Indonesia in Focus
First, they tried using water. The horse urine still stank. Later, they tried chemical agents, but still, it stank. Eventually, the Central Jakarta mayoralty officials gave up and, last year, Muhayat, then the mayor, issued an order to get rid of the source of the problem along with their owners and delman (buggies) from Monas Park. To the press, a number of officials, including new Mayor Sylviana Murni and Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo, cited reasons behind the delman ban. So far the horse piss has received a variety of criticisms: “stinky”, “polluting the environment”, “dangerous for the respiratory health of children”.
Villager Muhammad Yassin may not be aware Indonesia has reached a new record, it’s fastest deforestation rate ever, clearing an estimated 1.8 million hectares of forest each year. But the 59-year-old villager of Jatiarjo, East Java does care about the forests on the slopes of Mount Arjuno, near his home. Every morning, the grandfather of five leaves his home, walking to the forest three kilometers away. In the afternoon he returns home, carrying bundles of grass for his three cows.
It is four months since the nations of the world gathered in Bali to try and thrash out an agreement on how to reduce global warming. Climate scientists have known for many years that we human beings are affecting the temperature of our planet. They predict dangerous consequences if we do nothing. As an archipelago of thousands of islands, Indonesia is particularly threatened. The country cannot afford to ignore this. The main offender is carbon dioxide which is slowly choking our atmosphere. If we continue to burn fossil fuels like oil and coal at the present rate, we could cause irreversible damage to our precious environment.
The government is launching a national campaign against malaria, saying the disease remains a serious threat despite the recent decrease in the number of cases. “The number of malaria cases has been declining, but not by any significant amount,” Director General for Disease Control and Environmental Sanitation I Nyoman Kandun said.
“Nenek moyangku orang pelaut/Gemar mengarung luas samudera/Menerjang ombak tiada takut/Menempuh badai sudah biasa ….”
(Our ancestors were sailors/ They sailed across the oceans/ Challenged the waves fearlessly/Surfed the storm familiarly.)
In the early 1990s or before, the above song was popular in Indonesia. I wonder whether Indonesian children nowadays still sing this song. One thing for sure, children seem to be more interested in drawing mountain views rather than seas. Does it indicate a degradation of the maritime spirit? Let us go back a while.
Following Tangerang and Bandung, the Balikpapan municipal administration has banned all erotic stage performances in an effort to restore morality among the city’s young generation. The ban was issued after a meeting between relevant local authorities, religious figures and informal leaders in the city.
City officials say Palu, set amid a valley of rolling hills and along a river streaming to the coast, is gaining acclaim for both natural beauty and its plans for development in Central Sulawesi. “Everything is available here. Visitors will be surprised,” said Palu chief councilor Andi Mulhanan Tombolotutu, referring to the city’s diverse topography. The beauty of the city is apparent when viewed from the beach near the city center while enjoying a view of the sunset and the magnificent Teluk Palu Bridge.
Torture and other human rights abuses are still rampant in Indonesia 10 years after the fall of Soeharto, Amnesty International said Wednesday. Though the government ratified the UN Convention Against Torture and instituted key legal reforms after Soeharto’s demise, Amnesty receives reports of abuse “on a regular basis,” a briefing paper by the rights group said.
Sixty nine political parties took the 2009 elections registration form, but five parties did not show up in the General Elections Commission (KPU) on the last day to take the form. The five parties that did not take the registration form were the Gotong Royong Party, the Star Crescent Party, the Patriot Party, the Marhaenis National Party, and the Unitary Republic of Indonesia Party.
Separated by a road and a viscous finger of black, garbage-choked water, the stilt-house slum of Muara Baru and the BMW car dealership that faces it appear as if from different worlds. But on December 6, 2025, these two extremes of the Indonesian capital will have something in common as a World Bank study shows that unless action is taken, they and much of the coastal city of 12 million will be submerged by seawater.
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