Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Compulsory Military Service

The stump, like most expat bloggers who make any statement, or advance an opinion that shows Indonesian Society as anything else than a Utopia of tolerance and diversity get our share of hate mail. Invariably the xenophobes advise us to "go home" if we don’t like it, whilst drawing upon the usual xenophobic rants about “bule” social habits and choice of partners etc etc (I never said they were intelligent envy rants).

Personally, I think despite the lunacy, its kind of fun working here for awhile and besides the money is good (and it would want to be!). Additionally, I have family ties in this country, so I have had no real thoughts of leaving.

Having said that, it came as a bit of shock discover the Indonesian Government (I use the term loosely) is sponsoring a bill to force us to leave the country within six years.

A compulsory military service bill if passed, means that any Indonesian over the age of 18 may be subject to five years Military Service (although to be fair, that would only be those without the right connections). As this would directly affect a member of our family within six years, perhaps the writing is on the wall.

Now, having some experience of Military Service in a previous life, I am not against a couple of years of compulsory service for anyone in society. I believe it teaches character, discipline and respect for others. Of course that is only true in a professional, accountable, ethical organisation and these are not terms that even have a nodding acquaintance with Indonesia's unreformed uniformed thugs.
Fair Dinkum, I would rather he play soccer and become a greenie than enter the culture of intimidation, corruption and bullies that thrives in Indonesia's Thug brigades.

Still then again, at the rate the legislature works, they will probably still be debating the bill in six years. Of course, the so called people's servants may have really reformed by then too, we will know who was behind the Jakarta Riots, The sponsors of the Miltitia’s in East Timor and the murderers of the Balibo Five and any number of other innocent Indonesians at the hands of their “protectors”.

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