Garuda’s Ari: when its OK to experience schadenfreude

Schadenfreude or, in English, epicaricacy, is mostly a guilty pleasure. That’s because it is the joy you feel at the misfortune of others.

Not much changed since the bad old days. Still soft and privileged bums on the seats of Harley Davidsons

In the case of now-sacked Garuda President Director Ari Askhara, however, schadenfreude is a legitimate and just pleasure.

Here was a man who lived a life of impunity, seemingly protected by the former State-owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno when he signed off on questionable audits of the airline’s books. (And what has Rini to say about her elevation of Ari from Garuda CFO to President Director?)

A man who brazenly sought to smuggle a stripped down Harley Davidson and several Brampton folding bicycles on the ferry flight of the A330-900 Neo from Toulouse to Jakarta, a journey he celebrated after the plane landed by riding with his Moge (motto gede = large motorbikes) cronies on onto the tarmac in an event sponsored by BMW.

And when caught red handed, he either instructed or conspired with his Corporate Secretary and spokesman Ikhsan Rosan, to lie to the media. It wasn’t even a credulous lie. Ikhsan said two employees had loaded the Harley and Bramptons onto the plane. Like employees can afford those toys for the rich.

The pity, however, was that the Indonesian media swallowed those implausible excuses whole, and regurgitated it to their readers. There was no sharp questioning of who the employees were if any, what did Ari and the directors know and when did they know it, and how could employees even afford those toys and ever hope to get away with it if they had indeed been guilty.

Then, after Ari was sacked by current State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir, news began to emerge of his alleged mistress, a Garuda stewardess who was apparently present in the ferry flight, of her plastic surgery and how she influenced his decision to shift the Jakarta-Amsterdam flight to Bali-Amsterdam instead.

A video of his megalomaniac Soekarno-like motorcade during what appeared to be an Independence Day paraded also emerged.

Throughout all this Ari, apart from trying to dodge reporters, has said nothing. No remorse, no regret, no apology.

This whole episode gives rise to several disturbing questions about the elite in Jakarta and the amount of rot in the state-owned enterprise fiefdoms that exists till this very day.

What kind of self-image and environment that people like Ari live in? How do they perceive themselves? Are they so drunk on the Kool Aid that they do not know how people despise them for their ostentatiousness, of which the Harley Davidson is the most prominent emblem of entitlement.

Since Suharto days the Harley Davidson has been a symbol of thee elite. Importing the bikes then was illegal so the only way they could be brought in was if you had “backing” – New Order speak for connections. Those who rode the Harleys were, apart from Suharto himself, military generals, police chiefs, obsequious but rich businessman and the Brahmins of the government, like heads of state-owned enterprises.

Their rides used to be escorted by the police, none of them noticing how incompatible that was to Harley’s born to be wild spirit.

Two decades on things, have changed little. It is now legal to import Harleys but probably most of the Harleys on Indonesian roads are brought in illegally and then issued with doctored road permits. There are more rich and entitled people so there are more riders but essentially it is a new generation of the same old elite.

The police escorts are still there. The elite still show off, with those loud machines as the rest of us are stuck in traffic jams. Some of these idiots also sport police look-alike designs, sirens and lights. All illegal and telegraphing a what-are-you-going-to-do-about-it attitude to the rest of us.

Do these people even realize how much contempt they attract from the rest of the population? (and here’s an idea for Finance Minister Sri Mulyani who has to increase revenue from taxes – why not have the taxman go after all the Moge riders – you’ll find that most of them have false papers because they brought their bikes in illegally and not paying any taxes).

The consoling thought about Ari’s downfall is that Erick Thohir has had the courage to lop off the tip of the iceberg. The rest of the Brahmins in the State-Owned Enterprises must be quaking in their shoes right now. They should, but are they?

Hard to tell. Would love to see a journalist do a story on whether the elite are capable of self-reflection and awareness of the environment around them. Unspun has a sneaking suspicion that many of them are incapable of this, making them unable to self-correct and change their ways.

One can hope that Erick Thohir and the Government will continue their purge of such entitled and corrupt Brahmin. Then the rest of use would be treated to an endless flow of Schadenfreude.

The Rich and Patti Arguments over Rich Brian

Former US Ambassador who reinvented himself as the organizer of Supermentor,   Dino Patti Jallal, has a point in the ongoing feud with BEKRAF chief Triawan Munaf over Indonesian Rapper Rich Brian where children are concerned.

Children should not be exposed to obscenities. But the whole episode is not as clear cut as he makes it out to be.
The feud has its roots on 7 July when Jokowi met with Rich Brian, accompanied by Triawan Munaf, at the Istana, a huge endorsement and praise for the 19 year-old that has been making waves overseas.

Netizens loved the populist move and heaped praise on the President for being so cool.

Not everyone was happy though. On July 16, seemingly out of the blue, Dino sermonized on Twitter, saying that even though Brian may be a great performer he (Dino) as a father thinks that Brian would not make a good role model for Indonesian youth because Brians tweets often contained profanity, obscenity and disgusting elements and looked down on women.

That children should not be exposed to obscenity etc is easy to agree with but there were two problems with Dino’s argument.

The first is that its not cool to dump on Rich Brian after you tweeted back in April for help on getting him to be a speaker for your Supermentor in LA event.

Spying what she must have thought to be hypocrisy, Rich Brian’s sister Sonya Erika tweeted an eloquent screen cap of the invite. This prompted Triawan Munaf to virtually stab himself with a retweet that said only ”jlebs!


This set off a shitstorm in the Twittersphere as well as the media, to the point that Dino felt he had to clarify his change in attitude toward Rich Brian, not once but twice.
In one Tweet he said that he changed his mind about inviting Rich Brian after reading his tweets that contained obscenities.

In another Dino asked a rhetorical question:would any parent feel that a musician, even though well-known, should be free to use obscenities on social media because they would be emulated by children who idolized them? He then hectored his audience: “My answer as a parent is clear: NO. What’s your answer? Don’t lose perspective.”

A greater shitstorm ensued.

Which brings us to the second problem with Dino’s argument about exposing children to obscenities from their idols.

The Supermentor talks attract youths, young men and women to be sure. But not children. It’s a bit ingenuous in this day and age to think that these youths would be anything but nonchalant to Rich Brian’s obscenities on social media. if they are the type who like Rap and Hip Hop they would already be exposed to that kind of language. And guess what? Most of them have not turned into peverts, mysoginists or depraved layabouts.

Dino’s argument also begs the question of what the parents are doing if they allow their children to be on social media. Shouldn’t they be interacting with their children and teaching them about life rather than allow them to roam unsupervised on social media, which has places much more dangerous and obscene than Rich Brian’s feeds?
The curious are now wondering what is the motive behind Dino’s sudden burst against Rich Brian.

Should we take things at face value and suppose that Dino’s a model parent and passionate about parenting, so could just not stand the attention lavished on Rich Brian by the President of Indonesia?

Or should we speculate on what other factors there are that could motivate a once political insider, now locked out of the corridors of power, to resort to such undiplomatic Tweets?

Erections galore but failure at maintenance remains the bane

Drive down Jalan Sudirman today and what do you see?

You’d probably say you see workers putting the finishing touches on smooth, wide walkways flanked by generous islands of grass, in a process of tarting up Jakarta for the Asian Games that starts on the 18th of next month.

IMG20180723121147.jpg

What I see, however, is a potential eyesore. The authorities here are very good at erecting monuments, public works, parks and grandoise  infrastructure. The look great.

Then comes the hard part – maintaining them, and this is where things unravel. What will the walkways be like a year from now? Will the islands still have grass growing? And what about the ornamental plants beautifying the scene?

Unspun’s prediction is that it will all go to seed because maintenance just isn’t a forte of the authorities.

Jakarta Deputy Governor Sandiaga Uno (the Dumber of the Dumb &Dumber Duo) yesterday admitted just as much when he told Kompas.com that  the City could build Kalijodo, the former red light district converted into a public park, but it could not maintain it.

Of course being Sandi he was not concerned by the truth (It was Ahok who converted and built the park, not his administration) and he had to blame others for his own failings. He said that the public was unable to take care of their park, so it was futile building things like that.

What is wrong with this guy? Cities have by laws against littering, destruction and defacing of public property and unruly public conduct precisely to prevent people from degrading the facilities. It’s a rather alien concept called enforcement that is required here.

Cities also have a budget for maintaining parks. But ensuring that the money is spent properly rather than ending in people’s pockets takes effort and hard work so its not something that he would concern himself with.

So here we go again, seeing magnificent erections but none of the energy to maintain them. When will this country ever learn that implementation and enforcement is as important, if not more, than grand gestures and magnificent new structures?

 

 

Tremble Facebook, Google and WhatsApp because the FPI is onto you

The FPI is known for many things but not exactly for digital or intellectual prowess. But no more. The FPI’s Secretary General for Jakarta Novel Bakumin has a novel suggestion for the faithful to avoid those Satan-inspired search engines and chat platforms with good ole Indonesian ones.

Novel imparted the information for the interview with Tirto via WhatsApp.

FPI Promosikan 3 Aplikasi Pengganti Facebook, WhatsApp, dan Google

 

FPI Promosikan 3 Aplikasi Pengganti Facebook, WhatsApp, dan Google
Ilustrasi Front Pembela Islam (FPI). Tirto.id/Andrey Gromico

  • Novel Bamukmin

    Novel Bamukmin

    tiMeter: -33

Reporter: M. Ahsan Ridhoi
25 Desember, 2017dibaca normal 1 menit
Novel mengirimkan tiga tautan situs aplikasi alternatif untuk menggantikan Facebook http://redaksitimes.com, pengganti Google http://geevv.com, dan pengganti WhatsApp http://callind.com.

tirto.id – Front Pembela Islam (FPI) membuktikan pernyataan mereka tentang boikot menggunakan Facebook tepat di hari Natal, Senin (25/12/2017). Sekjen DPD FPI DKI Jakarta, Novel Bamukmin mengatakan pihaknya sudah menemukan aplikasi media sosial yakni Geevv, Callind, dan Redaksitimes.

Kepada Tirto, Novel mengirimkan tiga tautan situs aplikasi alternatif untuk menggantikan Facebookhttp://redaksitimes.com, pengganti Googlehttp://geevv.com, dan pengganti WhatsApphttp://callind.com.

Menurut Novel, ketiga aplikasi tersebut masih dalam tahap pengembangan, tapi sudah layak untuk digunakan dan bisa dijadikan alternatif selain FacebookWhatsApp, dan Google yang menurutnya produk Amerika Serikat.

“Cintai produk-produk Indonesia untuk kebangkitan bangsa,” kata Novel kepada Tirto saat dihubungi melalui pesan WhatsApp.

Reporter: M. Ahsan Ridhoi

25 Desember, 2017

Ketiga aplikasi masih dalam tahap pengembangan, tapi sudah layak untuk digunakan.

Novel mengirimkan tiga tautan situs aplikasi alternatif untuk menggantikan Facebook http://redaksitimes.com, pengganti Google http://geevv.com, dan pengganti WhatsApp http://callind.com. tirto.id – Front Pembela Islam (FPI) membuktikan pernyataan mereka tentang boikot menggunakan Facebook tepat di hari Natal, Senin (25/12/2017).

Sekjen DPD FPI DKI Jakarta, Novel Bamukmin mengatakan pihaknya sudah menemukan aplikasi media sosial yakni Geevv, Callind, dan Redaksitimes. Kepada Tirto, Novel mengirimkan tiga tautan situs aplikasi alternatif untuk menggantikan Facebook: http://redaksitimes.com, pengganti Google: http://geevv.com, dan pengganti WhatsApp: http://callind.com.

Menurut Novel, ketiga aplikasi tersebut masih dalam tahap pengembangan, tapi sudah layak untuk digunakan dan bisa dijadikan alternatif selain Facebook, WhatsApp, dan Google yang menurutnya produk Amerika Serikat.

“Cintai produk-produk Indonesia untuk kebangkitan bangsa,” kata Novel kepada Tirto saat dihubungi melalui pesan WhatsApp.

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An actual story of Indonesia’s loss because of the LGBT madness

It says a lot about Indonesia today that when an employee of mine recently quit his job to apply for asylum in Canada on grounds that he’s gay and feels discriminated against in Indonesia, they not only put him on the Protected Person’s list as they usually do to asylum seekers – they classified him as a refugee instead.

He now has to undergo some procedural hoops but it looks like he will be accepted by Canada, who will now gain a productive, caring and professional person. Indonesia, on the other hand has lost someone like him that could have contributed so much to the social and economic development that it so needs.

Z had been working for me for the past five years. He had been a journalist and when he started off at our workplace he was tentative and unsure of himself. He quickly picked up the needed skills and soon became one of our potential consultants.

One of the things he enjoyed most about our office was that we accepted him for what he was. The other was the Personal Development Fund we had for consultants who completed each year of service. They could use the fund, that amounted to a month’s salary to develop themselves personally, not professionally. We do this because we feel that people who have an active life outside the confines of the office make the best consultants as they would then have new perspectives, knowledge and experience to bring to the table.

Z mae the most of the personal development fund, traveling to Europe and Egypt with it. But his wanderlust wasn’t slaked by these forays and in 2015 he applied for a Sabbatical to travel and work overseas. He applied and received a Work and Travel visa from Australia and spent about a year traveling and working. He then crossed the Atlantic and went to the US.

Overseas, he got something that he could not find in Indonesia – not only tolerance but acceptance of the fact that he was gay. Then, circumstances intervened and for family reasons he had to come back to Indonesia. h began to work for us again and this time around his traveling had contributed to his experiences and world view, making him a much stronger professional.

He had become so good at what he did that I could delegate tasks to him and not worry about the quality. And when a client needed help in one of the most remote and difficult parts of Indonesia, working under very stressful and demanding conditions where he had to advice and push back against unreasonable demands, I felt comfortable sending him to lead the team.

He was to stay there for close to a year with only short R&R breaks in between. In his stay he had to endure sniper fire, labor strikes and violent destruction of property directed at our clients. He also lived through a mud slide and flooding that destroyed parts of the work site, even it was 2,300 meters above sea level and in remote mountains.

There were times when he felt it was too much but he bore it all with good grace and turned in a stellar performance that not only won the clients’ hearts and praise but also won for us a prestigious regional award for crisis management.

By any count Z was an asset to us. if I had more people like him I would be able to grow our company much faster, provide more jobs and even better working conditions to our employees. If Indonesia had more people like him we would be able to attract more investors who need skilled professionals to propel its national development.

But we have now lost him to Canada. When explaining his move Z told us that his one wish when he first joined us was to travel, travel and travel. Working at our workplace allowed him to do that with the Personal Development Fund and our decision to allow him to go on Sabbatical allowed him to travel more.

Paradoxically, however, all that travel made him want to settle down more. Now all he wants is to have a partner, kids, house – and a dog. This is something that most of us want but just because he has a different sexual orientation he no longer feels safe or welcome because of the rising intolerance, not least to the LGBT community that has become so shrill lately in Indonesia, his own country.

He feels so persecuted that he is willing to uproot himself to seek asylum in a county that he has not been before. I applaud his courage and hope he finds everything he is looking for in Canada. He’s Canada’s gain and our loss.

What has become of you of late Indonesia?

Note: For Z’s account of his adventures since landing in Canada check out this link: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/92959508/posts/3221

 

Dumb and Dumber: From Alexis to 4Play

Not since Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels created the characters of lloyd and Harry in Dumb and Dumber has there been anyone as stupid as the celluloid characters as the present Gakbener Anis an and his deputy Sandi.

Jakartans who had been used to the former Governor Ahok talk sense and being straight forward have been marvelling at the amount of nonsense that has issued from the mouths of the City’s own Dumb and Dumber.

Ok, Lloyd and Harry had better hats but Anies and Sandi have their own head gear too. And they certainly can’t beat Anies and Ini in the dumber sweepstakes.

The remarkable thing is that just when you thought they could not get lower in IQ, they excelled themselves and set new records. Today’s statement on the Brothel Once Known as Alexis takes the cake.

Alexis, apparently has repurposed itself into a sports complex and its changed its name to — wait for it– 4 Play. (I shit you not! see the clip from Kompas TV below)

Asked to comment on this development Dumber, aka Sandi, explained that people should not think of Alexis’s rebirth as 4 Play.

“They may want to repent,” he said. “If this is the case then they should be allowed to do so.”

He added that before as Alexis the established depended on entertainment as its business but now as 4 Play it was probably based on lifestyle and sports.

How is all of this possible? In the real world this would have been impossible because:

  1. The news readers would not have been able to keep a straight face when reading the news
  2. The reporters would have killed themselves with laughter when Sandi so ingenuously mentioned the name 4 Play and seemingly thinking that lay meant something to do with sports.
  3. No person with some education from an English-speaking country (Sandi graduated from Wichita University in Kansas, the same state as where Dorothy from Wizard of Oz started off on her journey to Munchkinland) could be so clueless as not to spot the double entendre in the name 4 Play.

But all this has come to pass. The worst thing about this incident is that we have four more years of Dumb and Dumber to listen to.

Maybe we should all go and work out at 4 Play instead?

 

My Republic broadband sucks for me. What’s your experience like?

I few months ago we switched from Play Media as a broadband provider because their service sucked – the speeds got slower and there was no good follow-up customer service.

We switched to My Republic because a friend had said that their speeds were rather good. What we found was worse. Not only did the speeds not live up to that advertised. To make things worse not only were the speeds slow

The My Republic/Sinar Was promise: 300Mbps. Weeeeee!

The reality: Not even 2% of the promise where downloads are concerned. Let’s not even talk about the uploads.

the entire connection continuously broke down and the internet connection was sporadic.

We complained on 27th May and was sent he standard line that they’d check the system and get back to us within 1X24 house, and if there was anything wrong, they’d send their technicians to sole the problem in 3X24 hours. Then silence in the 1X24 hours and 3X24 hours period and beyond.

We complained to My Republic again on June 1 and the same thing happened.

So we called again today and we get the same stock answers. This time I put my foot down and asked to speak to the supervisor. After some waiting I spoke to Henny Sahaja (because she won’t give me her full name). She said they needed to forward the complaint to the technical side, who would then inform me in 1X24 hours…

What is it with huge conglomerates like Sinar Mas who, just because they have the money and the know-who, think they can branch into a profitable service industry and make a success of it? They can’t get the infrastructure right, they can’t get the simple customer service right…and the only thing keeping them in business is that they have been around for a long time, have the right connections and the market is so protected against the entry of kick-ass multinational broadband providers.

What I can’t get is whether these people running such sham services have no sense of pride or shame, that they could do such a bad job at it.is there any use bringing into the attention of My Republic outside Indonesia? They didn’t respond to tweets in the past.

So, anyone out there know a reliable, good broadband providers?