Monday, 29 June 2009

A Birthday Present For Daily Kompas

The posting here was written as a birthday present for the printed daily Kompas. Yesterday was its 44th birthday. Not much older than me, but of course a lot more experienced and wiser than me...

It was also my first posting outside for the local readers. Kompasiana is the part of Starting only as a blog for Kompas' journalists and invited writer, but later on it is also opening a section called public blog. I found it a bit different as it is in a style of a blog. It is also a bit different than the Kokiers that I've used to visit before.

I can't deny that Kompas has a lot of influence in me, as I was probably started my reading with Kompas. As an outlet of my postings I still prefer because I would like to get more input from readers of other medias. But a present should be presented to the one who celebrate the birthday...

It seems that the headlines for the birthday celebration were a bit sober, and the title of the party is "Ruwatan Pop". Ruwatan is Javanese word for spiritual procession to avoid bad luck or to get away from sorrowful period of life. Why they are performing the "ruwatan"? It could be for the bad economic situation, or to have a successful presidential election. But, it is not odd at all if it is for the sake of printed edition. Kompas is already entering the cyber world, so their existence is not really in the questioning position. Yet, they might be thinking about the printed daily.

I grew up with the print media. While joining the citizen journalism activities, I am still trying to grow reading habit in my kids. If I were using printed Kompas for my reading activities in my childhood, I am hoping that my sons' generation will learn how to speak and to write through the interactive cyber media while keeping to read printed newspapers, magazines, and books as well. I think the printed edition will survive, just like radio keep surviving television.

Today I found the special section "KANDIDAT" reporting about Megawati and Prabowo, tomorrow will be SBY and Boediono, and Wednesday would be JK and Wiranto. I like the psychological character approach towards the candidates. I am still one of those in the big crowd who doesn't know who should I choose while it is already 9 days to go...So for me this is the goodie bag of Kompas' birthday party...

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Notes for the presidential election

I have read two articles that are worth reading. First one is from the Wednesday edition of the printed Jakarta Post (June 24, 2009) titled "The Chinese Indonesian dilemma in electing president". The second article is the headline from the next day edition "Minorities doubtful of freedom of religion".

Both articles are talking about minorities. From the first article the author concluded "In numbers, they (Chinese Indonesians) are very insignificant and their votes are actually quite expendable. But in economics, international relations, and social affairs, they are indispensable". This conclusion raised another opinion published on Sunday, 28 June 2009.

Prita is Free...Are We?

It's good to read that Prita is free...
I quoted Jakarta Post comment that apparantly her acquittal in defamation case is also the contribution of keen public support in the cyberworld and in the media.

Prita's case is an important study case for so many subjects. Wikimu contributors were seeing it through different point of views. One contributor saw it as a costumer service subject, another saw it as a subject of law, and of course as a citizen reporter I too have some notes to take. I share it in this posting. With so many outlets to voice out the voices of the citizen, it seems that citizen journalism is not worth keeping. Now, people tend to comment in Face Book rather than in the citizen journalism sites, or through twitter or plurk...But is it really like that? Why it is worth keeping? I think we should take Prita's case a learning case.

I'm also joining the cause to free Prita, because I think she has the right to complain and to share her feeling. Emotion is something that citizen would perhaps failed to recognized when uploading such a complain. Editorial is surely help in softened the tone of a complain letter. I'm not trying to make Prita a heroine, but I do think she doesn't deserve to be jailed for her personal e-mail.

Then, how about articles that were written in purpose for publication in the citizen journalism sites?

Antoher contributor was uploading his fear that Prita Mulyasari is free, but there will be another "Prita" in the next two years...The court only appealed that UU ITE law is not applicable yet, not at least until two years from now. And then? And how about other cases that are also on court but received small attention from the media?

And at the moment the health service is trying to get another law to protect hospital from being sued for damaged happened while they are trying to cure patient. This is also a bit tricky...We know that some people don't understand how complex the medical service is that is perhaps why hospital need legal immunity, but we should also remember that some hospital did not really care about their patients, especially those without fat pocket...and how about these patients' right to have save health service?

Missing muda mudi night...I'm not that young anymore...

Every year we grow does the city...
Jakarta grows older a year...
it is now 482.

June 22 is the big day for Jakarta. I remembered the old days when we were having the Old Night long party on the street, Malam Muda Mudi (The night for the youth). It is just like the celebration of the New Year's eve in Singapore, or "le quatorze juillet" celebration in Paris...(May be Paris is not really like it, I remembered that people was concentrated only around Eiffel Tower)...where people enjoy the night at the street, free of car, fireworks on the sky...

I was still a small children when I joined those celebration. I remembered that my father's office was in a room near the Statue "Selamat Datang". It was a hotel room of Asoka Hotel, pulled down to give a land for EX building. We used to come with some food to his office and enjoy the merriment of all the youth who walked freely on the street. Sometime we've got visitors. I remembered that I've met my cousin who was (at that time) having his short period of study in a university in Bandung. Then, on the street we accidentally meet his other friends.

My childhood memory is not really good, but like a puzzle some came out clearly. I think they are the happy moments of my life.

I also remembered that every year I went to Pekan Raya Jakarta (PRJ). It was in Monas. Sometime we went there for several times during its opening (a whole month). I remember that we, chiildren, gained a lot of free cookies, candies, and other food and drink as a sample product from the stalls. Even before PRJ was moved to Kemayoran those samples tradition were already half gone, to gain free products you've got to buy some other products.

My brothers and I started to love Kerak Telor, the traditional Betawi food through our journeys to PRJ. Sadly, I am not continuing that family tradition going to PRJ, neither did one of my brother who already has kids. PRJ is different now...It's merely business, at least that is how I saw it. And my kids wouldn't think I treat them a fun family activity by going there, they will accuse me of looking out a chance to write a story for wikimu.

I read an article that PRJ could also be moved to Ancol. This year malam muda mudi was taken place in Kemayoran. Complaining how far it is in FB made me gained a comment from my junior high friend. "For young people it is not far..." Yeach, perhaps...yet my children is probably too young to think that it is not far. Beside, we are actually not living in Jakarta anymore. Another comment said that Senayan would be a better place for PRJ, I agree with this comment. With busway and shuttle bus around, perhaps it would be nice to have it there...Yet, we all have to leave our cars outside Senayan and not to cross it possible? Wow, town planning and town management are tough to handle!

My family moved to Jakarta in 1974, so I am as well Jakartanese at heart. Even my Makasarese dialect doesn't have the sound of a Makasarese. I adopted the Betawi tongue. My children now complaining of my habit saying "gue" and "elo" for "me" and "you" which is not polite according to their teacher at school. Who say so? I don't think so... it's a part of my daily language. Will it deteriorate my Bahasa Indonesia? Not in writing I think...

Now the couple that welcome visitors to Jakarta seems to loose in the middle of highrise buildings and the jammed traffic around them. I share this picture to wikimu readers while keeping the memory inside my heart (and blog...)

Children School Holiday

Visiting Carita was the first trip after the school holiday started, but actually my family did a trip together with some other family from our church community. We went to Cisarua to visit the organic farm managed by Father Agatho Elsener OFM.Cap. My family has visited this organic farm often, and sometimes we did enjoy Father Agatho hospitality through joining in the mass he celebrated with his small community of workers and guests. But having friends together with us means a lot for my children.

We visited the farm in the first week of June. All the kids seems enthusiastic to see another way of serving the Church. Not by having a church, but by having a large place to cultivate plants, and having so many kind of "strange animals" (it means worm, caterpillar, cricket, grasshopper, etc. Weird only to the eyes of the children from the big city like Jakarta...). Father Agatho challenged the children if they know where he came from. A fifth grader answered: "From Switzerland". "And where is Switzerland?" asked Father Agatho. A kindergarten girl answered with loud voice: "Belanda..." (Meaning Netherland) All laughed... Wow, from organic lesson we were also treated with geographic knowledge.

The parents who accompanied the children were more enthusiastic and amazed hearing that Father Agatho came from the family who own Victorinox. Who doesn't know Victorinox? Those very expensive brand from the Switzerland? And he left his family business to become a priest and a farmer here in Indonesia? But this one is not openly discussed in front of Father Agatho. Those who know the story told friends in soft voices.

No wonder if our group then gathered around Father Agatho asking for his signature on his postcard, like asking a signature from a television celebrity.

I don't have much to tell readers from wikimu about this journey as I intend to share it in my other blog, the one that is actually more on meditation and reflection as a Catholic. Yet, I share one picture to wikimu readers showing the kids enjoy cleaning up the carrot before packaging.

For more information about Father Agatho's organic farm you can visit this blog.

Mutiara Carita, a Place to View Krakatau....

I won a voucher for one free stay in a hotel suite of Mutiara Carita. I used to spend my holiday in Anyer and Carita, the northern coast of Java. It is actually a bit at the west...facing the Selat Sunda. This time I've got the experience of having it in the farthest location I've ever experienced. It means nearer to Krakatau.

Krakatau as the volcano was very famous. Its eruption in 1883 made the glory of the sun shine faded away... If we read the story in wikipedia about its history starting from the pre-history, it is really magnificent. I was lucky to be greeted by a clear view of Krakatau and its child, the Anak Krakatau, on my arrival. Anak Krakatau was "smoking" heavily. I posted the picture for wikimu while I was there, but I've got to enjoy the holiday first (and also cleaning up after it) before loading an article about the holiday over there.

I also have another picture about the flags playing proudly with the coastal wind, all colourful flags from political parties to the presidential candidates...which is in contrast with the grey picture of the vision of those "nelayan" (fishermen). I would love to write an article about these fishermen, but I don't have the time yet. And with this very slow connection, you should wait until I do have time to upload pictures in this blog...

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Miss Indonesia Needs to Start Studying Bahasa Indonesia?

What would you think if you are introduced to Miss Indonesia in the event of Miss World? Wouldn't you automatically think that she is able to speak Bahasa Indonesia actively and know the Indonesian culture? Wouldn't it funny if Miss Indonesia needs translator to translate question in Indonesian language into English language to be able to understand the question?

We do need to verify if Miss Indonesia 2009 doesn't speak basic Bahasa Indonesia, but journalists were detecting that the crowned Miss Indonesia 2009 needs to start learning how to converse in Bahasa Indonesia and also to know more about Indonesian culture. Yet, the future of bright Indonesian generation would probably similar to Karenina Sunny Halim...they feel more at ease to communicate in English as their mother tongue. The international school label is something that most parents seek now, and that means speaking English or Chinese (Mandarin) language as the communication tool in school. Some family extended it into their home as it is the best way to learn using active language.

We do need the capability to speak other foreign language as a skill, but we should not forget our own language. This is the issue I raised in wikimu

I do not really get the feed back I'd like to have from wikimu readers, but posting it to Face Book gained me some comments. There is a friend who said that women should be smart, not only beautiful. She compare this case to Manohara Pinot, the Indonesian model who married the Prince from Kelantan. She said that the model is pretty but did not smart enough to avoid being abused by her husband.

I think the case is not about being beauty and not smart. I believed that the juries picked Karenina for her beauty, brain, and behaviour. Yet, brain is not similar to nationalism. During her twenty three year lifetime, she could not speak Bahasa Indonesia fluently, and all the sudden she said that bahasa Indonesia is easy to learn...she'll use the six months period before Miss World event to learn all the Indonesian thing. This cause a JP readers' snapped "Why don't we hire a foreigner to be Miss Indonesia?"

I did not write anything about Manohara. First, I don't really know the real fact. Then, household abused happened everywhere. Yet, it is not a matter of being smart or not. Women can make a bad choice for their partner in life, so does an underage girl of course!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Faces Charges For a Face Book Posting

A teacher from North Sulawesi faces charges for posting criticism in Face Book. I've got the news from The Jakarta Post.

Teacher faces charges, dismissal for posting criticism in Facebook

The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Tue, 06/09/2009 5:30 PM | National
Another citizen is facing libel charges for posting criticism in popular online social network Facebook, in the wake of public outcry over controversial detention of a housewife in Tangerang for sharing her complaint about hospital services over the Internet.

Indra Sutriafi Pipil, a teacher of state vocational school in the North Sulawesi city of Kotamubagu, told Antara news agency on Tuesday he was also facing dismissal for allegedly defaming Mayor Djelantik Mokodompit.

In his Facebook account, Indra said of rampant “corruption of work hours” in the municipality administration office.

Kotamubagu police post chief First Insp. Muhammad Monoarfa said he had received a report filed by municipality administration and handed over the case to the local prosecutor’s office. Reports said that like the Tangerang housewife Prita Mulyasari, Indra would be charged under the 2008 Information and Electronic Transaction Law, which carries a maximum sentence of six years in jail.

Regional administration secretary Muhamad Mokoginta admitted the libel lawsuit filed against Indra, saying the teacher had discredited the administration.

“We reported the case to the law enforcers about last month,” he said.

The Hong Kong-based Political & Economic Risk Consultancy revealed last week its latest survey, which ranked the bureaucracy in Indonesia the second worst in Asia.

Are we, Indonesians, having problem with criticism? Why can't we use criticism as a basic to build a better life? Or, perhaps because we can only criticize other people while forgetting that we should also be open to critics?

If any criticism can be charged with the UU ITE (Information and Electronic Transaction Law) we'll probably need to say good bye to blog, to citizen journalism, or even to the internet social networking...

Or we keep it only as a part to concentrate in making money...and more money...

Free Prita Mulyasari

I took the banner from this blog. I'm joining the cause to free Ibu Prita as I think it is important to keep freedom of speech.

There are some notes that we should take as a lesson from this case. Notes that would probably asked netizen to be more careful in writing out their complaints, not for being afraid to be sued like Ibu Prita, but to keep in mind that we are also prone to make mistakes. If we are the doctor whose name happened to be mentioned in a complaint letter published in the internet like that, wouldn't it ruin our future career? It could happened to anybody, not only to doctors, but to politician, to teachers (like the one I've mentioned in this post), to architects, to journalists, or to other professions. Young doctor could have his/her career terminated because of our emotional reaction.

I've seen the different effect coming from unedited letter to the edited version. Yet, as a costumer and as a citizen, I feel that Ibu Prita has the right to be angry. She was probably writing out her letter because she was not informed sufficiently by the hospital about her illness.

Lots of interesting articles shown both in the printed media and in the cyber space. I like the opinion from a medical record administrator printed in daily Kompas (Tuesday, 9 June 2009), "Prita, Apa Salahmu?". The medical record (or Dokumen Rekam Medis/DRM) is actually paid by the patient, and belong to the patient (family). As a costumer we have the right to have the copy of the medical record. Keeping a medical record to the hospital is something common here. Not only OMNI Hospital did it. A friend of mine was forced to lie that she was going back to Germany to get her medical record copy released by a private hospital in Jakarta. But, it was a long time ago, may be it is not happen anymore there (hopefully).

The opinion article gave us more insight on what should happened, and how it create the misunderstanding between patient and the hospital.

The basic foundation of relation is always TRUST. If the patient trust the doctor and the hospital, and the hospital (and doctors) trust the patient as their potential costumer in the future, then we can minimize communication problem. If the hospital treats its patient as a human being who deserves explanation of what was happening, then the letter would probably never written.

There are a lot of notes that I noted from this case; the freedom of speech, the costumer right of good service, the judicial procedure, the education sector, marketing effect, and also about citizen journalism (or at least about editorial of a blog post or an article). I hope I have time to talk about it next time. With the school vacation starting tomorrow I can't make any promise right now...

Saturday, 6 June 2009

From a cyber letter into a real prison

A letter sent through the internet can lead you into the prison. The case of Prita Mulyasari, a mother with two little children, has proven that a personal letter through the internet could be a subject of the 2008 Law on Electronic Information and Transactions, article 27.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009, the Jakarta Post posted "Don't blame Internet law for Prita's detention: Official"
The legal adviser for the communications and information minister, Edmon Makarim, said Wednesday the libel case implicating housewife Prita Mulyasari could not justify calls for the revocation of the 2008 Law on Electronic Information and Transactions due to suspicion that it would stifle freedom of speech.

Prita is charged with Article 27 of the law after she sent an email containing her complaint about services at Omni International Hospital Alam Sutera in Tangerang, Banten.

“Don't judge the law if you don't know exactly what happened. The trial has not even started yet,” Edmon told a seminar at University of Indonesia in Depok, West Java.

“Who knows if there was a conspiracy behind the case? We know that the hospital business today is full of competition,” he added.

“I don't want to comment on Prita's particular case. The point is, if you transmit slander through the Internet, you are subject to criminal charges,” Edmon said. (bbs)

Prita was already in prison since May 13, 2009 (printed Kompas, June 4, 2009 "Kronologi Kasus Prita Mulyasari"). So, from May 13 to June 3, she was already in prison charges to the civil law. Which one? I don't really know, but to enter a prison (before the whole trial finished) should only be possible if the charges will put her more than five years in jail. The UU ITE charges is six years, so this is the law that put her into prison before her temporary released on June 3rd.

According to printed daily Kompas, the story started from August 7, 2009 at 20.30 WIB when Prita went to the emergency room of an international hospital in Alam Sutra, Serpong. She was having a fever for 3 days. Then, had her blood checked and the result was a very low thrombocyt, 27.000 per ul. She was diagnosed as DBD (dengue fever) and need to go for inhouse treatment in the hospital.

The problem lied in the result of the thrombocyt test, it was revised as 181.000 per ul, and the hospital could not produced the test result of the first informed 27.000 per ul. On August 12, Prita left the hospital and went into another hospital. I think the detail is not very important, if Prita accused the first hospital that her treatment there made her suffered and almost lost her sight, it should be proven by the medical record. Yet, she (and her family) agreed to be hospitalized in that hospital was probably on the basic of the low result of her thrombocyt test. They don't have the chance to think of other alternative. I think by spending five days in the hospital, they have shown that they trusted the hospital and their medical team. It turned out that they received only disappointment, in term of medical status, and in the communication with the medical team. Lots of hospital cases was actually made Indonesians prefer to go to the hospitals abroad. It is no use using "international" brand name if the service is not international class.

The story became more complicated as we do not know if the mail used as the evidence of this case is the one posted by Prita herself. She admitted sending a personal letter to her friends via e-mail, but how it ended up in the mail-listers' box was not even clear. A letter shown in was already edited, but the letter that was discussed in kaskus was still unedited.

As a citizen reporter, I think it is not very important who posted the letter. It is the right of the citizen to know such a bad treatment in an international health service. The important thing is that the letter was written by the person who experienced the hospital treatment. It is urgent that we know what was happening. I also prefer the real letter as it conveys names and position clearly. So I don't need to make a wrong guessing game, and it also helps me to know the real situation. If it is not true, then why don't the hospital write their own version of the story in the comment section? That's how a patient feel after the treatment. It is the task of its customer service to provide service that will make the patient and her family feel the essence of being a customer.

I think I would also feel being cheated if I was told that my test result was very low, and after signing the agreement to be hospitalized I could never assess that result test again. Did the hospital admit that their employee gave wrong information? How would they reacted if it happens to an expatriate or a foreign visitor?

I know that Dengue Fever needs some days before a doctor could really point it out as the reason of illness, but the thrombocyt result is important. Low thrombocyt could need donor. My husband had thrombocyt transfusion when he was having Dengue Fever. Yet, my brothers survived it in the 70s when the treatment is limited to help the body healed itself (they already had blood came in their urine and from the nose, we thought they won't survive it). My cousin was having Dengue without being hospitalized, but still under a doctor's control.

I think Prita and her family had the reason to be upset, and voicing it out as readers' letters or as a blog is nothing to do with disgracing a name of an institution. It should be viewed as a critic, and answered by giving better treatment to other patients. Using the ITE Law as the basic charges for treating a costumer complain is like threatening citizen from speaking out our critic, not only to private institution but also to the government. That is how we, as blogger, see that UU ITE is not really serving the people. May be the intention when composing it is good, but the implementation could be used wrongly and made people afraid to voice out their voices. Yes, the cyber world could bring you into the real prison...even if your cyber letter intended to warn people for a good reason!

A senior high school student contributed the news about the hospital intention to file a law suit in wikimu last year, see it here. The link in the article came from the readers' letter section in

Prita spent quite some time in the prison before her temporary release, so I do think that journalists did not really continue covering the story. Without the cyber world this story won't be existed, but as citizen we will also loose our chance to know the news that we need to know. Without the cyber networking, we don't have the strength to voice out our support.

Other links:

Menilik Akar, Nusantara Art Exhibition 2009

I went to Pameran Seni Rupa Nusantara 2009 only a day before the closing day. I did not have the chance to join the discussion. Usually I've got my father who will help me with to pick up the boys and look after them, but after his surgery I don't want to bother him too much (I still left the boys for some hours on week-end in my parents' house:)). The school's examination made my schedule tighter than ever...this year I've got three boys to prepare. I'm also going to miss the yearly seminar on environmental issues led by CCF(French Cultural Center) and some other institutions.

The exhibition was really something (read the article from the Jakarta Post here). The most important thing is that artists from all over the country have their chance to exhibit their art work in Galeri Nasional. I love one particular piece, Senandung Alam Pegunungan III. The Dayak girl and her musical instrument, together with all those symbolism on the design of her tattoo, her clothes, and her musical instrument attracted me. I've uploaded it to my picture in Face Book, and a friend from Kalimantan gave me the local name; sampe for the musical instrument, and hudong for the mask. Using Face Book this way is very useful, we are exchanging news and knowledge easier and faster. Why should forbidding people from using Face Book if we viewed it through the positive way?

I was also smiling when seeing a chess board with a little girl on it. This little girl is trying to pick up some lollies. The candy's wrapped by pictures of political party. Which one to choose? Will it taste as sweet as the promise it gives on the wrap? I've got to crop it for my Face Book photos (hoping that the artist won't mind that)...the cropped version shows the lollies closer...and made my mind wondering if the artist is giving a specific meaning by the position of the fingers, but seeing the whole painting is surely how it caught my attention in the first place.

I intend to write about this art exhibition for wikimu, but instead I wrote about Pancasila. The 1st June is the birthday of Pancasila. A friend was sending me an invitation to come to an event prepared in Fatmawati's house. Surely I couldn't go...freedom to go and and join all the activities that I love is not mine now...I've got lots of responsibilities so I've got only freedom to choose priorities.

Following my wandering mind, I wrote about Pancasila for but using the image of Super P-Boy (Super Pancasila Boy) that I found in Pameran Seni Rupa Nusantara 2009. The picture was chosen as the icon of "Menilik Akar" (main theme of the exhibition), and it does fit in the article. Seeking for the root also means that we are talking about a tree. If we are going to keep the growth of the Nusantara tree, then it is surely on boys and girls, the adult of the future. Then, we've got to remind ourselves about how important education is. And to remind ourselves about those who are responsible to ensure the education...ourselves!

Actually I've found a lot of interesting art pieces in this exhibition. And as I was there after my monthly visit to the National Museum, I became more interested in those who convey symbols. That's how the statue Tameng Bhuwana also came into my face book's pictures. I am wondering about the symbol it conveys. A few minutes before facing this statue, I was walking in the new ethnic room in Museum Nasional and found stories about Garuda and the fight for the holy water and some other symbols in Balinese art. So, I was curious about the special meaning of this statue, I found some information here. It tells about the guardian of the earth (bhuwana). Bhuwana agung (the environment) and Bhuwana alit (human being) should always in harmony. The weapon "Dewata Nawa Sanga" representing the Gods who guard each cardinal and intermediate directions.

The Dayak girl and the Super P Boy came from artists resided in Kalimantan, while the Tameng Bhuwana created by a lecturer from ISI Denpasar (Bali). I hope the internet will help talented artist to develop themselves without the need to migrate into big cities (especially not only to the capital city)...

Note: photos will be uploaded later.