Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Indonesia FP

Posted in Uncategorized on 31 May 2009 by hanafirais28

Debates on reworking Indonesia’s foreign policy have been going on for the past 3 years. The issue becomes more salient recently with some experts calling on changing Indonesia’s FP, especially not to put ASEAN as its first circle any longer. One of the duties the current presidential candidates must address is this FP issue. What do they think and say about this?

Singh, Lanjutkan

Posted in Uncategorized on 27 May 2009 by hanafirais28

Partai Kongres memenangi pemilu bulan ini dan kembali menempatkan kader terbaiknya, Manmohan Singh, ekonom lulusan Oxford, sebagai Perdana Menteri India. Pemilu terbesar di negara demokrasi paling besar di dunia ini punya makna yang berarti bagi dunia. Program reformasi ekonomi India dan kebijakan antisipasi krisis global akan tetap dilanjutkan oleh Singh.

Kekhawatiran sementara pihak bahwa koalisi pemerintahan hasil pemilu ini labil tidak terjadi. Partai Kongres dan beberapa partai minor lain menguasai mayoritas kursi di Parlemen India, di luar partai komunis yang selama ini dianggap mengganjal reformasi Singh. Satu hal lagi, hasil pemilu India lalu membawa perubahan bahwa politik kasta, “aliran” kalau di Indonesia, tidak lagi sepenuhnya berlaku karena Kongres didukung juga oleh para pendukung tradisional partai oposisi BJP dan partai daerah yang memenangkan Mayawati di Kerala, India Selatan. Namun, hasil pemilu ini pun menyembulkan politik jenis baru: politik elit dan oligarki yang semakin kokoh.

Bisakah reformasi ekonomi lantas tidak terganggu leh politik jenis baru ini? Itulah salah satu tantangan domestik Singh ke depan.

The ‘strongest’ party

Posted in Uncategorized on 23 May 2009 by hanafirais28

If anyone looking for an example of a strong party, Singapore’s PAP may be the answer. The People’s Action Party was established in 1957, two years before independence, and since 1959 it has been reigning the city-state uncontested. The key to understand why it has been very strong, perhaps, the strongest party in Southeast Asia, is its merging with the state. Hence, a party state (Rodan, 2004). Mass is depoliticized, bureacracy is kept isolated from any interests, and politics thus is the domain of few elites – the PAP elites. If PAP were turned down, Singapore might follow.

“Neolib”

Posted in Uncategorized on 23 May 2009 by hanafirais28

For the past one week, ‘Neolib’ has been the buzzword in Indonesia’s mass media. From academics, activists, to lay men, the word has been hotly debated. This is due to the candidacy of Boediono, Indonesia’s Central Bank Governor who just resigned from the post, to run with SBY, the incumbent. Boediono may perhaps be labelled as the extension of IMF, neoliberal hardliner, pro-capital policies, and in the end, a salesman of Indonesia’s assets.

That is what has been discussed. But to my surprise, a friend of mine, who just managed to secure a seat for the next DPR RI from Jateng II constituency (Demak, Kudus, and Jepara), was told by one of his constituents that down there in the villages people do not know what ‘Neolib’ is. When trying to ask a Democrat party activist regarding the buzzword what ‘neolib’ was, he got the reply, “In a nutshell, ‘Neolib’ is BLT (cash aid assistance), PNPM (cash programme for villages), and BBM turun (fuel price lowered)!!

Indeed, common people just believe it. Perhaps, those anti-neolib advocates must learn to convey those big words to be easily comprehended by common people. Say, ‘Neolib’ means “persistently unemployed” alias “nganggur terus”.

JK, SBY, dan Mega

Posted in Uncategorized on 22 May 2009 by hanafirais28

Those three presidential candidates are by template the same. Neoliberals and New-Order bred. What distinguishes them is the public image they want to mark inside our head (so-called “the picture in our head).  JK a nationalist with sovereign economy concept, SBY with anti-free market system, and Mega with pro-poor concept. Everyone looks the same. What distinguishes them to excel is just the way each is going to convey to the voters. JK well-articulate, SBY highly-normative, and Mega lightly-laden.

The End of Sri Lankan War

Posted in Uncategorized on 22 May 2009 by hanafirais28

Salah satu perang paling lama di dunia (26 tahun) telah berakhir. Tugas utama Presiden Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa adalah merubah kemenangan militernya menjadi perdamaian yang permanen. Ingin tahu sejarah konflik etnik Sri Lanka, silakan kunjungi: The rise and demise of Sri Lankan conflict

Purchasing Law

Posted in Indonesia, Uncategorized on 10 April 2008 by hanafirais28

I was really stunned when reading yesterday’s news. An MP from an Islamic party (PPP, United Development Party) namely Al Amin Nasution was caught red-handed by Indonesia’s Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) in Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Jakarta at dawn at 3 AM.

He was caught by the apparatus at hands with 71 million rupiah (around S$11,000) of total deal 3 billion rupiah. It was a bribery from Bintan’s (Riau Islands) local official, the provincial secretary. In addition to the bribery was a woman as a ‘bonus’ .

The bribery was meant to tweak a law on forestry being discussed in the national parliament. The law was supposed to protect some forests not to be used for industrial purposes. But with the bribery involved, the other way around took place. The MP and Bintan official tried to strike a deal of changing it into a law for protecting forests for industrial purposes.

In the hindsight, the Bintan local government must have struck another deal to give the forest concession to, perhaps, a mining company in Bintan. And the MP must have generated a lot of money to prepare for another re-election next year.

I learnt that Al Amin’s case is not in a vacuum. I believe that many of Indonesia’s laws being drafted in the Parliament both by MPs and the Government in Jakarta have been a trading arena for MPs, government officials, and (multi-national) companies.

The difference is that some case are ‘unfortunately’ exposed in the media, some are well-kept and hidden in the closet. The business of purchasing law by MPs, government, and companies has been more common now in Indonesia even under the so-called anti-corrupt Yudhoyono government.

With this case of Al Amin, KPK seems to show its muscle that everyone regardless their positions, even MPs with political immunity , could be raided. I support this movement.

KPK may have recently also managed to raid outlaw conglomerate Sjamsul Nursalim’s right-hand Artalyta, Attorney Urip, and others. But KPK should not blind their own eyes that government and companies trading the laws, just like abovementioned MP was doing, cannot be probed with KPK’s sophisticated mechanisms. (KPK can tap on the (mobile) phones, KPK can do what police can do now).

Government could be the biggest corruptor but elusive to track by conventional mechanism. It will always justify itself that what the government is doing is a policy, not a corruption.

What about Yudhoyono’s decree 2/2008 in support for changing preserved forest to be industrial forests not long ago? Using our healthy rationale, it just should not be done by him. But why he did it? Isn’t it basically the same as what the MP was just doing? I smell the government is trading the forest law as well with those foreign mining companies. There are thirteen of them. Australia’s Newscrest is one of them.

What about the fate of central bank’s abused liquidity case? It is a big case but suddenly stopped after attorney Urip and his colleague, Kemas Yahya, were fired? And what about Soeharto’s family case which was just dropped invalid few weeks ago? What happened to all those bigger cases, KPK?

Yudhoyono government and KPK have left too many questions unanswered. In an exam, those should be graded NIL! Failed! Not passed! Dropped out!

By the way, Al Amin’s case is now just a hype by media. What is more disappointing regarding the MP’s case is how media (detikcom, kompas, and perhaps others starting today) has been framing this issue as just a matter of “who is the bonus woman, is it part of gratification, what about Al Amin’s wife who is a celebrity (a dangdut singer), how would Al Amin’s party (PPP) react, and alike”.

“Amazing”. I guess this is why voters are always fooled. They are made by such cheap journalism to think about gossips rather than the crux of the problem: the business of law, the purchase of law, the trading of law.

I guess SLANK, an Indonesian rock band, is more highly-educated than those journalists. They put it very nicely in their song that

“in Senayan (the place where MPs and government are drafting the law in Jakarta)

there are lawmakers drafting law (UUD)

but money is what they actually want (Ujung-Ujungnya Duit)…”

My recommendation to SLANK: they should also add government’s role in the “UUD”. It takes two to tango.