Thursday, May 31, 2007
  Welcome to Thugdom

The Indonesian Rugby Football Union is introducing the sport to Indonesian youth with a coaching programme at schools across Jakarta.

Wimp that I am, and the fact that I can't see without my glasses, means that I'm not a rugger fan. However, any effort to encourage the love of sports amongst kids and teenagers is to be encouraged.

So here's an (edited) announcement from IndoRugby.

There will be a HUGE event at the JW Marriott Hotel on Saturday June 9th, the Annual IndoRugby Luncheon. The festivities will commence at 10am and conclude well into the evening!

The celebration of the game for thugs played by gentlemen ~ their words, not mine - J. ~ will be attended by such All Time Legends of International Rugby as Mark Ella and Wayne 'Buck' Shelford. (Sorry, who?)

You will be treated to five star food and free flow drinks ~ which, I admit, sounds tempting ~ as well as the LIVE telecast of the All Blacks vs The French!!! (Wow!)

Email Dave Nye for further details and to reserve your seat(s).

In case you're wondering why I'm somewhat sardonic in this post, it's because I object to receiving an unsolicited email invitation which, considering the message conveyed to you above, need only weigh in at a maximum of 100kb. The one they sent me weighed in at a massive 1.16mb, but thanks to my free email screening programme, AvirMail, I was able to delete it from my server.

Gentlemen parading as thugs, indeed.

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11:00 am |
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
  Taking a Leak - 4

Well, my exhaustive search for the answer to the question about current and future plans for the disposal of Indonesia's nuclear waste have, not unexpectedly, come to naught.

However, recent news may well render this issue meaningless. You see, it was reported in November last year that the up to four nuclear power stations (which) can be built on the Muria Peninsula on the northern coast of Central Java province would each have a generating capacity of between 1,000 and 1,500 megawatts, a maximum total of 6,000 megawatts.

This week, the Jakarta Post reported that the state electricity firm PT PLN plans to build 30 power plants which will be coal-fired and geothermal in nature.

The geothermal power plants would be built at Ulubelu power plant in Lampung, Ulumbu in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, Lumutbalai in South Sumatra and Lahendong in North Sulawesi and the capacity of each plant would range between 20 MW to 110 MW, with an estimated total capacity of around 1,000 MW.

Ok, that doesn't total 6,000 megawatts, but then these geothermal plants would serve the remoter regions and would not need the vast infrastructure which the nuclear industry demands. And they can come on stream within two years.

Indonesia is believed to have nearly one-third of the world's geothermal resources so the government is stepping up efforts to develop its estimated 27,000 MW of potential geothermal power capacity.

That does mean that the investment climate must be improved.

Last year it did appear to be suitable for Medco Energi Internasional Tbk, Indonesia's largest private oil and gas company, and Itochu Corp. of Japan, who were awarded a contract by PLN to build the world's largest geo-thermal plant at Sarulla in North Sumatra.

One must wonder whether Medco Energi Internasional Tbk, will continue with its plans. This is a Bakrie family holding company, and the victims of the Sidoarjo mudflow disaster have yet to receive any meaningful compensation, even though the Bakries have notionally agreed to pay it. (This week, the destroyed community 'commemorates' one year of being uprooted.)

In the matter of Medco developing geo-thermal power, the future looks bright.

Indonesia's Renewable Energy Capacity

Energy ............ Unit .... Potential .. Installed capacity
Hydro ............... MW ...... 75,000 ............... 4,125
Geothermal ..... MW ...... 27,140 .................. 807
Tidal ................ MW .... 240,000 ..................... 0
Biomass ......... MW ....... 49,810 ................. 445
Wind ............... MW ........ 9,290 ...................... 0.6
[MW: megawatt]
That's over 400,000 megawatts of renewable, non-polluting energy sources, although there will always be environmental issues to be examined, such as the consequence of any construction works.

And solar power could contribute three times as much.

Solar .............. GW ..........1,200 .......................0.008
[GW: gigawatt]
Source: Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, PT PLN

If renewable energy sources exist and there are profits to be made from them, then there is no need to expend billions of dollars on nuclear power plants with potentially less energy output and then to leave their toxic residue for the rest of humanity's existence.

Is there?

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4:00 pm |
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
  Here and There, Then and Now

Monas, Jakarta c.1977

Trafalgar Square, London - just last week.

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9:00 am |
Monday, May 28, 2007
Justice For All?

- for who?

Jamil el-Banna is in Guantánamo Bay, shackled to the floor, as he has been for the past four and a half years. In 1992, Mr Banna arrived in Britain and was granted refugee status by Britain after it was accepted he had been tortured in Jordan. Back in London are his wife and four children, the youngest of whom, a daughter, he has never seen. Letters from them take up to 16 months to arrive.

In 2002 he was seized by the CIA after MI5 wrongly told the Americans that his travelling companion was carrying bomb parts on a business trip to Gambia. He was taken to Bagram airbase in Afghanistan and then to Guantánamo. He alleges ill treatment in both places and has never been charged with any offence.

He has now been cleared for release from Guantánamo but Britain has yet to state whether it will grant him re-entry. It is either that, or returning to Jordan where, again, he faces torture.

- or what?

Pangolin is a Malaysian word for 'rolling up into a ball', which the pangolin, also known as the scaly anteater, does to protect itself from enemies. The Sunda Pangolin is increasingly rarely found in Southeast Asia; in Indonesia, it lives in Java, Sumatra, Borneo and Lesser Sunda Islands/Nusa Tenggara.


However, as the Guardian reported this week, they are under a greater threat here, not so much through deforestation as because Chinese foodies consider them to be a delicacy. As a result of demand, the pangolin populations of China, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia have been wiped out. With traders moving further and further south, the animal is declining even in its last habitats in Java, Sumatra and the Malaysian peninsula.

Last week 31 pangolins were found aboard a wooden vessel abandoned off the Coast of China. The boat contained some 5,000 endangered animals.

How To Cook Pangolins
"We keep them alive in cages until the customer makes an order. Then we hammer them unconscious, cut their throats and drain the blood. It is a slow death. We then boil them to remove the scales. We cut the meat into small pieces and use it to make a number of dishes, including braised meat and soup. Usually the customers take the blood home with them afterwards."

If you want one, why not make an origami version instead. But remember that Jamil el-Banna can't.

Jamil el-Banna




3:05 pm |
Saturday, May 26, 2007
  Tales of Two Cities

Diamond Geezer is a great blogger and his writings, generally about London, are deservedly being archived in the British Library's website archive , for which he deserves every accolade and a publishing deal.

Jakartass has got a publishing deal, and because I'm busy proofreading Culture Shock - Jakarta, which does include some writings from my archives, I'm not writing much for here. But where are the Indonesian Library Website Archives, eh?

London Daily Nature Photo shows what a city can be like, and in fact is.

This is a great image of Jakarta, but you'll be hard put to spot the nature. But it is there, and if anyone, or a group, can do a Jakarta Daily Nature Blog then expect an instant link from here.

For a dozen years or so, Inside Indonesia has been a quarterly magazine for general readers on the people of Indonesia - their culture, politics, economy and environment. They are now launching a "new, improved online magazine". For info, send them a blank email.

Back in London the other week, a naked man was killed in an apparent shoot-out with police.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission confirmed that the victim, who was 52, was shot outside Paolo's restaurant, near Park Royal underground station. Apparently, the man was suspected to be a firearms supplier about to take delivery of a pistol.


I always forget birthdays and anniversaries.

Did you know that yesterday, Friday May 25th, was Towel Day?

I didn't either, so please remind me next year or so long and thanks for the fish.

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10:30 am |
Thursday, May 24, 2007
  Jakartass - Working On Your Behalf

----- Original Message -----
From: Jakartass
To: Nicola Dillon
Sent: Saturday, May 19, 2007 2:02 PM
Subject: Re: Presence of Jakarta at C40 Conference

Dear Nicola,

As a Londoner now living in Jakarta, I would appreciate knowing whether Jakarta was represented at last week's C40 Conference in New York. Also, and if so, what commitments have been made to reducing CO2 emissions here. There has been little to no publicity reaching us here from the conference.

My main purpose is to press for change within the City Government and its bureaucracy, changes which I push for in my blog, Jakartass, and have pointed out are needed in Culture Shock - Jakarta, to be published by Marshall Cavendish in August.

With thanks,

----- Original Message -----
From: Clare Brennan
To: Jakartass
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 7:34 PM
Subject: C40

Dear Mr. Jakartass,

I am writing following your email to my colleague Nicola Dillon regarding the Climate Change summit that took place in New York last week.

Information about the summit and the C40 Large Cities Group can be found at the following websites:

Yours sincerely

Clare Brennan

Senior Co-ordinator - International Affairs
Tel: +44 (0)20 7983 4701
Fax: +44 (0)20 7983 4890
City Hall
5 W/19
The Queens Walk
More London
----- Original Message -----
From: Jakartass
To: Clare Brennan
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 10:34 AM
Subject: Jakarta & C40

Dear Ms. Brennan,

If you had read my original email, you will have noted that I asked for specific information about Jakarta's participation in the C40 Conference held in New York earlier this month.

The reason that I wrote to Nicole Dillon in the first place was because I found her email address through lengthy reading of the two websites you name. Apparently, with London's Mayor, Ken Livingstone, being the C40 chair, Nicole is/was providing the secretariat services.

The only reason I know about the conference, apart from reading The Guardian online, was because Ken Livingstone appeared in a short news item on satellite TV here. And the only reason I know that Jakarta is included in the C40 is because I perused those two websites and others, e.g. various press releases, including this one, and articles on other sites such as this one.

No-one here in Jakarta seems to be aware of the city's (alleged) involvement in the group and none of the current candidates in the gubernatorial election in August has mentioned climate change in their manifestos ~ in fact, none have a manifesto.

Your answer is as helpful as those we don't get from Jakarta's administration.

Yours sincerely,



11:00 am |
Sunday, May 20, 2007
  Taking a Leak - 3

The UK Prime Minister-in-waiting is about to give the go-ahead for a new generation of nuclear power stations and his decision is endorsed in today's Sunday Observer editorial.

For the long-term future, Britain needs consistent investment in truly sustainable energy sources. Meanwhile, nuclear is the least worst option even though the questions of safety, especially the treatment of toxic waste, remain highly contentious. There have been some technological advances since the heyday of anti-nuclear protests in the 1980s, but no magic solutions.

The least worst option.


Current nuclear waste management is but a stop-gap bandaid. There is NO permanent solution to this problem, a problem which will tax human ingenuity for as much as the next 100,000 years ~ if our race survives that long. Yet although alternatives exist, blinkered "hey, look at me, I'm going to be Prime Minister for ever" Brown, a newish father and proud of it, deigns to leave a mess that his progeny will be unable to clean up.

A monument to arrogance or, as is more likely, a demonstration of the ties between political and commercial monolithic institutions of greed.

Here in Indonesia, ignorance may still hold sway over arrogance, just.

I've tried, on your behalf, to find answers to the four questions I posed a few days ago.

1. How many nuclear reactors are there in Indonesia?
Answers I have received range from none to one.
In fact there are three, all for experimental use

2. Where (and what) are they?
In Yogyakarta - 100 kW Triga Mark II Research Reactor, Bandung - 1,000 kW Triga Mark II Research Reactor, and Serpong, 40 kilometres west of Jakarta - 30 MW Pool Type Research Reactor.

Another 10,000 kW Pool Type Research Reactor is planned and maybe six nuclear power plants are in the pipeline.

In November last year, the Research and Technology minister, Kusmayanto Kadiman, said that up to four nuclear power stations (could) be built on the Muria Peninsula on the northern coast of Central Java province. Another place being considered as a location for plants is Bangkalan, on the island of Madura in East Java.

There have been public protests from the local communities at both Muara and Madura.

The development of the Muria reactor which will be a Pressurized Water Reactor is expected to commence in 2011 in complete disregard of the potential that the Muria Mountain may became volcanically active again. The Madura reactor which will be a System Modular Advanced Reactor- a technology involving desalination of sea water, is expected to commence with development in 2008.

Both reactors are joint projects with the Korean Hydro Nuclear Power Co. Ltd, known for numerous leakages of radioactive materials at its 16 existing nuclear power plants, and that for the past twenty years it has had no waste disposal facilities.

In October last year, Gorontalo Governor Fadel Muhamad announced a deal with Russian electricity company Raoues to build Indonesia's first nuclear power plant. Apparently, it would be built aboard a ship floating off the shore of Gorontalo and would be designed to have a generating capacity of 90 megawatts, which would be sold to state-owned electricity company PT PLN at a price one-third lower than that of conventional electricity.

"The new plant is expected to start operating by the end of 2007. Gorontalo will be registered as the first province in Indonesia to enjoy nuclear electricity," Fadel said.

By the end of this year? Ho hum. This is yet another Indonesian pipedream, especially, as reported last month, the Russians have only just embarked on building the first floating nuclear power plant. Six of them will supposedly be operational in the Arctic Ocean, where Russia has neither the means nor infrastructure to ensure their safe operation, has made no plans for disposing of their spent nuclear fuel (SNF), and has not taken into consideration the enormous nuclear proliferation risks posed by placing nuclear reactors in remote areas.

Furthermore, officials apparently have not considered their vulnerability to terrorist attacks while on site or during transportation to their intended locations.

South Korea is another nation seeking to export this dangerous technology to Indonesia.This month, a $3.35bn agreement was signed to develop seven energy projects, including a nuclear power plant headed by the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co., possibly to be built on the island of Madura in East Java.

(Read Down to Earth, the International Campaign for Ecological Justice in Indonesia, for more details.)

3. What happens to their spent fuel?
4. How many leaks of radioactivity have there been?

I do not have the answers to these two questions, although I have tried to find them.

Hazardous Waste - Go Get It

I wrote to the editor of the Nuclear Waste News E-zine, Dana Wilkie.

Greetings Dana,

As Indonesia is preparing to build its first nuclear plant, which scares many people given the many earthquakes, frequent volcanic eruptions, occasional tsunamis and extreme tidal conditions here, there is little information emerging from the Indonesian authorities.

There are three known reactors in West Java for "experimental purposes". Presumably these generate spent fuel.

My question is basic - what happens to it? Also, do you have any information, or can you point me to relevant sites, which can tell us what the authorities intend to do with the waste generated by the proposed plants at Gunung Muara and Madura?

With thanks.

Hello J

The answer to your question is a complicated one. I cannot speak specifically to Indonesia (so) I recommend you start with these two international authorities that govern spent fuel:
International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP)
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Dana Wilkie

The IAEA refers one to a number of Indonesian sites, most of which I'd already noted. These include the following:
Badan Tenaga Nuklir Nasional (BATAN) - National Atomic Energy Agency
Badan Pengawas Tenaga Nuklir (BAPETEN) - Nuclear Energy Control Board
Indonesian Institute of Sciences
Nuclear Research Institutes
* DDG, Batan, Jakarta
* R.C.A, C.T.O, Jakarta
* PT. Badak NGL CO., Bontang
* Materials Science Division, IGCAR Kappakkam, Tamil Nadu (eh?)
* National Atomic Energy Agency, Serpong Multipurpose Reactor Centre
* National Atomic Energy Agency, Tangerang Radioisotope Production Centre

One of the few references I have found to waste management is in this document, the Country Profile of Indonesia published by IAEA in December 2003.

BATAN as a government institution is now performing nuclear research and development in energy, health, industry, and other sectors. In relation with the introduction of NPP (nuclear power plants), especially, expertise of BATAN man-power, and the availability of BATAN facilities can be utilized.

Centre for Development of Radioactive Waste Management at Serpong "can be" responsible for R&D on radioactive waste management, and implementation of radioactive waste management.

NB. Their English language site is currently "down for maintenance", and, no, I'm not being satirical. However, there is one paragraph in English on their Indonesian page.

The radioactive waste management in Indonesia is regulated by the Nuclear Energy Act, Environment Protection Act, and other acts pertaining to the safety and all regulations derived from the above-mentioned acts. The radioactive waste processing technology is already proven and widely used in nuclear industrial countries. In performing radioactive waste management, the regulations dictate the necessity of performing a continous environmental monitoring program, so that the safety of the public and the environement from the radiological impact is under control and assured in compliance with the national and international recommendations.

What a comforting thought, eh? The radioactive waste processing technology is "already proven and widely used in nuclear industrial countries". Such as Japan and the UK?

There is an Asian Nuclear Safety Network (ANSN), which might be another comforting thought. Might be, but for it to have just held its first Topical Group meeting on Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) - in Tokyo, 25-26 September 2006 last year seems a bit like putting the cart before the horse after the stable door has been bolted. At least there was an Indonesian representative in attendance.

Potential IAEA regional activities on RWM were established. The intention is to promote
an understanding of concepts in radioactive waste safety; to develop awareness and
understanding of IAEA Radioactive Waste Safety Standards; to assist in the development
of comprehensive and coherent national radioactive waste management strategies and
programmes; and to assist member countries in meeting obligations under the
Joint Convention.

I really don't like that word 'potential'. There is a strong implication in this statement that the Asian nuclear countries are not very clued up on what they should do if something goes wrong

Korea, by the way, may have finally resolved the major problem of where to dispose of its nuclear waste. That they had to resort to bribery fits well with the Indonesian scenario, so let's hope that Gyeongju is the destination of the waste generated at Muria and Madura.

In a precedent-setting referendum, the town of Gyeongju in North Gyeongsang Province won the right to host Korea’s first radioactive waste repository - and along with it will receive a huge package of economic goodies, starting with an investment of 300 billion won (US$288 million) plus millions of dollars in annual commissions depending on how much waste is deposited there.

The government plans to complete the construction of the low- and medium-waste facility in the area by 2008.
[p.211 Nuclear Waste News November 10th 2005]

So there you have it - a Sunday spent finding out quite a bit about the nuclear industry in Indonesia but not the answers to the two key questions: what happens to Indonesia's current radioactive waste and what is intended should happen with the increased volume generated as a by-product of our insatiable 'need' for electricity?



8:00 pm |
Saturday, May 19, 2007
  Stop Breathing .....
..... your CO2 emissions are causing global warming !

Jakartass takes the considered view that human activity is fucking up the planet. I also take the view that it is myopic greed, pure and simple, which is the driving force leading us all, well apart from cockroaches, to extinction. Those who poo-poo what I'm saying, who couldn't give a shit for anyone apart from themselves, are unlikely to bother to examine the scientific truths behind my basic assertion.

A guide for the perplexed

They are also unlikely to want to read the following published in the New Scientist this week:

Our planet's climate is anything but simple. All kinds of factors influence it, from massive events on the Sun to the growth of microscopic creatures in the oceans, and there are subtle interactions between many of these factors.

Yet despite all the complexities, a firm and ever-growing body of evidence points to a clear picture: the world is warming, this warming is due to human activity increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and if emissions continue unabated the warming will too, with increasingly serious consequences.

Yes, there are still big uncertainties in some predictions, but these swing both ways. For example, the response of clouds could slow the warming or speed it up.

With so much at stake, it is right that climate science is subjected to the most intense scrutiny. What does not help is for the real issues to be muddied by discredited arguments or wild theories.

So for those who are not sure what to believe, here is our round-up of the 26 most common climate myths and misconceptions.

• Human CO2 emissions are too tiny to matter
• We can't do anything about climate change
• The 'hockey stick' graph has been proven wrong
• Chaotic systems are not predictable
• We can't trust computer models of climate
• They predicted global cooling in the 1970s
• It's been far warmer in the past, what's the big deal?
• It's too cold where I live - warming will be great
• Global warming is down to the Sun, not humans
• It’s all down to cosmic rays
• CO2 isn't the most important greenhouse gas
• The lower atmosphere is cooling, not warming
• Antarctica is getting cooler, not warmer, disproving global warming
• The oceans are cooling
• The cooling after 1940 shows CO2 does not cause warming
• It was warmer during the Medieval period, with vineyards in England
• We are simply recovering from the Little Ice Age
• Warming will cause an ice age in Europe
• Ice cores show CO2 increases lag behind temperature rises, disproving the link to global warming
• Ice cores show CO2 rising as temperatures fell
• Mars and Pluto are warming too
• Many leading scientists question climate change
• It's all a conspiracy
• Hurricane Katrina was caused by global warming
• Higher CO2 levels will boost plant growth and food production
• Polar bear numbers are increasing

There is also a guide to assessing the evidence. Included in the articles are lots of links to primary research and major reports for those who want to follow through to the original sources.


12:30 pm |
Thursday, May 17, 2007
  Welcome to the fold.

It's good to have Indonesia Anonymus back with yet another excellent post. But why must you keep us waiting for so long guys? They ask why Norway cares for Indonesia, but Indonesia seemingly doesn't.

Oigal of Greenstump may well have a partial answer to that. Even though he is pro-nuclear, perhaps like these African Americans, he has joined me in my anti-nuclear industry crusade. This is solely from the perspective of what is manageable here in Indonesia. His stance isn't so dissimilar from mine, except I believe that no nation has proved itself capable of managing this extremely dangerous technology.

With Indonesia’s Nuclear Power proposal even Blind Freddy could see that a Nuclear Power Plant/Industry in Indonesia would be an unmitigated economic and environmental disaster!

Oigal then quotes from a press statement from the Indonesian Nuclear Technology Supervisory Agency to prove his case. Amongst the points offered is that "Japan is often hit by earthquakes but has avoided nuclear accidents.". The last part of that statement is patently false. Check out this BBC story from 1999.

Radiation levels at the Tokaimura nuclear fuel-processing plant in north-east Japan (were) 15,000 times higher than normal. The authorities ... warned thousands of residents near the site of the accident to stay indoors and to wash off any rain that falls on them.

Which leads me back to the four questions posed at the end of my last post. No-one has yet given me the correct answers, not even the noted bloggers and journalists I was cavorting with last night in Jalan Jaksa.

In our ignorance, are we to be expected to trust the political willingness and technical know how officials who cannot institute and monitor fire regulations in hotels and shopping malls?

Or perhaps we should expect a somewhat arbitrary interpretation of the rules because Indonesia is but a 'Third World country', as described by Direndra Sharma.

........ in the advanced countries your standard is high, you can mend a low-radiation leak. In a Third World country, technologically, financially, economically we are weak, so your standards don't apply to us, and, therefore, whenever somebody's in charge of the radiating facilities, he or she can determine what is the permissible limit. So if it is ten, if it is 20, whatever it is, he or she decides that in the greater safety and efficiency management of the reactor it is necessary to release so much in the water, it is the permissible limit governed by the doctrine, we have violated no law.

So, what do you think of this week's news that Russia is giving, well for a mere $60 million (eh?), a nuclear power plant to North Korea's new allies, Burma. Can they be trusted with it?


6:00 pm |
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
  Taking a Leak - 2

Regular readers will know by now that I reserve much scorn for politicians who, in my humble opinion, and in spite of their initial good intentions, invariably seem to end up as corrupt self serving hypocrites.

For several years I had a nodding acquaintanceship with Jack Cunningham, the Member of Parliament for Copeland, the UK constituency which encompasses the Sellafield nuclear complex. That he was a proponent for the nuclear industry was understandable given the dependency of his constituents on Sellafield, but through his occasional support for FoE-West Cumbria there was a mutual respect. Jack has now departed for higher pastures, the House of Lords.

He was replaced in the 2005 General Election by Jamie Reed who is surely loved by those same constituents (bar FoE-West Cumbria members). In his case, however, he seems to have started his parliamentary career as a possibly corrupt self serving hypocrite.

The following is from his maiden speech, carefully worded to ingratiate himself with his new boss, Tony Blair:

Debates in the House about the nuclear industry, particularly the parts based in my constituency, have too often been characterised by wilful ignorance and knowing distortion of the facts. I will never stand idly by while hon. Members play politics with the livelihood of my constituents. For as long as I remain in the House, I hope to be able to contribute a factual voice of reason, not only in this but in many other debates in the years ahead.

There will soon come a time when my constituency will ask for its service to the nation be recognised and rewarded. When that time arrives, I will work to secure the support of the House to ensure that that voice is heard and the debt honoured.

With this speech Master Reed also ingratiated himself with his previous bosses - he had been the British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) press-officer for four years. During his time there he defended the company's radioactive discharges into the sea, and BNFL's "terrifying loopholes in security" at the Sellafield site exposed by the media just weeks after the September 11th terrorist attacks in America.
[Nucleonics Week, 2003, "Progress in Reducing Discharges under Debate at Ospar Meeting", 26 June, Vol 25, p12]
[P.McMullan (2001) "Our Reporter Exposes A Scandalous Lack Of Security Checks At The Nuclear Plant Classed As A Prime Target For Sabotage; Terror Risk At Sellafield", Sunday Express, 2 December, p17]

One wonders, too, how he is dealing with the latest news about those bits of dead workers and constituents kept at Sellafield that I first commented on here, then here. It has since been announced that those body parts had raised plutonium level. This can only have come about from exposure to it, in plain English - radioactivity leaks.

Research carried out on organs, including lungs, liver, spleen and bone marrow, removed during the autopsies of Sellafield workers and local people in Cumbria in the 1980s found higher levels of plutonium than in people from other parts of the country. The data also provided "strong circumstantial evidence" that local people were being affected by aerial discharges from the plant.

Plutonium, incidentally, is a silvery, warm to touch isotope (radioactive element) which can only be produced by man, it does not occur naturally. It corrodes very quickly and is liable to sudden transitions.

There are strong arguments for there having been autopsies carried out on deceased members of the workforce at the nuclear facility. That these autopsies were carried out without the knowledge of the immediate families is to be condemned.

Angela Christie's world collapsed when she was 13. Her mother was in hospital for a routine operation, and her father, Malcolm Pattinson, a tall, fit 36-year-old, who had worked with plutonium at Sellafield nuclear plant, fell ill and asked her to accompany her younger sister and brother to school.

That was in 1971, on Wednesday, May 26. The next day Malcolm was taken to West Cumberland hospital. By Friday he was dead. But it was not until a fortnight ago that Mrs Christie, now 49 and a mother of three children, discovered what had happened next.

It seems that BNFL, operators of Sellafield where Mrs. Christie works, are better at controlling leaks of information than they are at controlling leaks of radioactivity.

And the significance for Indonesia?

Can you answer these questions?

1. How many nuclear reactors are there in Indonesia?
2. Where are they?
3. What happens to their spent fuel?
4. How many leaks of radioactivity have there been?

The answers, if I can find them, will be in Take a Leak - 3.


8:30 am |
Monday, May 14, 2007

Like myself, Dave Jardine is a Brit long resident here in Indonesia.This blog is a reflection of that duality, of never losing touch with one's roots whilst more permanently being away from them.

The UK has vast investments here in Indonesia and has long had an interest in having good relationships with the Indonesian military, not least because UK arms sales are a lucrative source of foreign reserves. That British Aerospace Systems (BAE) has bribed various members of Indonesia's political élite in the past is well documented, as I commented back in 2005, here and here.

That BAE's corrupt practices have been condoned by the oh-so-ethical Labour Party is less well known. Dave Jardine has contributed the following article shedding some light on the hidden agenda of the UK government in its relationships with Indonesia.

This article is copyright. Please email Dave if you wish to reproduce it.

In early February this year the Indonesian Ambassador to London signed with the British government a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) enjoining the United Kingdom and Indonesia to jointly fight corruption. What, one wondered, were the mutual benefits in this arrangement? Who would be doing what for whom? Would Indonesia demonstrate a new hygiene in its judicial system? Would the politicians begin to take business and governmental corruption seriously? Would the British show themselves to be squeaky clean?

This remarkable agreement came about within weeks of Prime Minister Tony Blair’s so-called New Labour government interfering in the legal process by bringing to a halt through the politically appointed Attorney General Lord Goldsmith an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into bribery and slush funds involving the country’s leading arms manufacturer BAE Systems. The company is alleged to have made huge payments to well-placed Saudi Arabian connections in a deal involving Swiss bank accounts and other ‘backdoor’ methods, all to avoid Parliamentary scrutiny. BAE’s Al-Yamamah contract to service the defenses of Saudi Arabia is massively lucrative and worth billions of dollars.

Blair met with Goldsmith, Defense Secretary Des Browne, Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett and the heads of Britain’s notoriously mischievous intelligence services and it was decided to terminate the SFO’s investigation, which, if carried to its logical legal conclusion would have led to prosecutions. The justification: the inquiry endangered ‘national security’, surely a bizarre notion, and ‘put at risk Britain’s broad foreign policy objectives in the Middle East’, which, apparently, include propping up the brutally repressive Saudi regime as well as illegally occupying Iraq.

This move was made after enormous diplomatic pressure from Riyadh. In other words, the lawyer Blair and his inner circle interfered with the legal process at the behest of a foreign government. This was surely a humiliation for the United Kingdom.

Two NGOs, the anti-corruption The Corner House and the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) lodged a judicial appeal against the blockage of the inquiry, contending that it is in contravention of the ant-bribery code of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development to which the UK is a signatory.

The latest development is that the London government has tried to oust Professor Pieth, the Swiss legal expert who heads the OECD’s anti-corruption watchdog. London wants him removed for pursuing the matter of the blocked BAE System’s inquiry. Attempts at diplomatic arm-twisting by Britain have left a bad odour with foreign governments. Meanwhile, Pieth and the OECD Director General Angel Gurria of Mexico suspect London may have planted various character assassination pieces in UK publications, although British diplomats deny this.

The implications are quite clear: Blair’s government will go to any lengths to protect high-level business corruptors involved in deals that are linked to major foreign policy objectives. To do this they are prepared to subvert international conventions to which the UK is a party. The OECD anti-bribery code expressly forbids “consideration of the impact of corruption probes on relations with a foreign state, as CAAT has noted in a very recent press release.

BAE Systems, meanwhile, has got dirty. It recruited consultant Paul Mercer to monitor activist groups and Mercer duly committed an offence in so doing by releasing a CAAT email containing the confidential legal advice the group had obtained. Mercer is now under a court order.

Indonesians studying this affair may reasonably ask whether the United Kingdom is in these circumstances a worthy partner in a joint fight against corruption. If the UK protects its high-level corruption suspects in this fashion then what does Indonesia have to learn? Equally, Indonesians may be legitimately concerned that this very same BAE Systems is deeply interested in developing Indonesia’s arms production base, a pet scheme of Defense Secretary Juwono in tandem with the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI).

Lastly, Indonesians may have noted that the leader of the government proposing to jointly fight corruption with their country is the first serving British Prime Minister to have been questioned by the police, this in connection with the ‘cash for honours’ affair.

David Jardine

It is reported today that Swiss authorities have launched an investigation into alleged money laundering by BAE.

Federal prosecutors in Bern launched at the weekend their own official investigation into BAE, this time for alleged money laundering. Investigators there will be able to examine Swiss accounts held by billionaire middleman Wafic Said, who is regarded as a potential witness.

Hundreds of millions of pounds are reported to have passed through the accounts, from an offshore company secretly owned by BAE called Poseidon.

BAE's secret operations in Switzerland have emerged at the centre of many of the worldwide allegations against the company.

Sunday, May 13, 2007
  The May-hem Anniversary

The riots, the looting, the rapes, the student deaths at Trisakti, the rise of reformasi, and the end of too much of Suharto. It was nine years ago.

My account is here.


1:05 pm |
Saturday, May 12, 2007
  Taking a leak - 1

What do you say when you want to be excused because you're busting for a shit or a pee?

Maybe you're American and mutter something about going to the bathroom, ignoring the fact that most Brits would wonder about your general cleanliness. But then if you're a British male you might mention that you have to see a man about a dog to which your blokish mates would suggest that actually you're going to point percy at the porcelain.

And where do you do your business? Do you say lavatory, toilet, WC or little room? In Jakartass Towers, given the stack of reading material, we call it the restroom. For other folk it's the throne room, a reminder that even queens take a shit now and then.

Yep, in loo of using direct language about natural bodily functions, we use a pile of shitty euphemisms. We get pissed off and embarrassed as if we are higher ethereal beings able to deny our baser animal existence. This, as Moonfish in Malaysia relates, can lead to a breakdown in effective communication.

And that could be why here in Indonesia, and Jakarta in particular, it's nigh on impossible to find somewhere to spend a penny. Unlike Singapore, which has a Happy Toilet Campaign, there is little focus here on the need to provide adequate facilities for the populace, and, believe me, there is a need. Although no-one seems quite sure how much crap we carry around with us - anything from 72 to 470 grammes a day - there is a need to deal with it.

And we mustn't forget that the seemingly less offensive pee also causes problems if allowed to flow free. A couple of years ago I noted that a vital road bridge in Palembang, South Sumatra was in danger of collapsing because of "excessive urination".

Indcoup thinks that I'm wrong to describe Jakarta as a 'shithole', preferring to compare "the millions of tons of concrete that have been used to build this city in the last few decades" to a lady. Well, she may be, but she's certainly not a model!

And I dread to think what she'll look like after a few more decades of uncontrolled urination. Meanwhile, we should be asking those pissers and tosspots standing as gubernatorial candidates if they could give a shit about the provision of public toilets. If they mutter something vague about manifestos or aren't aware of campaigns such as the annual UK Loo of the Year Award or that Singapore's toilet cleaners undertake training and skills upgrading under the National Skills Recognition Scheme (NSRS), then you know that they don't deserve your vote because they're full of crap.


10:35 am |
Thursday, May 10, 2007
  Indonesia's new budget airline is unveiled

AdamAir (which, they say, Was Awarded as Low Cost Airline of the Year 2006 and, we say, Was Awarded as Least Trusted Airline of the Year 2007) has announced a new business partnership with the noted Indian Low Cost People Carrier of Every Year Since The Year Dot, Bajaj.

Acknowledgements to Aeronusa

With room for three passengers, or thirty at a squeeze, this airline is sure to prove popular with "ordinary people" such as the Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar Family who, in spite of their "individual weaknesses and imperfections" are delighting in demonstrating that they "serve an extraordinary GOD who delights in demonstrating His great power".

They are expecting their 17th child, a baby girl to be called Jennifer. All their children have names beginning with the letter J.

I'm praying that their 18th will be called Jakartass.


11:30 am |
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
  Down and out ...
... of the Premiership.

Yep, the sole reason for my investment in satellite TV has ended. Apart from a final fixture on Saturday against the European Cup/Champions League finalists, Liverpool, Charlton will not be seen on Indonesia's screens again this year.

As this is too painful for me to write about, you'll have to read what other Addicks say.

Ho hum.

Instead, and on the basis that positivity is better, I thought I ought to investigate something I spotted in a traffic jam yesterday. It was a van which had this written on the side: RIDER - the power of underwear and this URL just below.

I still don't get it ~ whiter than white?

Or healthy as a horse?

Maybe it's to do with horses for courses, in which case rodeo riders need something like Ginch Gonch Ladies Bull Rider Briefs YEEE HAH!

Check out these new sexy designs from Ginch Gonch that will have your spurs a spinnin', your boots a bumpin' and guns a shootin'! With products for the sheriff and outlaw in all of us, pullin' 'em up or tearin' 'em right back off has never felt so good! So giddy up with Ginch Gonch!

But Hell's Angels might prefer ..... some of the wicking underwear designed to be worn under leathers (which) does seem to help. They're designed to transfer moisture from the rider's ...

Or there's Black Bamboo Rider Trunks ... for extra stiffness??

I don't get it. Can someone help me get to the bottom of all this?



9:00 am |
Saturday, May 05, 2007
  Foke is a four-letter word

Everyone who lives in or visits Jakarta knows that it's a shithole. Its shortcomings need no itemising here, but I can list the shortcomings of those in City Hall.

Back in October 2004 the Jakarta Post carried profiles of the 75 newly elected city councillors, who gained their sinecures based on the numbers of votes cast for the various political parties they belonged to. They were not directly elected to represent the electorate but the interests of those political parties: Golkar (only 6 councillors but with the Speaker as an 'extra'), PKS (19, inc. a Deputy Speaker), P-Dem (16, inc. a Deputy Speaker), PDI-P (11, inc. a Deputy Speaker), PPP (7), PAN (6), PDS (4), PKB (4), PBR (2).

The priorities of the councillors were given in the following order:
Corruption 22
Economy 16
Transport and Traffic 15
Education 14
Welfare/Women 13
Environment 12
Housing 11
Security and law 7
Waste Disposal 6
(NB. Some councillors suggested that they had more than one issue they wanted to focus on.)

Can anyone say that the current regime has improved life here?
Please comment below.

The capital loses as capital gains

Are there new investors?
Maybe. During the period January - November 2006, Approved Domestic and Foreign Direct Investment was about Rp.157.5 trillion and US$13.9 billion, an increase of 244.5% and 18.8% respectively from the same period last year.

New shopping malls, which occupy land that Jakartans could otherwise benefit from, are not fully occupied. Jakarta occupancies decreased to 92.1%. It appears that strata title kiosk developments are reaching saturation point.
(Great pics.)

Is the environment better?
The worst floods, ever, blamed on blatant development of land reserved as ‘greenbelts’ to absorb rainwater.

Is the waste better disposed of?
Landfill site - full amid strong street rumours of City Hall malfeance blocking the development of major recycling initiatives.
(Great pics.)

Is there less traffic, better transport?
The short answer is no. In spite of the limited success of the Busway with its special bus lanes, some 300 new cars enter Jakarta's roads every day.

Is there less corruption?
Is the sea dry?

Need I go on?

Foke off limits?

The election of incumbent Governor Sooty and his new partner, Deputy Governor Fauzi Bowo five years ago was by 47 of the 85 councillors and it was not universally acclaimed. It was greeted with street clashes not least because because no-one wanted to understand why the then President Megashoppa supported his candidature. After all, on July 27th 1996, when he was Suharto's military commander of the city, Sutiyoso was responsible for the trashing of the HQ of Mega's political party, PDI-P. There were several deaths and many remain unaccounted for. But Mega has always been a Suhartoist, rather than a people's president, so this minor skirmish can safely be overlooked.

In the aftermath of Jakarta's floods earlier this year, I had this to say about the self-serving Governor Sooty, and the self-seeking Deputy Governor Fauzi Bowo.

Governor Sooty has been quick to say that the floods are a natural phenomenon. Most of us would disagree and say that it's the rain that is natural. Still, I suppose it's also natural that his deputy, Fauzi Bowo, would agree and then offer the excuse that there was nothing that could have been done to prevent it because "Floods happen everywhere in the world."

This genius is standing in the city's first direct election for the governorship. I don't have the vote, but with flippant comments like that you can be sure that he will not be seen for much longer in City Hall. There's a word in English that describes him perfectly; it rhymes with 'banker'.

Here's another quote to indicate his leadership qualities: “We have not been invited to the talks (prior to the establishment of the consortium), so we don't know where the subway will be built.

So, a major project to develop a mass public transport system in the capital city is initiated without the involvement of City Hall? Really?

Fauwi Bozo

What I am going to say here is probably going to make this site a target for hackers. Yes, I'm going to say that in my humble opinion, the election of the businessman's friend pictured above will be a further unmitigated disaster for Jakartans. He has neither said nor done anything to convince the populace of his capabilities.

That his face is disfiguring hectares of wall space throughout the city is no doubt due to the over-zealousness of his supporters, the Fauzi Bowo Defence Team. You see, there is an election to be held in Jakarta this coming August, a historic election in that for the first time it is a 'direct' election. Yep, Jakartans supposedly get to say who is going to ruin their lives for the next five years, until 2012.

Of course, this isn't true, the direct election bit I mean. After all, the only candidates must be nominated by political parties or coalitions thereof, who reached the 'threshold' of 15% of the votes recorded in the last election. Given that all the parties have fed at the City Hall trough for the past five years, in spite of their supposed good intentions outlined above, it is only natural that they want the good life to continue.

In criticising the political parties and Bozo, I am laying myself open to castigation by his supporters who have already got uptight and undemocratic in their demands that critical blogs be shut down.

That presumptiveness alone is worth a highly critical post. That Bowo has merely clung to the coat tails of Big Brother Sooty and is now demonstrably proving himself to be a jerk is more than adequate grounds for me to suggest that Jakarta's electors tell him to Foke Off.


3:30 pm |
Friday, May 04, 2007
Minimalism ...

... is?

... Art

Sol leWitt R.I.P.
Yellow on Yellow by Jakartass

John Cleese is a 'green'.

... Music

Philip Glass said, "That word should be stamped out!!"

A simple question ..... Love it or hate it?


6:00 am |
Thursday, May 03, 2007
  Once again I am pleased to host an article by my good friend Dave Jardine, author of Foreign Fields Forever and historian of all things related to Britain, Indonesia and Carlisle United. This article is copyright. Please email Dave if you wish to reproduce it.


On November 4 1938 a Netherlands line vessel, Johannes van Oldenbarnewelt, docked at Batavia’s Tanjung Priok. Its complement of passengers included eleven German Jews.

Johannes van Oldenbarnewelt

Any non-Dutch nationals were required to have immigration clearance. The Dutch colonial authorities denied it to the Jews, the fact that there was a German community in Batavia at the time notwithstanding and that the Jews were carrying German passports. These desperate people were, like many of their fellows, fleeing Nazi terror. They offered to put up bonds but the colonial authorities remained stone-faced. Permission was denied.


Earlier in the year, representatives of thirty-two nations had met at Evian’les-Bains in France to discuss the problem of European Jewish refugees being generated by Hitler’s Nazi terror. In the words of Rabbi Eliahu Ellis and Rabbi Shmuel Silinsky, “Acknowledging the plight of Jews in German lands, the nations of the world arose to do…nothing.” (aish.com)

The Evian Conference, called on the initiative of US President Franklin Roosevelt, was a flop. Even nations with large areas of potentially settleable farmland like Argentina and Australia refused to offer refuge to these desperate people. The rich nations turned their faces away.

But in Vienna, Austria, which Hitler’s forces occupied in the Anschluss (German: political connection or union) on March 12 1938, the Chinese Consulate-General Dr. Feng Shan Ho, on his own initiative, issued visas to the would-be asylum seekers.

One 17 year old Jew, Eric Goldstaub, would later report that he had visited perhaps 50 foreign missions in the city before he went to the Chinese and was granted visas for himself and 20 members of his extended family. Dr. Feng was their saviour.

The visas were for entry to Shanghai, which was the only port in Asia without any Immigration restrictions anyway. But why would anybody choose to travel to China at the time? Racked by the war initiated by the Imperial Japanese invasion, it was fighting furiously for its life. True, Shanghai had its International Settlement, established in 1854, where the foreign non-Chinese could live in a kind of bubble but Shanghai was in late 1938 under the same Japanese threat as all the other cities of China.


The answer is, of course, that the Jews were desperate as the eleven aboard the Dutch ship in Tanjung Priok on that day in November 1938 must have been.

Not even the fact that the Dutch East Indies was home to an established Jewish population, principally in Surabaya, where some 3000 lived, mostly of Iraqi origin, who would have proffered aid to these hapless folk … not even this would move the colonial authorities.

Singapore’s vigorous Jewish community did what it could for European Jews arriving there by boat but the British would only allow them to stay if they could find work. Given that the Depression had not passed, this was difficult and few were successful. Shanghai it would be for the rest.

There, a relief committee including, incidentally, anti-Nazi Germans was on hand to aid the disembarkees.

Dr. Colijn, the Dutch Prime Minister said Holland could do nothing. Hendrikus Colijn was not unfamiliar with the East Indies. He had, after all, spent sixteen years here, ten of them in the colonial army in which he served in the Aceh War.

There were just too many German and Austrian Jews to admit to Holland, not to mention those from Poland, Hungary and elsewhere. Not even in the huge Dutch colony of the Indies, not even in relatively small numbers, not even in stable communities like Manado.

Meanwhile, Germans who had left Singapore, which had long had a German community, as the political crisis in Europe deepened in 1938-39 and moved to Batavia were allowed to stay.

In the neighbouring Philippines, then under so-called Commonwealth status of the United States, the mood was somewhat different, at least at the national level. The Philippines said it would admit 10,000 Jews for re-settlement in rural Mindanao in the south. This plan, however, broke up on the twin reefs of local hostility and the difficulties of resolving land ownership disputes.

A similar plan was mooted for Australia, where Melville island off Darwin in the Northern Territory, was earmarked for settlement by 10,000 European Jews. Needless to say perhaps, there is no record of the local Tiwi aborigines being consulted. We may surmise that they would have been completely mystified by the proposal and the forces that had created the need for it.

On November 9 1938 a desperate Jewish youth called Herschel Grynzspan (Greenspan) entered the German Embassy and shot dead Ernst von Rath, a diplomat.

Hitler reacted with rage. The ‘Kristallnacht’ (Night of Broken Glass) followed and all over Germany Jewish properties, amongst them many synagogues, were smashed and torched by Nazi stormtroopers. A collective indemnity for von Rath’s death was levied on German Jewry. The number of Jews desperate to leave grew.

Jews continued to arrive at the colonial ports in the Far East, where the authorities could not claim ignorance of the terror in Europe; it was common knowledge from the papers and the radio.


A few amongst the refugees were Dutch including the Arnon family who fled first to the United Kingdom and then, taking advantage of their Dutch passports, headed to the Indies. They would find temporary respite. Not even the Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging (NSB)* sympathisers could deny them entry. But, when in March 1942 the Dutch colony fell to the Japanese, they were interned in camps in Batavia and Java along with their compatriots, including, of course, NSB sympathisers! The latter could not appeal to the Japanese on political grounds that they were fellow-believers with the Nazis. They were enemy aliens and that was that.

David Jardine

*Dutch National Socialist Movement = fascist


9:00 am |
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
  A day late?

But no matter; issues don't die overnight.

Yesterday was May Day throughout the world.

Except in Indonesia. Oh, yes, there were union rallies protesting proposed changes to Act No.13, of 2003 Concerning Manpower, an Act which gives certain rights to employees which are acceptable elsewhere in the world. Other rights, such as severance pay, are contested by employers, but then there are few who have a genuine interest in the welfare of their human resources, a demeaning term of dehumanisation.

As sLesTa comments, everywhere in the world celebrates may 1 as a national holiday for labor day (except for US which has their own version of labor day on september 1). ironically, in indonesia, it's also not a national holiday and we're probably the only country in asia (at least, southeast asia) who doesn't commemorate the day as a national holiday. it kinda reflects how our government treat labors. what should be a biggest asset of this country, labor workers usually blindsighted as liabilities, especially when they stand firm to get what they are rightful to receive.

According to Tempo Interaktif, our esteemed VP, noted businessman Josef Kalla, had this to say about the demand for a public holiday on May 1st: "(This demand) is difficult to meet because labour is a profession. All professions, like farmers, soldiers and teachers (could) also ask for their own national holiday. Even journalists will ask for a holiday."

Could this be the most asinine remark he's ever uttered? Is it worth telling him that today is National Education Day?

Dave Jardine has referred the following article to me and I'd like to refer it to you.

Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the Clamshell Alliance, a group formed in 1976 that swelled in numbers in opposition to the construction of Seabrook Station nuclear power plant.

Paul Gunter, a Clamshell Alliance founder and director of the Reactor Watchdog Project at the Nuclear Information and Resource Service in Washington, D.C., said nuclear power proponents are engaging in just another shell game effort to legitimize expansion.

“I guess they wore out the expression too cheap to meter and are trying a new spin that a second coming can save the world from climate change,” Gunter said. “It’s akin to Charlie Brown being offered the football by Lucy. How many times does he need to fall on his back?”

Gunter said it would be an expansion of an “incredibly risky business” in terms of finances, safety, the environment and security risks.

“Twenty-first century energy policy solutions will be conservation coupled with renewable energy, biofuel, use of the sun and wind,” he said. “We can cut 47 percent of our demand by 2055. We could have a policy to drastically cut emissions and improve our lifestyle with less consumption. It’s not time to burn more coal, guzzle more oil and fire up more power plants. The con is as clear today as it was then.”

Poor guy, he's just another rabid slime green who faces the brickbats of cliché-smitten moles* for the nuclear industry.

* Moles are small insectivores which burrow underground and destroy green swathes. Living in the dark, moles are generally blind to reality.


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