Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners

Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners
Widodo has pledged to bring reform to Indonesia

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has pleaded to Indonesia to stop the execution of prisoners on death row for drug crimes. AFP PHOTO

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person
The pope wrote that the principle of legitimate personal defense isn’t adequate justification to execute someone. Photograph: Zuma/Rex

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison   (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)
US President Barack Obama speaks as he tours the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma, July 16, 2015 (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)
Woman who spent 23 years on US death row cleared (Photo: dpa)


"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

South Jakarta's First Bike Lane to Be Ready Next Month

Jakarta Globe, Dofa Fasila | April 26, 2011

Related articles

South Jakarta will have its first ever bicycle lane by the end of May — though it runs a mere 1.5 kilometers.

South Jakarta Mayor Syahrul Effendi said on Tuesday that a gubernatorial decree would be issued to provide the legal umbrella for the lane, which will run from the Ayodya Park to the Melawai commercial area.

"The physical work for the lane is not yet completed," he said, adding that about 40 percent of the work had already been done.

"It's been a bit slow because we have to work in the evenings so as not to hinder traffic during the day. What is important is that this lane would be inaugurated in May and can be used for cycling."

The mayor said the construction of the Rp 500 million, 1.6-meter wide bike lane was being financed by funds raised by the Indonesian Bicycling Committee.

Syahrul added that they would work to develop more bicycle lanes and try to have them interconnected.

Bike lanes, he said, were part of the city's regional zoning plan for 2010-2030.

The head of the South Jakarta zoning office, Gamal Sinurat, said they were looking at putting bicycle lanes under elevated highways, including under the Antasari-Blok M elevated highway and along the parts of the Eastern Flood Canal that runs through the municipality.

Biking enthusiasts and advocates have long campaigned for the creation of dedicated bicycle lanes in Jakarta. Toto Sugito, chairm an of Jakarta’s Bike to Work (B2W) cycling community, says the administration lacked the political will to make the city friendlier for those not using motor vehicles.

VP lauds the Post’s role as window into Indonesia

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 04/26/2011

Vice President Boediono has lauded the country’s leading English newspaper, The Jakarta Post, which recently celebrated its 28th anniversary, as having served outstandingly as the world’s window into Indonesia.

Delivering a keynote speech at a seminar hosted by the Asia News Network (ANN) in Jakarta on Tuesday, Boediono said the Post, as one of the founders of the ANN, the biggest network of national dailies in Asia, had provided outstanding news coverage and analysis about Indonesia.

“[The Post] has not only benefited domestic readers but has also acted as a window through which the outside world can glimpse Indonesia’s colorful life,” Boediono said.

“I understand that since its founding in 1999 the ANN has gone from strength to strength, and today it is the largest network of national dailies spanning across Asia with 20 member publications in 18 countries. I am happy to note that The Jakarta Post was one of the original founders of ANN.

Boediono said that with the proliferation of information and media sources, people were now faced with an information overload, making it difficult to distinguish between truly significant news and trivia.

He said that given this reality, the role of quality news media was more, not less, important in helping to inform and educate the public by presenting the news, and providing perspectives about events that shaped lives in ways that were both informative and illuminating.

“I would like to pay tribute to The Jakarta Post, Indonesia’s leading English news daily, for its role in providing outstanding news coverage and analysis about Indonesia.”

Monday, April 25, 2011

RI, Chinese museums hold joint exhibition

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 04/25/2011

Working in cooperation with the Guangxi Museum of Nationalities, China, the National Museum of Indonesia is featuring a colletion of 200 historical and archeological artifacts from both countries in an exhibition called the “Color of Uniqueness”.

The exhibition will first be in Indonesia from April 25 to May 31, and from there it will move to the Guangxi Museum where it will be held from July 1 to Nov. 1.

The exhibition will present 106 artefacts related to Chinese culture from the National Museum, 92 pieces from the Guangxi Museum, and two from the Trowulan Bureau for the Preservation of Ancient Relics.

Museum of Indonesia director Retno Sulistyaningsih said ties between Indonesia and China could be improved through the exhibition.

“The exhibition will explain that there has been an acculturation of Chinese culture into Indonesian culture, presented in traditional textiles, architecture, carvings, art performances, and ceramics," Retno said during the opening ceremony of the exhibition on Monday

Saturday, April 23, 2011

RI to break world record with angklung performance in Washington

The Jakarta Post, Antara, Washington, Sat, 04/23/2011

Indonesia plans to break a world record by organizing an angklung traditional musical instrument performance featuring a record number of international participants in Washington DC on July 9.

Angklungschool of Pak Udjo / Bandung
The performance, which will be staged in National Mall park in the city center, is expected to be recorded by Guinness World Records, Antara news agency reported Saturday.

“We have contacted Guinness World Records [about the plan],” Indonesian Ambassador to the United States Dino Patti Djalal said as quoted by Antara in a recent interview.

Dino said the event would show Indonesia’s appreciation of UNESCO’s recognition of the Sundanese orchestral instrument as a world heritage.

Dino said that thousands of angklung were being prepared in Jakarta with the help of the Investment Coordinating Board.

“I won’t mention the figure but we are now preparing thousands of angklung to meet the target,” Dino said.

He said the participants would be briefed for 30 minutes on how to play the instrument and then given three opportunities to play a song. Those interested in participating can register by sending an email to

The Indonesian embassy in Washington has ordered more than 2,000 sarong and batik shawls, which will be given to the participants during the performance.

In Indonesia, an angklung orchestra entered the Indonesia Museum of Records (MURI) on August 27, 2007, when around 10,000 people played angklung together at Padjajaran University in Bandung, West Java, to mark the university’s 50th anniversary.

Related Articles:


Friday, April 22, 2011

Interfaith youth help with Easter security in Kupang

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Fri, 04/22/2011

Youth from various religious backgrounds will help with the increased security efforts for Easter celebrations in the East Nusa Tenggara capital of Kupang, the police say.

"There will be around 200 youth of different religions helping secure the Easter celebrations," East Nusa Tenggara Police spokesman Comr. Antonio Pah said on Friday as quoted by

The youth, according to Pah, will cooperate with the police, the army and local transportation agency officers to ensure safe celebrations.

He added that the total number of personnel deployed for Easter security in Kupang reached 559, including the youth. Among their tasks are organizing traffic around the churches and securing church attendants.

"Churches will also be sterilized by the Gegana bomb squad," Pah said.

Frans Lebu Raya, the governor of East Nusa Tenggara, urged people to play a role in creating a peaceful Easter atmosphere. "The people also have to participate in securing Easter celebrations this year," he said.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

JG Photographer Recognized for Gayus Photo

Jakarta Globe, April 19, 2011

This photograph of Gayus Tambunan, wearing a wig and glasses,
watching a tennis tournament in Bali in early November when he should
have been behind bars, won Jakarta Globe chief photographer Jurnasyanto
Sukarno a National Press Day award on Tuesday.

Related articles

A photograph that unravelled deep-rooted corrupt practices in law enforcement institutions earned a Jakarta Globe photographer a National Press Day Award on Tuesday.

The photograph, taken by the Globe's chief photographer, Jurnasyanto Sukarno, and published on the Nov. 6, 2010, issue, depicted a wig-wearing man among the spectators in a tennis tournament in Bali bearing an uncanny resemblance to disgraced former taxman Gayus Tambunan.

The publication of the picture, and a similar one in Kompas newspaper a few days later, led to the discovery that Gayus, who should have been behind bars pending a graft verdict, had been able to bribe his way out of his detention cell at will, including to go on vacations overseas with his wife.

"The picture spoke volumes about the corruption plaguing this country," Globe chief editor Bhimanto Suwastoyo said.

Gayus will soon face trial for bribery charges related to the illicit jaunts, while the former chief warden at the Brimob detention center and several other correctional officers are currently on trial for receiving bribes to let him out of the heavily guarded facility.

The award was also given to Kompas photographer Agus Susanto, who also took the same picture, and Suara Hidayatullah journalist Surya Fachrizal for his extraordinary coverage of the sending of humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on board the Marvi Marmara boat.

Indonesia Corruption Watch was also presented with the National Press Day Award for its extraordinary efforts in fighting corruption and its close partnership with the press in these efforts.

The awards were presented by the 2011 National Press Day Community during a gathering at the TVRI building in South Jakarta that also saw the awarding of the Gold Medal for Journalism Spirit to veteran journalist Jacob Oetama and the “Press Card Number One” to 35 journalists in recognition for their professionalism, integrity and contributions to press freedom.

Monday, April 18, 2011

UNESCO to name Saman Dance world cultural heritage

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 04/18/2011

UNESCO is set to officially list the Saman Dance from Aceh as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in November.

“The Saman Dance will be announced as intangible world cultural heritage by UNESCO on November 19, 2011,” I Gde Pitana, Indonesian Culture and Tourism Ministry cultural and tourism resources agency head, said Monday in Jakarta.

He said UNESCO's recognition of Saman added to numerous Indonesian cultural products already recognized by UNESCO as among world cultural heritage such as wayang (shadow puppets), keris (traditional dagger), batik textiles and angklung (a set of Sundanese musical instruments).

Pitana said the announcement would be made at a ceremony in Bali, Antara reported.

Related Article:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Women find hope and empowerment

The Jakarta Post, Margaret Agusta, Contributor, Jakarta | Sat, 04/16/2011

Hand made: An artisan uses a wooden hammer to make wayang kulit
(leather puppet) during the exhibition. JP/P.J. Leo

The enticing strains of keroncong music wafted out into the Rumah Jawa Gallery compound at Jl. Kemang Timur Raya in South Jakarta, inviting visitors to step inside and see what the archipelago has to offer.

The gallery is hosting the Meet the Makers exhibition, which allows anyone interested in traditional textiles and handicrafts from various villages across the archipelago to not only view and possibly purchase the hand wrought items, but to also watch them being made from Friday, April 15 through Sunday, April 17 from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.

Meet the Makers makes a point to provide visitors the opportunity to meet the handicrafts people, mostly women, whose wares, ranging from hand-painted batik and traditional woven textiles, mats and bags made from woven reeds, leather wayang shadow puppets, wooden handicrafts, and ceramics.

There is even one display of educational toys by the Yakum Craft non-profit organization of Central Java that empowers handicapped people toward independence through the recycling of discarded packaging into useful objects, like puzzles that can help children learn.

After all, this Meet the Makers exhibition is primarily about empowerment.

According to Ibu Luwek of Tende Village, Kutai Regency, East Kalimantan, who was sitting on a woven reed mat in the middle of the central exhibition space on Friday weaving natural tan colored and black dyed reeds into traditional patterns for a small mat, she is delighted to have the opportunity to visit Jakarta and share her skills and sell her products.

“The money we make is a welcome addition to household income,” said the small shy woman in colorful red traditional garb, her hair pulled back in a traditional bun.

“I am really happy that we can sell so much when we exhibit in Jakarta,” she said, explaining that this is her second opportunity to come to the capital to promote the handicrafts of Industri Bentuan Lestari Cooperative that groups 25 women handicrafters in her village.

Which one?: A woman look at masks in a handicraft exhibition
at the Rumah Jawa Gallery at Jl. Kemang Timur Raya in South
Jakarta. The items are from Azizah Craft of Bantul,
Yogyakarta. JP/P.J. Leo
“It has not been easy to market our mats and bags and other woven reed items,” she said.

“I finally approached the local Industry and Cooperatives Agency and we were able to get some guidance and training to help us manage our cooperative well and to find more ways to promote and distribute our products.”

Her cooperative also collaborates with the Borneo Chic shop at Jl. Bangka Raya 99A to produce sheets of woven reed that are then used to produce attractive, trendy modern bags on the basis of designs created by a young woman named Diana, who originates from Hulu Village in West Kalimantan.

Among the other cooperatives, women’s empowerment organizations and small-scale home industries with displays are Tafean Pah, which features traditional woven and embroidered fabrics of various kinds from the western part of East Nusa Tenggara; House of Lawe of Yogyakarta that features items made from the traditional fabric favored by the staff and guards of the ancient palace there; Asmoro, which features the unique designs and colors of the coastal batik of Pekalongan; Red Lotus, which features a wide range of hand painted batik items from Banguntapan, Yogyakarta,. and Pekunden, of Depok, West Java, which features pottery items.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Be careful of Arab-sponsored organizations: NU

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Friday 04/15/2011

Said Aqil Siradj, the chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama, the biggest Indonesian Muslim organization, said Arab-sponsored foundations and organizations must be addressed carefully due to their criticism of NU activities.

“Arab-sponsored organizations always criticize our tradition. This is terror on our theology,” he said.

Regarding the Cirebon blast, Aqil urged the police to work more seriously. “The Utan Kayu bombing is also not far from our minds,” he said.

He guaranteed there was no NU member involved in acts of terror.

Bomber's face: Indonesian National Police spokesperson Insp.
Gen. Anton Bachrul Alam holds up the photo of suspected suicide
bomber who blew himself at a mosque inside a police compound
in Cirebon, West Java on Friday, during a press conference at the main
police hospital in Jakarta, Saturday. The bombing was the first attack
on a mosque since extremists started targeting the predominantly
Muslim country a decade ago.(AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Alwi Shihab: Rosihan dared to voice the truth

Antara News, Thu, April 14 2011

"Rosihan dared to say the truth amidst threats."

Related News

Rosihan Anwar (1922-2011).
(ANTARA News/Fanny Octavianus)
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Former foreign affairs minister Alwi Shihab said he considered Rosihan Anwar as a journalist who dared to voice the truth and had strong principles.

"Rosihan dared to say the truth amidst threats. Despite the changing political dynamism, he was always in the front line in voicing the truth," he said after paying his last respects to the late Rosihan at Menteng , Central Jakarta, Thursday.

Rosihan was a very productive and idealistic journalist, Alwi said, adding that he had continued to produce his works despite his old age.

"The younger generation could learn a lot from him and should read his articles. We lost a great national pressman," he said.

Also paying their last respects were Coordinating Minister for People`s Welfare Agung Laksono, Meutia Hatta, former information minister Harmoko, politican AM Fatwa, and actor Dedy Mizwar.

Rosihan Anwar died on Thursday morning at MMC Hospital, Jakarta.

The journalist of three eras had begun his journalistic career during the Dutch colonial era with the Asia Raya newspaper. He underwent a bypass surgery at Harapan Kita cardiac hospital on March 24, 2011 and was allowed to leave the hospital on April 13.

He had led Siasat daily from 1947 to 1957, and Pedoman from 1948 to 1961. Rosihan was a founder of the Indonesian Journalists` Association (PWI) and became PWI chairman from 1968 to 1974.

The senior journalist is survived by three children - Aida Fatia, Omar Luthfi and Naila.

He was born in Kubang Nan Dua, West Sumatra, on May 10, 1922, and known as a historian, man of letters and culture.

Ilham Bintang, secretary of the Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI)`S Honorary Council, said Rosihan Anwar felt week when his daughter was feeding him.

"His family later brought Rosihan Anwar to MMC Jakarta," Ilham Bintang said.

When they arrived at the hospital, the doctor pronounced him dead.

Rosihan had a heart bypass surgery at Harapan Kita cardiac hospital in Jakarta on March 24, 2011.

Editor: Priyambodo RH

“With the passing away of Rosihan at the age of 89, the president said, Indonesia had lost one of its press figures of all ages from colonial, Old Order, New Order, until the reform era.”

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Caterpillars Are a ‘Warning From God,’ House Speaker Says

Jakarta Globe, April 13, 2011

A Ministry of Agriculture official displaying caterpillars during an outbreak
in Medan, North Sumatra, on Wednesday. House of Representatives (DPR)
Speaker Marzuki Alie says an outbreak of caterpillars that has reached plague
proportions in parts of Indonesia is a warning from God. (Antara Photo)

A senior politician from the ruling Democratic Party says an outbreak of caterpillars that has reached plague proportions in parts of Indonesia is a warning from God.

House of Representatives (DPR) Speaker Marzuki Alie, who has a reputation for putting his foot in his mouth, said on Wednesday that the caterpillar infestations in parts of Bali, Java, Jakarta and Sumatra was a message from God for Indonesians to look inwards and evaluate themselves.

“Yes, it was God’s warning,” Marzuki said at the DPR. “It is God’s warning that we should introspect and make changes. Every incident has a meaning behind it.”

Marzuki said it was “not good” for us to keep on debating and fighting over issues.

He said Indonesia was facing many problems and therefore it was better for all elements in society to focus on their work for the betterment of the nation.

Marzuki has most recently made headlines for continuing to push for the controversial construction of a Rp 1.13 trillion office tower for legislators.

When an NGO threatened to file a lawsuit against him, Marzuki claimed that nongovernmental organizations did not represent the people, lawmakers did.

“[NGOs] please don’t speak on behalf of the people, House members are the official representatives,” he said.

In late October, following the tsunami that devastated the Mentawai Islands off West Sumatra, Democrat and House Speaker Marzuki Alie was widely criticized for saying the victims should have expected the disaster.

“If you’re afraid of waves, don’t live by the shore,” he said. “To be swept away by a big wave or by a tsunami is probably the consequence of living on an island.”

Related Articles:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Two prehistoric burial sites found in Papua

Antara News, Mon, April 11 2011

"The finds are very interesting. The two burial sites show that prehistoric people living in mountain areas had different raditions"

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - The Jayapura Archeology Service has found two prehistoric burial sites in Papua province`s Pegunungan Bintang district.

One of the burial sites was located at Kabiding Hamlet, Oksibil subdistrict and the other one at Wanbakok Hamlet, Serambakon subdistrict.

"The finds are very interesting. The the two burial sites show that prehistoric people living in mountain areas had different raditions," a researcher of the Jayapura Archeology Service, Rini Maryone, said here Monday.

According to Rini, the tribes in Pegunungan Bintang District had a prehisroric cave burial tradition, different from those residing in Pegunungan Tengah District.

For example, the Dani tribe who live in Wamena and Tolikara, have a tradition of cremating their dead instead of entombing them ad in caves, Rini said.

Some artifacts such as splinter stones, square stone axes, were found inside and outside the burial cave sites.

The artifacts indicated that prehistoric humans in the region had a hunting and gathering tradition, Rini said.

Besides the two burial sites, The Jayapura Archeology Agency also found a prehistoric cave related to the worship ritual conducted in Okmakok Hamlet, Oksibil District.

Therefore, Rini asked the local authority to develop the prehistoric sites as potential tourism spots as well as to generate new knowledge from the prehistoric sites.

"The sites definitely have great cultural values," Rini said, adding that the local people should also preserve the prehistoric sites.

Editor: Aditia Maruli

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Jakarta Journo: The 'Accidental' Porn Fan

Jakarta Globe, Armando Siahaan | April 10, 2011

PKS lawmaker Arifinto tells a press conference on Friday that he was
unaware a link he received in an e-mail led to pornography. The PKS
lawmaker was photographed allegedly watching pornography on his tablet
computer during a plenary session in the House of Representatives. (Antara Photo)

Related articles

Nazril “Ariel” Irham must be smirking right now, knowing that a lawmaker from the Prosperous Justice Party, which was one of the many groups calling for him to be imprisoned over his leaked private sex tapes, was caught red-handed watching pornography.

A Media Indonesia photographer caught Arifinto, a legislator from the party also known as PKS, opening a porn Web site on his tablet computer during a House of Representatives plenary session on Friday.

Arifinto admitted that it was in fact an adult site that was shown on his gadget, but he claimed he had merely opened a link attached to an e-mail he had received from an anonymous sender.

But one of the photos clearly showed that Arifinto had his fingers on the screen, which was filled with thumbnails of different sex videos on the site.

I want to make it clear that my anger over this matter does not stem from the act of watching porn itself. Rather, it is the many layers of irony and hypocrisy that I cannot stand.

Arifinto dons the uniform of the uber-conservative PKS, which was one of the most aggressive advocates of the 2008 Anti-Pornography Law.

So for PKS to have one of it own sons break that law, not to mention doing it in the same place where the law was drafted and passed, is colossally hypocritical.

Moreover, let’s not forget that PKS is the party of the antipornography bill’s godfather, Communications Minister Tifatul Sembiring.

Tifatul was one of the first public officials to condemn Ariel’s sex tapes and denounce them as a violation of the Anti-Pornography Law.

He was also the man who has religiously pushed for the filtering of pornographic Web sites, including on BlackBerry devices.

So the big question now is, what will Tifatul do? Will he push for the porn-watching politician to get punished? Or will he, like other PKS officials, make ridiculous excuses to defend his colleague.

I’m equally interested to see the reaction of Islamic hard-liners like the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).

They mobilized their followers to make sure that authorities put Ariel behind bars, and they were also ready to blitzkrieg Japanese porn star Miyabi at the airport upon hearing of her plans to shoot a part in a local movie.

Now we have a lawmaker, a representative of the country’s largest Islamic party, caught watching porn. According to FPI’s worldview, shouldn’t this guy be dealt with swiftly and harshly, given that he has clearly tarnished the reputation of all Muslims?

Even if we put the porn issue aside, the Arifinto controversy should at least raise serious questions about the work ethics of our lawmakers.

Let’s say Arifinto really was just opening an e-mail. Shouldn’t he be paying attention to the meeting, instead of playing around with his gadgets?

Those who have paid a visit to one of these plenary sessions know that a lot of our lawmakers seem to suffer from attention-deficit disorder.

Many of the politicians that come to these meetings seem do whatever it takes to avoid having to do any actual work, whether it is chitchatting with their friends or playing with their BlackBerrys and iPads. The especially hardworking ones simply fall asleep.

And, of course, there are plenty more who simply don’t come at all, which explains why there were no lawmakers sitting around Arifinto when the incriminating picture was taken.

A year ago, lawmakers were under fire over their chronic absenteeism at plenary sessions. Even after all of the media scrutiny, most of these sessions still never reach anything close to a full house.

We are also faced with our legislators’ utter inability to actually legislate. Critics have often lambasted lawmakers for being unable to meet the National Legislation Program (Prolegnas) target. Has anything changed?

No. Despite their poor performance, most politicians are still living large. They receive big monthly salaries and all kinds of additional allowances. They get to travel overseas in the name of research and, just like a 5-year-old boy asking for a mansion on his birthday, are adamant that their plan to build an ultra-expensive new office building for themselves is completely justified.

House Ethics Council deputy chairman Nudirman Munir said on Sunday that Arifinto had disgraced the House and that he had only two options — to resign or be dismissed. Whether the council has the political will to follow up on these threats is perhaps another matter.

The whole controversy may just play out like the case of Yahya Zaini. He was a former Golkar lawmaker who made a sex tape with dangdut singer Maria Eva that got leaked onto the Internet. Ultimately he did resign over the issue, but he was never pursued by the House Ethics Council or the police.

So will PKS lawmakers put their money where their mouths are and fire Arifinto? Will FPI stage a protest against the porn-watching politician? Will Tifatul call for the police to arrest him for violating the Anti-Pornography Law? I seriously doubt it.

Related Articles:

Is Hip-Hop the Rhythm of Papua?

Jakarta Globe, Katrin Figge | April 10, 2011

Dancers from ‘We Are From the East,’ choreographer Jecko Siompo’s
exploration of the connection between hip-hop and Papuan traditional dance.
(Photo courtesy of Goethe-Institut)

Related Articles

A group of 10 dancers kneel on the floor. The upper bodies of the male dancers are painted in black and white while their female counterparts wear short brown dresses. They slowly raise their bodies to the rhythm of drums amplified over loudspeakers to a heart-stilling thunder. As they rise, they move in unison with the music and, as the beat gets faster, so do their movements. Eventually the stage becomes a whirling blur of movement, limbs twisting and bodies twirling with speed and grace.

This is a scene from “We Came From the East,” a new dance production by Indonesian choreographer Jecko Siompo.

“Hip-hop was born in Papua. You don’t have to believe me. But my great-grandmother told me,” Jecko boldly declared during a press conference at the Goethe-Institut in Jakarta on Thursday.

Jecko was referring chiefly to dance moves from Papua, which he claims form the foundation of the hip-hop and modern street dancing movements, rather than hip-hop music.

This theory underpins “We Came From the East.” One of Jecko’s main goals for the performance is to show, through his choreography, how ancient, traditional dances from his native Papua became the basis of modern hip-hop and breakdancing.

During the hour-long show, his troupe of dancers — eight from Indonesia and two from Germany — use dynamic performances to illustrate the connection between traditional and modern styles, bringing together folklore and pop culture. The production also features Jecko’s signature choreography style, which he calls “animal pop” because it is based on the movements of wild creatures.

“We Came From the East” will be performed at the Goethe-Institut on Tuesday night before the troupe travels to Hamburg, Germany, for the show’s official world premier a week later. It will have a run in Berlin in August before traveling to Singapore and Melbourne in October.

“We hope that we can convince Jecko to perform ‘We Came From the East’ again next year,” said Frank Werner, the head of cultural programs at the Goethe-Institut.

“That’s because there is one thing that is quite typical of Jecko’s pieces — they change, they grow and they get better over time.”

“They’re like a good bottle of red wine,” he added with a laugh. “They mature.”

In fact, Jecko and Goethe-Institut share quite a long history.

“Our collaboration with Jecko is almost a decade old,” Werner said. “It all started in 2002, when Jecko staged a premiere here.”

That same year, Jecko received a scholarship from the German Cultural Institute to study at the renowned Folkwang Dance Studio in Essen, Germany. A graduate of the Jakarta Arts Institute, he has been a guest at international dance festivals and meetings around the world, both as a dancer and a choreographer, ever since.

Werner said that the show’s international tour proved that Jecko has, in addition to becoming a renowned choreographer in Indonesia, managed to make his mark outside of his home country.

“Of course, we feel very privileged and proud that Jecko always chooses the Goethe-Institut as the first stage to present his pieces, which makes us part of his international success,” Werner said. “But actually, it is more than just a collaboration — it has to be seen within the larger framework of ‘Tanzconnexions.’ ”

Tanzconnexions (Dance Connections) is a five-year project put on by the Goethe-Institut that aims to foster artistic exchanges in the fields of dance and choreography between Asia and Europe through workshops and co-productions.

In fact, “We Came From the East” can be considered a co-production between Jecko, the Goethe-Institut Indonesia, Kampnagel Hamburg, Hebbel-am-Ufer Berlin (both theaters in Germany), and the Esplanade-Theaters on the Bay in Singapore.

In early 2010, Jecko was invited by Kampnagel Hamburg to present his piece, “Room Exit,” which helped him gain renown at an international level.

Werner said, “‘Tanzconnexions’ contributed a lot to making Jecko’s latest production happen, but, in the end, it is his artistic skill, experience and genius that makes it a wonderful piece.”
‘We Came From The East’

Tuesday, April 12, 8 p.m.
Jl. Sam Ratulangi No. 9-15, Menteng, Central Jakarta
Tel: 021 2355 0208