That larger parties rent planes to get them around this vast archipelago makes sense, so why comment on it?
In the past few weeks there have been a number of non-fatal airplane mishaps. Sriwijaya Air has had a few recently. Last April, one of their Boeing 737s overran a runway and rolled into the adjacent field, injuring 13 passengers. Then, a week or so ago, Sriwijaya was forced to cancel a flight after a bird was sucked into one of its engines just before take off at Radin Inten Airport in Bandar Lampung, South Sumatra. And last Monday, engine failure caused a Sriwijaya Air plane to make an emergency landing at Batam's Hang Nadim.
Golkar, the former Suharto political group/political party, is lead by Jusuf Kalla, the Vice President. The party has chartered a Boeing 737-300 plane from Sriwijaya Air.
“Actually we rent our aircraft to NAC (Nusantara Air Charter), but the aircraft is likely to be used by Golkar,” Sriwijaya’s public relations manager Ruth Hanna Simatupang said.
And who owns NAC? Why, none other than Solihin Kalla, son of Jusuf.
Prabowo Subianto, the former head of the country's Kopassus special forces, and once Suharto's son-in-law, is notorious for human rights abuses.
Although he has denied accusations that he organised terror squads in East Timor during Indonesia's bloody 24-year occupation and that he orchestrated riots and mass rapes of ethnic Chinese women in Jakarta prior to Suharto's fall, he has not shied away from responsibility for the kidnappings of student activists in the last days of his then father-in-law, telling foreign journalists last month his "conscience is clear" over the abductions.
There's no way he can deny it - the army command kicked him out and he went off to build up his fortune in the Lebanon. Much of his wealth is being spent on a media campaign which, if his party gains a sufficient percentage of the votes, will enable him to campaign for the presidency. This election is in July.
What makes this of particular interest is that two of the kidnapped activists are now legislative candidates for Prabowo's party and another heads up his media centre.
Of the 23 activists abducted in 1997 and 1998, one is known to be dead and 13 are missing.
Raharja Waluya Jati was held in a cell for 45 days and tortured in what he suspects, but is not sure, was Kopassus headquarters.
At night, he communicated by yelling down the hall to the three kidnap victims now with Gerindra, and to friends who never returned.
"Prabowo needs the victims to get legitimacy and wash his bloody hands," Jati said, adding the alliance was likely motivated by the victims' own thirst for political power.
"I have four friends still missing now and when I talk to their families they just want to know about their sons. Prabowo knows about everything, including my friends who are still missing."
Apparently, psychiatric hospitals are gearing up for a surge in patients. Individual candidates, by and large, have had to fund their own campaigns and there are bound to be many who end up bankrupt having forked out for stickers, banners, media adverts et al. Those who do end up on the gravy train will be seeking to recoup their outlay, and then some. Hopefully all new legislators will be monitored very closely by the Corruption Eradication Commission.