Is there justice in Indonesia?
This is an idle question, at least for the next four weeks in my case. Those interested in my ongoing legal process
will no doubt be pleased to know that on March 27th the presiding judges at the Industrial Relations Court will issue their verdict. There will be a further week for both sides to lodge arguments about the fine details. We fully expect that we'll be seeking higher compensation based on documents, or the lack of them, which have yet to be presented to the over-worked Lordships.
For example, our employment contracts and letters of dismissal were in English, whereas they should have been in Indonesian in the first instance. Although this was a fundament of our case, we still had to provide certified translations, a procedural matter. That several clauses run counter to Act No.13, 2003 concerning Manpower
~ for example, the notion of a probationary period in a supposedly fixed-term contract ~ I suppose means that the added expense we've incurred thereby further helps prove our case.
Of course, the major question is how come BPK-Penabur were unable to provide the original documents filed with, presumably, the Departments of Manpower, Education, and Immigration, and the police, in order to process the multitude of permits and visas which enable an expatriate to legally work and reside here.
We can usefully ask why, on a number of occasions, several of us had to leave the office when officialdom was due to visit. We had presumed that our papers were in order. This naturally leads to thoughts of criminal investigation, but we'll leave all that to Depnaker
to sort that out once our case is settled. That'll be when Media Sekolah
, a new-ish weekly tabloid with the lofty aspiration of 'Building Indonesia Through Education' (Membangun Bangsa Melalui Pendidikan
) will be publishing a major expose of the network of (supposedly) Christian schools who flagrantly disregard not only the laws governing employment but also the ethics of their religion. Media Sekolah
also produce documentaries about corruption for such TV programmes as SERGAP
Was it Woody Allen who commented that "Those who can do, those who can't teach, and those who can't teach think they can manage schools." That certainly seems to hold true for too many establishments here in Jakarta. There are other former employees of Penabur who have initiated legal proceedings, the Singapore International Schools franchise network is reportedly embarrassed by the number of judgments awarded against it, and other profit-centred schools are beginning to fear the wrath of fee-paying parents.
This is a shame given the other more important issues facing the education sector, many of which are being raised in Thoughts Outside The Indonesian Box