Jokowi, the DPR and the beautiful, valiant students of Indonesia

Today, thousands of students have taken to the streets in Jakarta and other cities demonstrating against the Criminal Code. Traffic in Jakarta was clogged up and as the day progressed, water cannons and tear gas were used on them, but it could not dampen their spirit.

A couple of days ago, after widespread protests,  President Jokowi had announced that he has asked the House of Representatives to suspend the passage of a revision of the Criminal Code. The revision is ridiculous. It outlaws sex outside marriage, treason in the form of “robbing the independence of the President and Vice President”, the propagation of Communism (n this day and age, Really?), insulting the heads of state or government, the promotion of contraceptives and abortions, the practice of black magic…You couldn’t make this up but its there in the revisions to the Criminal Code.

The House complied and suspended the passage of the revisions to the Criminal Code. But it was too little too late.

This is because they were also contemplating passing articles in four other bills, including a manpower bill, a land bill, a mining bill and a correctional procedures bill, all of which contained provisions that would appall most right thinking citizens.

The students that took to the streets today wanted the DPR not only to suspend the passage to the Criminal Code Revisions but to quash them totally.

This is not unreasonable. What sort of House of Representatives would have even considered passing such revisions in the first place?

The answer is simple: One that is rotten to the core. One that is full of ignorant and arrogant charlatans drunk on power and disregard for the people they were supposed to be representing. One with no redeeming qualities whatsoever and the only recourse to check their power is to take to the streets.

It is the only recourse because the Executive Branch of thee government has not been doing its job (let’s not even consider the Judicial Branch that is way beyond the pale). In fact, it has been fumbling spectacularly, beginning with the amendments that would weaken the Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK), one of the few symbols of hope against the endemic and arguably worsening corruption in Indonesia.

Here, in spite of his past promises to the contrary, the president did not veto the bill that would weaken the KPK, allowing it to go before the House of Representatives. He then said that he had some conditions that would strengthen the KPK. The speech sounded empty.

Then his Chief off Staff Moeldoko (him of the expensive watches that he on his salary in the armed forces could never afford in a couple of lifetimes) came up with the excuse that the KPK need to be checked because it was a deterrent for investment. What baloney. It’s not the KPK that should be taken to task but the failure of the enforcement of the rule of law, legal certainty, fair judiciary and obtuse, miles of red tape that is holding back investment. Yet he held out the KPK as the fall guy.

Then there is Papua where mishandling by the government and police caused hundreds of Papuans in several cities to riot. The latest incident is in Wamena where up to 20 people are reported to have been killed. The government response was to blame agitators and hoax news sources.

There is more that seems to indicate that Jokowi, normally so humble and engaging, has somehow gone tone deaf. While forest fires are causing residents in Kalimantan, Sumatra, Malaysia and Singapore to choke on the haze, Jookowi’s publicity team released a video of the president frolicking with his grandson Jan Ethes among the deer and goats at the Bogor Palace, where the air seemed clean and pristine. How insensitive.

And to add to the evidence of tone deafness his eldest son Gibran has applied to join the political party backing the president, thee PDI-P, and has signaled that he wants to run as Mayor of Surakata, the seat that launched Jokowi’s ascent to the Presidency. More: His son-in-law Bobby is signaling that he wants to run as Mayor of Medan in North Sumatra. In a country that has seen so many corrupt politicians preserve their wealth through the creation of political dynasties this is exactly the wrong message to send out on the eve of Jokowi starting out on his second term.

The President, once so popular, seems to be unraveling, and nobody knows why. There is speculation that the low  quality of advisors he has surrounding him is beginning to show.

Unspun sincerely hopes that Jokowi can pull out of what is beginning to look like a nose dive. I hope for this not because I feel that he is the right man to lead Indonesia but because there is none better, for the moment. Take him out and we may be facing the deep blue sea rather than the devil we know.

So here’s some suggestions for Jokowi, should this ever reach his ears:

1. Remember you have the mandate of the people and you’re going into your final term of office. You don’t need to be hampered by electability to do the right thing by Indonesia

2. Take a close hard look at the people surrounding you. Are they sycophants, are they loyal to you or to themselves? Go for people with ability and integrity. Indonesia is not short of people like that.

3. Put a check on the buzzers that are allied to you or buzz in your name. They are toxic and are beginning to be hated by the people. Many of them gravitate to you in search of favors, so they can be near the limelight but at the end of the day they boost their own self importance, not what’s good for the nation.

4. Respect and listen to the students who are currently protesting. They have a point, they are sincere in wanting a better Indonesia and they represent the rest of us who are sick and tired of the dishonest, porkbarrel politicians in the DPR and political parties. These politicians need to be tamed or expelled.

5. Go back to watch old videos of yourself. See how you inspired all of us with your candor and sincerity to work for the public good, and your willingness to battle petty bureaucrats and self-serving politicians. Rediscover that Jokowi and bring him back to the Istana.

Good luck. You are still our best home for a progressive nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What the Fatwa?

We all can understand Islam forbidding rioting, causing disturbance and damaging public property.

But what about corruption, Gerrymeandering, arrogance and utter disrespect for the intelligence and integrity of citizens?

How do these clerics sleep at night and face their children? Do the children have a hard time in school because they have to live up with the fact that their daddies were government flunkies and hyppocrites because they claim to be men of God but are serving banal masters instead?

Malaysia fatwa council advises Muslims against demonstrations

Kuala Lumpur:  Malaysia’s top clerics on Monday issued a fatwa, deeming it ‘haram’ for Muslims to participate in the demonstrations that cause disturbance in the country, days after thousands defied government orders to stage a rally.

Malaysia’s National Fatwa Committee, which a few years ago had ruled that the Muslims should not do yoga, has now advised them against participating in any gathering that is unproductive, against the law or causes disturbance.

National Fatwa Committee Chairman Proffesor Emeritus Abdul Shukor Husin said that the committee viewed seriously the issue as some Muslims had resorted to rioting during the opposition backed electoral reforms demonstrations here on April 28.

“Rioting, causing disturbance and damaging public property are all forbidden by Islam. This also applies to any intention to topple a duly-elected government by organising such demonstrations” he said.

“No one is exempted, and cannot support any efforts that can cause harm, anxiety or unrest among the  Muslims to the point of the community becoming split, what more if there is bloodshed,” he added after chairing a meeting of the committee here.

via Malaysia fatwa council advises Muslims against demonstrations.

A rupiah for Superman’s thoughts

What Unspun loves about the bloggersphere is that no matter how crazy the world gets and no matter what bandwagon everyone else gets on there is someone out there skeptical enough, prescient enough and with enough cojone to call things as they see them.

Such a bloggers are gems because they validate those of us who sometimes begin to doubt our own perceptions of the world because it seems so at odds with everyone else, even people we socialize and respect. One such gem is ManusiaSuper.

Prior to reading his latest posting (below) Unspun was looking at the whole Coins for Prita (Mulyasari) movement with some visceeal unease. There is something amiss about the whole thing and thoughts were percolating in Unspun’s mind, waiting for the time it spills over into a blog posting.

Then, after reading the blogpost and ManusiaSuper’s take on the movement, things began to fall into place for Unspun, so here’s some thought’s that’s gone through Unspun’s mind on the Coins for Prita and other online movement.

1. The Net has made it very easy, perhaps too easy, for people to get on a cause bandwagon.

In the old days you had to have the kind of commitment to go out on the hot dusty (or wet, rain-drenched and muddy) streets to make yourself heard. These days all it takes is to set up a website, blog, Facebook page or Tweet with a catchy hashtag and voila! you have a cause. The ease with which others can join in also makes it almost, and often, an unthinking exercise, more on the league of keeping up with the Joneses than fighting for something heartfelt, which leads me to the next point…

2. Is it the cause or is the cause something else?

What are the supporters of Coins for Prita actually supporting or fighting for? Are they against the draconian aspects of the UU ITE,at which case wouldn’t it make more sense to camapign for an amendment or repeal of the law? Or are they against the perceived obtuseness and arrogance of Omni International Hospital, at which case organizing a boycott of the hospital would make more sense?

As Unspun sees it, it was excessive for the prosecutors to jail Prita for her complaints that probably originated from bad customer service from Omni Hospital in addressing her grouses in the first place. But for the hospital to sue her for defamation is fair game. Organizations and businesses have a duty to protect their reputations too. This is not saying that Omni is right; this is recognizing that Omni has the right to protect its reputation through legal means. It is now up to the court to make that decision. If it makes an asinine one then the protestors can make common cause against the law being an ass.

Unspun suspects that the real reason behind the Coins for Prita movement is more a manifestation of a sense of frustration at the general injustice of the entire Indonesian legal system. This is a system in which a grandmother that stole three cocoa pods and a grandfather that didn’t even steal a bunch of bananas can be convicted and punished when the rich and powerful not only get away scot free but parade their ill gotten wealth with impunity; a system where policemen on meager salaries can wear luxury watches and drive cars costing several years of their salaries, and get away with it.

This is a system that is dysfunctional and needs to be forced to change, yet the agitators, fomentors and activists are not tackling the causes but the symptoms, such as Ibu Prita’s high-profile persecution, instead.

3. At the end of the day, are the online activists doing a favor to Indonesia or doing it a disservice?

It is difficult to argue against motherhood, apple pie, koalas and good intentions for seemingly worthwhile causes. But what if the ease in which to take up causes on the Net and misplaced good intentions are resulting in a lot of sound and fury that achieves little, rather than focussed campaigns that make a lasting impact on society?

When the double bombing of the Ritz Carlton and Marriott hotels took place it spawned the #indonesiaunite movement. Unspun then wondered whether all that energy and earnestness to do something for Indonesia would amount to anything if it was not channeled to something more focused (What comes after #indonesiaunite?). Many in the movement objected to this line of thought but where is the movement now?

Koin Untuk Prita, Apakah?

Desember 6, 2009 at 9:54 am | In Uncategorized | 25 Comments

Keadilan telah direcehkan!

Keadilan telah direcehkan!

Sebagai awal, marilah saya tegaskan dulu satu hal; saya menolak segala bentuk ketidak adilan dengan alasan apapun.

Dan satu lagi; saya percaya Ibu Prita Mulyasari adalah korban ketidak adilan dan perlu mendapat dukungan.

Masalahnya adalah, dukungan seperti apa?

Seperti diketahui sebagian besar aktivis online, kasus hukum pencemaran nama baik yang dituduhkan Rumah Sakit OMNI International kepada mantan pasiennya Ibu Prita Mulyasari terus berlanjut.

Berita terakhir, Pengadilan Tinggi Banten memutuskan Ibu Prita Mulyasari harus membayar ganti rugi sebesar 240 juta rupiah atas pencemaran nama baik yang konon dilakukannya lewat email.

Sebuah angka yang fantastis hanya karena mengirimkan email bukan?

Ya, logika awam menyatakan ini adalah ketidak adilan.

Lalu secara spontan (term spontan mungkin tidak tepat, mungkin memang terencana, mungkin tidak), para seleb aktivis dunia maya bergerak, menyampaikan pesan berantai, dan akhirnya tercipta sebuah gerakan untuk mengumpulkan koin recehan untuk membantu Ibu Prita Mulyasari membayar dendanya.

Nah, mulai dari sini, mari kita bersinis-sinis ria…

:mrgreen:

Continue reading Koin Untuk Prita, Apakah?…

via A Journal of A Not-Superman Human.

Jakarta rallies a sign of desperation in the KPK-Police struggle?

Does anyone else smell the same whiff of desperation in the air as Unspun? One would think that there are people in Indonesia who still think that rent-a-crowds would convince the public that public opinion is behind them.

Such people live in a world of their own divorced from reality. Technology has rendered much of the opaque business of gauging public opinion transparent. We all not only would know if the Emperor has no clothes but we can publish it online, and have it amplified by other onliners.

Nine Rallies In Jakarta on Thursday, Traffic Delays Expected

Nine rallies are scheduled for Jakarta on Thursday and will likely cause traffic delays.

According to Jakarta Police’s Traffic Management Center, the first demonstration began at 9 a.m. at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle. A second rally was held outside the Supreme Court building at Jalan Medan Merdeka Utara at the same time.

The State Palace, which is located on the same street as the Supreme Court, will be the site of three rallies that will take place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Groups of activists will come to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) at 10 a.m. and will march to the Presidential Advisory Board office. A different group of activists will also hold a rally at Hotel Indonesia traffic circle and march to the front of the National Police Headquarters on Jalan Trunojoyo in South Jakarta.

At 10:30 a.m. demonstrators will rally in front of the Chinese Embassy on Jalan Rasuna Said. Later in the afternoon activists will hold a rally at the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

There is also a rally planned at the office of the representative of North Maluku on Jalan Cempaka Putih, Central Jakarta, and a hunger strike planned at the KPK building.

JG