My caustic chumOigal
has yet to contribute directly to Thoughts Outside The Indonesian Box
but that hasn't stopped me from plagiarising some of his mental meanderings.
Early, very early, this morning I was heading for Grogol up the toll road when with the sound of sirens from behind, our procession into town slowed down as the convoy of big wigs (orang tinggi
) swept by on the inside lane, the one where you're supposed to breakdown.
Two Harley-Davidson motorbikes (or were they Hondas?) with blue flashing lights headed up the parade. They were followed by a sedan with military plates and then what appeared to be a Toyota Land Cruiser
, a regular rich people carrier, except this one was special. Its licence plate read B1.
Ah, said my taxi driver, that's SBY, and I agreed whilst marvelling at the President's lack of pretensions where his motor fleet is concerned. I waved, and we all motored on.
Except, I later realised, SBY is not in the country at present. A week ago he left for Iran
"to foster bilateral ties" with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and to foster the idea that nuclear power would be good for Indonesia.While the Indonesian government is struggling with public opinion concerning plans to build a dozen (eh?) nuclear power stations on the foot of a volcano in Java, the support lent to Iran hopes to placate the Muslim majority in parliament - while also helping to promote the idea that nuclear energy is safe and that individual countries should have the right to engage in this field if they so choose.
Then he went on to the 11th Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) held in Dakar, Senegal. At both places he spoke for the need for all good Muslims to be good Muslims, like the majority of Indonesians, and he also hoped that Indonesia could be a force for world peace.
(Of course, until Indonesia is forced to recognise that as the major contributor to climate change, it can only be a force for global conflict.)
But where is SBY now? Pre-planning suggested that after the Dakar conference, he would pay a visit to a third country
, most likely Mozambique.
We can't begrudge SBY a couple of days off, but that does lead to the question about the motorcade I was held up by this morning. If he wasn't in his car, who was? And if no-one was in the car, why did it have a military escort?
Which eventually leads me to Oigal's thoughts. These are definitely outside the current Indonesian box.
With immediate effect the following regulations are to be implemented:1.
All politicians who wish to partake in a government (taxpayer) funded overseas trips are required to take Public Transport to and from the Airport. (Express Customs walk-throughs and traffic clearance is expressly forbidden).2.
All government vehicles are to be affixed with a large toll free number requesting the registration of the vehicle be reported to a Central Authority should the vehicle be sighted at any shopping mall, golf course or other facility of public entertainment. (Central Authority is to request details of such approvals from regional managers; any use deemed frivolous will mean immediate open auction of said vehicle for the public good).3.
All government vehicles are to have designated and recorded drivers. Any driver who is not designated as such will be subject to immediate criminal action for theft of public property.4.
All public officials currently in receipt of a taxpayer funded vehicle will be required to submit a justification to the Central Authority on why they cannot use “pool vehicles and drivers”. Failure to do so within seven days will result in the withdrawal of the vehicle.5.
All government vehicles are to carry large signs stating “These vehicles are paid for by the people of Indonesia. Please report misuse to 021.XXX XXXX”6.
All companies and individuals in receipt of public funds, grants and allowances are required by law to make a public declaration of their audited taxation payments.
Does anyone disagree?
SBY was in South Africa yesterday, although why the media should make a mystery of it is a mystery. Anyway, his transport is a posh Mercs, and an SUV, one of which is RI 1.
B is the designated letter of Jakarta vehicles, so B1 has to be the transport of Governor Fuzzy Bodoh who continues to demonstrate the trappings of his power rather than an affinity with his electors. He is unlikely to apologise for his lateness with the stock excuse here ~ don't blame me, it's the traffic.