next few years coming, as well as winning other awards. There’s just no pleasing some people.

On being MIX’s Agency of the Year – for the 3rd year running

We are delighted to read the October edition of marketing communications MIX, in which Maverick was named Agency of the Year 2013 – for the third  year running.

Journalists were polled by the magazine and asked which PR firm they thought had the best media relations. They apparently voted for Maverick for the third year running, so although we think that PR is much, much more than just media relations and that we are more of a consultancy rather than an agency, we are still pleased by the verdict.

This recognition is important to us because it means that one of our most important “customers” thinks highly of us (the other is the client, who usually vote with their check books and we’ve been fortunate in that area as well). To have journalists giving us the thumbs up on how PR people should deal with them is a rare endorsement as journalists are one hard crowd to please.

23-10-13 MIX 2

As a partner in Maverick I  was interviewed by the magazine as a prelude to their announcement of the award. I was asked how Maverick could consistently be at the top of the media relations game for three years running and I told them that there was no big secret to media relations. All we had to do is adopt a customer service mentality when it comes to dealing with journalists. We need to understand what they want, when they want it  and how best to give it to them.

Journalists don’t want spin and they despise PR people who go to them with a begging bowl instead of a strong, newsworthy story . And they usually want the information now, or as early as possible before their deadline. So what all the Mavericks are trained to do is to work with our clients so that they have a great story to tell instead of the usual corporate pabulum that their executives are so fond of. We also, using all our skills as consultants, remind, cajole and sometimes push our clients to meet the deadlines.

The tricky part is to have a team of colleagues that understand this and work relentless to super-please the journalist-customer. In this we are very fortunate to work with a great team of consultants who are probably the best customer service professionals on top of their communications and specialised skills. So a shoutout to the Mavbros and Mavchicks, as they like to call themselves, in the Corporate and Marketing Communications practices as well as the specialists in Digital, Research and Monitoring, Design, Community Engagement, Training and, of course, Media Relations.

And a big thank you journalist friends for voting us Agency of the Year once again. We’ll continue to try our best in serving you together with our clients.

Posted in business, communications, Indonesia, Marketing, Public Relations | Leave a comment

The President’s fleet-footed son

There’s been a storm brewing in Indonesia’s social media teacup over the running accomplishments of President SBY’s No. #1 son, Agus,  and the debate that is still raging now is whether the athletic presidential scion is an inspiration or an object of contempt for others.

The incident unfolded yesterday after Agus and friends from his running club, Garuda Finishers, finished the Adidas King of the Road run at BSD. For his troubles Agus was awarded a medal for completion and all would have been fine except for his tweets, coupled with the fact that he had asked the run’s organisers to set up a separate run for him since the event had actually finished by the time he got there.

Agus, you see, had been a busy boy. That morning he was up at the crack of dawn to run at a 10K race to commemorate the Indonesian Military’s 68th anniversary at 6.30am. Being a runner and not a sprinter, he finished that race, and being a sporty chap with lots of adrenaline to spake then proceeded to run at the Adidas run. The only problem was that that even started at 5:30 am and finished at 8:30am.

Agus and mates got there after that but so keen they were to hit the pavement that they told the race organisers to re-erect the run signage, the starting and finishing line as well as to bring back the timing officials so that they could run the 16.5 km race and get a medal for their accomplishments.

Perhaps finding it difficult to say no to a Presidential Son, the race organisers obliged  (Agus’s supporters were to claim that they had informed the race organisers that they would be late and the organisers said no problem, just mosey along whenever they are ready).

All that would have been a low-key affair except that Agus is not only fleet with his feet but with his fingers as well. he posted two tweets about himself, obviously so that his admirers can admire him all the more and be inspired by his example.

The first had the message: “Never..Never..Never give up…I ran 17K at the King of the Road this morning” accompanied by a picture of him and his chums running in the race.

Embedded image permalink

Then he posted another message: “Always finish what you have started. Salam @GarudaFinishers 🏃🏃🏃” with a photo of him and the coveted medal for finishers

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All of this must have been very inspirational to his supporters and water carriers but quite a few social media users, perhaps sick to death of seeing who they perceive as privileged children bend the rules and getting all sorts of special treatment, had a different view and the social media scene has since been all the more lively for the different views being espoused by Agus’s supporters and detractors.

So what do you think? Is Agus perfectly a sporty and spirited young man that should serve as an inspiration to aspiring runners everywhere, especially with his exhortations of persistence and seeing things to the end? Or is he just another spoilt brat from a privileged family who has no self awareness of what a schmuck he appears to be?

Below is today’s article in Kompas.com about the incident:

Ketika Agus Yudhoyono Telat Lari Maraton…

KOMPAS.com — Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, putra sulung Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, menjadi perbincangan di lini masa Twitter dalam dua hari terakhir. Semua berawal dari gambar ataupun kicauannya di Twitter terkait partisipasinya di ajang lari maraton Adidas King of the Road, di BSD City, Minggu (29/9/2013) pagi.

Dengan mengunggah fotonya saat mengikuti lari maraton, Agus melalui akunnya @AgusYudhoyono berujar “Never… Never… Never give up… Lari 17K di event King of The Road tadi pagi,” yang dipasang pada pukul 19.20. Tidak lama kemudian, dia melanjutkan kicaunya “Always finish what you have started ” dengan menyertakan fotonya sambil memamerkan medali finisher. Medali tersebut diberikan kepada peserta yang berhasil sampai garis akhir.

Yang membuatnya jadi bahan pergunjingan di media sosial justru karena dia terlambat datang. Beredar penuturan dari pengguna yang diduga panitia acara yang menjelaskan bahwa acara tersebut seharusnya digelar pukul 05.30 sampai pukul 08.30. Rombongan Agus dengan Pasukan Pengamanan Presiden (Paspampres) datang setelahnya.

“Terus minta ke race organizer-nya supaya signage serta gerbang start dan finish line, timing,dan lain-lain jangan diberesin dulu karena mereka mau lari 16,5 kilometer dan minta dapet medali,” demikian tulis seorang pengguna media sosial Path yang lantas menyebar lintas media sosial.

Dalam foto yang diunggah Agus, tampak dia mengenakan nomor bib 1010. Begitu dicek dalam situs resmi acara, tidak tampak nomornya dalam daftar pelari yang menyelesaikan maraton 16,8 kilometer. Begitu pula orang yang ada di sebelahnya dengan nomor 3450. Tentu saja hal ini akan terlihat janggal karena sebelumnya dia memamerkan medali finisher.

Sejak semalam, akun milik Agus jadi sasaran perundungan atau bully. Tweet-nya terkait partisipasi dalam event maraton tersebut dikomentari oleh beberapa akun Twitter milik pesohor, seperti Melanie Subono, Panji Pragiwaksono, dan Joko Anwar. Tidak hanya itu, muncul juga akun-akun yang berupaya membela Agus dan mengatakan bahwa keterlambatan rombongan sudah diketahui panitia.

Hingga pagi tadi, akun @AgusYudhoyono belum memberikan reaksi. Pengguna dengan akun @hwhardana pun berharap agar penjelasan segera muncul agar masalah bisa jelas. “Lets hear your side of story, kenapa mas agus telat ke kotr… Ditunggu ya…,” kicaunya.

Berdasarkan kegiatan yang diikuti Agus hari itu, ternyata pagi harinya dia mengikuti maraton 10 kilometer yang digelar dalam rangka ulang tahun ke-68 TNI di Monas dan dimulai pukul 06.30. Agus membawa serta komunitas lari Garuda.

Dari sana, Agus dan rombongan baru ke BSD City untuk mengikuti maraton KOTR 16,8 kilometer yang digelar Adidas dan ia datang terlambat

Posted in communications, Indonesia, politics, Twitter | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The shock of seeing a Minister shocked by his own hubris

Isn’t it shocking that a person no less than a Minister can be shocked by their interviewing techniques of a film star?

A Minister who should have been media trained in the first place; a minister who is surrounded by minders who should have done background checks on the interviewer before advising him to grant the interview; a minister who should have been prepped on what to say and how to answer the tough questions in the first place; a Minister who, if he was honest with himself, would know that Indonesia’s record on  climate change ain’t, excuse the pun, that hot.

So we have this minister being shocked and taking umbrage that someone dared ask him tough questions in a tough manner. What did he expect? A supporting role as Indiana Jones’s sidekick? Chewbaca articulating questions that no one understands except Han Solo?

When will politicians and office holders ever realise that doing interviews requires skills. Those who are good at it are either very gifted or else they are well-trained. Only those too full of themselves and full of hubris would give interviews willy nilly without preparing for them and doing their homework before hand.

So Zulkifli Hasan should chill before he contributes to global warning with all that emission of hot air. He has only himself and his minders to blame for this fracas.  Harrison Ford was only doing what he had told the minister that he was set out to do.

Indonesian Minister ‘Shocked’ at Harrison Ford Climate Interview

By Agence France-Presse on 3:12 pm September 10, 2013.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono speaks to US actor Harrison Ford during an interview at the presidential palace in Jakarta. (AFP Photo/Presidential Palace/Abror Rizki)

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono speaks to US actor Harrison Ford during an interview at the presidential palace in Jakarta. (AFP Photo/Presidential Palace/Abror Rizki)

Indonesia’s forestry minister has accused Hollywood legend Harrison Ford of subjecting him to a rude interview on climate change that left him “shocked,” an official said Tuesday.

The “Indiana Jones” and “Star Wars” actor, who is making part of an environmental documentary in Indonesia, attacked the minister with questions during the encounter on Monday, said presidential adviser Andi Arief.

The adviser accused Ford and his crew of “harassing state institutions” and said the 71-year-old could even be deported — although he was due to leave Indonesia later Tuesday anyway.

Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan told reporters that he had been angered by Ford’s approach during the interview in the capital Jakarta.

“His emotions were running very high,” the minister was quoted as saying by the state-run Antara news agency.

“I understand the American man just came here to see Tesso Nilo [a national park on Sumatra island] and wanted violators to be caught the same day.”

The minister added he was not given the chance to explain the challenges of catching people who break the law in Indonesia’s sprawling rainforests, where illegal logging is rampant.

“I was only given the opportunity to say one or two sentences during the interview,” he said.

Arief said the minister thought there would have been some time to discuss the interview before it began.

But in the event he was “shocked that as soon as his [Ford's] crew came in, they started filming and interviewing him… and attacking him with questions.”

“There’s no privilege for him although he is a great a actor,” he said. “His crew and those who were helping him in Indonesia must be questioned to find out their motives for harassing a state institution.”

“If necessary, we will deport him,” he added.

Ford, who has supported numerous environmental causes in recent years, has travelled to several places in Indonesia to make part of a series on climate change called “Years of Living Dangerously” for US television network Showtime.

He also met with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Tuesday.

As Southeast Asia’s largest economy grows rapidly, swathes of biodiverse forests across the archipelago of 17,000 islands have been cleared to make way for paper and palm oil plantations, as well as for mining and agriculture. 

Agence France-Presse 

Posted in communications, Crisis and issues management, Indonesia, politics | 3 Comments