Friday, June 30, 2006

Hypocrisy 2 Tolerance & Decency 0

Such evil deeds could religion prompt.
Lucretius (96 BC - 55 BC),

Hypocrisy: A feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially : the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion.

Well above the average, but I am going for two posts today. I wasn’t going to but after reading today’s Jakarta Post. (I really need to find another paper, it used to be funny now its just depressing) I had no choice.

The Indonesian constitution and reputation (?) for tolerance took another big hit yesterday. Religious sect leader Lia Aminuddin was sentenced to jail for two years on Thursday for blasphemy.

Now there is no doubt in my mind that Lia is a couple of tools short in the toolbox. Lia believes she is she both the Angel Gabriel and the reincarnation of the Virgin Mary, kooky but that’s her business not the states. Lets tell the truth here, half the nutters in the world are convinced they are speaking to or for the one true God. As long as I can read my paper in peace, they can claim to be the reincarnation of Vanilla Ice for all anyone should care. If you want to follow them fill ya boots and have fun on the way just leave the rest of us in peace.

Meanwhile Azyumardi Azra, rector of Syarif Hidayatullah commenting on Lia's verdict said according to the JP that “he believed the verdict was inevitable because Lia had mixed ideas from established religions”

Wow, if ever there was a comment that indicates you like leading with your chin. Which religion established or otherwise doesn’t do that. Shall we talk of the origins of Easter, or….

Meanwhile, the intolerant ascending have decided that with everything that is going on in this country the most important thing is to
prosecute Kartika Oktavina Gunawan, who posed as the centerfold in the first Indonesian Playboy.

Her crime..she showed her breasts..well no …her groin..well no….she showed her …….Shock Horror..her mid riff. We can thank a group called ‘MAPPI’, Indonesian Anti-Piracy and Pornography (Does anyone really know who they are and who they represent) for filing the lawsuit against Kartika in the first place. On the other side of the coin is this the best thing the police have to do with their time?

You see, these days Tolerance in Indonesia is just a word in low demand and currency. Now if you want a really good strong word, try Hypocrisy!. Indonesia is currently well overstocked on the word these days and can offer great deals and specials. You might want to try the Hypocrisy and Intolerance Special comes with its own ranting, barely literate lunatics, great fun at any party.

Anyway I am off to buy some copies of Playboy and leave them around to see if any of the pious reads them, should be interesting.


Is there something in the water or is it a collective psychosis or has the world gone mad! I don't claim to be particularly religious, never the less I remember when I thought religion, I visulised people like Mother Teresa.

Perhaps things were simpler then, maybe because I didn’t know that Satan hides in condoms and soccer balls. Tricky little fellow that Satan! How do I know Satan hides in a condom? Well because a letter to the Jakarta Post told me so, along with the new scientific fact that the aids virus can penetrate condom material (where do they get this stuff?).

As for Soccer Ball hiding Satan: Read it for yourself
here and make sure you get to the bit about the earrings. Its important! Luckily “OVAL” balls never got a mention, so I can exploit that loophole.

Still it’s pleasing to know that both Christians and Muslims (and the rest, sorry if I have not offended you yet, give me time) are so concerned about the path we travel. I have to be honest, I think the road is getting a tad narrow for humans beings and it is costing way too many lives in the name of insantity.

BTW…I am still a bit stunned that in this day and age someone could seriously argue against the use of condoms…..We are an incredibly stupid species and why any God would want anything to do with us would be a better question to ask.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Thought you would be smart and buy some land at Muria, Central Java. Well the government has literally dealt your plans a death blow Announcing yesterday plans to speed up the development of nuclear power plant in that location . The people of Muria must be beside themselves with joy!!

I have discussed the sheer insanity of this before and Jakartass tackles the topic even better here . He asks some very important questions such as who exactly is to benefit from this??? ..It won't be the people that's for sure.

If the "powers that be" insist on playing the insanity card to make some pollies and businessmen rich at the expense of the well being of the nation, then
Ngruki, comes to mind (ok I am just being nasty).

One can only hope people start to realise there are bigger things to worry about than playboy magazine.

As for nuclear waste.............

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

There go da Judge

Only the man who has enough good in him to feel the justice of the penalty can be punished. ~William Ernest Hocking

You have to love this.....

"The total amount allegedly received by my client was Rp 10 million, and that was the witness' money, not from the state. So, why should my client be fined Rp 200 million?"

"The judge mentioned something about the spirit to eradicate corruption by preventing losses to the state. The problem is, the state suffered nothing."

I was wondering what to write about today and along comes lawyer Firman Wijaya with this statement after the South Jakarta District Court jailed one of its judges for four years and six months for extorting money from a witness in a graft trial. You can read the actual article in the Jakarta Post here

There is so much bizarre about Wijaya's statement as reported it beggars belief..
"The graft was only worth 10 million why should my client have to pay 200 Million??"

I dunno How about abuse of trust and position just for starters?

"The problem is, the state suffered nothing." Mmm, I would have thought the state suffered a loss of public confidence, a loss of the rule of law, a loss of investor confidence, domestic and international embarrassment. I am sure there are a million more (200 million?).

Personally, I don't know what the procedure is in Indonesia but surely Wijay's comments alone are worthy of internal review in their own right.

Reminds me of an old joke "What do you call a 100 Lawyers on the bottom of the ocean" Answer: "A good start"

Most men's anger about religion is as if two men should quarrel for a lady that neither of them care for. ~George Savile, Marquess de Halifax

Still enjoying the Jakarta Post (always good for a laugh), there is a interesting reader's letter complaining about the creeping Christianization of Indonesia including the classic statement:

"There has been aggressive proselytizing by Christian missionaries in hospitals and schools, and there also have been objections to the teaching of other faiths in privately run missionary schools"

I confess, I have a problem with any faith that tries to ram its belief down someone throat (ok, Seventh Day Adventists are cool, because you can tease them so much when they come knocking uninvited to your front door and they dress so dorky). However to complain that privately run missionary schools don't exactly encourage the teaching of other faiths, is a interesting use of the logical thought processes.

Who was the last person who sent their child to "Pesantren" (Islamic boarding School)
for a Christian education.

Of course, our estwhile letter writer quotes some detailed statistics however I would more interested in how you compile any viable census type data in Indonesia. I cannot even find out what the population of Jakarta is, with anything resembling confidence.

What is it about religion that so often removes the ability to apply rational thought? In case you were wondering, "I believe in God; I just don't trust anyone who say they work for him".

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Creation Proofs?

One of the joys of living in Indonesia that with a bit of effort you can find places that must represent what the original Eden was like. For those of you that care, have a look where I have spent the last few weeks.

Of course in the Ying and Yang of the world for every thing of beauty in creation there has to be the balance in creation gone wrong

Ya Pak

After returning from a recent trip, I took a speed read of the blogshpere. It was interesting to see the reaction to a post by Indcoup describing the lack of manners by some Indonesians when dealing others they believe below their station. A classic comment by one reader was “my colleagues in my office always say 'tolong' and 'terima kasih' to our office boys and girls, even to the janitors in our office”

What even to the Janitor?? How generous, sort of makes his point really.

Knowing my own tenous grip on life, and the somewhat irritating habit of whomever is the comic controller to throw spanner into my life when things are going well. I tend to stick to great grand pappies advice “be nice to people on the way up, you will probably pass them on the back down”

Personally, I have always found the other side of that particular coin far more perplexing. That is, the excessive Indonesian politeness when dealing with anyone perceived to be of higher(?) status. It does not seem matter how corrupt, evil or morally bankrupt that person may be. It never ceases to amaze me that when dealing with that all to common corrupt government official, even in the mist of an obvious shake down, the “shaked” will still be throwing out the “Yes Paks” with gay abandon (can you still say that??)and little concern for personal dignity.

I am not sure if this is a hang over from Javanese Culture or a hang over from the times of the “New Order” when getting on the wrong side of the ruling elite (no matter how low of the “elite” chain) could have some seriously bad consequences. Still, I can’t help but think how much more effective it would be if those corrupt parasites that are draining this country dry were greeted with a spit on the ground instead of the half bow and the simpering “Yes Pak.

Oh and I have to throw this in, even though it has nothing to do with the above post. Just listening to “The Simpsons” (Ah Fox TV!). Homer Simpson “Those Catholics, its like Simon Sez with no winner”

Catholics don’t to be offended, to be fair they went on to give everyone else a hard time as well.

Friday, June 23, 2006

World Cup Yawns

Well I have tried and failed!! I really cannot get into the world cup despite the world wide frenzy surrounding it. I even watched three games..sort of, although drifted off to sleep each time. It is beyond me how anyone can find a game that mucks around for 2 hours (or so) and then ends in a nil all draw can be called exciting.

Little wonder soccer crowds have a reputation for aggressive and violent behaviour (as opposed to the world cup players, who seem to fall over screaming the the moment anyone comes within 1/2 a metre of them). The crowds must suffer terminal frustration and boredom.

Thank God, with a bit of effort you can still find some rugby, AFL or even Gridiron with a bit of dedicated channel surfing (as my grand dad used to say, if it don't draw blood, it aint a sport..mind you he was a hard bastard).

Of course at the moment, soccer fever is running high in Australia. Amongst a lot of huberious and grandisose claims, the silliest claim is soccer will be the major code in Australia soon. The reality is, soccer will fall straight back to a dismal third (fourth?) as it is now.

Australia has had soccer fever before, the last time when they qaulified for the World Cup in the 70's (I forget who they beat, Outer Mongolia or someone). Sure enough within six months, the federation had split along predicatable enthnic lines and the code collapased once again into the abyss of boring sports.

So for you soccer nuts..have fun...I am off to the RUGBY.

Friday, June 09, 2006


Once again, I have been remiss in my postings and will continue to do for the next couple of weeks. Its that end of year thing where I have to justify my existence to the commercial "powers that be".

Over the next two weeks, meetings in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. Lots of talking, new buzz words and smiling at very dull people. I think this year the words will be Six Sigma.. oh we go again and I still have not got rid of those stupid beads from Total Qaulity Management (You would know what I mean if you had ever been dragged from a real job dealing with real people to suffer through those presentations delivered by consultants who had no idea what you did or why you did it).

6 Sigma... "A transformational road to improvement utilising a framework of tools and methodologies" ...What a bunch of WANK!

However, as I am just one of the cogs in the machine, I will dutifully go and listen to the over charging consultants and bear with the slow death by power point slide..
and day dream of smogy Jakarta, bizarre Kalimantan, Beautiful Bandung, Bouncy Bali.

Wish me luck and I will see in in a a couple of weeks...

Monday, June 05, 2006

Jakarta Contrasts

Took a little trip into the big smoke (Jakarta) last weekend. Its a place I like to visit from every so often to get those things you just can't get in the provinces.

At 6'1, I am a bit bigger then the average Indonesian, so getting shoes and clothes that fit can be an interesting exercise at the best of times and Jakarta is often the last option. As usual, I had plenty of time to admire the view from the airport to city centre as a bus breakdown meant the normal 1 hour tollroad run took just over three hours.

Flew in via Garuda, the national Airline and took the time to read the Garuda in-flight Magazine. There was a fairly large section promoting Jakarta, mostly informative but where in the world did they get those photos of a smog free Jakarta??? No traffic jams, blue sky, lots of green, I must have missed that day! Whenever I am in Jakarta even on clear (?) days, the city is bathed in a very weird yellow tinge..sort of an "end of days" glow. You get the feeling the city is (has) entering an end game of terminal pollution meltdown.

Having said all that, Jakarta has a lot going for it as well. Some for the best food in the world, try Oasis or Lan Na Thai you won't de disappointed or duck down to the nearest Kaki Lima (street vendor) for some real down to earth tastes (stick to the fried stuff and you won't get sick). Personally, I love the Padang food and the way they serve it up.

Some of the malls are just bizarre in scope and size . There ia a night life scene that caters for all tastes and wants ranging from very up market clubs to downright sleazy. Best of all, a live music scene that is second to none and is easily affordable to most. One thing though, for some reason all the bands seem to come from Bandung (is there something in the water there?).

Hotel/Motels range from Hilton class five star to rent by the hour flea pits. Mind you, it might be ok to stay at the Hilton bit it seems a risky place to work at times as a poor young waiter found out here

"In the early hours of New Year’s Day 2005 Sutowo’s youngest son, Adiguna, was arrested in the bar of the Hilton Hotel, Jakarta. According to witnesses, when the woman with whom he was drinking had her expired credit card returned by a young part-time waiter, the young Sutowo said, ‘Don’t you know who I am?’, and then pulled a gun and shot the waiter dead. He was found guilty of murder, but received only a seven-year gaol term, much less than that of the well-known Australian drug smugglers."

Great movie houses can be found in Jakarta, I went saw the "Insider" in fanastic comfort. I must confess still confused about the movie, I must have missed a couple of twists somewhere.

All in all a great weekend but as usual I was left pondering the vast difference between the "haves" and "have nots". I know all cities have them but in Jakarta it is right in your face, walk 50m from your plush, air conditioned hotel and suddenly you are looking at people with no hope, no future and nowhere to go. I don't claim to have the answers by any means but it is confronting to say the least.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Earthquakes and old thugs

Went away for a couple of weeks and it looks like a lot has been happening.

The Indonesian city of Yogyakarta coped it in the neck with a massive earthquake with latest reports indicating close to 6000 people confirmed dead. Once again it appears the poorest and most disadvantaged have suffered more than their share of pain and grief. If you want to help Jakartass
has a number of links where your assistance would be appreciated.

Ex Indonesian Province East Timor has once again fallen into violence and chaos. This was once claimed by that most useless of organisations the United Nations as its jewel in Nation building. Unfortunately, with some notable personal exceptions, the 12 month postings of under qualified, over paid dreamers was never going to establish those functions needed to ensure a safe and secure society. Saddled with the inept UN combined with the sheer lunacy of decisions primarily driven by the dated Marxist Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, the new nation never had a chance. An interesting viewpoint on the Timor crisis can be found here

An Indonesian family has lost several members to “bird Flu”. In a strange twist it was reported in the Jakarta Post this week that several people in village are blaming black magic for the deaths as no chickens have got sick.

Just to change the tone a bit, EX Prime Minister of Malaysia, Old Man Mahathir is finding out that nobody really cares for ex thugs once the power is withdrawn.
"He's been complaining about being isolated from the mainstream media,"
boss Premesh Chandran told Reuters, explaining that the major dailies that once hung on Mahathir's every word now didn't have much time for him.

Its beautiful isn’t it, you can rule a nation with respect or with fear but only one lasts. NEXT..................

On personal note, our Troll has been a bit naughty, leaving comments under false names, mine included. Pity shall be the order of the day, must be sad little life one leads as a Troll if you need to pretend you are someone else.