A REALLY Righteous Rant
It doesn't take much to make one realise that there are many greedy uncaring bastards around, folk who seem to be totally unaware that in not recognising that they are part of a living organism - homo sapiens - they are cancerous cells.
That they are prepared to either trample over the rights of others or to simple ignore them leads this scribe to consider advocating major surgery or, at the very least, state controlled chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the focus of this rant has access to these facilities. To put this in plain language, if folk can't give a shit for the rights of others, why should we give a shit for their rights?
I'm not referring to the Muslim majority who deem the one Jewish family of some 26 souls in Surabaya and, indeed, Indonesia, with a population of 240+ million, a danger to our society
because half the world away Israel is engaged in barbarous attacks against an enclave of Palestinians who have launched indiscriminate attacks against citizens in the Jewish homeland.
Nor am I referring to rapacious land strippers, corrupt politicians, fraudsters, blinkered bureaucrats and all those who think only of today and their immediate comforts. All these folk are regularly chronicled in the mass media and it all gets tedious reading about yet another example of gross incompetence or greed.
It also gets tedious writing about Abdurizal Bakrie, the current Minister of (his) Family Welfare: his name crops up 80 times in Jakartass, some 5.5% of my posts. However, what I read in the Post
last week was totally outrageous.Thousands of mudflow victims staged a protest in Sidoarjo, East Java, on Wednesday, demanding the government to provide a bailout fund. The fund is meant for the compensation owed them for their assets damaged in the Lapindo mudflow disaster.The protesters left their temporary shelters at Porong Baru Market in Porong district, carrying banners and handing out pamphlets as they moved in a long convoy of trucks, pickup trucks and motorcycles. Sporting a police escort, they made their way to a gathering of legislative and independent presidential candidates at Delta Sports Stadium in Sidoarjo.
"We are demanding the government provide a bailout fund to pay the mudflow victims their compensation, because Lapindo Brantas Inc. is facing financial difficulties paying its dues to the victims," said rally coordinator Suwito, referring to the gas exploration company widely considered responsible for the disaster.
Lapindo has suspended paying the remaining 80 percent of compensation as required by the Presidential Decree No. 14/2007 on the compensation scheme and resettlement, blaming the global economic downturn that has adversely affected parent company Bakrie & Brothers Holding Group in the capital market.
Earlier this year, the Post published an article
entitled History, Politics and the Bakrie Family in which Fachry Ali suggests that "as a business group, the Bakries
(have) managed to set an interesting example in breaking three centuries of history marked by a pattern of unfavorable conditions for local entrepreneurs
That's as maybe, but there is the little matter of business ethics to consider.
Another story that emerged in the Post's business pages was the seeming lack of transparency
in the dealings of PT Bumi Resources, the Bakrie family’s most prized firm.The company has paid Rp.492 billion (US$44.2 million) as an up front payment to acquire publicly listed PT Darma Henwa, PT Fajar Bumi Sakti and PT Pendopo Energi Batubara - valued together in total at Rp.6.1 trillion. The three companies are engaged in coal businesses.
If the Bakries can find $44.2 million, surely they could have spared the Rp.7.5 billion ($675,900) the Sidoarjo victims, some 8,000 families, need to build new homes in a nearby location?
This time there can be no excuse.