Tuesday, June 30, 2009
  Round A Bout

I feel strangely unmoved by the death of Michael Jackson and don't share in the outpouring of grief. There are suggestions that his death may have been caused by his intake of prescription drugs, which just last week I suggested isn't necessarily a good thing.

Although John Peel undoubtedly, perhaps surprisingly, did, I don't have a single track of Jackson's in my extensive collection of music. That could be because my one enduring memory of him is from the appearances of the Jackson 5 on the Andy Williams Show which I had to watch because when I was a lad there were only two channels on British TV. Their hit at the time was One Bad Apple, which that squeaky kid failed to live down throughout his unfortunate life.

Although premature deaths are unfortunate, for Sony and Warner who hold the rights to his recordings, his death may not be untimely.

Others will cash in, possibly these two:

Would MJ have used any other?

Available online here

I'm not a fan of blood sports, and boxing in particular. Thumping someone in the head for a living shows that you've either got brain damage or soon will have.

However, Chris John is a boxer who is the WBA Featherweight Champion and Indonesia's only (?) world champion in any sport. His site sent Firefox crashing! So instead, check out this wiki page for loads of adulatory info.

Reading the sports pages, mainly because Andy Murray is one Brit worth championing, I noted that Chris John has had to postpone a match because he's been ill. Nothing serious, maybe, but according to his wife he occasionally has a bout of sprue, a word I'd never come across before.

Indonesians do suffer from mild hypochondria, regularly taking nostrums for such maladies as masuk angin, literally 'wind entering' which is generally known as breathing, and panas dalam which means hot inside. Of course, if you're dingin dalam, meaning cold inside, you're dead.

But sprue? My trusty Websters tells me that it is a chiefly tropical disease characterised by defective absorption of food, anaemia, gastrointestinal disorders etc.

Sounds like he didn't have the stomach to face his next opponent.


8:00 am |
Sunday, June 28, 2009
  Peoples' Parks

My father lives in the dormitory town of Hampden Park, just outside Eastbourne on the south coast of England. The house was originally my grandfather's and as a post war child growing up in Blackheath, South London, our annual summer holidays were spent visiting Nana and Grandad.

The earliest extant photo of me, ingrained in my memory rather than in an album, has me standing on a park bench in Hampden Park adjacent to the duck pond, which is more of a lake as it is surrounded by mature trees, not planted but allowed to grow as nature intended. The park's main inhabitants are the grey squirrel, and several bird species inhabit the lake, notably mallard ducks, Canada geese, mute swans, moorhens, gulls and the rock pigeon.

One side of the park, on one of the roads in, is more open, with a sports field, a more recent indoor bowling centre and tennis courts where my sister complained that I wasn't hitting the ball to where she could return it. There is a cafeteria where we were treated to a cone of Wall's ice cream - yes, Indonesians take note: much of what you buy was British first.

I well remember the children's playground with swings, a roundabout, a tall slide and other adventuresome equipment where I learned to test my physical attributes and, more importantly, social skills.

I recall excitedly exclaiming to my parents that I'd made a friend. It seemed both surprising and easy.

Back home in South London, just up the road there was Hornfair Park, a flat area with little of interest to me, apart from the tennis courts at the far end and the lido, an open air swimming pool, near the entrance. A regular year round routine was to get up early on Sunday, and leaving my mother at home, we would go for a dip, even when it meant breaking the ice.

As I grew older, I could bike up the road to the top of Shooters Hill and roam around Oxleas Wood which was delightful in early Spring as bluebells bloomed and carpetted the ground beneath the trees. With other teenage lads, I'd race, play tag or commandos, which was our generational 'Cowboys and Indians', and there was always time to relax in the caff with lemonade and a cake.

In the other direction, on the northern side of the vast expanse of Blackheath, there is Greenwich Park. (Do check out the panoramic view on this site.) This is one of the royal parks dotted around London. It houses the Greenwich Observatory which gave us the meridian from which Greenwich Meantime Time is measured and the time zone used by the Indonesian armed forces.

Four other local parks have significance in my life. The Valley, the home ground of Charlton Athletic, was within walking distance of my home. First there was the walk through a housing estate, then I'd go through Charlton Park which housed my library, then across the road through Maryon Park adjacent to Maryon Wilson Park which still has enclosures for deer and other cuddly animals.

In the latter period of my life in London, I was involved in the development of Larkhall Park, now a flourishing community concern. Moreover, in my free time, I was able to enjoy the many splendours of Brockwell Park which, like many of London's parks, was once the 'country estate' of a rich landowner. Not only were there the lido and tennis courts for exercise, but we would fling our frisbees or play the French version of bowls, pétanque.

Along with shady trees to rest under for solitary reading, there was a walled garden, resplendent with flowers in season, for occasional romantic assignations.

Folk can wax lyrical about parks as, hopefully, I have. In brief, given free access, and the majority of Britain's parks are maintained out of the public purse, they are community assets to be cherished.

If you are interested in reading more I highly recommend author William Boyd's A-Z of Parks.

Definition of a park

It's time to establish precisely what we mean by a "park". I'm thinking principally of London, but I feel this definition will fit all parks in all cities of the world. There are certain determining characteristics, necessary conditions, for park status.

First, there must be tall, mature trees, the older and taller the better.

Second, the majority of the trees in the park must give the impression of random planting - no rectangles or neat lines, by and large. An avenue here or there is allowed, an allée, but we need the illusion of spontaneous, unplanned growth.

Third, the ground must undulate in a significant way - flatness is not a park-criterion.

Fourth, there is the question of scale: you mustn't be able to see all sides of the park at once - one boundary at least must be invisible from wherever you stand.

Fifth, there must be a gated entrance: a park need not necessarily be fenced or walled but it must have a portal - or several. Immediately we see how these five categories allow us to separate, for example, a park from a city square.

This is an expanded version of the first section an article published in the Jakarta Globe on 26th June. Part 2, about the paucity of Jakarta's parks, is below this post.




8:01 am |
  You Can Park Here - but you might not want to.

Would you rather be a dog romping and sniffing out scents or a rat in a maze. That's the difference between parks and shopping malls which ex-Governor Sutiyoso thought were important because “the existing ones are always packed with people....".

What choice do they have, bodoh?

Having lived on the East-West divide, I'm now more used to crossing over to the North. I've parked myself in Jakarta which you have to leave if you want to get back to nature. We may live in tropical climes where nature has a strong hand, but here it's strictly controlled. It would seem that the only parks are for cars.

When I arrived in Jakarta all those years ago, I went in search of somewhere to play badminton. I used to be quite good at it, playing at county level, which is equivalent to provincial level here. This country is one of the sport's powerhouses after all, so I figured that finding somewhere close to home would be easy to find. Well, it is if you like playing in the street amongst the passing traffic.

Where can you fling a frisbee or go for a morning jog, undisturbed by the traffic?

Google 'Jakarta Parks' and all you'll find are links to Ancol 'recreational' area, with its golf course, art market, water world and polluted beach and Ragunan Zoo. Otherwise you're stuck with Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII), with its theme of little regional enclaves, Taman Safari (Safari Park), a drive through zoo, and the Cibodas Botanical Garden, all of which are worth a visit, yet aren't that affordable or reachable for those on low incomes.

In the city itself, the major free public park facility is Monas in central Jakarta. Governor Sutiyoso found the funds to erect a high fence, ostensibly to keep 'his' deer within, but in practice it has obstructed free access to the people who are, after all, the prime users of a park. The Busway has a stop called Monumen Nasional. Unfortunately, or probably by design, it's far from the entrance, which is on the other side of the area.

If you live in a cramped kampung or, as I do, on a regular back street in need of a layer of asphalt, then you're stuck at home or have to spend an inordinate amount of time battling Jakarta's traffic to get to an exclusive enclave.

But if you do make it to a fenced off slice of greenery, you probably would not be allowed access to it.

However, there are a few municipal parks around.

As the sun rises on a small suburb in Jakarta's south, the street vendors, children and dog-walkers make their way, along with the birds and lizards, to the local park. But this is where the romantic image ends.

Guntur's park, Taman Tangkuban Perahu, is piled high with polystyrene containers, plastic cups, straws, paper and indiscriminate objects, along with copious amounts of dog faeces.

Then there's the city's renowned Taman Situ Lembang. Located on Jl. Lembang in Menteng, Central Jakarta, the park was recently crowned the "most beautiful" park in the country."Many people visiting this park bring food and drink but throw away the packaging, despite there being a number of bins available," said Burhan, a cleaner at the park.

Or there's Ayodya Park which doesn't have mature trees or flowers but was apparently designed with expats in mind.

So, what are Jakarta's alternatives?

Some suggest cemeteries.

“Other countries have been using their cemeteries as recreational areas. I don’t see why Jakarta can’t turn some of its graveyards as public areas where people can enjoy a nice view and a (dead?) calm atmosphere,” Jakarta Green Map coordinator Nirwono Joga said recently.

Nirwono said several cemeteries had the potential to become recreational as well as educational areas, due to their picturesqueness and rich histories: the Menteng Pulo war memorial cemeteries, the Karet Bivak Cemetery and the Petamburan Cemetery.

Keep off the wreathes!
Is that it?

Well, not quite.

Last year, Jakarta's Parks Agency proposed converting 29 gas stations public parks this year. It hasn't happened yet and I doubt that it will. Moreover, as few can take their ease next to a road - where gas stations are obviously sited - breathing in exhaust fumes and the residue of spilled petroleum, what value will they have as public space?
If you've made it this far, then take the extra step and support Jakarta Green Maps who are doing their best to catalog what passes for green spaces in this mess of a megacity. (In bhs.Indonesia)

A new-ish blog, Indonesia for Kids, is sadly necessary but highlights what does exist by way of facilities for, erm, kids. Most playgrounds are out of the financial reach of Jakarta's families because private entrepreneurs have spotted the market gap.

Rp.80,000 per kid - adults free




8:00 am |
Friday, June 26, 2009
  Say "Yes" To Drugs?

I am well aware that my title may suggest that I am advocating the use of drugs so let me say from the outset that I am not.

However, today is the World Drug Day co-ordinated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Their annual World Drug Report provides one of the most complete assessments of the international drug problem, with comprehensive information on the illicit drug situation. It provides detailed estimates and information on trends in the production, trafficking and use of opium/heroin, coca/cocaine, cannabis and amphetamine-type stimulants, based on data and estimates collected or prepared by Governments, UNODC and other international institutions, (and) attempts to identify trends in the evolution of global illicit drug markets.

Consider that the population
Indonesia is c.230 million and then work out how many users of the following drugs and then work out the actual numbers from the given percentages of the population: Cocaine 0.1%, Cannabis 0.7%, Amphetamines 0.3%, Opiates 0.16%.

This week, calling for universal access to drug treatment, Antonio Maria Costa, director of UNODC said, "People who take drugs need medical help, not criminal retribution." said Since people with serious drug problems provided the bulk of drug demand, treating this problem was one of the best ways of shrinking the market.

However, back in In 2005, Tom Lloyd, a retired UK chief constable, said that prosecuting users is misguided and counter productive; prosecuting dealers without tackling demand or their profits doesn't work.

If the money wasted on misinformation, enforcement and condemnation had been spent on tackling the underlying causes, so many lives blighted by drugs and crime could have been different. There are a number of alternative methods available, but sadly we can't hold a rational public debate.

I agree, especially with "tackling the underlying causes". Prevention is always better than a cure.

Without a fundamental change in society, one that offers both opportunity and equality, then I do not believe that there is much rationality in the government and other authorities here positing Say No To Narkoba.

I well remember a few years back standing at the now inaptly named Harmoni intersection in Jakarta and staring at a banner with these words and thinking that I was breathing in massive amounts of noxious exhaust fumes which were far worse in their long-term effects than the occasional intake of a
non-addictive recreational drug such as marijuana, known as ganja in Indonesia.

Folk are able to choose whether or not to imbibe some recreational substances such as addictive tobacco or alcohol..

I wondered too about the intake of body and mind altering substances which governments have knowingly allowed us to imbibe. There are pharmaceuticals, such as Vioxx, Bextra and, most notoriously, Thalidomide, which have had to be withdrawn from consumer markets because of their serious side effects. There are decreases in fertility as urine 'contaminated' with contraceptive pills ends up in water supplies. There are pesticides and fertilisers spayed and spread on crops which also end up in water tables, ultimately drunk. And the crops end up on our kitchen tables. Meat animals are fed on gods know what and end up giving us BSE, swine and bird flu.

Then there's the full spectrum of food additives, colorants and artificial flavours,
and the excessive amounts sugar and salt in our ready packed snacks and meals. Consider too the proliferation of so-called food and health supplements we consume.

Yet certain remedies, commonly found in plants, are restricted by commercial considerations. Take aspirin, which I won't dignify by capitalising, which is a derivative of salicylic acid commonly found in nature, such as the bark and leaves of the willow tree. Hippocrates knew this 2,500 years ago, although it took until 1900 for the German company Bayer, to patent the name, a patent they lost in 1919 as part of the Treaty of Versailles with the end of World War 1.

Why then, is aspirin not marketed here as a generic medicine? (Incidentally, Heroin® was also a trademark Bayer was forced to give up in 1919.)

Narkoba are generally defined as recreational drugs which have been deemed to be illegal because their traffickers and users can be harmful to society. And this is true.

There are a number of highly addictive chemically produced drugs, such as heroin, cocaine and ecstasy, which are marketed by criminal gangs with financial resources and armies greater than many countries. Indeed, in some countries, these gangs seemingly are the de facto government.
The death toll among gang members competing for supply routes and the gangs' addicted customers is unquantifiable but high, too high. I'm definitely not suggesting the decriminalisation of such evil people, although excuses can be made for many of the addicted.

Heroin is a main source of income for the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan as it wages war against non-believers in their brand of bigotry. Innocent civilians are numerous victims.

Here in Indonesia, the growing and trafficking of marijuana, known as ganja, by both the military and the Aceh Free Movement (GAM) undoubtedly prolonged the war, which only ended with a genuine act of nature, the tsunami. Unfortunately reports continue to surface of renegade acts of violence linked to the trade. And these would surely cease if marijuana were decriminalised.

Consider the use throughout human history of marijuana as a pain reliever.

Queen Victoria is supposed to have used it for period pains. It was sometimes used in childbirth and a poignant archaeological discovery in the Middle East revealed cannabis remnants near the body of a young woman who probably died in childbirth 5,000 years ago.

Cancer patients have claimed that cannabis helps suppress nausea after chemotherapy and the UK government now allows such use under medical supervision.

I can also attest to its beneficial effects. Twenty five years ago, whilst awaiting the arrival of a doctor to put to rights my herniated vertebra (slipped disc), a friend gave me some 'pot' to smoke. When the doctor arrived, I was smiling.

It has only been for a mere 70 years that the use of marijuana as a recreational drug has been prohibited. Marijuana is also known as hemp. The earliest known woven fabric was apparently of hemp, and over the centuries the plant was used for food, incense, cloth, rope and up to 25,000 uses.

In America, William Randolph Hearst, the multi-millionaire newspaper proprietor immortalised in Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, owned enormous timber acreage, land best suited for conventional pulp. According to Popular Mechanics, 10,000 acres devoted to hemp will produce as much paper as 40,000 acres of forest pulp land, so it was in Hearst's interest to see the Marijuana Tax Act passed in 1937.

At this time, DuPont was patenting a new sulfuric acid process for producing wood-pulp paper, which ultimately accounted for more than 80% of all DuPont's railroad car loadings for the next 50 years. Also, in 1935 DuPont developed a new synthetic fiber, nylon, which was an ideal substitute for hemp rope, and in 1938 they introduced rayon, which would have been unable to compete with the strength of hemp fiber or its economical process of manufacturing.

Hearst's media orchestrated a campaign against blacks and Mexicans, seen as the main users of 'reefer'.

"Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men's shadows and look at a white woman twice."

Here in Indonesia, a little sense is beginning to prevail. In 2002, then President Megawati issued a decree which led to the formation of the National Narcotics Board (BNN) and the development of a national strategy toward the abuse, trafficking and eradication of illicit substances. Despite the existing laws and regulations specifically criminalizing the use of illegal drugs, the strategy clearly stated that "drug users should be referred to drug treatment and rehabilitation (by court order) rather than imprisonment".

In March, the Supreme Court issued a circular reminding judges of this decree. This is a small but positive step toward softening Indonesia's harsh prohibitionist approach.

There's a long way to go, however, before we can all breathe easier.

Further reading

Arguments Pro and Anti Drug Prohibition
The International Drug Policy Consortium is a global network of NGOs that specialise in issues related to illegal and legal drug use.



7:00 am |
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
  Where Are You?

Are you alone?
How far is the nearest person to you?
Are you reading this at leisure or sneaking a peek at work?

What sounds can you hear?
Can you hear your friends or colleagues talking, discussing or gossiping?
Can you hear anything which is 'natural' - birds twittering, the rustle of leaves?
Can you hear the sounds of a city - traffic, folk twittering on their phones, vendors' street cries, loud music blaring from emporia, or the distorted calls to prayer from local mosques?

I'm alone.
'Er Indoors is talking to her sister in the kitchen.
Our Kid is in his room playing a computer game.

I can barely hear 'Er Indoors, but I can hear loud Japanese pop music which Our Kid is singing
along to, offkey.
I can hear motorbikes and street vendors passing by and the somewhat annoying constant hum of my 'new' computer.
I can also hear sirens and loud traffic noise which, considering we live on a fairly quiet back street, at first puzzled me. It emanates from the game Our Kid is playing - Death Race 3000 or some such.

It would appear from a lecture on the mindset of the city given last week by Fransisco Budi Hardiman from the Driyarkara School of Philosophy that we are not the norm.

"Jakarta is paralyzed when it comes to socializing. Our ability to socialize is fading. We are no longer considered a collective entity, but merely a sum of individuals. Whether you like it or not, that's the reality."

Actually, he was referring more to me and my kind because, he said, "Facebook, blogs and modern communication technologies are creating virtual environments where users feel they are constantly building relationships with one another, but are actually never meeting in person."

I don't know about "constantly", but I do know a teenage lass who claims to have 1,000 'friends' on Facebook.

"People may boast on blogs but be quite inward in the real world, or be disconnected from a social setting or crowd through the connectivity of online social networks.

"That's the way a large chunk of Jakarta's population communicate nowadays."

At this point, may I reiterate - with a 'thank you' to the many folk who've invited me to join My Place, Mugshots, Mates'ter, Blurb, Splurge and all the social networks of that ilk - that this blog is a way of expressing my concerns and interests as well as being an 'archive' for future generations of my clan with the notion that absence might make their hearts grow fonder. So you may feel free to add me to your list of 'friends', but please don't expect me to reciprocate unless we've met face-to-face.

And that might prove difficult.

As Professor Fransisco says, "The city space also plays a role in fostering new modes of communication. People are feeling more and more confined by the limitations of the city spaces."

People should be able to create their own spaces or make use of the existing ones for their own social activities, he said. He also recommended that the city's next spatial planning program, which would be applied next year, should accommodate a lot of open and green spaces in the city, such as gardens.

"It requires participation from the public, especially activists, to encourage more people to use open spaces for their activities because currently, many of them are just being neglected."

And neglect is the theme of a series of posts I'm tagging as Social Spatiality.




12:30 pm |
Monday, June 22, 2009
  Talkom powder to help boys penis sticking to their bodies??

Frequent commentator, Anong, suggests that my writing is "bland".

Just to demonstrate that I don't have to be, this post is based on my stats and that the Google search engine has Jakartass at number one if you google this post's title.

Actually, I think regular washing is the best way to counteract that particular problem, unless it's following a circumcision, but what do I know, eh?

Indonesian boy being circumcised

Incidentally, I didn't incorporate the stars rating that have been showing up recently - I'm not after such acclaim, whatever Haloscan may have thought.

It's only stars' groupies who use the expression "I'm with the bland".



11:00 am |
Saturday, June 20, 2009
  ... and they lived unhappily ever after.

Ask any Indonesian kid, and the nationality probably doesn't matter, who wrote Cinderella, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, or Snow White, and the odds are they will answer "Walt Disney".

Dina Goldstein explored the original brothers Grimm's stories and found that they have very dark and sometimes gruesome aspects, many of which were changed by Disney.

So she began to imagine Disney's perfect Princesses juxtaposed with real issues.

Yep, Dina, I agree, the world isn't all nice and saccharine.

Ask the Slumdog Millionaires or Jakarta's shoeshine kids who are currently being held in detention by the police "to teach them a lesson" - even though many were unable to take their final grade exams.

Still, some things do change outside of the curriculum.

Honesty Cafés

Initiated by the attorney general’s office, some 7,456 honesty caf
és have opened in schools across in Indonesia.

The intention is that students pay the right price for what they take without being supervised, and learn to resist corrupt practices.

In Samarinda in East Kalimantan, a province as rich in natural resources as in potential graft, High School No.1 spearheaded the local campaign by opening its honesty café last October, offering snacks and drinks for the school’s 1,050 students.

Eni Purwanti, an English teacher who heads the cooperative responsible for the cafe, said the plastic cash box was left unguarded, though large bills were removed regularly “so as not to tempt the students.”

One time, after a week’s investigation, officials found that a school administrator had been taking snacks without paying.

“She said she didn’t know how to pay for the items,” Ms. Purwanti said.

Why am I not surprised, Eni?

Nor by the following news story.

State-owned toll road operator PT Jasa Marga has intensified its patrols of the "Suramadu" bridge, connecting Surabaya in East Java and the island of Madura, following a report from the Public Works Ministry that many of the bridge's components, including dozens of bolts, were missing since its inauguration last week.

PT Jasa Marga operational director Adityawarman that these losses could directly affect the bridge's strength and safety.

Papering over problems

I've always thought that the world of trading stocks, shares and bonds is a fantasy world. This news item - not yet online - seems to prove it.

PT Aqua Golden Mississippi, the country's largest bottled mineral water producer, expects to complete the process of voluntarily delisting itself from the stock market this year.

President director Parmaniningsih said the company had decided to go private because its shares traded by the investing public were no longer liquid.



11:00 am |
Thursday, June 18, 2009
  Current News

The state electricity company (PLN) has grabbed a few headlines recently, and there's good news and not-so-good news.

The first piece of good news is that there hasn't been a power cut in Jakartass Towers for at least a month.

There hasn't been a power cut loads of other houses either, but that's because, according to Tito Nurbianto, deputy to the state minister for housing, at least 100,000 government-subsidized houses are without electricity supply.

Citing a ministry report, Tito said PLN had failed to meet the demand for more than 36 megawatts of electricity to supply all new residences built under government commission. The residences, he said, included houses, low-cost apartments - also known as Rusunami - and the so-called Simple Healthy Houses.

There are several private houses without electricity supply as well.

To cope with the growing demand, PLN on June 8 had to introduce an immediate increase in electricity installation fees of up to 300 percent for new customers in Greater Jakarta.

PLN president director Fahmi Mochtar said Tuesday the new fees were effective mid-May and not actually an obligation.

"With the limited capital for expanding transmission, PLN can only serve a limited number of new customers. As a solution, we offer new customers an option to pay actual full costs for the installation for quick connection."

"We will keep serving customers who wish not to pay that full cost, but they will be included in our waiting lists until the capital for transmission expansion is available."

He also said, the company had only allocated Rp 1 trillion to meet the demand for new electricity installations for 1.3 million subscribers. The figure, he said, should ideally be Rp 3.2 trillion.

Fahmi noted that only 65 percent of Indonesians had access to electricity. Reaching the remaining 35 percent, he said, was getting more and more costly as many of them were located in remote areas.

There was a power cut in Bandar Lampung, South Sumatra, at the weekend while PLN repaired the city's Tanjung Karang Main Generator.

The repair was part of routine maintenance at the power station to ensure a steady supply ahead of the presidential election on July 8.

Do you see the connection?

Also thinking ahead, PLN have announced that amid mounting opposition from the public and NGOs, the state electricity firm PLN has temporarily shelved plans to set up a nuclear power plant.

PLN director of planning and technology Bambang Praptomo said Monday that a nuclear-generated power plant was not included in his company's Electricity Procurement Business Plans (RUPTL) outlined for up to 2018.

Regular readers will expect me to be cheering, but it's not as if it's a permanent halt to their plans or those of the State Ministry of Research and Technology, whose renewable energy expert Martin Jamin said his ministry was ready to implement the nuclear power plan in the future.

"Before that, we should raise people's awareness about the plan because they are the most likely to be concerned."

But Martin insisted the densely populated island of Java was the most appropriate location to develop a nuclear power plant.

Of course. So why not site it in Jakarta? After all, this city has the most users of electricity and apparently by 2018 traffic jams will have eased. That's because PLN and PT Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) signed an MoU on Monday whereby PLN will supply power to the project to build the 14.5-kilometer route linking Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta to Dukuh Atas in Central Jakarta.

There are 12 stations planned for construction along the route, comprising eight elevated stations on a 10.5-kilometer stretch of track and four underground stations along a 4-kilometer stretch.

The biggest problem I can see is that floods will still be a problem, especially underground.

Mark my words - sparks will fly.

Update June 19

It seems that once I think I've polished off a topic, new and relevant information comes by which I wish I'd included.

Ho hum.

First up, and of interest to the residents of Bandar Lampung and elsewhere who are subject to power cuts, parliament is considering a bill that would allow regencies to set electricity tariffs, supposedly as a means of compensating the residents. Cynics might suggest that the proposed bill is intended to compensate regents.

Then, regarding PLN's shortfall of Rp.2.2 trillion in their connection budget, they have announced that they've managed to save Rp.2.5 trillion by cutting generation costs having switched from oil to gas-fired power plants.

Meanwhile, an adviser to the Energy and Mineral Resources Minister, has said that Indonesia has so far only tapped 4% of the "abundant" renewable energy resources, such as soar, hydro-electric and geothemal power, although it was expected to reach 15% by 2025.

By 2018, PLN plans to have increased its use of coal by c.300%



7:00 am |
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
  Books by Bloggers

A review in the Observer of More Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea (a follow up to Blood, Sweat and a Cup of Tea) by Tom Reynolds got me wondering about other authors who've had their blog posts published.

Tom Reynolds, his pen name, is a London ambulance driver. Jakartans may not realise that some capital cities have such public services, with dedicated public servants such as Tom. I've long been dipping into his blog, Random Reality, which is an honest portrayal of a man's working life, of a job which others take for granted until in need of his services. He's an honest man, often blunt but generally kind, especially to old folk.

He reckons his royalties may afford him a much-need foreign holiday. Maybe it's not so much but on a basic salary of about £1,700 (c.Rp.27 million) a month - before tax, such a holiday is beyond the means of Londoners.

I like books, so wondering about others by bloggers I went googling. Most of those listed were for bloggers; sorry, but I'm not interested, been there, done and still doing that.

Tom's motivation is similar to mine.

He says, "Blogging lets me organise the thoughts that have been going through my head during the day. I get them down, and then I sleep better at night. It's a way of emptying my brain."

Living in a war zone is enough motivation for a brain wash.

Salam Pax: The Baghdad Blog by Pax Salam was probably the original of this genre, and I suspect that Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog from Iraq by Ahdaf Souief is similar.

Others blog because they're trying to organise their thoughts from a philosophical basis.

Steve Esser is one such blogger who is trying to comprehend the thoughts expressed in a couple of books by bloggers.

For example, he writes about C.S. Lewis’s Dangerous Idea: In Defense of the Argument from Reason by Victor Reppert and A Paradigm Theory of Existence: Onto-Theology Vindicated by William F. Vallicella.

As I have difficulty in understanding the titles of the two books, I'm unlikely to make much headway with either. I'm not given to much philosophising about why or whether I exist when there far are more immediate practicalities to deal with.

If you want a book deal, I've discovered a couple of editors who've been looking for 'interesting' bloggers, though they may have been caught up in the early hype about a simple tool for documentation and communication. Five years ago there was an article in the New Yorker and more recently one in Bookseller.com suggesting that many of us are budding authors.

There's even a site dedicated to cashing in on our efforts. However, what they're all probably looking for are books for bloggers, which is a major theme of, erm, many bloggers, as are blogs about the ever-changing world of food, widgets, gadgets and other technological ephemera, and how to save or make money.

It seems rare to find novelists who've used blogging as a means to put their literary fantasies into shape. There's Rebecca Agiewich who wrote BreakupBabe: A Novel and The Intimate Adventures Of A London Call Girl by Belle de Jour, whose blogging days seem to be over.

The Indonesian blogosphere does have some notable book authors - in Indonesian. Let me start with someone who saw the potential in what we do before I did, and that's Isman H. Suryaman, who has two blogs, one in English, The Fool, in English, and one in Indonesian. His books include a selection of film parodies, Parodi Film Seru, and another, Bertanya atau Mati, which roughly translates as You Gotta Larf (At Life), or Die. His wife, Primadonna Angela, is famous for her series of eight teenlit novels, although she has at least five other books to be proud of.

Together they are part of the Indonesian Writer's Tavern which you can join, especially if you're based in Bandung, here.

Isman's influence is quite wide. He was the editor of the Indonesian Anonymus book, Kopi Merah Putih, a collection of commonsense essays on contemporary life, a kopi copy of which they kindly sent me.

No doubt there are other books published by bloggers here - feel free to leave a comment, preferably with URL. In a world which is beginning to think that texting and twittering are evidence of innate literacy, think again. A writer's craft involves a lot of thought and hard graft, but surely there is nothing more pleasurable than settling down on a sofa or toilet seat with a good paper-based read.

Let me end, not with a plug for 'my' book but with a request for some co-writers.

Two years ago I posted a mock wiki page about Jakarta in the year 2107. I thought then that it might make a fine futuristic novel. I still do and am looking for co-writers, preferably with reasonable English (which I can always edit). The topic remains current, with both Indonesian Anonymus and my friend Simon Pitchforth posting their thoughts on south-east Asia's pending waterworld.

For the time being, non-swimmers are more than welcome to contribute.
Update June 17

Blogging Policeman Wins Prize

Two months ago, the NightJack blog by Richard Horton -
chronicling his immersion in the world of drugs, drunken brawls, rapes and runaways - scooped the Orwell Prize and was hailed on blogs and in newspapers as an unusually impassioned, eloquent and informed piece of frontline reporting. He was also wooed by agents and publishers hoping to secure the rights to the police procedural he was writing.

Unfortunately, the culture of 'celebrity' has meant that he can't hide behind his pen name and he's been 'outed' ~ his bosses weren't happy.

Tom Reynolds (see above), described the high court decision as "not a brilliant ruling … and not a very helpful one". He said: "It's about whether you allow people to be honest. It's like journalists being told to give up their sources; if we're told that we're all citizen journalists now then we should have the same opportunity to protect ourselves."

Read extracts from NightJack here.

Belle de Jour calls the ruling "a dangerous precedent".

Sunday, June 14, 2009
  Sunday Mish-Mash

Some posts are very difficult to write and one I'm having trouble with is supposed to highlight the differences between the three pairs of presidential candidates. I seem to be stuck with their similarities.

Today's therefore been a time of fiddle-arsing around and tweaking my blogroll to which I've added a collection of news and events aggregators - is that a real word? I've also had to post it below in order to get the URL.

Besides all that, and to try and keep your interest, here are a few fairly unrelated items to be picked over.

Two newish blogs worth noting

I've had a few hits recently emanating from Nusa Lembongan News. Mark, whose pen name seems to be Sandcastle, has written asking if I'd be interested in adding his (and Sunset's) to my blogroll as the blog is a slightly strange one, centring on the 8 square kilometres that is the small island off the south-east coast of Bali.

The purpose of this blog is to publish just about anything ... it could be news, travel tips, travel guide information, write-ups of experiences from the world class diving and surfing sites on the island.... let's see where it takes us.

Some readers of Jakartass have suggested that I suffer from ADD. It can safely be said that a blog about a small island with just 10,000 or so inhabitants will have a very tight focus. I've linked to it in the Bali section.

Patrick Guntensperger has written fairly regularly for the Jakarta Post and the other local English language print media. A couple of years ago I suggested to him that he should archive his articles which are essays, discussion points, and views on what (he considers) to be important issues. He believes in dialogue and open discussion of unpopular but intelligent views.

Well, so do I and I'm pleased to revisit his writing and have given his blog a permanent link in my Expat Bloggers list.

Did You Know?
Not that it matters, as the following from the Jakarta Tourist Board clearly demonstrates. It must have been written when there only 973,347 words in our vocabulary.

The cultural guarantee could personally take the form of the object made by humankind, did not move or move that took the form of unity or the group, or a part-a part or the remnants the rest of them, that be aged at least 500 years.


You gotta laugh?
Spotted on Shaky Kaiser .

A man who tore the wig off a telegenic Taiwan legislator last year was sentenced to five months in jail for depriving the MP of his freedom to look good, a court spokesman said Tuesday.

Here in Indonesia, I'd be more tempted to tear off a few moustaches because I think they make a few folk - such as Jusuf Kalla - look distinctly untelegenic.

Of course, mine's ok.

Isn't it?

  News and Events Aggregators

Feedburner XML
Indonesian News.net
More Events



10:30 am
Friday, June 12, 2009
  Have a funny story?

That's the headline in a recent ad in the Jakarta Post.

I think there's something patronising in this. There may certainly be something funny in our daily encounters, but only because humour, certainly of the slapstick kind, is universal.

I still remember occasioning great mirth. On the evening of October 16th 1996, I walked home past the hospital where, unknown to me, Our Kid was entering this world. There was no choice as there had been a massive storm in Jakarta that day, uprooting trees, flooding streets, and causing a general power cut. When I reached my road junction, I promptly fell into an uncovered drainage. In their mirth, the ojek (motorcycle taxi) drivers on the corner nearly fell off their bikes. I presume they'd still be laughing if I'd drowned.

Strangely, I'm not sure that Indonesians are happy at laughing at themselves. Some things are taken much too seriously.

Take the crime of blasphemy. In a country whose founding doctrine of Pancasila has five pillars, one of which is Ketuhanan, monotheism expressed as belief in one and only God but not necessarily exclusive of any particular religion, yet accepts Hinduism, religious nuts are imprisoned.

Take the case of cult leader Lia Aminuddin, better known as Lia Eden. She has been Lia began proselytizing her religion, called Salamullah, since 1997, writing songs, poetry and books. She has also called herself the Virgin Mary and her son Ahmad Mukti, Jesus Christ. Her religion has drawn attention because not only does she require her acolytes to dress in white from top to toe, but they must also wear white plastic halos on their heads.

Although she has declared all religions truthful, she has been sentenced to two and a half years. If a religion is a matter of faith and does not advocate physical harm, the surely one is entitled to accept it as a personal truth.

In another recent case, Agus Imam Solihin, leader of a cult known as Satria Piningit Weteng Buwono, claimed to his followers that he was the manifestation of God after he received spiritual guidance from the country’s first president, Sukarno, in a dream in 1999.

He was accused of inciting hatred and committing blasphemous acts against one of the religions observed in Indonesia, Islam.

His cult had 35 followers, including five couples and their children.

Then there's the leader of the Sion City of Allah Christian sect and his (just!) six followers currently being detained in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara.

All these cultists have been accused of deviancy from the precepts of the accepted religions. Should we ignore the fact that Islam in Indonesia incorporates elements of Javanese mysticism and Hinduism, whilst the state categorises Christianity and Catholicism as two separate religions?

These are certainly funny stories, funny peculiar that is.



6:15 pm |
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
  Sold for Silver
Janet Lim
Monsoon Books (2004) Singapore
[Originally pub. William Collins & Sons, UK (1958)]

Janet Lim's account of her early life is subtitled The Autobiography of a Girl Sold into Slavery in Southeast Asia. When it was first published, in 1958, she wrote, "Today I am not, as I used to be, ashamed of my past."

She was by then 35 and times were different. Fifty years later and her statement is even less unusual as her fate has been mirrored in many ways across continents and cultures by countless others. There can be no shame when your life is determined by the circumstances of your birth.

Born in Hong Kong in 1923, her early childhood was spent in rural China. Her father was a doctor who practiced sin seh, traditional medicine, and doted on her. Her mother was strict and rarely showed affection towards her, but at that time, Chinese wives lived almost entirely separated from their husbands and, presumably, in turn little affection was shown to her.

Girls were generally considered a nuisance, only good for marriage at 15. Janet had two sisters who died in infancy and a beloved brother who died aged four, and when she was six her father died. Thus ended her relatively benign childhood.

As it was not the custom for bereaved wives to inherit property, her mother remarried in order to have a measure of security. Janet did feel that her mother loved her, but she had become an extra burden and what followed was seemingly inevitable - she became a mui tsai. This term referred to girls transferred from their families, for payment or as settlement of a loan, to other families to be used as domestic servants. Given no pay, they were on the lowest rung of a household.

Janet was transferred indirectly through a trafficker in girls from destitute families and, at just 8, she ended up in Singapore where she "was looked at, criticized, and after much bargaining sold for $250”.

"My master was a very rich man, a landowner .... who craved female company. After about three months, he started trying to visit me at night. I cannot express my terror when I heard his footsteps. I crawled anywhere, inside cupboards, under the beds, outside the windows, anywhere, as long as I could get out of his reach. I never slept for two nights in the same place."

In 1933, the government passed a law requiring all mui tsai girls to be registered and Janet then began a journey, which took her via a Christian orphanage to the nursing profession.

In December 1941, war arrived in Singapore and on February 13th Janet along with her fellow nurses was evacuated aboard a ship which was doomed to be sunk by a Japanese bomb. After drifting for two days, she and a few other survivors were rescued and taken to the island of Sumatra.

In the second half of the book Janet Lim gives an account of her struggles, mainly in Padang, West Sumatra, with malaria and the seemingly endless concern that she would become one of the 'comfort women' for the Japanese.

She escaped into the surrounding jungle only to be recaptured and tortured. There were times when she was ready to give up. Following one lengthy bout of questioning, she was taken to the beach at Padang at two in the morning. She thought that she was going to be shot as this was a preferred method of execution by the Japanese who were thus spared the problem of body disposal.

As I stepped out (of the car) they caught hold of me thinking that I was trying to escape. I laughed aloud and said, "Don't touch me, I won't run. I am more eager to die than you know."

Eventually, the Japanese allowed Janet to resume nursing at the local cement works. With the end of the war, she returned to Singapore, where she became a hospital matron, eventually relocating to Australia and raising a family.

Janet Lim's prose may leave readers underwhelmed. Apart from the recurring underlying motif of protecting her 'honour', from her Chinese slave-master in Singapore to the Japanese overlords in West Sumatra, there is very much a sense of unexplored emotions. This account may have served as an exorcism of past hurts, but, although she denies this at the outset, there are still echoes of a lingering sense of shame. None of us can ever completely overcome the traumas of our childhoods.

After repeated and continuing news through the years of genocide, massacres, serial killings, of 9/11, the Bali bombings and other more recent terrorist outrages, I often wonder whether we build a blanket of insouciant immunity to the shocking news of Man's inhumanity to Man and other desecrations of the human spirit..

Janet’s is a lone voice from the past reminding us of present societal ills. There may be fewer countries at war, but torture is no longer, nor indeed has it ever been, the prerogative of a few rogue states. According to the UN, up to 27 million people are now held in slavery, far more than at the peak of the African slave trade, and the majority of the victims this time are Asian women.

The message of this book lies in Janet’s struggle to be true to herself, even at those times when all seemed lost. Her experience as a bought child gave her the strength as she began her adult life in appalling circumstances to be true to herself and no-one else. That is a valuable lesson for today's world.
I wrote the above book review a couple of years ago but failed to get it published in the local English language print media for a variety of reasons which, I was told, were connected with internal reorganisation. Not wishing to see my pearls go uncast, I pass them on to you, dear readers.


6:30 am |
Monday, June 08, 2009
  Hugh Hopper 1945 - 2009

-----------Oh Dear!

It is with immense grief that I have just learned of the death from leukemia yesterday of one of my all-time music heroes, Hugh Hopper. He had been seriously ill for a year, but this news is devastating.

All aficionados of the so-called Canterbury scene, and there are many here in Indonesia, will know what a sad loss this is.

Probably best known as the fuzz bass player with Soft Machine from one track on Soft Machine One, which they toured around the USA as support group for Jimi Hendrix with Hugh as the roadie, to the Sixth, for the past forty years he carved an individual even idiosyncratic path with compatible musicians. Like all master musicians, you can instantly recognise his voice and tone which, befitting a bass player, he generally used to support his fellow musicians.

He is less well-known as a composer, yet Robert Wyatt will attest to his melodic capabilities. Probably the most 'famous' song is Memories which was recorded by Whitney Houston back in the late sixties long before she became a diva.

He was a modest man in life, far from the archetypal rock star.

I last met him on Sunday 8th September 1974 - was it really that long ago? - outside the Drury Lane Theatre in London just before a concert by Robert Wyatt and Friends, a concert which was a sought after bootleg but is now available on a properly mastered CD released by Rykodisc/Hannibal.

I was with the mother of Son No.1, who'd known Hugh and many of the 'Canterbury Scene' in their earlier days. Hugh reminded her that she'd read his palm back then and predicted a steady yet not famous career in music. This he told her was what he had, and he was grateful.

And so are very many of us.

I'm not sure what else to say, so here is an interview, including a short discography, he gave to All About Jazz a year ago.

An interesting interview from 1998
Obit on Canterbury Scene website
You Tube - Hugh plays Kings and Queens


3:30 pm |
Sunday, June 07, 2009
  Three Encounters Of The Close Kind

In the soothing micro-environment of a modern car, you can go through life without saying a word to anyone other than friends, family and colleagues. (So) there really is no such thing as society.
Joe Moran, the author of On Roads: A Hidden History.

Our Kid and I spent much of yesterday on our near-monthly visit to Ratu Plaza looking for computer stuff and good pirated DVDs. We generally follow this up with a meal in Ya 'Udah, and it all makes for a pleasant outing.

It being a Saturday and relatively traffic jam free, we use public transport, a mixture of a clapped out mikrolet, exhaust belching buses, both large and small, and the air-conditioned but crowded splendour of the Busway.

Having disembarked at the city's major intersection at Semanggi to wait for a clapped out Kopaja bus which would drop us off at Ratu Plaza, a young, tallish and fairly well-dressed
man holding a young girl in his arms accosted me.

Hey, mister, you will help me, he said in reasonable English.

Er, why should I?

Because my wife is in hospital, and you can.

Being singled out from the crowd around us, presumably because I obviously do not look Indonesian, annoys me.

I pointed to Our Kid, who is Indonesian and looks it, and said, quite firmly, that my wife was in hospital too, not true, but hey, maybe the stranger's wife wasn't either.

Why do you talk to me like that? he asked.

Because it's the way you are talking to me, I said

At that point, our bus arrived and Our Kid and I left the stranger looking for another mark.

The whole conversation, short though it was, upset Our Kid enough for him to launch into a minor anti-racist rant. He suggested putting something up on his webpage. He is not yet thirteen, but is beginning to understand society.

It was a fairly successful shopping outing in Ratu Plaza. Our Kid added to his collection of anime cartoons, to which I added a guitar tuition CD-rom. My selection included the original Third Man movie, starring Orson Wells, Hitchcock's Thirty Nine Steps, and a lost Fritz Lang classic, Scarlet Street starring Edward G. Robinson.

We wended our way outside through the closely parked cars and treacherous steps to the pavement where a couple of youngish male westerners, in black trousers and white shirts, were about to navigate their way upwards. I thought I recognised one of them and nodded as he smiled at me.

Hi, he said, are you American?

So we hadn't met before, I realised, so said, No, I'm British.

Then I twigged and said, Ah you're missionaries.

How did you know? the smiling stranger asked.

Because you look too neat and tidy, pointing to my rumpled Bali batik-ish shirt - I tend to dress down when using public transport. Oh, and your ID cards, from the Church of Prosperous Evangelists or something, which were pinned to their shirts

Would you like to come to one of our meetings?

No thanks, I replied politely, I'm a Muslim.

I'm not, but the look on their faces as they skedaddled put a smile on mine.

A bit later, Our Kid and I set off to stroll down the road, the sidwalk being blocked in most places with parked vehicles, vast ornamental vases and warungs, to Ya Udah.

A helmetted young man sat on his parked motorbike with a toddler in front. As we approached, we saw his wife stand up and make her way towards them. She was holding a handbag and it didn't take much guesswork to know what would happen next.

So we sat on the bench she had just vacated and watched. Yes, she took the helmet off the head of her very young son, put it on her head and the family drove off.

Ah, isn't mother love something to behold?


1:00 pm |
Friday, June 05, 2009
  Get A Life

On an overcrowded and overheated Earth, humanity,
albeit with much handwringing, continues to squabble over scarce and rapidly diminishing resources, goaded by politicians in thrall to businessfolk who take orders from the gods created by their own delusions.

That is surely the only way sane folk can interpret deforestation, the rapid depletion of non-renewable minerals and energy resources, impoverished tenant farmers growing cash crops for export rather than food for their families, the manufacture and worldwide distribution of non-essential knick-knacks and the obsession with celebrities with inconsequential lifestyles dressed in tawdry fashions.

This post, which I first posted a few years back, is intended as a year round links resource for all those Indonesians and friends of Indonesia wishing to protect, preserve and enhance our bit of Planet Earth for future generations of all species.

Any errors or omissions are a result of inevitable changes in circumstances and poor telecommunications rather than deliberate choices. Please email me with any errors and details of those Indonesian organisations you feel I should have excluded, or included - preferably those with an internet presence.

Sustainable Development

Yayasan IDEP
To help people understand our interconnectedness with nature and to support safe and sustainable lifestyles.
1. To learn from existing community-based knowledge and use this knowledge to develop appropriate methods of preserving and strengthening local resources while strengthening community resilience to disaster.
2. To provide access to hands-on demonstrations, information and tools that address challenges faced by local communities.
3. To develop and utilize various types of educational media to capacity build and raise public awareness about community-based sustainable development and disaster management.
4. To participate in national and international networks, which support new and existing initiatives that focus on community-based sustainable development and disaster management.
5. To provide assistance to disaster affected people in need.

Yayasan Pelangi Indonesia
A self-sustaining, self-governing society that secures the health and sustainability of the natural resources and the environment while pursuing socio-economic well-being that is equitable and democratic.
A global environmental think tank to form a sociaty that self-governs and secures the quality of its natural resources and environment while pursuing socio-economic well-being that is equitable and democratic.
An independent research institute with national and international reputation that becomes a reference and a pioneer through its studies and advocacy on strategic issues.

Eco-Web Green Pages
Links to some 44 businesses involved in alternative and appropriate technology issues such as: * Environmental Information * Waste Water Treatment * Water Supply & Purification * Air Pollution Control * Waste Management * Recycling * Soil Preservation * Noise Protection * Power Generation * Energy Efficiency.

Friends of the Environment Fund
An Indonesian not-for-profit and independent organization aiming at implementing sustainable development concept and assisting various conservation efforts.

National NGO's

WALHI - Friends of the Earth-Indonesia
Human beings have always been the focus of WALHI’s fighting in defending the environment. Local communities and indigenous peoples often become victims of unjust treatment under the name of economic development.

During 25 years of struggle, WALHI and the communities have:
1. helped grow awareness of environmental issues and promote the sovereignty of local communities and indigenous peoples in managing natural resources.
2. become the vanguard of the environmental movement in the country and become a significant part of the global environmental movement.
3. advocated problems of marginalized people to the attention of the lawmakers, who in turn take grassroots problem into consideration when deliberating laws.
4. supported the struggle of grassroots communities of maintaining their rights to a healthy environment and to self-management of the natural resources.
5. become the major source of information about environmental problems in Indonesia for the press, industry and lawmakers.

WWF Indonesia
The Indonesian chapter of the WWF For Nature, an independent conservation organization. Includes e-card, merchandise, news and online activity kit.

ProFauna Indonesia is the only animal protection organisation in Indonesia which has a membership system, with members making a significant contribution to voluntary activities and enabling the organisation, despite limited staff, to achieve a great deal more than otherwise would be possible.

The majority of ProFauna's work involves campaigning for the protection of wild animals, investigation into the trade in wild-caught animals and animal rescue, all using non-violent means. ProFauna Indonesia has conducted numerous investigations into the trade and exploitation of Indonesian wild animals.

KEHATI Foundation
Grant making foundation for programs in the area of Indonesian biodiversity conservation.

Rufford Small Grants for Nature Conservation (RSGs) were set up in 1999 by The Rufford Maurice Laing Foundation. They are available to individuals and small groups and aimed at small conservation programmes and pilot projects. We generally look for projects of about a year’s duration. Applications from non-first world countries are strongly encouraged. On this page of the website you can track the progress of supported projects from Indonesia, and download application documents for new projects.

Forestry Practices

Global Forest Watch has downloadable reports and maps which examine the destruction and systematic plunder of Asia's greatest rainforests under former Indonesian president Suharto. During his 32-year rule, Indonesia lost at least 40 million hectares of forests, equivalent to the combined size of Germany and the Netherlands.

CIFOR - Center for International Forestry Research
Concentrates on research and publications about tropical forestry and sociology in developing nations. Research abstracts, publications, job opportunities and software downloads.

Asia Forest Voice
Some of various partners are including:
YLL (Yayasan Leuser Lestari), an NGO based in Medan, North Sumatra. YLL focuses on monitoring forest practices in Aceh and North Sumatra.
Hakiki, an NGO based in Pekanbaru, Riau. Active in providing data and information related to the two main pulp and paper mills that operate in Riau province and timber smuggling to Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia.
Ulayat, an NGO based in Bengkulu. Ulayat leads campaigns to combat illegal logging in Bukit Barisan Selatan NP, Bengkulu and Kerinci Seblat NP, Bengkulu.
ARuPA, an NGO based in Jogjakarta specialising in research and investigation of the state own forest companies performance and promoting an alternative regulation on community-based forest management.
YASCITA, an NGO based in Kendari, South East Sulawesi, active in monitoring the illegal logging activities and promoting the alternative regulation on community-logging. YASCITA also set up the alternative media such as environmental radio and Kendari TV.
Other partners are including AMAN (national forum for communities), Forest Watch Indonesia, PASe (Aceh), Sylvagama (Central Java), LPMA (South Kalimantan), BLPM Lakpesdam (South Sulawesi), Jurnal Celebes (South Sulawesi), Yalhimo, Triton, Perdu (West Papua), and many others.

Telapak is an independent environmental non-profit group based in Bogor, Indonesia. Telapak and their partners acrossing Indonesia archipelagos has been very serious involved in forest crime monitoring and continued by FLEGT VPA monitoring process.

Eyes on the Forest is a coalition of three local environmental organizations in Riau, Sumatra : WWF Indonesia's Tesso Nilo Programme, Jikalahari (Forest Rescue Network Riau) and Walhi Riau (Friends of the Earth-Indonesia). Eyes on the Forest aims to become a clearinghouse for information on forest conservation in Riau, Sumatra and to serve as a tool for local, national, and international NGOs, companies, governments and any other stakeholders who are willing to take action to conserve forests and protect the rights of the local people who rely on them.

Berau Forest Management Project
A pilot project created in 1996 by European Union and the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry to develop a replicable example of sustainable forest management in Indonesia.

International Rain Forest Friends

+ Rain Forest Web
+ Rain Forest Portal
+ Rain Forest Foundation
+ The Rain Forest Alliance
+ Rain Forest NGO links list 1
+ Rain Forest NGO links list 2
+ Rain Forest Action Network
+ Global Forest Watch ~ Indonesia
+ Forest Conservation News Archives

Primate Protection

+ Gibbon Network
+ Ragunan Primate Centre
+ Orangutan Conservancy (USA)
+ The Australian Orangutan Project (AOP)
+ Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS)

Oil for Ape Report (.pdf)


WARSI - Conservation Information Forum
Network made up of twelve NGOs from four provinces in Sumatra whose focus is biodiversity conservation and community development.

Make a Green Map such as the following:
Yogyakarta for Cyclists
Peta Hihau - Borobodur

News Aggregators
Grist Mill
Environmental News

Environmental News Network

National Network Forum of the Indonesian Anti-Nuclear Society
Nana Suhartana
Jl. Griyan Lama 20, Baturan
Solo 57171
Get a sticker like this here.

Today is World Environment Day. Why not make every day an Earth Day?


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