2007 R.I.P (Part 1)
It's three years since the Aceh Tsunami, a year since the disappearance of the AdamAir plane, and innumerable trains and boats and planes have crashed or sunk through the year. Today comes news
that 78 folk have been killed in landslides in Central Java where there have been strong winds and heavy rain.
And there is as yet no final resolution of the Munir affair
nor can the refugees in Sidoarjo
expect to rebuild their lives any time soon.
There is a smug advertorial in today's Jakarta Post from Lapindo Brantas Inc., which, thanks to its culpability - they drilled into a geological fault line thus unleashing the mud volcano - has been tasked by SBY with compensating the displaced families and industries. In the advertorial LB Inc. suggest that they share the victims' struggles and that everything is going according to plan - to give a 20% advance in compensation for the lost land (some 10,071 plots) with "the remaining 80% to be paid at a later date
" - my emphasis.
And so the litany rolls on; north Jakarta is inundated - yet again - due to a combination of high tides, subsidence, heavy rainfall, which can't flow into the heavily silted Jakarta Bay thanks to the high tides. That's more needlessly homeless.
It's enough to make you sick ~ which it does with skin diseases and diarrhea.
The prediction that Jakarta will be totally under water by 2050, which I have long predicted
, is gaining currency.
Also in today's 'news' is that Bank Rakyat Indonesia
(lit. the Indonesian people's bank) is launching BRI Prioritas "to net affluent customers
".According to Merrill Lynch and Capgemini in "World Wealth Report 2007", the number of "very prosperous people" in Indonesia amounted to 20,000, an increase of 16% from 2005.
I do not have the exact number of very poor people in Indonesia because there are variables in the calculations.
As Dr. Zahidul Huque, the country representative of the United Nations Population Fund writes
: The number of poor people currently living in Indonesia varies depending on the definition we use. According the Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS) there were 39 million people living below the national poverty line in 2006
- 27.1% according to World Bank figures given here
. This number increases to 116 million if the poverty line is set at US$2 day
(52.4%). However, the number of poor is only 16 million if the poverty line is considered at US$1 day
(7.55%).The government aims to reduce the number of people living below the national poverty line to 18.8 million by 2009.
According to the CIA's World Fact Book
, Indonesia's population in July this year was estimated at 234,693,997 - to the nearest one?
But, hey, what does it matter? What's one, or twenty thousand, out of the total population?
Ah, but one of the twenty thousand is supposedly the Minister of People's Welfare
and he could personally donate $300 to each person living under $1 a day, almost a year's income.
What if the other 19,999 "very prosperous people
" were to do the same?
That is, of course, a big IF
And that will hopefully be the Jakartass theme for 2008. Not 'what is', but 'what if