Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A judge proposed the barring of online coupon links

In the last few months, the new media like Blogs and Facebook have been seen as some sort of a threat by certain people and/or group of people.

For example, one month ago a Moslem Ulama organization in East Java have issued Fatwa which forbid the excessive use of Facebooks. Although a Fatwa is not legally enforceable according to our national legal system, however it would create moral bond among people living in rural area.

Further, I have also read an article by Carolyn Elefant in Legal Blog Watch about a U.S Judge that proposed the barring of online links to Copyrighted materials without the consent of the Copyright owners. Here is the controversial article cited from james: owner of an old navy coupons daily deal and coupon site for 2013; outfitcoupons.com. He states:

Judge Posner's Proposal: Save a Newspaper, Kill a Blog

Sure, the newspaper industry is in trouble. But not even old-guard media companies have proposed as extreme a remedy as what Judge Richard Posner recommends. In a recent blog post, Posner proposed barring online links to copyrighted materials without the consent of the copyright owners as a way to help revive the failing newspaper business.

Not surprisingly, Old Navy Coupons Posner's proposal has drawn criticism from bloggers, as well as conventional media outlets. Dan Froomkin, of Discourse.net, asks: If links are banned, why not footnotes? (That should give lawyers pause!) Erick Schonfeld at The Washington Post deemed the scheme "misguided," asserting that the Web works via free and unregulated linking. Moreover, linking to a newspaper post is not all that different from engaging in conversations, Schonfeld points out. He continues:

Much of what Posner wants to outlaw is public discourse. Why is it okay for people to talk about the day's news in a bar or barber shop, but not online? People should be able to discuss the day's news on the Web without fear of violating copyright law. The natural way people discuss things on the Web is by quoting and linking to the source. (Except maybe Posner, he doesn't seem to link to much of anything in his blog posts).

David Donoghue, of Chicago IP Litigation, makes the point that newspapers in fact benefit from added links to their stories. And while Donoghue acknowledges the existence of "free-riding" aggregators that do nothing more than point to links, Donoghue argues that newspapers are free riders in a way, getting the benefit of links in the form of traffic from visitors who otherwise would not view the site.

Donoghue also emphasizes that even without a consent policy in place for linking, copyright holders have significant protection. He points out that direct copying of stories is prohibited. Moreover, Congress could choose to revisit copyright laws if it deems that additional protection is necessary.

I can't even imagine how I could possibly write Legal Blog Watch if I needed to obtain consent every time I linked to a news article. Even if requiring consent for online links would help newspapers -- and I doubt this is true -- the tradeoff would the death of blogging.

Will Practice Make Perfect Lawyers?

" Practice Makes Perfect "
That's an old saying which implies that if we do particular things continuously, in the end we will be able to have good knowledge about what we have done.

Perhaps that's what were on the minds of the partners of a number of law firms in the United States when they decided to launched training programs for their new lawyers.

Please find below an article by Carolyn Elefant in the Legal Blog Watch regarding this matter:

Will Practice Make Perfect Lawyers?

With the economy down, law firms have less work. That means they've got more time -- or at least, slightly more appetite -- for training new associates. As the National Law Journal reports, a number of firms -- most recently, 659-lawyer firm Howrey -- are moving toward an apprenticeship model, with new associates spending time attending classes and shadowing partners on client matters. Associates participating in the Howrey program are still expected to generate billable hours, though the requirements are reduced to 700 hours in their first year. And to help subsidize the costs of the $3 million training program, the firm is cutting first-year salaries from $160,000 to $100,000, with a $25,000 bonus that can be applied to repay student loans.

Several other firms have launched similar efforts, including Drinker Biddle & Reath, Dallas-based Strasberger and Price, which recently introduced apprenticeship-type programs, and Atlanta-based Ford & Harrison, whose "Year One" training program was rolled out last year.

From the law firm perspective, the programs offer significant benefits. For starters, the new training programs help soften the blow of salary cuts. Moreover, training programs are a selling point for clients, because firms can demonstrate that they're paying the cost of training, rather than subsidizing associate learning on the client's dime.

Associates potentially benefit from training also. Though they may not engage in much hands-on work, the fact of the matter is that for most associates, hands-on work consists largely of document review.
With apprenticeship programs, staff attorneys assume responsibility for document review, while full associates focus on training. Moreover, back in the boom years, new lawyers expressed their willingness to trade stratospheric salaries and the long hours of drudge work that accompanied high pay for less money and more training and flexible schedules. It seems new lawyers have finally gotten what they wished for, at least temporarily.

Reactions to the apprentice programs from around the blogosphere are decidedly mixed. At The Conglomerate, Gordon Smith views the trend as a "movement by firms to take greater responsibility for skills training, rather than blaming law schools for not doing something that we are ill-equipped to do well."Jane Genova of Law and More wonders whether the programs are intended more as a public relations tactic "to have clients know newbie associates won't be on the account and, just as importantly, they won't be paying for the perhaps inefficient work of newbies." She also writes that in law, you need to learn by doing:

Law is a "practice." It's much like learning to drive, to write for print, to blog. You learn by doing, not by sitting in a classroom. I have never learned a thing about communications by "shadowing" a higher-up in an organization. They tried that when I was employed full-time at GM and I rebelled - successfully. When you're not involved in the actual doing and responsible for the quality of the product or service, you soon enough find yourself on auto-pilot.

Meanwhile, at Adams Drafting, Ken Adams offers some suggestions for how law firms might structure the apprenticeship program. He says that firms have a choice: they can either use the program to teach associates the same-old thing, or begin to train them to adopt better practices. Adams explains:

If all you're interested in is a goosed version of your normal training, you'd dragoon a partner -- perhaps someone who otherwise would be spending much of their day gazing out the window -- to put together a training program. Odds are it would consist of a mish-mash of conventional drafting wisdom, with most of it being devoted to the structure of M&A contracts. What would be conspicuously absent is a coherent overview of the basics of contract language...

If you're interested in a game-changing training program, the first thing you'd do is adopt a style guide for contract drafting. That's something I discussed in this January 2009 blog post. Your only real choice would be to adopt MSCD by means of a short document laying out some explanatory guidelines. (Anything you try to prepare on your own would be impossibly skimpy.) The style guide should be as near to mandatory as is possible in a law firm.

Thinking back on my own experience, after spending three years in law school and two summers as an associate at both a small and large law firm, I was ready to hit the ground running on my first day of work. In fact, that's why I chose to start my legal career with a government agency, where I'd immediately have hands-on experience rather than return to the firm where I'd spent my second-year summer. Perhaps new associates will find these training programs appealing, particularly because the $100,000 salaries associated with them (albeit lower than years past) are nothing to sneeze at. However, I suspect that many will now consider judicial clerkship, the Department of Justice, States' Attorney or Public Defender jobs as a an alternative. After all, if you're going to take a pay cut to get more training, it might as well be the real thing rather than a pallid simulation.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Demise of Michael Jackson


This morning I was very surprised when I receive the news on my Twitter about the sudden death of the King of Pop Michael Jackson last Thursday 24 June 2009 after having a Cardiac Arrest in Los Angeles.

I have every reasons to be surprised because Michael Jackson has accompanied me in growing up since the day he was still the leading singer in the Jackson 5, with their hits 'I'am going back to Indiana' & 'ABC'. Then, he went solo recording and released 4 albums which made him a very rich King of Pop, until he faced several charges of sexual molesting of underaged boys his stardom starts to fade away and financially broke.

As I am writing this post tonight, I saw every TV stations showing not stop news about the death of Michael Jackson. This is obvious because in his 30 years musical career, Jackson has sold 750 millions copies of records and earning around US$ 650 million.

According to Today, Jackson left 3 children, 2 i.e Prince Michael (12) and Paris (11)born by his second ex wife Debbie Browe, and another one i.e Blanket (7) born by an unidentified European woman. Jackson was so close with his children who were all educated at home.

Meanwhile, Newsweek reported that jackson's death comes just days before the scheduled start of his 50 concerts at London's O2 Arena.

Reuters reported that the concerts were meant to get money to pay his debts which was reported totalling about US$ 500 million. It also reported that millions of people all over the world mourns the death of Michael Jackson.

I sincerely hope that Michael Jackson will rest in peace, and his young children would be given continuous strength to grow up happily.

Photo: Courtesy of The Rolling Stones

Tips for Online Survival


The Internet has created citizens journalists who are free to voice anything they want at any time and at any place around the world.

This has caused some companies to face public image crisis because they have not responded correctly to what are said in E-mails, Blogs, Social Media e.g Facebook and Twitter. One of them is the Omni International Hospital in Tangerang, whose image is now very bad after it sued and caused ex patient Prita to be jailed for 3 weeks, just because she sent e-mails to her friends about the hospital’s bad services.

In this regards, I have read an article by Penny C. Sansevieri in Bernstein Crisis Management newsletter, which offers tips about how to survive an online attack, as follows:

1. We must realize that we have no control over what happens: Accept the fact that things which attract Twitters or Blogs will get out of control very quickly. Deal with it - start with where the noise is; for example if the crisis is limited to Twitter, then our strategy should focus on the Twitterers involved. If we respond to them directly, we’re on the way to solving the problem. The longer we worry about the flurry, the longer it'll take us to find a strategy.
2. Make sure about Accuracy: with everyone being a reporter, remember that sources and the like don't matter - at least not initially - in the Twitterverse.
3. Monitor the Internet: always know what's going on out there. It could be something as simple as one blogger posting information on you that isn't 100% accurate, they like accuracy as much as we do so in a friendly way, set the record straight. Set them to our name, our business, book - whatever brand or brands we have that should be monitored.
4. Be quick to fix this: don't wait and watch as our message go out of control, jump on this quickly and correct it before it turns into a wildfire of tweets and blog comments. Our silence will be filled by others all too eager to step in and offer their own answers, even if their information is incorrect.
5. Be sincere: we all screw up, be sincere and genuine. We don't want a bunch of people we don't know out there being our spokesperson. If we don’t speak up, someone else will do it for us (and review #4).
6. Words are key, so is honesty: if someone is attacking us and we are really at the center of this mess, remember that now is not the time to try and come up with some politically correct answer. Be clear in our message and do whatever we have to do to fix this.
7. Relationships: Building relationships within our area of expertise will help us manage our reputation if there is an attack. Get to know the people who specialize in our industry and let them know who we are by networking with them and being helpful. When it comes to reputation management, it's much easier to go back to the friends we already have than try and build these relationships when there's trouble.

Considering the above, it is important for us to keep track of who is writing about us, reviewing our product/book, and featuring our articles, By doing so, we will have a chance to network and we will have opportunity to return to an existing relationship and fix a problem in times of trouble.


Image:DreamsTime

Thursday, June 25, 2009

David Hartanto's case


Three months have passed since the Singapore Police announced that David Hartanto Widjaja, Indonesian student at the Nanyang Technical University (NTU) committed a suicide after stabbing his professor Chan Kap Luk, however the case is still unclear.

The Jakarta Post reported that David’s family has challenged the above Police findings by submitting a request with the Singapore Coroner Court last April to examine the real cause of death. Only if the said court finds that it was not a suicide, then the case will be forwarded to the Criminal Court.
However, David’s family felt that they have not been treated fairly throughout the court proceedings. And on Wednesday 24 June the case entered the third session of trial at the court. David’s father, Hartono Wijaya, said the NTU had presented 22 witnesses, plus four more shall be presented soon, while David's family has only been given opportunities to present four witnesses, out of nine names they have submitted. The family is facing difficulty in finding witnesses other than David's relatives & friends. People at NTU were reluctanct to give information.
Beside that,the family's request that David’s laptop and digital hard disk be returned to the family was also denied.

According to O.C Kaligis, an Indonesian lawyer who advocated the family pro bono, the Coroner Court proceedings have only focused on how David tried to murder the professor, but they never analyze the cause of David’s death. Pictures that show his deep wounds were never exhibited.

Considering these unfortunate facts, the family plan to bring two forensic experts from Indonesia who had analyzed David’s body based on the Singaporean doctors’ forensic report and pictures of his body.

Photo:BigFoto

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Je t'aime ............ Moi non plus


Je t'aime ........... Moi non plus
That was the title of a French song written by French Singer, Actor, Director Serge Gainsbourg, which he recorded with his lover British actress Jane Birkin in 1969.

In the song, Birkin said Je T’aime … (I love you), Gainsbourg replied Moi non plus (Me neither), implying that Gainsbourg thought that Birkin was not telling truth.

According to Wikipedia, the lyrics were written as an imaginary dialogue between two lovers during a sexual intercourse. The explicit eroticism of the song was regarded offensive at the time of its release. The lyrics were commonly thought to refer to the taboo theme of engaging in Sex without Love, and were delivered in a breathy, suggestive style. The song culminates in simulated orgasm sounds by Birkin. The song was a commercial success throughout Europe in the ‘70s & the ‘80s. Arguably, the publicity the controversy created was partly responsible for its success.

Lately I have been humming the old song again i.e after the news media reported about the broken marriage of Manohara (17) and her husband Fakhry (31) the Price of Kelantan, Malaysia.
The humming gets louder after the media reported about Dangdut singer Cici Paramida who was hit by a car driven by her husband Zuheibi around one week ago.
The reason why I hummed that old song was because I thought that its lyrics depicted the marriage conditions of Manohara & Cici Paramida, who were much younger than their rich husbands who mistreated them brutally.

Manohara was permitted by her mother to marry Fakry when she was 16 on August 2008, left him on December because she can’t stand Fakhry’s sexual behavior. Last February, Mano with mother and sister agreed to join Fakhry on minor Haj pilgrimage to Mecca, enabling Fakhry to take her back to Kelantan. After escaping from Fakhry last May, Mano preferred to appear on high profile events rather than taking action against Fakhry. One week later Mano goes to the Jakarta Police, but was advised to report to the Police in Malaysia where the crime took place.
Cici Paramida, according to news reports, has been warned by her relative State Minister of Youth and Sports Adyaksa about the risks of marrying Suheibi who has married many times. As a result, one month after their wedding in Mecca, Saudi Arabia last March, Cici left Suheibi, after finding out that he has allegedly married another woman.

Considering the above, I felt people should marry others based on love, not because of their lusts, and/or because their parents want them to, and/or not because their spouses are rich.

Image: Wikipedia

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How to improve rating

Tips to improve your ranking the Top Indonesian Blogs list.

How to Improve Your Ranking in the Top Blogs List

Canonical Url

There should be only one way to access your home page, this is very, very important and affects most of the factors that are used to rank your blog.

Decide whether you want to have ‘www.’ in the domain address or not. Preferably, if you can, redirect all requests for the “wrong” url to the “right” one. See this in action - copy paste this url into your browser’s address bar

* http://indonesiamatters.com/

watch your browser’s address bar magically add “www.” to the url - that is a server side redirect.

If you use blogspot or wordpress, or any subdomain address, it’s the same, normally we would use

* http://blogname.blogspot.com/

not

* http://www.blogname.blogspot.com/

Either way, choose one and stick to it.

The canonical url issue can affect all of the ranking factors, so get it right.

Always put a trailing slash on your root address and any directories and subdomains, so

* http://www.indonesiamatters.com/

not

* http://www.indonesiamatters.com

Page Rank

Try to get links from high PR pages, especially from PR 6 pages, or 5. PR 7+ would be great of course but it’s pretty unlikely you’ll score there. If you can manage just one good PR6 link (by ‘good’ I mean a page that has few links on it, whether internal or external), that may very well bring you up to a 5 or even 6 by itself.

How do you find out the PR? If you use Firefox install the Search Status extension, it will show you the PR of every page you visit in your status bar.

How do you get the links? Ask for them of course. Don’t be shy in shooting off an email to another webmaster. Be polite, try to say something about his site, praise it, or alert him to some error or problem on the site, don’t make it too obvious that the whole point of the email is to beg for a link.

This advice mainly applies to getting links from non-blog websites.

Backlinks

Ditto. But with Yahoo “link count” (”backlinks” in webmaster talk) it’s just a matter of volume, so we’re not thinking about Page Rank.

Blogrolls - that is where the volume is going to come from, try to get on Blogrolls that are sitewide, that is the Blogroll appears on every page of the blog, not just the home page. Even better if it’s an old, established blog with thousands of pages indexed by Yahoo - get on its blogroll and you could have thousands of new links almost overnight.

How to “get on blogrolls”? - well of course the other blogger has to like your blog, but first of all he has to know that you exist - so go find new blogs in your topic area and leave a comment on some of the posts (talk about the post of course, don’t ask for a link), it’s quite likely the blogger will have a look at your site and then….

Canonical url (see above) is important here, don’t allow your links to be split between a “www.” url and a non-”www.” url. The Top Blogs list will only count the links to the url you submitted in the first place.

Technorati

Ditto again, twice, because your Technorati ranking is based on links, but this time we are thinking about levels of authority. So we go to Technorati.com and do a tag or keyword search and then sort the results by the authority score of each blog - then we’ve got some good targets to get links from. Like this - Indonesia.

RSS Subscribers

Some types of blog software, especially Blogger and Typepad, produce multiple formats for an RSS feed, like RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, Atom, etc. The blogger might also use Feedburner for RSS and so then he may have about 5 different RSS feeds, all serving the same content. This is bad.

The Top Blogs list can only count the number of subscribers to one of your feed formats, the one that has the most number of subscribers - so it’s obvious, you need to get all of your subscribers onto the same feed.

For example - http://www.indonesiamatters.com/ - there is only one feed, a Feedburner one, and if you try to access the feed url that Wordpress creates, http://www.indonesiamatters.com/feed/ you get server side redirected to http://feeds.feedburner.com/IndonesiaMatters. That is what you should be doing, pick one format and redirect all requests for the other formats.

Social Bookmarks

Encourage your visitors to bookmark the site at del.icio.us, put a button or text link allowing them to do this with one click.

Like this:
bookmark this on Delicioussaved by 3 other people

Note that only bookmarks of your home page count. In general always encourage social bookmarking of your pages, not just to Del.icio.us.

Canonical url (see above) is also important here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Jakarta


The birth of a city has often been connected with a myth, for example the city of Rome was said to have been created by Romulus and Remus, humans who were said to have been raised by fox.

Apparently, the birth of the city of Jakarta has also been connected with a myth.
According to the official website of Jakarta, the city of Jakarta originated from a town called Sunda Kelapa ruled by Fatahillah. On 22 June 1527, the name of the town was changed into Jayakarta, a Sanskrit word for “ Perfect Victory ” to commemorate the day Fatahillah beat the Portuguese navy’s efforts to take over the town.

In 1619, the Dutch East Indies Company took over the town and changed its name to Batavia.

In 1942, the Japanese armed forces took over the Dutch East Indies then changed the name of Batavia into Jakarta on 10 December 1942.

After Indonesia declared independence on 17 August 1945, President Soekarno appointed Suwiryo as the first Mayor of Jakarta Raya (Greater Jakarta).

Today, 482 years later, Jakarta has turned into a metropolitan city with an area of around 600 M2 and population of 8 million (12 million in the day time). And like any other big cities, Jakarta has been facing lots of problems like transportation, traffic jam, flood, groundwater pumping, trash and other problems that need serious attention from the government as well as its citizens.

I hope that with increase in age, the government of Jakarta will work much harder & smarter to cope with all its problems. If such efforts are taken, almost certain that its citizens will give supports.

Photo: courtesy of Indowebster

Sunday, June 21, 2009

US$ 1.92 million for Downloading Music

Music is a work or art based on the Idea, Energy, Time and Money of a person or group of persons who composed therefore entitled to enjoy (financial) benefits that music can bring.

In order to safeguard the rights of people who created the Music, many countries enacted the Copyright Law to protects Music creators from others who want to gain illegal benefits from the Music. However, this thus not guarantee protection.
For example Indonesia has enacted its Copyright Law since 1982, but it is not hard to find music recording copies/download at many shopping places in Jakarta and other cities. Due to which fact, countries like the United States have forced our country to amend the said law three times.

Apparently, illegal downloading of Music also occurred in the United States, one of which is mentioned in Legal Blog Watch about Jammie Thomas-Rasset (32) who was ordered by a Jury in Minnesota to pay compensation of US$ 1.92 Million to the Music industry for illegal Downloading of 24 songs, that is US$ 80,000 per song.
This was the second trial for her, in the first downloading case to go to trial. Two years ago, a jury ordered her to pay $222,000 for downloading those songs US$ $9,250 per song. The judge declared a mistrial and she opted for a second go-around.
Ms Thomas-Rasset and her lawyer were angry about the Court Verdict because they have been confident that any liability finding would be for the Statutory minimum amount of US$ 750 per song.
The Music Industry as Plaintiff has said that it has been prepared to settle the case amicably from the start, and it has nothing further to gain by chasing after money it will never recover.

Considering the above, I hope that the Copyright Law would be enforced accordingly so as to prevent wrong people from taking commercial benefits from Musics.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Law blogs doubled since 2007

Transparency seems to be a growing tendency for all kinds of business activities throughout the world, this can be seen from the growing numbers of companies/firms that open themselves to the public by making blogs.

In this regards, Legal Blog Watch has quoted the LexBlog's recent AmLaw Blogosphere report that mentioned that the number of AmLaw 200 law firms in the U.S that have blogs has increased more than twice from 39 in 2007 to 82 in 2008. The interesting thing is that those 82 law firms have a total of 227 law blogs.

The above report shows that blogs has become more and more important for lawyers, especially for promoting their services to the public. I am not sure whether law firms in Indonesia has the same tendency.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ex-Governor of Bank Indonesia Jailed

On Tuesday, 16 June, Ex-Governor of Bank Indonesia (BI) Sahril Sabirin was sent to the Cipinang Penitentiary, East Jakarta, to serve his two years sentence passed by the Supreme Court in its Judicial Review for his role in the now defunct Bank Bali credit scandal case in 1999.

According to The Jakarta Globe, Sahril (65) was disappointed with this verdict considering that earlier the Supreme Court has confirmed the verdict of the Jakarta High Court that freed him of charges made by the Prosecutors. However, he said that as a law abiding citizen, he would serve the sentence.

Another Defendant in the same case, businessman Djoko Tjandra, failed to appear to serve his sentence, therefore the Attorney General Office will serve him a second summons. More details about Djoko Tjandra shall be discussed in a separate post.

Sahril Sabirin is the second ex-Governor of BI jailed after his successor Burhanuddin Abdullah was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment last year for a different corruption case.

Detik reported that earlier Sahril was sentenced by the District Court of Central Jakarta to 3 years imprisonment, but was later freed by the Appellate Court (High Court), and by the Cassation Court (Supreme Court).
Due to these facts, the Prosecutors have requested the Supreme Court to conduct Judicial Review. According to Sahril’s lawyer M. Assegaf the verdict is contradictory to the Criminal Procedural Law (KUHAP) Article 263 which stated that a Judicial Review should be submitted by a Defendant. Although the Justice Law stipulated that a Judicial Review can be requested by any parties concerned, the Constitutional Court has decided 'the parties concerned' should be interpreted as the Defendant and its heirs. Due to this controversy, Sahril and his lawyer are planning to challenge said Supreme Court's verdict.

I hope that the further processing of this case would be carried out smoothly according to the valid laws, and would not be politized by Candidates who are running for the Presidential Election on 8 July 2009.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Juliana's Twins & OMNI

Juliana and Kiki Kurniawan have reported OMNI International Hospital, Alam Sutera, to the Tangerang Police office, for alleged malpractice that caused blindness to their twin babies Jayden Christophel and Jared Christophel.

According to Suara Pembaruan, the story began on 26 May 2008 when Juliana gave premature birth (33 weeks) to Jayden (1.30 Kg) & Jared (1.50 Kg) at the said hospital. According to the babies’ Pediatrician Dr. Fredy Limawal, Jayden had problems with his lungs therefore should be treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and injected with Surfactan. Later, the Pediatrician told Juliana that both babies were having problems with their eyes, due to which fact Juliana & her husband asked that their babies to be treated by team of specialists. However, until the hospital released the babies after 42 days of treatment that costed Rp 125 millions, the only doctor who handled their babies was Dr Fredy.
Afterwards, the couple brought their babies to the Nusantara Eye Clinic then to a hospital in Australia, and they both diagnosed that the babies were blind because of damage to their eyes’ nerves. This is contradictory to the OMNI’s medical record which stated that both babies were normal.
After asking OMNI several times to be responsible for their malpractice, without any result, the couple filed the Police report. The couple’s lawyer O.C. Kaligis alleged that the hospital committed crime based on the Penal Code Articles 360 and 361 regarding action or omission that caused heavy wounds.

In response to the high profile media reports about what happened to the twin babies, last Sunday the hospital's director Dr. Bina Ratna gave a press conference. Poskota quoted her as saying that the hospital is ready to face legal action taken by Juliana & her husband. She added that the hospital has performed the correct procedures in providing medical treatment to the twin babies.

What has happened to Juliana and her twin sons are very frightening. I hope that the Police would investigate this case thoroughly to find out anyone who could possibly be responsible for the twin babies' blindness.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Exorcism Case in New Zealand

Exorcism is an Act of expelling Demons (from a Person or a Place) by Ritual and Prayer. This kind of practice is quite popular among people who live in the rural parts of Indonesia.

Recently, a Court in Wellington, New Zealand, passed a Verdict last Friday which found five people guilty of Manslaughter in the death of their relative Janet Moses (22) during an Exorcism ceremony to drive Demons away from her.
According to MNBC, the family belongs to a Maori Tribe who have apparently practiced these rituals for centuries. On October 2007, nine family members of the victim, performed Exorcism on her, forcing water into her mouth and eyes to flush out Demons. Ms. Moses drowned and a 14-year-old girl the group also believed was possessed suffered serious eye injuries as people picked at the Demons they saw in them.
According to the Prosecutor, it accepted that the family believed she was possessed by Demons at the time of her death. But he said that the trial was not about an inquiry into whether Demons or spirits but it is about whether the accused are guilty of the Manslaughter of Janet Moses. What the the family thought as a Curse is a misinterpretation of an emerging mental illness, with the situation evolving into a "supernatural battle that needed to be fought" and that ended with "tragic consequences."
According to the Defendants' lawyer, Ms. Moses had wanted her family to help cure her of what she believed was demonic possession.
After 17 hours of deliberation, the 12 man Jury found three of the Defendants not guilty, and the discharged the fourth due to lack of evidence. The five Defendants who were found guilty will be sentenced on 14 August, facing up to 10 years prison sentence.

The above case shows that Exorcism ceremony can be dangerous if the parties involved cannot control themselves.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Siti Hajar & her Misery


For many years, there have been news about Indonesian women working abroad who were tortured by their bosses, the latest one is Siti Hajar , who originated from Garut, West Java. Photo: courtesy of Tempointeraktif

According to Tempointeraktif, Siti Hajar was recruited by a labor recruitment agency PT Mangga Dua Mahkota on 28 April 2006 who senther to work with a family Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. However, until recently, Siti has not contacted and sent money her two sons Tony (14) & Jakki (4). Siti's family in Garut never heard from her until one evening on 8 June 2009, when the local Police came to verify about Siti. Later, Siti's uncle Uty Sutisna received a phone call from our Embassy in Kuala Lumpur informing that Siti is in a hospital for treatment of her bad wounds.

Siti started to work in Kuala Lumpur on 2 July 2006 for the family of Lim Hu Su, but for days later she moved to the family home of Hau Yuang Tyng(aka Michelle), who never paid her salary for 34 months and brutally tortured her whenever she made a mistake, e.g Pouring her body with Boiling water, or beat her with a wooden stick.

Poskota reported that on 12 June 2009 Siti was released from the hospital treatment and went to stay at our embassy premise.

For crime that Michelle has committed, according to Republika, the Police informed that she may be punnished for 15 years imprisonment. The Malaysian government promised that Siti's wounds shall be taken care of. Further, Michelled and her family have paid Siti's long delayed salary amounting to M$ 17,000 (around Rp 51 million). Beside that, she has also receive donation of Rp 20 million from an Indonesian workers association, a\nd another Rp 20 million from PT Mangga Dua Mahkota.

In spite of the very bad wounds suffered by Siti, Kompas reported that during Police questioning, Michelle has denied having tortured Siti. In response to this, the Indonesian Ambassador Dai Bachtiar said that Michelle cannot deny because previously she has confessed to him about the torture. He added that President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono is very concerned about this case.

What happened to Siti Hajar and other Indonesian women working abroad, is a very bitter lesson for others who worked and or plan to work abroad to be extra careful in selecting recruitment agency that arrange their employement. They should make sure that the contract with the employers would not inflict losses on them. For which purpose, our government should closely supervise the sending of our workers to foreign countries, and conclude agreement with the foreign government concerned, that would protect our workers. That way we can expected that our workers would not be mistreated anymore.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Manohara's Update


Last Tuesday, 9 June 2009, Manohara Odelia Pinot (17) filed a report with the National Police about the Torture & Rape committed against her by her husband Prince Fakhry (31) of the Kingdom of Kelantan, Malaysia. (Photo:courtesy of Detik)

Detik reported that Manohara was accompanied by her mother and attorneys a.o Hotman Paris Hutapea. According to Mano, she also reported the King and Queen of Kelantan, Aircraft Pilot Zakaria, Ichsan (Indonesian), the bodyguard of Fakhry i.e. Soberi & wife.
Hotman Paris said that they were accussed of committing 11 crimes stipulated by our Penal Code a.o Art 285 (Rape), Art. 333 (Kidnapping), which carry total punnishment of 70 years imprisonment.
Afterwards, Manohara went to the RSCM General Hospital for Foresic Tests. After the test Forensic Expert Dr. Mu'nim Idris said that Mano has suffered a Second Degree Violence causing serius wounds.

According to Suara Karya, the Police Spokesman Abubakar Nataprawira said that the Indonesian cannot process the case because the location of crime was not in Indonesia, but in Kelantan, Malaysia. He suggested that she go to the Department of Foreign Affairs to follow up the case to Malaysia.
In this regards, spokesman of the Dept. Foreign Affairs Teuku Faizasyah suggested Mano to file a report with Malasian Police, for which purpose the Department shall provide assistance.

Meanwhile, the New Strait Times reported that Prince Fakhry has lodged also lodged a report with the Police in Kuala Lumpur last Thursday, 11 June denying allegations made against him by Manohara, her mother and other parties.

The above result of Police report has actually been predicted by Mano's ex lawyer O.C. Kaligis who resigned because Mano has not been serious in taking action against her husband. He said that since her return on 31 May, instead of taking forensic test, Mano & her mother prefered to be busy talking to the media.

Prita's Update

On Wednesday, 11 June 2009, 9.20 am, the District Court of Tangerang held the second trial of Prita Mulyasari who has been prosecuted for Defamation of the OMNI International Hospital, Tangerang.

At the trial, Prita, as the Defendant, read a defense statement and her lawyers from the O.K. Kaligis & Associates read their Exception Prita the Prisoner of Conscience, in response to the Statement of Prosecution made by the District Prosecutor last week (4 June 2009).
Afterwards the council of judges decided to suspend Prita's status of City Arrest. The trial was then adjourned until next Thursday, 11 June 2009, in which the Prosecutor shall give response to the Defendant's Exception.

With the supension of arrest, Prita is now free to travel and work outside the city of Tangerang.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Another Military Aircraft Accident


This afternoon, the Indonesian Air Force loose another aircraft and 4 of its 7 air crews when a Puma 3306 Helicopter crashed down at Tatang Santani Airfield, Bogor, West Java, shortly after taking off. (Photo: courtesy of Viva News)

VivaNews quoted the Air Force's Operation I Commander Vice Marshal Imam Sufaat as saying that the helicopter was going through a second test flight, first one was at 7 am same day, after being repaired in Bandung for the very bad damaged it suffered six months ago. He added that the helicopter was having problem with its Automatic Pilot system.

Meanwhile, Okezone reported that since the year 2008 until June 2009 the Air Force has loose 6 aircrafts & more than 145 men (including the above accident). Here are the other five:
1)11 March 2008, Bell-47G Soloy helicopter crashed in Subang, 1 died and 1 badly wounded
2)26 June 2008, Cassa TNI A212-200 crashed in Bogor, killing 18 passengers.
3)6 April 2009, Fokker 27 TNI-AU crashed on a hanggar a Hussein Sastranegara airfield in Bandung, destroying two other aircrafts in the hanggar: Draya Air MC 212200 and Batavia Air Boeing 737, 23 people died.
4)11 Mei 2009, Hercules C-130 slide landed at an airport in Wamena, Papua.
5. 20 Mei 2009, Hercules C-130 crashed down the paddy field in Magetan, East Java, killing 101 crews & passengers, and 11 wounded.

Republika reported that President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono has instructed the Air Force to give priority on the safety of aircrafts.

The above tragedy is very sad for us in Indonesia, considering that so many lives of well trained soldiers have been lost outside combat, the high costs for training them and the high costs for purchasing & mainataining the aircrafts. Due to which fact, I hope that the government would do its very best efforts to make sure that all the aircrafts would be safe to fly for example by increasing the budget for maintenance of old aircrafts, and purchase new aircrafts to replace the old ones.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Naughty ex-Prosecutor


Lately, the news media has reported about alleged bad conducts of some Prosecutors in Indonesia, such as unprofessional handling of the Prita case, and selling Illegal Drugs that are evidence in court trial.

Apparently, such kind of things also happened in the United States, the difference is that it was done by a retired Assistant Prosecutor in Hennepin County, Minneapolis.
According to Legal Blog Watch, former Prosecutor John St. Marie (65) was busted by the Police for supplying prostitutes to a group of around 30 older men known as "The Minnesota Nice Guys." Many of the men know St. Marie, through a Web site for "hobbyists" looking for high class lady escorts. He would book the woman's flights and hotel rooms and schedule their appointments. Police allege that St. Marie has been arranging prostitutes since shortly after retiring from the prosecutor office in 2003. St. Marie send weekly e-mails to those men advertising women who would be flying into Minneapolis and staying at some of its finest hotels. One of the women is a 34-year-old former teacher from Colombia, used to take an average of four appointments a day, charging her clients $500 an hour. St. Marie, who uses a wheelchair because of childhood polio, is not alleged to have taken money for arranging the liaisons, but is alleged to have accepted "in-kind services" from some of the women. He is expected to face federal charges for transporting the women across state lines. The Police have not arrested him but they have searched his home in May and seized his computer. He told Police that he had been seeing prostitutes for 35 years. The Police have arrested the Nice Guys, some of them cried when arrested.

The above cases show that due to the important role played by the Prosecutors in enforcing the laws, it is very important to supervise their works and provide a better retirement plan for them. That way, wrong doings can be minimized.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Huge Increase in Water Tariff


Fresh water supply is one of the worse public service in Jakarta, whereby the Quantity is insufficient & unstable, Quality is hard to judge, but the Tariff is high.

Due to these facts, so many households, commercial places and factories in Jakarta are using groundwater. Even those who subscribed fresh water from the operator PAM Jaya also use groundwater as alternative so as to guarantee the continuous supply of water.

The Jakarta Globe quoted the head of Jakarta Environment Management Agency (BPHLD) Peni Susanti as saying that 53% of the water used in Jakarta is groundwater. This situation has caused several area in Jakarta to face critical groundwater conditions, whereby water are pumped from depths of minimum 16 meters, such as in East Jakarta’s Pulogadung, Matraman, Pasar Rebo, Duren Sawit and Ciracas, and South Jakarta’s Tebet and Pasar Minggu.
Even other area where water can still be found at a depth of 8 meters to 12 meters, are prone to imminent water crisis. Included in those areas are West Jakarta’s Kembangan and parts of Kebon Jeruk, Central Jakarta’s Tanah Abang, Menteng and Senen, and Cakung in East Jakarta.

According to Jakarta's official web site Berita Jakarta, the result of research by BPHLD shows that the average groundwater level was now at around 40 meters deep, and that the city would face a groundwater crisis in the next few years.
In order to prevent such crisis, the government has issued a Gubernatorial Decree No. 37 Year 2009 regarding the Increase of Groundwater Tariff. The tariff for wealthy Households would be increased more than 16times from Rp 525 per cubic meter to Rp 8,800 per cubic meter, and for Industries the tariff will be increased more than 6 times from Rp 3,300 per cubic meter to Rp 23,000 per cubic meter. The government will start socializing the Decree next week.

The huge increase in tariff would surely impact the usage of groundwater officially. But considering that water is vital for the 11 million citizens of Jakarta, I am not sure whether such tariff increase would really stop actual (and legitimate) pumping of groundwater. Therefore, it would better if PAM Jaya could increase its fresh water supply capacity. Besides, license should be given to private companies to recycle water. Otherwise, water crisis would be inevitable in the future.

Photo: courtesy of BigFoto

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Miss Indonesia 2009 doesn't speak Indonesian

On 28 October 1928, a large number of youths gathered in Jakarta to declare the Youth Pledge (Sumpah Pemuda), as follows:
1) We belong to one Nation i.e. the Indonesian Nation
2) We have one Language i.e. the Indonesian Language
3) We have one Country i.e. the Indonesian Country
These Pledges have led the people of Indonesia to declare the independence of our country on 17 August 1945.

Due to the above, I believe that every Indonesian must be able to speak Indonesian Language. And based on this belief, I was very shocked when I read an article in The Jakarta Post titled: Miss Indonesia's first plan is to learn Indonesian. (photo: courtesy of Reuters)
It seemed to me that the council of jury have been " mesmerized " by the fluent English of Miss Indonesia 2009, Kerenina Sunny Halim.
The Indonesian-American woman said that it is very difficult for her to speak Indonesian because most of the time she speaks English. She also said that she doesn't know much about the Indonesian culture. But for participating in this year's Miss World Contest in Johannesburg, South Africa, she will learn the language and culture in 6 months.

Frankly speaking, I believe that the jury's choice of this year's Miss Indonesia is not in line with the spirit of the Youth Pledge. Because, with a population of 230 million people, I am sure that our country has many other woman who are much more beautiful & more Indonesian.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Mysterious Death of David Carradine


Four days have passed since the American actor David Carradine was found dead at the closet of his room at the Nai Lert Park Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, on Thursday, 4 June 2009, but the actual cause of his death is still a mystery (photo:courtesy of AFP).

According to CNN, Carradine’s wife and manager have denied allegations that the actor has committed a suicide. But, rescue workers and police in Bangkok, said that the actor's neck and genitals were found bound with nylon ropes.
" Our preliminary assumption is that the cause of death was suffocation, because there was a rope tied to his neck " said Bangkok police spokesman Somprasong Yenthuam.
The actor's body was released to the U.S. Embassy for a Saturday flight home after a judge signed the death certificate Friday, the Thai police source said. The actor’s family has ordered an autopsy to be conducted after his body arrived in the U.S. And autopsy results will not be available for three or four weeks, said a high-ranking Thai police source who asked not to be identified.
David Carradine (72) was the son of actor John Carradine, he began his career as an actor in TV serial films, starting with SHANE in 1966, KUNG FU between 1972 and 1975, North and South in 1985, and Kung Fu: The Legend Continues in 1992. He also played starring roles in the movies: Bound for Glory in 1976, Kill Bill: Vol.1 in 1983, and Kill Bill: Vol.2 in 2004. He was in Bangkok in the making of the movie STRECH which he stars.

The Telegraph quoted David Carradine’s manager as saying that the actor's death was a result of "foul play", his director Quentin Tarantino said the actor would have relished dying in such mysterious circumstances. Tarantino, who revived the actor's career by casting him in Kill Bill, described Carradine as “One of Hollywood's great, mad geniuses.”

Meanwhile, according to ABC, David Carradine’s death probably caused by a Sexual Practice called Auto-Erotic Asphyxia (AEA), which is one of the greatest and most dangerous sexual taboos. Sex experts say that Carradine's advanced age suggests that he may have been a lifelong practitioner of the secretive and dangerous practice, one that can go fatally awry. The practice is a sub-category of sexual masochism that involves reducing the oxygen supply to the brain while masturbating to achieve a heightened orgasm. The same practice has caused the death of vocalist of the band INXS Michael Hutchence.

The allegations that the cause of Carradine’s death was a dangerous sexual practice called Auto-Erotic Asphyxia, which is unknown in Indonesia, is very surprising. Now that David Carradine’s body has been returned to the U.S for autopsy, I hope that the mystery would soon be known.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Ambalat Dispute

In times of presidential election campaign, competing candidates would seek and expose any bad sides of its opponents to the public, especially when one of the candidates is an incumbent President. That way, they can hope that people would cast their vote for them.

One of the top targets in this year’s election is the territorial dispute between Indonesia and Malaysia over a 15,235 square kilometer territorial waters bordering both countries of the eastern coast off the Island of Kalimantan (Borneo) known as the Ambalat Block.

In an interview with ANTV last night, President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono has made it clear that Indonesia will not be hesitant to defend sovereignty over the Ambalat waters. However, considering that Indonesia & Malaysia are parts of ASEAN, we will give priority to settle the dispute amicably.

The Jakarta Post wrote an article which questions whether the dispute is necessary, and whether the dispute actually exists. For the first question, most Indonesian and Malaysian would probably say yes, because the disputed territory is estimated to contain as much as 764 million barrels of oil and 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas.
As for the second question, there are speculations that the dispute was merely a cover-up for an election campaign to win the hearts of the people in connection with the upcoming presidential election. Because the border violation by a Malaysian warship on June 2 was not the first time. Last year, Malaysia was reported to have violated 28 times. This year alone, Malaysian warships have allegedly trespassed across the border nine times. Considering these frequent violations, it is surprising that our side, at least publicly, has not adopted more serious measures to confront Malaysia.

Kompas has quoted the Coordinating Minister for Law & Security Affairs, Widodo A.S, as saying that the Indonesian & Malaysian governments are currently having talks to settle the dispute. Therefore, he requested Malaysia to respect the ongoing talks.
According to a spokesman of the Foreign Depatment, Teuku Faizasyah, Indonesia has sent 36 protest notes to Malaysia about their violations made by their patrol boats in the Ambalat waters. The first protest note was sent in 1980 and the last one on 4 June 2009. By sending those notes, Indonesia wanted to make it clear that the Ambalat waters are part of the Indonesian sovereignty.

Meanwhile, Radio Australia reported that Malaysia's military chief Abdul Aziz Zainal denies Malaysian warships entered the disputed zone, adding that he will visit Jakarta next week to discuss the issue.

Aside from speculations that the Ambalat dispute is part of an election campaign scenario to win the hearts of Indonesian public's in connection with the presidential election on 8 July, if the dispute continue and remain unsettled, it would create disharmony between both governments, as well as among citizens of both countries.

OMNI's Folly

Prita Mulyasari (32) mother of a one and a three year’s old children, was detained from 13 May to 3 June 2008, because she has sent e-mails to her fiends complaining about the low standard medical treatment provided by the OMNI International Hospital in Alam Sutera, Tangerang.

The hospital was so annoyed by the use of the word “Fraud” in the e-mail, that they initiated two legal actions, Civil Lawsuit and Police Report, against Prita.
The Civil Lawsuit has been decided by the District Court of Tangerang on 11 May that ordered Prita to pay compensation amounting to Rp 50 Million. Both parties have filed appeals against said Court Verdict with the High Court in Serang, Banten.
On 13 May, Prita was summonsed by the Police for alleged Defamation of the hospital, charged her of violating the Electronic Information & Transaction(ITE) Law No 11/2008
Art. 27 Par.3 which carries a maximum sentence of 6 years imprisonment and Fine of Rp 1 Billion, and Art. 45, as well as Penal Code Art. 310 & 311. After the interrogation, she was detained at the Tangerang Women Penitentiary.

The use of the ITE Law as basis for Prita’s detention has been strongly protested in Facebook, blogs, Twitter, and persuaded lawmakers, human right activists and the three presidential candidates to urge the Police and District Attorney to release Pritan and process the case fairly and properly. On Wednesday, 3 June, the Tangerang District Court allowed the changing of Prita’s status into City Arrest.
The first trial of the Criminal Case was held on Thursday, 4 June, during which the Prosecutor has read their Prosecution based on the above Police charges. After 20 minutes the trial was adjourned until 11 June 2009.

Although the hospital may have chances to win the the Court Cases, however the situation is totally different outside legal aspects. This is obvious because people are showing supports to Prita. For example, in Facebook alone, the Prita solidarity movement have been supported by more than 225,459 supporters until Sunday 10.30 pm.
And since Prita's case has now become top news of all news papers, TV, radio in Indonesia, it can be ascertained that the hospital's public image is now very bad.

Further, I noticed that the hospital has been represented by its lawyers in giving response to Prita's e-mail and giving statements which were not customer friendly to the media. Only after the crisis has worsened did one of its Director do the job.

How the said hospital responded to complain made by its ex-patient is very important lesson for hospitals and other public service companies in handling mere complains made by their customers, as follows :
1) Never let Lawyers take the lead in handling crisis related to customer complain
2) Let the company's PR, and/or a PR/Crisis Management Consultant, take the lead
supported by lawyer etc, under the coordination of the company's director.
3) Avoid escalation of the case i.e. to Court, because it can make people think that
if they are not satisfied and complain, they will be sued.
4) If mistake has been done, do not hesitate to admit it and offer compensation
5) Be humble, do not hesitate to apologize for any inconveniences
6) If crisis has gotten worse, approach & persuade the ex-patient/customer without
condition for an amicable settlement.
But it would be different if the customer/client/patient committed serious actions such as : violence, blackmail, life threatening.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Elephant Poisoning in Riau


The island of Sumatera is the home of around 3,000 protected rare Elephants, whose population has been decreasing day after day due to time due to the cutting and burning of trees in the forests, making their living space getting more and more smaller every day.

Due to this fact, some elephants in Riau province have left the forest to visit farmland owned by the vilagers to look for food, which bring them face to face with the vilagers.

According to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) since the year 2000, at least 201 Elephants were caught by the Riau government in their effort to handle conflict between them and vilagers. At least 46 died because the catch have not been done professionaly. WWF added that the whereabout of 103 Elephants caught between 2000 and 2006 are still unknown.

According to Okezone between the year 2006 and 2009 there were 12 people killed by elephants in Riau.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that four of the Elephants were found dead near an oil palm plantation in Riau. Eddy Santoso of a local Conservation & Natural Resource Agency believed that they are poisoned by the vilagers. He added that last month his agency found 2 dead Elephants poisoned with Cyanide-laced Pineapples, with their Musks removed. Now, the Police and the Agency are investigating the case.

The above sad news shows the bad effects of improper cutting and burning of forests in Riau for plantations purposes, which shrank the habitat of those Elephants. I hope that the local and central governmentas, as well the law enforcement agencies would make better efforts to prevent or at least minimize the improper deforestration, so that the protected Elephants and other wild life would not decrease.

Barack Obama & Indonesia


After the Cold War between Communist and Free countries ended in the late ‘80s, the Soviet Union has split into several independent countries, and the United States of America becomes the most powerful country on earth. As a result, the U.S President became the most powerful man on earth and people would pay attention to what he say.
(Photo: Courtesy of UPI)

That’s what happened when U.S President Barack Obama delivered a speech at the Cairo University in Egypt, last Thursday. Obama was quoted by The Jakarta Post as saying that Indonesia as the world’s largest Moslem country is a good example of religious tolerance which he saw first hand as a child in Indonesia, where Christians worshipped freely in an overwhelmingly Moslem country. He also highlighted Indonesia's successful promotion of gender equality, whereby its Moslem majority has elected a woman to lead.

According to Radio Australia, Obama’s speech drew mixed responses in Indonesia, i.e a country that has confidently emerged from its own struggles with authoritarianism, and to a lesser extent, extremism. Many people felt that his message was directed more towards the Arab world than Indonesia.

Further, U.P.I quoted some analysts as saying that Indonesia may be a key to help President Obama reach his goal of a new start with the Muslim world.

President Obama's above speech, as well as the previous speech of US Secretary State Hillary Clinton, show that the US government consider relationship with Indonesia as very important. I hope that this good sign would inspire our government & people to work much harder and make better efforts to develop our country.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Poisonous Liquor in Bali & Lombok

Bali & Lombok are two popular destinations in Indonesia, and as such they have become very important sources of foreign currency income.
Therefore, it is very important for our country to maintain conditions which are favorable for foreign tourists, so that more would want to come.

Apparently, there have been disturbing news about Bali & Lombok i.e. about the death of more than 23 people, including at least 4 European and American tourists, after drinking local made Liquor.

VOA reported that the first victims arrived at the Sanglah Hospital, Denpasar-Bali, more than one week ago. According to the hospital's head of Forensic Department i.e Dr Ida Bagus Putu Alit, all the victims were attacked by acute intoxication by methanol. As a result, they will coma, unconscious, after that renal failure and also go blind.

Meanwhile, BBC reported that the victims have drunk Arak i.e Wine made from Rice or Palm, tainted with methanol. Because of that, more than 50 foreigners and local people have been taken ill. Such local brews have become increasingly popular because imported alcohol is expensive, with the government imposing taxes of up to 400%.
The local Police is currently investigating the case, and they have questioned two suspects.

Considering the important role that Bali & Lombok have played as Indonesia's sources of foreign currency income, I hope that investigation of the case would be carried out thoroughly ASAP, and those responsible would be punished accordingly.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Prita has been Released from Jail


In response to the outcry by online supporters, public figures and presidential candidates, Prita Mulyasari, the mother of 2 small children, who was detained for 3 weeks for alleged Defamation of the OMNI International Hospital, Alam Sutera,Tangerang, was released by on Wednesday, 3 June 2009 (photo:courtesy of The Jakarta Globe).

In an interview with The Jakarta Globe, a spokesman of the Attorney General Office Jasman Simajuntak said that the status of Prita’s arrest has been changed into City Arrest. He added that Attorney General Hendarman Supanji had ordered an examination of the case to determine whether or not the District Prosecutor in Tangerang has properly used the Information and Electronic Transaction (ITE) Law as basis for the case.

Meanwhile, according to The Jakarta Post, the first trial of the Defamation Case will be held on Thursday morning, 4 June 2009. And the Tangerang District Prosecutor's Office's said that Prita is charged for violating the ITE Law Art. 27, and the Penal Code Articles 310 and 311, which carry a maximum sentence of six years in jail and maximum fine of Rp. 1 Billion.

Further, I would like to note that this case has received broad attention from public figures, including the candidates for the presidential election on 8 July.
The first was Jusuf Kalla who said on Wednesday that the detention is not correct, followed by Megawati's visit to the Tangerang Women Penitentiary on the same day in which she said the ITE Law should be reviewed, and President SBY's request to the Chief of National Police and the Attorney General that the case should be processed using conscience.

From the above development of Prita's Case, we can expect that the legal proceedings, Appeal for the Civil Lawsuit & Criminal Prosecution will carried out justifiably.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Arrested for Complaining against Hospital


Prita Mulyasari (32), mother of two children below 5 years old, has been detained by the Tangerang District Attorney in the Tangerang Women's Penitentiary since 13 May 2009 (Photo:Facebook).

According to the Tempo newspaper, Prita was detained because she has complained, through a mailing list, about the bad medical treatments that she experienced at the OMNI International Hospital in Alam Sutera, Tangerang. Her e-mail then spreaded to many places including the Reader's Letters Collumn of Detik. Due to which fact, the hospital reported Prita to the Police who charged her with committing Slander based on the Information and Electronic Transaction Law No. 11 Year 2008 (ITE), Article 27 Par. 3, which carries a maximum penalty of 6 years imprisonment or a maximum Fine of Rp 1 Billion.
In this regards, a member of the District Attorney said that his office received the case Reg.no. 55-1/2009 from the Jakarta Police on 25 May 2009.

Beside the above criminal charges, Prita is also facing Civil Lawsuit initiated by the hospital with the District Court of Tangerang under Reg.no : 300/PDG/ 6/2008. Although a verdict has been passed, but the Head of the District Court refused to give explaination saying that both disputing parties have submitted appeals with the High Court on 25 May 2009. He added that the Criminal Case shall began within this week.

The above case shows that conveying messages through the internet can be so risky, therefore one should be careful so as not to annoy other people.
However, I hope that the implementation of the ITE Law in this case would consider Prita's specific condition, e.g she is a mother of two very small children, almost impossible for her to run away or obstruct the investigation, therefore it is not necessary to detain her any longer.