Been “jalan jalan lagi” but strangely that had little effect on the world. The world didn’t stop and wait for me to get back.
I see the Newmont trial is over and Mr. Ness and the company has been acquitted of pollution and environmental damage charges. Based on newspaper reports of mishandled evidence, false reports and various other agenda driven slanders, it remains bizarre that the process took this long.
It’s a shame that various NGO still have not realised the damage to their credibility this case has done to them. It’s a bigger shame the NGO’s have compromised themselves just when Indonesia needs a reliable and transparent environmental watchdog the most. Its time for some leadership reviews and not just in the corporate world.
Here’s a tip …..’Walli’s” of the world, take a trip out to Surabaya and go play in the toxic mud brought to us by the Brothers Grimm. Perhaps out there you may regain some perspective.
Meanwhile a recent strike at Freeport, Papua raised a number of comments around the blogsphere. Predictably (and some what of a yawn), it was the mostly the “BIG BAD MULTINATIONAL” biased comments flowing again.
Invariably, the calls from the rabid green are to close the mine down and pay compensation (based on what??) and return the land to the people.
Of course, you never hear of what will replace the mine as the single biggest taxpayer in Indonesia. Perhaps a payroll tax on the ojek drivers?
In this strike, native Papuans wanted to a pay rise to over 3 times the national average and were concerned that Javanese were always given preference to Papuans in recruitment and career options.
The recruitment and promotion of Javanese over other ethnic groups is an explosive issue throughout many of the provinces. Decades of unequal school funding and “transmigration” policies have left many provinces way behind their Javanese cousins and this has yet to reach its crisis point. Although its safe to say the government does not have a lot time left to act.
The Papuans have every right to demand more opportunities from the wealth taken from their land. I can’t help but think their anger is misdirected. Any company is going to select its employees from the most qualified. A better question is where have the taxes and royalties gone? Why haven’t we got the best schools and hospitals in Indonesia based on out input to the national coffers? These are not questions that Freeport is responsible for.
The other issue is getting paid over three times the National Average. I know makes the NGO’s and other rabids feel all warm and fuzzy. Yippee!! We have screwed a few more bucks of our wealth back from the evil multi national!
Its short sighted, immature and devastates the communities involved. Basic supply and demand principles mean than market prices rise to the level the consumer can afford to pay (Hero Bali vs Hero Solo). Unless you can afford to employ every member of that community, you have condemned those without access to those higher wages to even greater poverty. (Does anyone want to take a bet that the price of a bag of rice in Papua does not double on the basis of the new wages?)
Perhaps instead of chasing ghosts and glory, the WALLI’s of this world could actually develop and propose viable working plans that ensure “All” of the community advances on the back of the natural bounty of the land.
Of course, this would require a bit of thought and planning. You cannot go changing the rules halfway thru the game .. UPFRONT AND TRANSPARENT