A tale of the most corrupt told in two news stories

Two stories in the front pages of most Indonesian newspapers today tell a very interesting story about Indonesia and corruption. The first is a report by the Hong Kong-based Political & Economic Risk Consultancy and tells us how corrupt Indonesia is, at least in terms of perception. The verdict: Indonesia is perceived as the most…

Zero Rupiah note for the oknum in Indonesia?

Came across an interesting story in The Economist about how an NGO called 5th Pillar is distributing Zero Rupee cupons in India as part of the fight against corruption and bribery. It is of no commercial value but comes in valuable when officials ask you for a bribe. That’s when you pay them the Zero…

Ayin and Aling and the ding-a-ling Justice Minister

This is hilarious. When the Task Force on the Eradication of the Legal Mafia paid a surprise visit to the prison in Pondok Bambu, East Jakarta, yesterday, what did they find? Must have been a rather red-faced¬†Artalyta Suryani, convicted of bribing prosecutors in a high profile case, who was in the middle of — wait…

Remembered with fondness and respect: Hoegeng

This is the second time in two weeks that¬†Unspun’s heard of the legendary Hoegeng, the chief of police who was so much of a straight shooter that he was removed from office by Suharto. The first time Unspun heard of Hoegeng was from an old-time Jakarta resident. Speaking of corruption he told me about how…

Jakarta lap dance

Fantastic story. But bet you 3-1 that we won’t see the end of this story. It will evaporate like so many good stories do and no one will be held accountable. In the meantime, there’s all these civil servants, the relatives and their dogs bridging the Digital Divide in their homes… Where have all the…

Facebook wars over KPK

Forget Mafia Wars. This is infinitely more gripping. Besides it’s a real conflict involving the institutions that have the whole nation agog over the past few days and easily accessible through your Facebook account. See how social media is being used — either in a concerted way by organizations or spontaneously by individuals — in…

The end of cronyism in Indonesia?

The following article in The Age has an interesting perspective about SBY’s “enhanced” second term in office and its implications for cronism, long the bane of Indonesians. Can this be true? Indonesia’s crony clean-out Eric Ellis July 15, 2009 MIGHT it just be that after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s sweeping re-election, the era of Indonesia’s…

Is there hope for the Police in Indonesia?

Something incredible has been happening during Unspun‘s morning treks to the gym and back: policeman were actually vigilant next to busy interactions and – get this – they were even directing traffic! This is normal in other countries but in Indonesia where the police have the reputation as the most corrupt institution, policemen doing their…

What good is Press Freedom?

Unspun recently had a very depressing conversation with a senior Indonesian journalist. The conversation started when Unspun asked the editor of a large newspaper, let’s call him NK, what it would take to get journalists to dig below the surface in a case that has all the elements of a good story – a rich…

One step forward for Post, one step back for Globe?

Happy New Year everyone as we knuckle down to brace our or embrace 2009. Therse are interesting times indeed. Unspun was out vacationing in Vietnam and Malaysia and came back to Jakarta last week to recuperate and to save up for the next vacation. While Unspun was away, however, there’s been a couple of interesting…

Gratification and corruption: same difference?

Have a few minutes before dinner and the hotel has free Wifi so… It appears that Mediacare’s Radityo has been as busy as Santa’s elves before Christmas. Today he posted in his Mediacare blog a long, rambling treatise on the legal subtleties between gratification and corruption. The purpose of this Yuletide fare? Well, Billy’s lawyers…