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:


Low grade Malaysian diplomacy

Unspun was traveling when this piece of news was sent to him. The whole story is remarkable in how low grade diplomacy has become where Australia and Malaysia are concerned.

To begin with Unspun finds it hard to understand the Australian human rights groups’ and the UN’s obsession on the possibility of asylum seekers being caned by the Malaysian authorities. Of all the things that can happen to asylum seekers why obsess over caning? Malaysia does cane people once in a while but they do not go around willy nilly caning every asylum seeker in sight.

And on the Malaysian side, what must, or must not, go through Foreign Minister Anifah Aman’s mind for him to argue with such churlishness? Wouldn’t a simple response that caning should not be an issue because Malaysia is a country of laws and legal processes and that the only people caned are those found guilty, suffice?

Why the defensiveness? Especially when it was only human rights groups and the UN, and not the Australian Government, that was mouthing off on the caning? Why alienate a people because of what some interest groups and the UN is saying?

What does it say of the Malaysian Government to have such bottom-of-the-barrel politicians putting up arguments that would embarrass their own mothers? Perhaps the problem can be traced back to the likelihood that Anifah was spared the rod when he was in school, so he never learned his rhetoric?

Malaysia Questions Treatment Of Aborigines

By Karlis Salna, AAP South-East Asia Correspondent

JAKARTA, May 27 AAP – Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman has questioned Australia’s treatment of Aborigines in response to criticism of his country’s record on human rights and the controversial asylum seeker swap deal.

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Bali, Mr Aman lashed out at suggestions the 800 asylum seekers covered by the deal could be caned, saying Malaysia was a civilised nation.

“Australians always have fears,” he told AAP on Friday.

When asked if he could guarantee that asylum seekers would not be caned, he said: “We won’t treat them like you have treated Aborigines.”

The comments come in the wake of criticism of the asylum seeker transfer deal linked to Malaysia’s record on human rights.

A series of Amnesty International reports have detailed how asylum seekers in Malaysia are subjected to abuse and extortion, and live in constant fear of deportation. Thousands are believed to be beaten and caned every year.

“I don’t know (why) you think that we cane those people,” Mr Aman said.

“We are a very civilised nation. If we are not civilised then you (Australia) are the ones to blame, because most of our politicians are Australian graduates.

“Maybe there is something not right that we learned from Australia. So if we are doing what you think we are doing, we must have learned from you.”

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen on Thursday said that the asylum seekers Australia intended to send to Malaysia would be treated properly.

Under the swap deal announced on May 7, up to 800 new boat arrivals to Australia will be relocated to Malaysia for processing.

In return, Australia will accept 4000 people from Malaysia who have already been granted refugee status.

The deal has come under fire from human rights groups as well as United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay.

During a visit to Australia earlier this week, Ms Pillay said Australia had to ensure there was no risk Malaysia would breach the principles of the Refugee Convention and Convention against Torture – neither of which the South-East Asian nation had ratified.

Mr Bowen has said the agreement with Malaysia will be finalised within weeks.