Friday, 31 July 2009

Prita will not be free anymore?

Yesterday, the High Court in Banten dismiss the previous decision to free Prita Mulyasari, the hospital can continue to sue Prita. A contributor in wikimu said that the root of the problem is about the law. Do we citizen have the right to complain on bad service we've got as a consumer? Prior to Prita Mulyasari, there was already a case of Khoe Seng Seng who lost against the developer who sued him for his complaining letter published in the newspapers and online. If a direct complain was met by a thick wall, the only outlet for citizen is actually the media. With the presence of the new media, then citizen have got a new alternative of airing voices.

In the cases here, freedom of speech seemed not being honored.If we do feel being cheated, then our formal complain was not taken seriously, what should we do? Let them get away because we do not get enough money to fight them in legal aspect?

Sunday, 26 July 2009

The Amazing Internet

The internet is amazing...It keeps amazed me every day...

I was not really want to use this blog as a personal diary. It should only be a diary of a citizen reporter. Yet, readers are the magic reason to publish a more personalized post. Readers who posted their comments sometimes made me ventured into my personal story. John and Jean-Jacques used to trigger me into that kind of personal writing. Books that I've read also have the same effect. One book that made me posted a rather long personal post was a book from Myra Sidharta "Dari Penjaja Tekstil Sampai Superwoman". She mentioned my grandma's name, and I put my personal remembrance in that post.

Several days ago, I've got a message in my FaceBook messages. A man named Yerry Wirawan is asking me about my grandmother. He is researching for his doctorate in France and would like to know more about Soh Lian Tjie. Just a few days after that I've got a call from my aunt, "Hey, someone is asking for your phone number. Ibu Myra Sidharta would like to speak about something that you've written in your blog. Is it OK to give your number?" Off course...why not?! I am an admirer of Ibu Myra, and actually I also know his son. I've got updated news about Amir Sidharta from his FB, but never know that his mom is looking for my phone number :)

Yesterday I went to meet Ibu Myra in her home. A wonderful house...lots of stairs (she warned me not to be lost inside her house...hehehe men can read maps...women get lost in a beautiful house...especially with that shelves of books! I'll be lost voluntarily...hehehe)

From Yerry and Ibu Myra I've found out something about my grandmother, something special that I've never think about before...

Oma Waringin did write an autobiography, but it was never had a chance to be published. Actually one of her last wishes was to have this book published, yet her health became unbearable and after being moved back to Makassar she was quickly came into dementia. Loosing her home, her books, and her friends were killing her quicker than her other illness.

Reading her biography gave the insight of how a young girl from Sulawesi grew up with this Republic. She was born in 1914, the eldest of sixteen brothers and sisters. Sixteen...can you imagine? Even my grandmother can not imagine it. In her draft for the biography she wrote, "This very regular childbirth with just a time space of two or three years, filled me with frightening amazament..."

Yerry told me that he could find in the library a clipping from Pemberita Makassar (a newspaper that I've never heard of before, it was a clipping from the 30s. Googling it made found this link, informed me that the newspaper was founded in 1903) featuring my grandmother in a uniform of pandu (that was how we called both scout and girl guides in Indonesia, nowadays we use the word "Pramuka"). For this one, she had mentioned in her draft: "This was to be my first real camp. I felt so happy to belong to this group. We were divided into several tents which were put up on a small plateau from where we had a beautiful view of the volcanoes Merapi and Merbabu."

Perhaps her first camping experience and her sight of Merapi and Merbabu was making a very deep impression on her. I knew that she was always keen on helping those researchers who came for Indonesian volcanoes. A couple of them were Katia and Maurice Krafft. I thought there was a backpack of this couple in Oma's house, a backpack that was never taken back by the owner as they were killed when filming the eruption of Mount Unzen.

Grandma used to help people making film of Indonesia. The film Indonesia Indah 1 and 2 for the IMAX theater in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah was also with her guidance. I remember how proud I was seeing her name on the big IMAX screen, together with other names thanked for the film..."Nora Suryanti".

Ibu Myra told me that it was Ibu Claudine Salmon who called her asking for the biography. (More about Ibu Claudine in bahasa Indonesia can be read in this blog). It is actually a surprise that she considered my grandmother's story as an important one.

For us, she was great because she worked as PNS (the civil servant), things that seemed difficult for younger Chinese Indonesian generation like me(actually this was not really true, because I've also read in Kompas about a researcher in LIPI...yet before the reformation it was never publicly shown. I think we were afraid entering the public service as we would see no future in it...a prejudice perhaps, actually we should try and fight for it). Then she was an expert in cultures as she wrote as contributor to various publications, she traveled a lot as guides, translated Indonesian books into English or Dutch (I think mostly into English). On the other hand, she was also seemed as a weird Indonesian woman as she had chosen to stay single, and keep living by her own in her (very) small house in Yusuf Adiwinata. The street was used to be the Waringin street, and Oma prefered her house to be called the Waringin house, perhaps it was how we were also permitted to call her Oma Waringin (in the beginning it was not so open in front of her...).

Yet, nothing seems really special. But referring back into her notes which she ended in the glitter of Merdeka Palace in 1949, I saw something special. She was there in the palace, saying to the first President and Ibu Fatmawati, "Selamat Bapak Presiden," and "Selamat Ibu", when the first president and the first lady moved into the Palace after the Dutch formally transferred its sovereignty to the Republic of Indonesia. "It was the greatest moment of my life!" she claimed. I was in the Palace fifty-nine years after her presence there, but I came as a citizen tourist (read this post).

I am still amazed by the internet, how it helps me find another way of looking into my own grandmother's story...

Saturday, 25 July 2009

A Farewell Bow For A Man I've Never Met

There was a man that I've never met, but he had influenced my way of seeing the world. Yesterday he passed away...I knew it from the printed Kompas today, July 25, 2009. (Read Pahlawan Dirgantara Itu Telah Tiada)

I've never really know him, never really met him. But his story made a deep scratch in my memory. I was in Junior High School when I've met his youngest son, one grade older than me. I saw how he had to survive the stigma of being the son of Omar Dhani (especially if every year we had to watch the film about the 30 September Movement). He was proud of his father, very proud of him...that was how I knew more about his father's name...and how I learned that politic can also "kill" someone's life.

I've read in Boediardjo's book "Siapa Sudi Saya Dongengi?" (I wrote about this book for wikimu, with the short explanation why I write about it here), in one chapter there is the story about how Omar Dhani's wife did not even know what is going to happen to her husband...

I think as children we'd sensed something unfair. That's why we were not really care who was Omar Dhani, we respect him as his son did. I think it was in quite the same way the adoration for Soekarno planted in my generation's heart. It was not because of knowing Soekarno, or ever listening to his speech...but mostly because we could sense the unfair treatment he had after he lost his power as a president.

A book mentioned in the article in Kompas, "Tuhan, Pergunakanlah Hati, Pikiran, dan Tanganku"...may be this book is worth outlet of Omar Dhani's explanation.

One by one...real witness of what was happening were almost all gone...the secret is still a secret. Lots of suffering were clouding this country, yet the real story was never came out. Perhaps we should just forgive whoever plotted the scenario...and let God, the Great Judge, work on His way...and in His own time...

For now, I'd like to bow as a farewell respect for a man who had once served this country...

Monday, 20 July 2009

A Note for Manchester United: "Mau Terus Belajar Bahasa Indonesia?"

Pesan untuk MU: "Mau Terus Belajar Bahasa Indonesia?"

I'm not really a soccer fan anymore. It was a very long time ago when I wouldn't sleep all night waiting for Dino Zoff, Mario Kempes, or Eric Garrets. That was very long time ago...when I was still a student. I was also watching Zizou when I was pregnant, not for the game...only to kill time as I couldn't sleep with that bulging belly. Yet, sharing the Indonesians sad feeling for loosing a chance to see their favourite club canceling their visit because of the bombing of the hotels, I write this piece for wikimu.

It is not the club visit that intrigued me, it was the advertisement in the television about Edwin Van der Sar, Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Park Ji Sung, Rio Ferdinand, and Michael Carrick who are learning Bahasa Indonesia. You can see the advertisement here.

This one is more interesting than the previous one when they said "Mau?" ("Do you want it?" or "Would you...?"). They looked more relaxed and friendly in the second ad. The way they giggled after repeating the teacher's voice is just the way our first grader giggled when they are learning something new in front of a camera. "Ini Budi. Budi bermain bola." They would have played with Budi Sudarsono, the Indonesian national team's striker, if the schedule was kept going on. Yet, there wouldn't be any game here.

From the official site of Manchester United (MU), they have confirmed that they have to canceled their trip due to the safety of their team and officials. Indonesian government pleaded to continue the game but the club has also a policy to put the safety first. It is understandable if we read about their history with the tragic Muenchen airplane accident.

So,perhaps they can't show their support for us through the planned visit and friendly game, but they can show it by continue learning Bahasa Indonesia? May be one day, one of them can come here and teach a lot of young Budi to work hard on the field and create a new potential player for MU? So, "Mau terus belajar bahasa Indonesia?" (Would you continue to learn Indonesian language?").


I share my sympathy and condolence to the victim through the blog of IndonesiaUnite:

It's a deep sorrow to be a host country in this tragedy,
The sky was so blue
But my heart was grey with sorrow
Sharing my sympathy to those who missed their families that morning.

Birds seemed reluctant to chatter
They seemed to listen to the running televisions
but today they are whistling their voices again
encouraging all of us...
Those who went through the sad morning
And others, who only experienced it by heart
To keep together fighting the terror.

We are one
No matter where we came from...
We say "No!" to terror and inhumanity...
Let's the birds sing the song
Blessing the parted souls
Encouraging the fighting spirits
Helping us to wake up
and make a stand together...

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Bad News is Bad News...

It's something that we don't really want to happened but it happened...that's bad news. The president SBY's reaction to the hotels bombing is not very popular. While asking people not to make an early accusation on the bombing, he was also made a statement about he's being targeting to be killed if the result of the presidential election making him on the way to the top. People could misinterpret his words and made a guessing accusation.

As a citizen I believe that all the three couples of presidential candidates are nationalists. They are all working for the glory of Indonesia, perhaps they have different path of working it out, underlining different urgency of actions...But, I am sure that none of them would lead us into this sad story.

While Jakarta is trying so hard to take its place in the map of MICE destination, this bombing has already canceled the visit of Manchester United, and made a very big loss for Indonesia. The airplane ban issued by the European Uni was already announced to be lifted from Indonesian airlines. Garuda Indonesia will fly to and from Europe again...Yet, this bombing wouldn't make the travel ban taken off too. Even locals are not in the mood for traveling or visiting public what would we do?

Bad news is bad news. I realized how citizen journalism works. If we aren't in that situation then it would be difficult to have first hand reportage. Citizen journalism websites which needs article to go along with pictures or video would also need longer time to produce. People who are really there could not even talk normally, they were shocked. When interviewed by the television they can only rumbling the same words over and over. There are some who had this bombing experience twice (2003 and 2009), they are those who worked for JW Marriot. Citizen journalism is not about a solo journalist (in term of reporting recent news) because we are not always present in the middle of the incident. Preparing a special report would need energy, time, and effort that would need special concentration.

Friday, 17 July 2009

It's not a good morning here....

While most Indonesian are waiting for Manchester United (MU) to come here, there are people who do not want to see Indonesia moves forward. Six years after the bombing of JW Marriot Hotel, the hotel was bombed again this morning. Actually two hotels this time, J.W. Marriot and Ritz Carlton. Ritz Carlton is supposed to host the MU team while they are here.

I was phoning with my friend from wikimu (whose office is rather near the hotels), when she shouted: "Bomb!" I thought she was wrong, yet it was true...

She could not pass the police line, but uploaded a very simple information about the incident. I am a bit sad reading the comments...some are very insensitive...

I'm also sad with this reality, we are trying hard to survive the economic depression, and it would be good to have good investors came here. But, it seems that there are people who don't like our struggle to stabilize the economic condition here, and our effort to move forward.

There are already seven victims passed away, including the President Director of Holcim Indonesia, Timothy MacKay. My condolence to the family of the victims, and hopefully those who are still in critical condition can survive it.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Vote for Komodo National Park or for the Gold Mining?

Only one day left to give your vote for the place where you can find the only dragon in the real world...that's the komodo dragon!

Actually I would like to write something about the National Park through the eyes of foreigners. But I've been contacting friends to ask about their experience in Komodo island to no avail. One friend answered that she had no chance to visit the island while she was here, others were not replying (Sometimes it is hard being known as a blogger who like to write for citizen journalism websites. My journalist friends said that it is the problem of journalists...that's why to get through the source of information does need a way of skill, and it is important to keep good relationship and networking web).

I have a Disney musical CD for kids that brought kids to visit the only real dragon in the world...the komodo dragon. And if I am asking you to vote for this place, it is to pull the attention to the island. By pulling international attention to that place as a tourism object, it would perhaps ceased down the exploration of the possibility to build gold mining over there. Today's headline in printed Kompas (July 6) titled "The Real Dragon is in Danger".

Even if there are gold over there...which one is more important? The dragon or the gold? That komodo dragon's habitat is the only place in the whole world where we can find an animal titled dragon! Mutia Ridwan, one voter from Malaysia, in the website for the New7Wonders said that Komodo National Park is "...the only place on earth where you can find the real Jurassic Park." Yes, Jurassic Park is probably more famous than this real place on earth. We do need to help conserve it, will you care for it? "Nature and money" or "Money without nature"? That will be depending on the world's choice...

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Note: Volunteer, Copyright

Just a note for readers who might be willing to share their time for a volunteer work in a health congress on AIDS. Today is the closing of registration but as an e-mail mentioned that it is still lack volunteers, I thought it would probably be possible to volunteer at the last minute, or perhaps two days late (as today is Saturday). If you are interested in helping, you can also read more information in English here.

I would like to link the article about "copy right" from printed Kompas here, to make it easier for me to search for it later.

Indonesian Muslims Pray for Michael Jackson

Only one news compete with the Indonesian electoral news, that is the news about Michael Jackson. His sudden death and all his other following news were on the television without stop. The grief and shock is not comparable to the situation when the world lost Lady Di, but it made the television spare some slot for his remembrance.

The news about Michael Jackson changed his religion (and changed his name to Mikail), and that he parted the world as a Muslim made it more hot news here. Today printed Warta Kota (July 4, 2009) presented a headline "Santri Tahlil untuk Jacko". Hudreds of "santri" (students in an Islamic school) from Pesantren Zainul Hasan Genggong , East Java, prayed for Jackson. A teacher quoted by the newspaper was saying that the prayer was aimed for Jacko as a Muslim, and if he did not converted to Islam then the prayer would not reach his soul, but those who pray will still get the benefit of praying.

Another news airing the voice of Zain Bhikha confirming in an interview that he was the one who sing the song Give Thanks to Allah, not Michael Jackson.

Perhaps it is not only Indonesian muslims who pray for him. The whole world would like to send a prayer for him, the one who had asked people share love to heal the world.

I was just finishing two books from Torey Hayden, "One Child" and "The Tiger's Child" when I heard that Michael has passed away. With his Neverland dream, I couldn't avoid thinking about a gifted child who had lost his youthful happiness.

Michael is not the only person that we are going to miss. My generation missed David Carradine (the one that I'll always remember as the good, humble and patient Kwai Chang Caine), and Farah Fawcett (one of the famous Charlie's Angels).

Let them rest in peace, and hoping that their memories will teach us how to build a better world.

Friday, 3 July 2009

One Spirit One Nation

The theme of this year blogger party is One Spirit One Nation. I would love to have it in Bahasa Indonesia rather than in English, but it was already decided. And it is probably easier to grab the whole "aspects of meaning" in a short sentence in English language than in Indonesian "Satu Jiwa Satu Bangsa". Actually "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" or "Unity in Diversity" is the best term for Indonesians, but one spirit and one nation is probably to show that bloggers are united in building the country. I am intentionally do not use the term Indonesian bloggers here, as we know that even international bloggers could also help Indonesians to build the country.

We can see the solidarity for Prita through the cyber world and the real world. It is a good example of being united to reach freedom of speech. It is more than only being one big family, it is also being one spirit...FREEDOM! Freedom for this nation (Indonesia) means that we should not forget our Pancasila shield, in which humanity, and social welfare are taken into account. Freedom to stand up with pride as a nation. The cyber space became one of the social control institution. It is also a way to enhance democratization. Not only in the nation, but also between nations. Hopefully other nations will also understand us as a nation which was build upon our diversities.

It's time that we really wake up, and see around us. The internet is opening its wide door to step into the world without really stepping outside your door. It is faster and easier to look out, to gain support and links. We are not staying only in the cyber world, that is why we should also go into the real world to build a better world. We are not only living in the cyber space, but we have our real world to tackle, perhaps that is how Pesta Blogger will make it real!

The party will be held in October. I think one important topic that can be given as a precious "goodie bag" is knowledge about ethics and laws in this flat universe of cyber space. I think we need guidance about intellectual rights, about ethics for airing opinion without defaming others, etc. Soon enough we are going to face the global world as a part of the international network. We should be able to know our rights and responsibilities as a part of the universe.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

5 days to the Presidential Election

5 more days...
Thursday, July 2, there was a big demonstration in Makassar because local people were angry about a comment from Andi Alifian Mallarangeng who said that it is not the time yet for a Buginese to be a president (local online news is here, here, and here).

I do not have time to write down my feeling when I took those JP articles to link in my previous blog post. Ethnicity is not a good start for a campaign... We are Indonesians, Unity in Diversity..right?! Yet, being tolerant in handling the ethnicity and religions do have the important aspect in making a good leader.

I knew that choosing JK and Wiranto would probably help us to improve the Eastern part of Indonesia. Yet, JK is a businessman...would he pause for a minute to think about the social effect instead of only the economic promises?

Megawati and Prabowo are promising their constituents that they will work on the economy for the people, especially those in grassroot. And I think they will try to do it. Yet, there is a possibility that they can ended up like SBY-JK...

SBY and Boediono seemed to me to be the best choice right now, but there is also a very high chance that the minister position for the education and religion will go to PKS as their part of agreement. I can't see a bright future there...

One thing that I valued from our late ex-president Soeharto is his ability to choose the right person for the minister post. Listening to Emil Salim, or Joop Ave, even after they were not a minister anymore would still show their qualification, it would bring out the feeling of respect because they really know what they are talking about. Could we still have the same quality now? Is there a degradation in the education system that produce less qualified person? Or, is it the agreement between parties that forcing us to have the best candidate from a party (yet, not the best person needed for the position?)

Choosing a certain president and vice president would not give me a certainty that they will choose the right persons to help them. A president would not function well if his or her ministers are not working hard for the sake of the people. He or she would not show us a good track record if those who sit in the house of representatives are not thinking about the people they represented. It is a circle of a political system that would help RI 1 to perform the best.

I believe that all the three couples of candidate are nationalist. They will serve the country in their own way of approaches. Yet, which couple should we choose to help bring the best out for Indonesia?