Serumpun discord #2

Now, according to Koran Tempo, an NGO focusing on migrant labor, wants to report Malaysia to the UN Human Rights Council for the rape of Indonesian workers by a group of people from Ikatan Relawan Rakyat Malaysia.

This is getting a bit worrying. All it takes is for someone to fan the flames of nationalism and Malaysians in Indonesia may be sitting ducks. Unspun suggests that the Malaysian government looks at ways of managing its image in Indonesia, not least starting from correcting the misperceptions malaysians in malaysia have about Indonesians as a whole, as expressed by the Malaysian Ambassador to indonesia Datuk Zainal’s words to heart (see here)

Selasa, 02 Oktober 2007

Headline

Kasus Pemerkosaan Pekerja Indonesia
Malaysia Akan Dilaporkan ke PBB

Dalang pemerkosaan adalah polisi setempat.

Jakarta — Migrant Care, lembaga swadaya untuk buruh migran, akan melaporkan pemerintah Malaysia ke Dewan Hak Asasi Manusia Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa. Laporan itu terkait dengan pemerkosaan yang dialami tenaga kerja Indonesia, EW, oleh sekelompok anggota Ikatan Relawan Rakyat Malaysia (Rela).
“Akan kami laporkan ke UN Human Rights Council secepatnya. Selama ini tidak ada tindakan apa pun dari pemerintah RI,” kata analis kebijakan Migrant Care, Wahyu Susilo, kepada Tempo kemarin.
Selain itu, kata Wahyu, anggota Rela akan dilaporkan ke pelapor khusus mengenai hak-hak buruh migran PBB. Langkah serupa dapat dilakukan langsung oleh EW. “Seharusnya yang menggugat adalah pemerintah Indonesia. Sebab, pelaku pemerkosaan adalah anggota Rela yang resmi dibentuk pemerintah Malaysia.”
Menurut Senior Liaison Officer Markas Besar Kepolisian RI di Kedutaan Besar RI Kuala Lumpur Setyo Wasisto, anggota Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) berpangkat rendah menjadi dalang aksi biadab yang melibatkan 12 orang itu. Si polisi juga telah menyiksa Mujib, suami EW, serta merampas harta benda dan paspor korban. “Pelaku sudah ditangkap bersama sembilan orang lain,” katanya.
Ia menuturkan EW adalah tenaga kerja migran resmi yang memiliki izin bekerja sebagai pembantu rumah tangga di Klang, Selangor. Namun, tiga bulan kemudian ia melarikan diri dari majikannya. Lalu EW menikah siri dengan Mujib dan tinggal di Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Pada 7 September, Mujib dan EW didatangi dua orang berseragam yang mengaku anggota kepolisian Selangor. Dengan alasan tidak memiliki izin kerja, EW lantas dibawa ke Muar–150 kilometer dari Selangor.
EW kemudian dibawa ke Hotel R di Muar, dan di bawah todongan senjata api, dia diperkosa beramai-ramai. Pada 8 September, EW dibawa keluar dari hotel dan dijual kepada dua orang Melayu seharga 400 ringgit. “Oleh dua orang itu ia diperkosa lagi,” kata Setyo.
Saat ini EW berada dalam perlindungan shelter Konsulat Jenderal RI Johor Bahru. Menurut Setyo, kondisi psikologis EW sangat lemah. “Apalagi saat ini EW tengah hamil dua setengah bulan.”
Konsulat RI di Johor, menurut Setyo, akan menggugat para pelaku secara pidana ataupun perdata. “Tapi kita lihat dulu. Karena di Malaysia, untuk kasus pidana saja susah, apalagi perdata,” ujarnya. KBRI, kata dia, saat ini masih fokus pada pendampingan korban dan pengusutan kasus.
Berdasarkan catatan Migrant Care, pada April 2007, kasus pemerkosaan oleh aparat Rela juga menimpa SY, seorang tenaga kerja wanita asal Desa Kidang, Kabupaten Mujur, Lombok Tengah, Nusa Tenggara Barat. SY diperkosa oleh polisi Rela di Johor Bahru, Malaysia. “Saat melapor ke kantor polisi Kajang, ia justru dijebloskan ke penjara Semenyih karena tidak berdokumen dan ditahan selama lima hari,” kata Wahyu.
SY kini masih berada di penampungan KBRI Kuala Lumpur dan kehamilannya sudah berusia 6 bulan. Ironisnya, menurut Wahyu, kepolisian Malaysia justru mengirim surat kepada KBRI Kuala Lumpur agar SY segera dipulangkan ke Indonesia. “Tapi kasus pemerkosaannya tidak pernah ditangani.” NININ DAMAYANTI
koran

Rasa not so sayang?

rasa-sayang.jpg

(Update: Unspun, uncharacteristically, did not go through the papers this morning. It appears that the problem is even more serious as the matter has been brought before parliament. This is an excerpt of a report from The Jakarta Post:

The House on Monday urged an immediate response from the government to Malaysia’s use of the traditional Indonesian song Rasa Sayange in its “Truly Asia” tourism campaign.

House of Representatives member Hakam Naja of the National Mandate Party (PAN) said if the government could prove the song belonged to Indonesia, Indonesia should sue the Malaysian government.

“The government needs to check on its origins, whether it’s from Indonesia or not,” the deputy chairman of House Commission X overseeing education and tourism was quoted as saying by detik.com newsportal.

Rasa Sayange is believed to have originated in Maluku, where it has been sung for generations by people to express their love for the environment. (rst of story here)

———

Is a cultural flap between serumpun countries Malaysia and Indonesia in the works?

Unspun‘s business partner today told me of a radio broadcast talking about the Rasa Sayang Malaysia site, which is Malaysia’s answer to e-marketing itself to the world.

According to the radio program, the site’s comments section has been closed down because many Indonesians have been writing in to complain of Malaysia’s appropriation of the Rasa Sayang tune to boost its own image.

Ever the skeptic Unspun went to the site and clicked on the “comments” hyperlinked. Nothing happened! This suggests that the radio announcer may be right.

This all set Unspun‘s head spinning about Malaysian culture and how sometimes Malaysia goes so hard to create a culture of its own that the results become ersatz. Consider, for instance, what sometimes happens when Malaysians get an invitation to attend a formal Malaysian occasion: The dress code is usually specified as “Malaysian Batik.” Not just any batik but “Malaysian Batik.

This may work well in other countries but not in Indonesia, home of the batik. The batik here, from Solo, and Pekalongan are exquisite, beautiful and full of history (for more information on Indonesian batik try my friend’s blogsite here. Compare it to the Malaysian batik, and you’d see the difference. Wavy lines that a five year old could have drawn over satiny fabric that’s good for showing off the spare tyres of middle aged men. Amoeba would have more culture.

And it is always an embarrassment when Malaysia culture shows are staged here. What can we show them that they do not have? Wayang Kulit? Satay? (OK, ganted Unspun likes Malaysian satay a lot over Indonesian ones but its hardly a Malaysian invention is it?) A Malaysian minister scolding bloggers goblok? Unspun’s written about it here and here.

But the point here is not to trash Malaysia; rather it is to suggest that it should perhaps find more creative ways of expressing its multi-racial culture that befits a nation 50 years in the making with lots of creative and smart people.

Back to the possible flap on Rasa Sayang. Is the tune Indonesian? Unspun is no authority on musicology and would like to hear from any authoritative persons out there.

This has the hallmarks of an issue that may escalate. If the radio announcer was right then the Malaysian authorities have a task on their hands to manage this issue before it snowballs into a public flap with nationalistic sentiments inflamed on both sides of the straits. Perhaps the Malaysian Tourist Board’s new PR consultant has good advice on how to handle the issue?

(Readers please note: This may shape up to be a emotive issue so let’s all work toward making this a discussion rather than a catfight. It’s OK to express opinions but try to refrain from name calling and emotive language. If you feel someone should o should not do something, say it and say why. Other than that, debate all you want!)

Malaysians chip in to compatriot in need

The Malaysia Club Jakarta has donated Rp 4 million to a Malaysian student who was admitted to hospital here after the 22-year old from Seremban suffered a stroke.His hospital bills are apparently quite massive so if anyone is able to help  Mohd. Hafidz please contact the Malaysia Club Jakarta through the link below. Also, it should be known that MCJ Committee member Raja Elona has been providing fantastic support to Hafidz and his family, including keeping the MCJ appraised of Hafidz’s condition.

(Disclosure, Unspun is Assistant Secretary of the MCJ).

clipped from www.malaysiaclubjakarta.com
A Malaysian student named Mohd Hafidz Bin Omar has recently been admitted to the I.C.U of Gleneagles Siloam Hospital, Lippo Karawaci on the 12/09/07 after complaining of a massive headache and vomiting. He was immediately brought to the hospital and the Doctor’s confirmed that he had a stroke and is suffering from�brain hemorrhage on the left and right side of the brain as well as a condition known as aneurism.�An aneurism is�a dilation, or swelling, of a blood vessel (where part of the vein or artery inflates like a balloon).

2 operations have been conducted�on his brain�to remove�blood clots. He also underwent a�tracheostomy, which is a�surgical procedure performed on the neck to open a direct airway through an incision in the�trachea (the windpipe)�to connect him to a�life support system. Currently, his condition is stable but is still�being�monitored in the I.C.U. �

Mohd Hafidz is from Seremban. Age 22 years old and is the youngest of 3 siblings from a middle class family.

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Mystery of Malaysian Tourism Board’s PR agency solved?

Fans of Tengku Adnan and the Malaysian Tourism Board would doubtless have spent the past few months wondering which PR agency it appointed in Indonesia. Die hand fans may even remember that the Malaysian Tourism Board in Jakarta back in March this year took out an advertisement asking PR agencies to bid for the privilege of taking care of the board’s, er, challenging image.

The advertisement came and went and Unspun understands that a few well-known PR firms like Ogilvy were pitching for the business. Then there was absolute silence. Nobody in town seemed to know if they had appointed any PR agency. None of the big names won the contract. Neither did any of the smaller names that one hears of in the industry. So who could it b. It was a mystery all right.
Until recently that is. Mediacare is a mailing list of media practitioners in Indonesia and one of the postings on this list goes like this:

From: Andi Tirtasasmita
To: mediacare@cbn.net.id
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 9:12 AM
Subject: Undangan untuk Bpk. Budiman Bachtiar

Yth Bapak/Ibu dari Mediacare,

Saya Andi dari Titik Communication, salah satu klien kami adalah Malaysia Tourism Board dan membaca berita tersebut kami langsung segera konfirmasikan kepada pihak MTB dan Kedubes. Berkaitan dengan hal tersebut kami ingin bertemu dengan Bpk. Budiman Bachtiar, apabila tidak keberatan bisa kami minta alamat beliau?. Karena sesuai dengan pembicaraan dengan pihak MTB dan Dubes Malaysia untuk Indonesia beliau berkeinginan untuk mengundang dan bertemu dengan Bpk. Budiman Bachtiar secara pribadi.

Mudah-mudahan kami bisa mendapatkan informasi tersebut dari Bapak/Ibu, untuk memudahkan selain e-mail saya bisa dihubungi di HP: 0818 934799 atau telepon kantor di 391 0055.

Terima kasih atas bantuan dan kerjasamanya.

Salam,
-Andi-
Titik Communication

So now mystery seems to e solved of whom the MTB appointed. But who is Titik Communication? Nobody seems to know. And Titik does not seem to have a website, or at least one that Unspun could not find.

But some Googling of “Titik Communication”, “Titik Strategi Marketing Communication” and “Andi Tirtasasmita” (his e-mail to Mediacare has a Yahoo address, no company domain name) leads one to interesting sites such as here, here and here.

Unspun is at a loss of what to make of such information. But nice to know that they have professionals taking care of the MTB and the country’s image.

Only in Malaysia: The swines!

Unspun‘s frind Chow sent this. Only in Malaysia  can the pigs cause such an issue.

Wednesday September 5, 4:39 PM
Malaysia calls off pig cull and denies racial tension

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia has called off a cull of 50,000 pigs amid concerns it could stoke racial tensions between Chinese pig farmers and their Muslim neighbours.
Authorities in southern Malacca state abandoned the cull on Tuesday night after dozens of farmers formed a human barricade around their farms. Riot police were called in to keep them at bay.

Officials had said they ordered the cull following complaints from residents about the smell and water pollution from the pig farms.

The government denied on Wednesday the cull had been called off because of fears of racial tensions and said farmers had now agreed to reduce their herds. But an opposition party said the racial dimension had forced authorities to back down.

“People, their children and women came out, willing to defend their property, the government felt the backlash would be too great,” said Lim Guan Eng, secretary-general of Malaysia’s main opposition Democratic Action Party.

He said the ruling coalition, dominated by Muslim ethnic Malays, had planned the cull for religious and political reasons.

“It was done for political reasons to show that they are good Muslims and are fighting for Malay rights,” Lim said.

Ethnic Chinese in multi-racial Malaysia relish pork, but the meat is banned in Islam as unfit for Muslim consumption.

Malacca’s chief minister has said the state did not want to emerge as Malaysia’s biggest pig producer and the national government wants Malaysia to become a global hub for halal food.

Farmers said their pigs were healthy and did not cause any pollution.

A veterinary department official said the situation needed cooling down but denied it was a racial issue.

“They are trying to cool down the situation and negotiating with people how to implement this agreement to reduce pigs,” the official said.

Under the pact, farmers agreed to cut the swine population from around 160,000 to 48,000 by September 21, an official of the Federation of Livestock Farmers’ Associations of Malaysia said.

“They will either sell the pigs or relocate them to farms in other states,” said the official, who declined to be named. “It is not fair, it will lead to panic selling.”

In April, independent news Web site Malaysiakini.com reported that the Islamic International College in the region feared pollution from pig farms could affect its student intake.

3 Malaysians arrested for visa violation

Update: The Malaysia Club Jakarta President Ch’ng Chin Hon has issued a noice to its members to ensure that their visa documentation is in order. Here’s his note:

Dear All,

Further to our message on security measures, we would like to advice that conditions remain sensitive.

Last Friday, three Malaysians have been detained by immigration officers in Bogor for allegedly working in Indonesia without work permits. After being detained for several days in the immigration office, they were transferred to a prison in Bogor last night. We are currently working to find a solution to this matter and to secure their release as soon as possible.

 We would like to advise and remind all Malaysians who are in Indonesia for business or working arrangements to have the proper documentation to prevent any un-necessary problems here. Please make sure that those who are on KITAS here that the KITAS is only one of several documents required for you to stay here. Please make sure you have a complete list of the documents. We will be putting up this list on the www.malaysiaclubjakarta.com site soon. Thank you.

Best regards,

Chin Hon

Antara reports that three Malaysians have been arrested for visa violation. Unspun understands that several parties in the Malaysian community including Embassy officials are trying to secure their release. One party said there was “more to it” than a straight-forward arrest for visa violation.

Immigration office arrests three Malaysians for visa violation

BOGOR, West Java (Antara): The Bogor Immigration Office has arrested three Malaysians, identified as The Choong Eng (53), Yap Yuen Loy (43) and Tee Kok Khing (31), for violating their visas, an official said.
“The three Malaysians used their tourist visas to work for a company in Bogor. They worked in the quality control division of PT Mastrotto Indonesia in Sentul, Bogor,” said the head of the Bogor Immigration Office, Ibrahim Saleh, on Monday.
Ibrahim said the three were arrested last Friday as they attempted to extend their temporary visas.
Foreigners working in Indonesia are required to have a work visa from the Immigration Office and a work permit issued by the Manpower Ministry. They also have to pay income tax, said Ibrahim.
He said the Bogor Immigration Office was processing the case files of the three Malaysians, which will be sent to the local prosecutor’s office when completed.

Malaysia’s top blogger: Bali on the rebound

See what about Bali has impressed Malaysia’s top blogger Jeff Ooi. His posting should bring some more tourist dollars from Seberang to Indonesia. Now if the Malaysian Tourism Board only knows how to woo bloggers to help them sell the country…

clipped from www.jeffooi.com
From what I can gather, and despite new travel warnings that Islamic militants might strike again, or that all Indonesian airlines including national carrier Garuda are banned from the European Union, tourists still flock to Bali these days.The terrorist bombing of a Bali nightclub in Kuta in October 2002, which killed 202 people, now seems a distant history. Tourism is bouncing back, though it’s still not anywhere near its prime before the blast.
It’s a huge contrast to the moment I landed in KLIA to pick up the luggage. The trolleys in Malaysia are but snapped up by tourists in full black, some only seen with anatomy slit in the eyes.Ramayana_0085x550.jpg
RAMAYANA… A dinner version in micro-glimpses of the Hindu epic
Clearly, it’s the Balinese people that made the difference for the tourism trade there. Tourists the world over are simply wowed by the benevolence of the Balinese, who largely practise Hinduism, for their compassion, laid-back attitude and love of peace and harmony.

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