Thursday, January 17, 2008
Killer Tomatoes, Clones and Suharto
Reported on the news this morning that the US Food and whatever agency has approved the selling and consumption of cloned food products after stating they prove no health risk. The piece then went on to show three cloned dairy cows happily (ok I have no idea how to tell if a cow is happy or not, call it poetic license)popping out cloned milk.
Maybe it’s from watching to many horror movies but this makes me feel vaguely uncomfortable (Do yourself a favour and watch Attack of the Killer Tomatoes , a cinema classic!). Worse news, none of the cloned products are required to be labeled as cloned. Clone lables are not possible because there is absolutely no way at this time to tell cloned meat or products from the “real” thing (Unless they attack, of course).
Speaking of clones, the old dictator is still hanging in there. I guess he has good reason to be concerned about the alternative receptions he may receive upon the final check out. Still he's not lonely, with all and sundry lining up to pay ill deserved respects and media circus to boot. The “he made the trains run on time defence” is certainly getting a good run for its money.
There have been any number of comments (myself included) about legal processes and if they should continue? The question that must be asked is; Does anyone really think anything would come of a legal process? There are just way too many people in powerful positions who owe everything to him and his minions to expect any postive result from the legal process. It’s also too tough an order for a vast percentage of elite's new generation to face up to the fact that mommy and daddies wealth which put them through school was/is severely tainted.
However, Treespotter probably hit the nail on the head when he said
“He should go, one last service to this country, the quicker the better, but the media circus over there was quite simply inappropriate”
I think may have to revise my opinion on the whole matter. What’s done is done and cannot be undone! It was a different and brutal time from which the nation has yet to recover. Far more important and saddening than the old fart passing on, is the daily line up of supposed supporters of democracy and human rights flocking to his bedside. It certainly bodes ill for this country and betrays the heady expectations when the new order fell. It short, it would appear perhaps nothing really has changed.
Does it really matter anymore? There is probably not that much time left to make a difference anyway. The nations natural wealth has been and is squandered on the rich and the elite with very little trickling down to the rest of the nation. It's the way is and apparently the way it always will be.
The years since the fall of the New Order has produced no serious investment in nation building infrastructure, education or human dignity. The time is rapidly approaching when the resources available to pay for those things will have all but disappeared. It is probably already fair to say the majority of the natural resources that should support and provide sustenance to the nation have already been depleted to the point of no return with little to show for pillage.
A strange and perverse view that seems to pervade Indonesia that all will be well if we ignore what we don't like. Does Indonesia really think the world will give a stuff about her once the her corrupt and quick-buck elite has finished raping her forests and plundering her oil and natural minerals? How much time is left, five years? Ten? Certainly not much more.
As usual the shallow thinking, neo-nationalists try and lay the blame everywhere but home and never really address the issues. Yet who are the initiators of the oh so common “Transfer Pricing Rorts” within the export industry? In essence, that’s where you export product say oil, to a fake holding company at a ridiculously low price, thus avoiding paying tax on true value and then if you are really morally scummy, you then sell it back to country you extracted it from are an artifically high price. Cool huh, you get to rip of the common people twice in one day.
Who are the people responsible for the schools to be in the condition they are in, yet have money for new cars at every government department? Who are the people who can find funds to erect gandiose monuments to themselves and various other white elephant doomed to failure rorts (Nuclear Power Anyone?) yet cannot put a fund a health progam to eradicate leprosy? WHo are the people who can find immense funds to erect great houses of dedication to God (Who apparently himself told the faithful he/she needed no such structure) yet cannot provide basic medical services in the same regions?
In a functioning democracy that truly represented the people, would a business and government be allowed to ignore the mudflow situation in SIDOARJO? Perhaps, the only hope would be the creation of a Ministry of Peoples Welfare (sorry, couldn't help myself)
Once upon a time, Indonesia had such an opportunity to forget the past and move on. A new president with overwhelming support of the people was elected to power, and the nation held such high hopes. This "man of the people" who could have used that support to flush the parasites and leeches into the black pages of history where they so rightly belong baulked at the task. Now like so many things, the moment has passed never to return. So unless someone truly great appears in the next twelve months....
Gloomy..yes! It would be a sad reflection on the person who went to SIDOARJO
and not feel somewhat despondent about Indonesia’s future. So I eagerly await to be corrected, perhaps someone can point me to somewhere where real progress is being made or to the hero awaiting in the wings (He/she must be there some where)
Now before Gadget Harry (No you don't get a link, so bugger off!) and others get their collective knickers in a twist about unhappy and miserable expats, I shall endeavour to explain. The stump is very happy with its day to day existence and readily acknowledges the any number of advantages provided by being an Expat in this country. Advantages which are not unlike those enjoyed and exploited by GH and others who by whatever means have made it to the upper rungs of Indonesian Society including the ability to leave should it all fall down. A fundamental point is that just because you have an advantage over others does not mean you should lose the ability to empathise which sadly is all too often the case in Indonesia (If I ignore it, its not there).