Disposable and Indispensible
You've got to feel sorry for the Bakrie Boys haven't you.
Oh. The thing is, you see, they're beginning to plead poverty
Having been center stage in a series of controversies, the head of the politically powerful Bakrie family, Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Aburizal Bakrie, has finally spoken out about the family name no longer being included on the list of the nation's richest."I'm no longer on the list due to the financial crisis in the United States," he said, referring to the Forbes Magazine's pointed focus on the country's richest man with a net worth of US$5.4 billion, as of 2007. "I'm left now with an asset of less than 10 percent (of the previous value). Some 90 percent (has) gone as reflected in the share price (of PT Bumi Resources) that once reached Rp 8,500."
No doubt this is a major reason for not paying the agreed compensation to the refugees of the Sidoarjo mud volcano triggered by the negligence of his drilling company, Lapindo Brantas.
In fact, he says
, “This is a business transaction, not compensation provided to the victims because there is no legal verdict as yet to determine whether or not Lapindo is guilty in the case.
He's referring to the notoriously corrupt Indonesian court apparatus and ignoring the expert opinion of nigh on forty renowned international geologists lead by England’s University of Durham (who) in October concluded that the disaster was caused by Lapindo’s drilling activities.
There's a succinct comment by a David from Jakarta after the article which deserves wider exposure.And here we were, thinking that at last the grasping Bakrie clan were doing something out of their own hearts for the good of the mudflow victims. Instead the 'compensation' means that anyone wishing to return to their land after it is safe to do so will be forever in hock to the Bakries for rent.Actually, this could be quite a profitable business. Poison someone's land, pay them less than the true value for it, then charge rent to anyone who wants to use that land in future.Merry Christmas to all the Bakries.
However, I do think that David has missed a more important point.
Aburizal said that his mother had ordered him to share his family’s money to help the mudflow victims in Sidoarjo.
“For us, my mother’s voice is just like a fatwa issued by the MUI (the Indonesian Council of Ulema); we have to abide by it
Nothing about corporate social responsibility, which is now enshrined in Indonesia's business law. Nothing about saying sorry to the folk in Sidoarjo, but all about how it isn't his fault. And how he pays more attention to his mother than to the President of Indonesia who has repeatedly given him instructions to sort the mess out.
If I were SBY, I would ditch the arrogant mother's boy immediately. He wouldn't be missed.
But Ali Alatas will be. The former Indonesian foreign minister Ali Alatas died yesterday
, aged 76, from a heart attack in Singapore.Alatas, ever loyal to whomever he served, managed to come away with his integrity largely in tact even when his bosses became tainted and condemned by corruption and other scandals.Alatas served as foreign minister under president Soeharto in 1988-1998 and under president B.J. Habibie in 1998-1999. He continued to act as foreign policy advisor to successive presidents - Abdurrahman Wahid, Megawati Soekarnoputri and now Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.He was never a politician, but he served his country and his nation so well, more so than many of his peers during his lifetime.He was indispensable.
Yep, one of the good guys, and I have thought as much since he was first appointed to represent Indonesia. A man of rare - in this country at least - personal integrity.