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Gigi Art of Dance presents the musical E-motions: Plastic Fantastic!

(photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)

IO, Jakarta – The Gigi Art of Dance school held a “Plastic Fantastic” themed music concert and “E-motions” dance performance on March 3, 2019, in the Ciputra Artpreneur Theater in Jakarta. The theme was chosen to raise awareness of the prob­lem of plastic waste.

E-motions is the seventh Dance Musical or Dan­sical produced by the Gigi Art of Dance (GAOD) studio. The performance was a chance for 400 GAOD students to show their talents in singing, dancing, and acting. Every year the school takes on a different campaign which they tell in the form of theater and dance. This year, which was GAOD’s tenth, took on the issue of plastic waste where they expressed their campaign through the hard work of composers, set designers, and lighting designers to create a professional stage for the GOAD students.

The E-motions: Plastic Fantastic! Musical told the story of Indonesia in the year 2080, where In­donesia was turned entirely into plastic as a result of human actions. The story followed the journey and life of various plastic objects such as a plastic straw and pointed to the destruction of the world and extinction of all animals. The musical’s main character was Traya, a ten-year-old, and Petunia, a robot trying to save the world.

The musical hopes to inspire the younger gener­ation to continue to develop the performance arts creative industry and raise awareness, find solu­tions and provoke action to stop the use of plastics to save future generations. (Yoga Agusta)

(photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)
(photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)
(photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)
(photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)
(photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)
(photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)
(photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)
(photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)
(photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)
(photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)
(photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)
(photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)
(photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)
(photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)
(photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)


Jokowi’s most fearsome opponent: He himself

Hersubeno Arief
Senior journalist, media and political consultant

IO – Within a matter of days, the map of competition towards the 2019 Presidential Elections has changed again. Last week, Jokowi’s biggest opponents were the data and facts submitted by NGOs, the media, and his own helpers – including Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Chief of Presidential Staff Moeldoko, and Commander of the Presidential Guards Maj. Gen. of the Army Maruli Simanjuntak. They united to resist and correct data and facts issued by Jokowi during the Second Presidential Debate. Jusuf Kalla denied Jokowi’s statement concerning Prabowo’s land ownership. Moeldoko and Maruli denied Jokowi’s statement that he visited a fishermen’s village in the middle of the night accompanied only by his chauffeur.

This week, Jokowi is facing his true opponent – the biggest opponent that is very hard, if not impossible to defeat: himself.

How come? This is something worthy of inclusion in the old TV show Ripley’s Believe It or Not. It is strange, but true. We can also submit Jokowi for entry in the Indonesian Museum of Records (Museum Rekor Indonesia MURI), or even The Guinness Book of Record, for the sheer amount of erroneous and exaggerated data that he cites. In his visit to Gorontalo on Friday (1/3), Jokowi challenged Prabowo to show data that proves that the total of Indonesian wealth sitting pretty in foreign deposits reaches Rp 11,000 trillion. “Well, if the data is there, if you have the proof about it, just submit it to the Government. We will follow it up for sure,” he said.

Prabowo mentioned the trillions in Indonesian funds deposited abroad during a speech before his supporters in Yogyakarta (27/2). On several occasions, Prabowo has also alluded to this issue, as he is worried about the sheer amount of Indonesian wealth flowing out of the country. He claimed to have obtained the data from a Minister in Jokowi’s cabinet and has read about it on the media. However, the Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs Luhut Panjaitan expressed doubt about Prabowo’s statement. “That was amazing! I know nothing about it, I need to check first. But that’s not possible, that’s simply too fantastic,” Luhut said in his office on Wednesday (27/2).

The supporters of Presidential Candidate 01 immediately cooked up the issue as usual. They immediately implemented their favorite step of accusing Prabowo of concocting a hoax. “It’s a pity if it’s just careless talk. We don’t want it to be a gossip that would bite Pak Prabowo back. Anyone can say as they please, but they must use valid data. Especially him, because he is a presidential candidate. His word is his bond,” said the Vice Chairman of Jokowi-Ma’ruf’s National Campaign Team (Tim Kampanye Nasional – “TKN”) Johnny G Plate. Plate suspects that Prabowo’s data is actually the wealth of Indonesians deposited abroad before the tax amnesty program.

The Head of the Ministry of Finance’s Bureau of Communications and Information Services Nurfransa Wirasakti also denied the statement. According to him, in the tax amnesty program, the declared wealth of Indonesians deposited abroad is only Rp 1,036 T. Of this amount, we have repatriated Rp 147 trillion of Indonesia’s wealth.

So which statement is true?

Once the digital sources were reviewed, it turns out that Prabowo was correct, as he was quoting a statement made by then-Minister of Finance Bambang Soemantri Brodjonegoro. The Minister of Finance calculated that the potential amount of Indonesian money deposited abroad is bigger than Indonesia’s GDP at Rp 11,400 trillion. “Well, according to our calculations, it is potentially bigger than our GDP. In other words, more than Rp 11,400 trillion,” he said.

This amount, when deducted with the repatriated amount as reported by Nurfransa at Rp 147 trillion, still exceeds Rp 11,000 trillion. Still bigger than what Prabowo has stated. On this basis, the Government thought up the idea for tax amnesty. Past tax is eliminated, if the owners of this super jumbo amount of money bring back their funds to Indonesia.

President Jokowi was very enthusiastic in getting these foreign deposits. He actively met with many entrepreneurs and disseminated information about the tax amnesty program with them, with a little threat thrown in. “There is a huge amount of Indonesian-owned monies abroad. I have the data in my pocket, at the Ministry of Finance, they calculated that about Rp 11,000 trillion is deposited abroad. The data in my pocket is different, there’s more than that. That’s because our sources are different,” Jokowi said at JIExpo, Kemayoran, Jakarta, on 1 August 2016.

He further stated that he intended to bring back these funds in order to use them for domestic development. “The most important thing is how to get these monies back to our country, because we need your participation for our country and nation,” Jokowi stated to the 10,000 participants of the dissemination of information about tax amnesty.

Jokowi made a similar statement during his speech at Clarion Hotel, Makassar, on 25 November 2016. “The data contained by the Ministry shows a total of Rp 11,000 trillion. The list is in my pocket. I remember those who are present here: one or two of you still keep your money abroad,” Jokowi said confidently. He then reminded the attending entrepreneurs that the Law on Trans-boundary Tax Information Exchange will apply in 2018, as all countries have agreed on the international regulations about the transparency of information. “How much Indonesian monies are deposited in Singapore, Switzerland, Hong Kong? Everything will be laid bare, because it’s an international regulation that all countries have signed. This is the mark of the era of transparency,” he said.

“I Don’t Know What I Say”
The challenge levelled by Jokowi and his close officials to Prabowo to prove his statement is confusing. How could Jokowi deny what he himself said before? Earlier, the president’s bad joke “I don’t read what I sign” has gone out wide. Now it seems that we need to update the joke to “I don’t know what I say”!

The statement “I don’t read what I sign” painfully explains the reason why so many of the policies Jokowi signed get amended, or even cancelled, within a very short period of time. The most scandalous among these was the cancellation of the release of Ustadz Abubakar Ba’asyir and the granting of remission to Prabangsa, a former cadre of the Democratic Party of Struggle of Indonesia (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan – “PDIP”) who was the brain behind the murder of a Balinese journalist. The appointment of Lieut. Gen. of the Army Doni Monardo as the Head of the National Agency for Disaster Mitigation (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana – “BNPB”) was also delayed, while invitations had been distributed. It was only later known that the position could not be held by an active Armed Forces Officer. The Law and supporting regulations must first be amended before Doni could be appointed for this position.

There are also many other examples of the President’s decision being cancelled within mere days, even hours: the increase of petroleum fuel price, for one, and most sensationally, the appointment of Archandra Thahar, a citizen of the United States, as the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources.

Now, by challenging Prabowo to prove the existence of Rp 11,000 trillion in funds being deposited abroad, Jokowi is actually challenging himself. Prabowo can turn it around easily. He could simply use the step Jokowi takes whenever he gets cornered: “If there is proof that Jokowi never said something like that, find it! I’m waiting for it now!”

This time, it will be very difficult for Jokowi to veer off: his digital tracks are spread out everywhere. Netizens and medias simply race off to dig out and show data and facts that Jokowi did something like that.

Knowing this, why on Earth did Jokowi dare to challenge Prabowo to prove his statement? It really imperils his own integrity and credibility! The public, including his fanatic supporters, are now questioning the issue: “Is he really a leader to look up to because his words and his actions match, or is he a leader whose words cannot be trusted?”

If we want to give him the benefit of the doubt, we might say he simply forget what he said before. Understandable, after all he has so many things to attend to. On the other hand, it could be in his nature: that “it is Jokowi’s nature to spout out what he doesn’t really understand.” Our Javanese ancestors remind us, “watuk bisa disembuhkan bisa diobati, tapi watak tidak ada obatnya, ginowo mati” (“you can cure a cough, but there is no cure for character, it stays with you till death”).

It would be well for Jokowi to remember the sage advice of the 16th American President, Abraham Lincoln: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”


Legendary tourism of Atu Belah in Central Aceh

Atu Belah or Batu Belah is a large chunk rock in the middle of the Central Aceh forest which is part of the legends of the local people. (photo: IO/Mahrayuni)

IO – Takengon is the capital of Central Aceh Regency, although its territory is not so wide it only ranges from 4318 km², but its natural charm makes the tourists who visit it amazed. The air in its natural region is cool, while its natural beauty is very exotic as if it was still awake from the hands of ignorant humans. The good news is that this small city has many tourist attractions that can be visited, one of which is natural tourism which has a legend in ancient times.

Atu Belah or Stone split is a large rock located approximately 35 km from Takengon in the village of “Penarun”, Central Aceh District. It is said that the story of this stone can swallow anyone who sings using the nearby gayo language and the rock will split into attracting that person, that’s according to the story that developed in the surrounding community.

The path to this area is not easy, this rock is in the forest where there is a special car lane to go to the tourist attraction. However, not all cars can go to the location of the split stone, it is recommended to use a 4×4 wheel drive or a jeep to be used to run on a track full of obstacles. At the time of rain the track will be very slippery and runny because this in the middle of the forest will find many fallen trees in the middle of the lane. The condition of the road to this area is quite alarming, the number of holes and untouched asphalt that can make it difficult for tourists to reach the location of the object.

So, at that time I had to travel by foot to reach the location of this rock, tourism or division was very interesting and aroused curiosity about the legend that was told down to the present. Because I was a native of Takengon, Central Aceh, when I was a child, my mother often told me about the legend of this stone, so it made me curious to visit the location of “or split” (split stone).

I will share a bit of their a legend that made me curious about this stone, in ancient times this stone is said to have swallowed a woman who felt hopeless because of the attitude of her husband. He was so cruel cutting one side of her breast because she was upset with her children who had made locusts grasshoppers fled from the barn. Her husband, who was upset after being tired from hunting, immediately scolded his wife and cut off her breasts. Then the wife ran to the forest. After that, the mother pounced with the words, “Atu split, or cupped for the first paddy field,” if interpreted in Indonesian “Batu Belah, stones covered, our promises of the past have arrived. “Words” were sung very quietly many times by the poor mother to ask for this stone to swallow it. His children chased after the mother but it was too late because their mother had already entered the stone and died with 7 strands of her hair. This story is a folk tale that many children know in the gayo community. They classify it as a legend, because according to Gayo residents this incident really happened in their area.

After going through a rather difficult route, I also found this stone location surrounded by large beautiful trees, excellent natural scenery, and as if this natural tourist attraction had a moral message “listen to the advice of both parents. If you do something wrong, immediately apologize to them. Mother’s love for all time, she must forgive our mistakes. The opposite applies when we see the mistakes of others, big spirits to forgive.”

Instead of staying silent at home there is no harm in trying to visit a part where your eyes will be spoiled with a very good natural scenery while learning from the story of legend or this part. (Mahrayuni)

Law and justice: The game of puppeteers

Independent Observer

IO, Jakarta – Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno’s statement about the law being misused to attack one’s opponents and protect one’s allies is a reality during President Joko Widodo’s era. How could it be otherwise? More than 20 were reported by Prabowo’s supporters towards Jokowi’s sympathizers, yet not one of them were arrested. “Despite all reports submitted, no arrests were made, while we have already submitted both evidence and witnesses,” said Habiburrahman, spokesman of National Committee to Elect (Badan Pemenangan Nasional – “BPN”) Prabowo-Sandi.

On the other hand, according to Prabowo-Sandi BPN Spokesman Wihadi Wiyanto, cases reported by the people against Prabowo sympathizers are responded to more quickly. Buni Yani was sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment for hate speech by the District Court of Bandung; then, Ahmad Dhani was sentenced to 1.5 years of imprisonment for the same reason. Other names include Bahar Smith, who was reported to the police for abuse of a minor. Even though he was initially reported for suspected insult of the President, he was finally arrested based on video evidence of abuse of a minor.

Habiburrahman reported that many similar cases of hate speech involving tweets remain uninvestigated and unpunished. For example, reports of death threats towards Fadli Zon. A netizen freely discussed to kill Fadli Zon and a number of opposition figures in 2017. The case was reported, but nobody was arrested, despite the case having been reported over a year ago. Finally, Prabowo sympathizers reported the Regent of Boyolali, Seno Samodro, during the protests held “In Defense of Boyolali Looks” with expletives and insults of Prabowo held last year. The case is now transferred to the Central Java Regional Precinct. It is currently being investigated after an initial report made in November 2018.

Laws during the Jokowi Era
According to State Administration Expert Margarito Kamis, President Jokowi places himself as a person uninvolved with law enforcement in certain cases. He claimed that he leaves everything in the hands of the police. On the other hand, when an event is related to him, Jokowi would present himself as a person responsible for law enforcement and instruct the police to uphold the law – such as in the case relating to the housewives who are members of the Housewives for Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno Party (Partai Emak-Emak Pendukung Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno – “Pepes”) in Karawang. Soon after the case cropped up, the President requested the police to ensure that the law is being upheld. Therefore, we cannot disagree that Jokowi is a very inconsistent man. “Here, we can also see that the law, to borrow the words of Vice-Presidential Candidate 02 Pak Sandi, is a tool that is used to hit out against people opposing Pak Jokowi,” Margarito said.

Until now, we still have not found actual proof that the law is being upheld. In Yogyakarta, there was a case of unrest during Prabowo’s State address recently. This proves, and it is reasonable to conclude, that there is something wrong in law enforcement. If it seems to damage or obstruct Jokowi’s political position, then the law will be put into effect immediately, but if it seems to be a damage to Prabowo’s team, it will be let it alone. For example, the unrest in North Sumatra was processed quickly and eleven members of the Islamic Defenders’ Front (Front Pembela Islam – “FPI”) were arrested. There was also the case of a village headman getting imprisoned for 2 months for publicly claiming support of Prabowo-Sandi, but several District Heads in Makassar made a similar claim of support for Jokowi-Ma’ruf Amin and were not prosecuted. “We have not seen any positive or constitutional response from the President when handling these issues. Laws that are related to politics are fully used to hit people who oppose Pak Jokowi,” Margarito said.

Chudry Sitompul, a Law Observer from University of Indonesia, stated that according to World Justice Project (WJP) Indonesia survey, Indonesia’s rank of legal certainty and justice is 62nd of 162 countries being surveyed. This rank remained stagnant for a number of years, rising only one rank this year. This means that law enforcement in Indonesia in 2017-2018 is still not far from when Indonesia first amended the 1945 Constitution in 2002. The leap of law enforcement rank in Indonesia in the Reform Era occurred because of a clear separation of power as delineated by Montesquieu, ensuring that the power of the judicial power is independent, free and separate from interference from other powers in the State. Therefore, judicial power cannot be placed under anyone’s influence, especially by that of executive power. However, after that leap, the ranking did not move, meaning that the powers other than the judicial one do not show any progress in the effort to provide legal certainty and justice.

Chudry further said that the powers controlled by the Government, i.e. the police and the attorney’s office, bring cases to court. This means that we need to improve the performance of the police and attorney’s office, meaning that it is their professionalism and integrity that must be raised. Their professionalism is currently sufficient, but integrity in law enforcement still suffer from transactional issues. Nearing the elections, there are many complaints directed towards the police about how law enforcement and election violations are not balanced. For example, the case of Slamet Maarif shows that the police rushed to a conclusion, causing him to go free. This is because the police concluded that the criminal elements suspected against Slamet Maarif were not proven. There are still many other cases where the opposition has reason to doubt the integrity and neutrality of law enforcement. These are the things that are most monitored about law enforcement as the elections are coming closer. The people need to be assured that they will not take sides and remain impartial.

Agustinus Pohan, Law Observer from Parahyangan University, states that there are still so many problems with law enforcement during Jokowi’s era. There has been little change within 4 years, just about everything is still the same as in the previous era before. There are still many complaints from people concerning the weak economy: there is a marked difference between the people with better economic condition or better education. Those with a weaker economy and lower education do not have equal access to justice.

In other words, our law enforcement index according to the WJP that rose only 0.1 is stagnant. The legal problems in Indonesia have their roots in material law, in law enforcement. Yet when Soeharto’s reign fell during reforms, we were not busy with improving our law enforcement; we have been busy changing our material laws instead. The National Legislation Program changed a lot of our legal regulations, but did not concentrate sufficiently on enforcement. With this situation, it is no wonder that little change is felt.

Formally, judges are monitored by the Judicial Commission, police are monitored by the National Police Commission (Komisi Polisi Nasional – “Kompolnas”), the attorney’s office is monitored by the Attorney’s Office Commission. However, not many changes have been seen. “I think that perhaps, the investments made by the State, especially in terms of the police. For example, the Kompolnas has extremely limited authority and cannot do much, while its original purpose was to improve the performance of law enforcement. I think this is all about law enforcement itself – not in the law enforcement system, but its personnel. Problems relating to our law enforcement are related to professionalism. Is there a guarantee that investigators will not be interfered with? How far are we sure that the investigators are professional and cannot be interfered with? What guarantee do we have that our public attorneys are not interfered with either? There are a lot of problems in the Jokowi era, as the Attorney General was selected from a political party. This would naturally rouse the people’s suspicion as they perceive political interest in this selection. Therefore, we need to note these things well in the future,” Agustinus said.

Mudzakir, Criminal Law Expert from the Islamic University of Indonesia, Yogyakarta, concludes that law enforcement in Jokowi’s era is choosy. “We started to notice this in the first year of rule. It became clearer from the second year to the fourth, and it has become obvious in the fifth year. In this final year, politics have become the basis for law enforcement. This is extremely dangerous for the legal system of Indonesia, because the police, judicial system, and attorney’s office as functions are mixed in with all sorts of power. Now it is too obvious that the basis used for making crucial decisions is political tendencies. This is unhealthy and contravenes the 1945 Constitution,” he said.

The Law as the Tool of Those in Power

In cases of hate speech like Ahmad Dani’s case, whether we like it or not Dhani is part of Prabowo-Sandi’s campaign team. In the case in Surabaya, Dhani, who was prosecuted then reacted towards the prosecution, was imprisoned; but the person persecuting him remains free. The substance of persecution is to limit a person’s freedom to move, and this freedom is guaranteed in our constitution. In this case, Dhani, whose freedom to meet and unite and express opinion was obstructed, was the one being punished.

The law stated that the person who feels that he is being insulted or otherwise wronged must be real or concrete. This is the consequence of the concept of “persona” in legal science. However, Dhani did not mention who exactly the person he means; he only made a general statement. In terms of legal concept and science, Dhani’s action does not qualify as a criminal action, but he was tried anyway.

Dhani was arrested and sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment by the District Court of South Jakarta. In our law, no arrest order must be made if the threat of imprisonment is 4 years. Yet the order was made. Even more unfortunately, Dhani was not immediately arrested when the court order was made, and the imprisonment was only ordered by the High Court after appeals.

“All in all, I agree with the conclusion that the law today is mostly used as an instrument to cut down political opponents,” Margarito said. It is very easy to take people to court because of cases of difference in opinion. This shows that the Law is being abused as a tool of the authorities. Jokowi should understand that the freedom to speak and to express oneself is a capital for living for the person. “Therefore, punishing a person who expresses his mind is the same as ending his life, because speaking freely is part of a person’s right, the same as his right to live,” Margarito said.

Chudry said that this kind of thing is very obvious in presidential campaigns. The Election Monitoring Agency (Badan Pengawas Pemilihan Umum – “Bawaslu”) stated that several regional heads in Central Java, starting from Governors to District Heads, have violated election laws, but the police did not follow up on the case. Later, a video showing a supporter of Presidential Candidate Number 01 was widely circulated, but not prosecuted. “This kind of thing raises questions about the police’s neutrality within the past 6 months,” he said.

Since Indonesia amended the 1945 Constitution in 2002, we have claimed to respect and honor human rights, including the rights to gather, unite, and express opinion – but not freedom without limit. The issue is the limit of freedom according to the Law. This is exactly what happened in the cases involving Ahmad Dani and Buni Yani. As everything is related to politics, the people ended up concluding that the law is strict towards opponents and soft towards allies.

The people submit complaints, which must be followed up by the police and the attorney’s office. However, the gates of justice are guarded by the courts or judges. Even though the police and attorneys bring cases to the court, it is judges who judge them. When we see the considerations made behind the judgment against Ahmad Dani and Buni Yani, we note that the judges only investigated from a judicial aspect, but did not consider the philosophical and sociological aspects of the issue. Judgments should be made not merely based on judicial basis for the sake of laws and regulations, but must also grant justice for both the victims and perpetrators of any crime. The Law contains three aspects that must be carefully considered when we are seeking to uphold the law and seek justice: judicial, philosophical, and sociological. “The philosophy is related to the freedom of expressing opinion, and the sociology is by checking whether the public considers it hate speech or not,” Chudry said.

Agustinus concludes that several cases of hate speech like that of Ahmad Dani and Buni Yani have many distortions. In Ahmad Dani’s case, an arrest order was made right after the first-level decision was made. This is not right. We must remain objective and not view law enforcement from a political interest angle.

Mudzakir stated that what Ahmad Dhani said is not qualified as a criminal action. “If you are going to sue for defamation on that basis, then many people would have been jailed by now. In fact, many more people in Surabaya would be jailed than people from other areas. Speaking rough is a tradition in Surabaya – for example, you might simply call your friends things like jancuk (four letter word), asu (dog), and other similar rough terms. Then there is the question, “Is this law enforcement or getting rid of the opposition? I agree that nowadays, there are more members of the opposition being prosecuted and more protection towards allies,” he said.

The article regulating insult is necessary, but there should be clear limitations. We don’t want to mistake a person expressing his or her aspirations as one who is making an insult. “This is what I’m worried about – that norms get limited by law and law enforcement officers. The cases of Buni Yani, Ahmad Dhani, and even Habib Rizieq, they’re not included in criminal law. Popularly this is known as “criminalization”. Essentially, it is not a crime, but it is criminalized. That is unfair,” Mudzakir said.

People become imprisoned because of a difference of opinion. This reduces the law to a tool of the authorities. “This is true. Firstly, it is a political tool, so it depends on our interpretation, the interpretation of authorities.” This is confusing. For example, a person burning a flag emblazoned with the tawheed (Islam’s most emphatic and solemn vow, i.e. that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is His prophet and messenger), but they are not punished for it. People get punished because they “bother public order”. This is odd, everything is being twisted vaguely,” Mudzakir said.

Loophole Regulations

The regulation concerning hate speech is a loophole regulation. Our current Government has no vision about the issue. There are no accurate and reliable evidence that shows that imprisonment can resolve all problems. Why shouldn’t we choose a better way in terms of justice, like resolving the issue peacefully and negotiating among people who are disputing? Why don’t we do that and consolidate our constitution from time to time, to make it better? Regulations about hate speech must exist, but they must be more specific in order not to be used to attack people unjustly. “We do not approve of insults, defamation, and other things. But if we allow the Law to stand as it is, we are getting nothing but disasters,” Margarito said.

Relating to the insults levelled by the Regent of Boyolali toward Presidential Candidate Prabowo, Margarito said that the nation is in need of finding a new leader to resolve the issue. “We can no longer expect much from the current Government to clean up our laws. The need to get our laws in order is so strong and inevitable, but we can do that only if there is a new leader,” he said. “There is nothing left for us to expect from Pak Jokowi in terms of the law. Let us assess everything honestly and be open in the effort to end this Government,” he said.

Chudry considers “hate speech” to be a loophole regulation, as it is highly relative. If we may take the note, chats in WhatsApp groups are even harsher. A too-strict interpretation of “hate speech” indirectly limits the freedom of people to hold an opinion. On the other hand, freedom of opinion does not mean everyone may use dirty words against each other. Such regulations must continue to exist, so that we can have harmony among our people. However, there must be clear measures on what is meant by hate speech. The regulation about hate speech itself must follow the developments in society, which is the sociological aspect.

In our current open and transparent atmosphere, we can differentiate between fast and slow processing of anything. As a contrasting example, the case involving the ladies in Karawang was handled swiftly, but the distribution of gifts is not processed. This causes the supporters of Presidential Candidate Pair 02 to be treated unjustly. The case of the Regent of Boyolali who compared Presidential Candidate 02 with animals was not politicized, but law enforcement did not act proportionally and professionally. “I suggest that Pak Jokowi instruct the police and the attorney’s office to enforce the law as is, not considering anything else. All violations of the law should be punished,” Chudry said.

Agustinus stated that loophole regulation is not just related to hate speech, but most people nowadays tend to keep silent in the face of “dangerous” regulations. It is true that hoaxes are dangerous for our country. We have relevant regulations that were created quite a long time ago, i.e. Law Number 1 of 1946. The situation then might be different from what it is now: nowadays, there are situations where something not serious but can cause serious impact in Indonesia. One of these is hoaxes. Law Number 1 of 1946 was then used to address the issue. “I think that is not entirely suitable, but then should we leave it alone at that? If yes, then would that be wise?” he said.

To repeat: the statement made by the Regent of Boyolali who compared Presidential Candidate Prabowo to an animal should have been reported to the police and legally prosecuted. The same thing occurred earlier with SBY: he was compared with a buffalo, and the statement was never prosecuted either. “I think that is wrong. Such statements should be prosecuted,” Agustinus said. “I would not say that nowadays, the law is used to attack one’s opponents. I think such goings-on should be prosecuted under the law. I suggest to Government Jokowi that we should ensure that law enforcement is free from anyone’s intervention, whether that of the Government or of public opinion, because nowadays people easily build opinion and (ab)use either the power of the masses or that of the authorities. If the authorities intervene with judges, with police officers, and attorneys, how will it ensure justice? So the issue is how to free our courts, police officers, and attorneys from intervention.

Mudzakir also calls such regulations relating to hate speech and defamation “loophole regulations”. “I have been buzzing out this phrase for a long time, this type of careless interpretation. But apparently it was not used. I certainly hope that there will be special task forces created to review these regulations,” he said.

The words stated by the Regent of Boyolali towards Prabowo were extremely rude – they were an insult to his dignity, honor, and reputation. Ahmad Dhani merely said that “People who support blasphemers should be spat at”. “This is much more neutral than calling a person a dog (asu), because the name was mentioned directly (by the Regent). Ahmad Dhani did not mention anyone. He was not specifically referring to Ahok, but to those who support blasphemy. This makes for a bad example, because that is discriminative,” Mudzakir said.

The unfairness of legal processes specifically occurs against the supporters of Presidential Candidate Number 02. “In other words, the Number 02 team submitted many reports, but they do not do anything. But in the criminal case of Ratna Sarumpaet, wherein she made an untrue statement, retracted it, and then admitted that she lied, what’s to be punished then? In terms of untrue statements, just about every official recently lie a lot, how come they are not arrested like Sarumpaet was? An official playing around with politics stakes his or her reputation. They play around just for short-term interests. They don’t remember that their responsibility in the hereafter would be too heavy,” Mudzakir said. He ended the interview by emphasizing that the use of law as a tool to further the interests of authorities is a direct violation of the 1945 Constitution.
(Dessy Aipipidely, Ekawati)

Lies that rival any of pinocchio’s

Edy Mulyadi
Senior Journalist

IO – Joko Widodo is a “simple man”. At least, that is the perception and opinion that has been and is still being crafted. Since seeking his fortune in the DKI Gubernatorial Elections in 2012, the former furniture seller from Solo has been made over totally. The same efforts were continued when the frog-keeping man went forward during the 2014 Presidential Election.

The ironic polish of being a “simple man” is really taken seriously. In all strategic corners of the Capital, you can see banners of Widodo wearing a simple white work shirt with arms partially rolled, wearing simple black pants and shoes. The price of each of these items, which is quite affordable, was blatantly shown. Even the fact that his arm lacked a wristwatch further explained his “simplicity”. He was entirely made over carefully.

Was it a success? Yes, apparently so. The team of communications and political consultant for the man who used to answer “copras capres, ora mikir, ora mikir” (“presidential candidacy schmandidacy, who thinks about it?”) when asked about presidential candidacy seems to have reaped glorious rewards. The people have seemingly fell under the spell of the unique bureaucrat who is nothing like the profile of officials in general: simple, honest, salt of the earth, likes to make sudden inspection, et cetera, et cetera. Widodo succeeded in eliminating his rival Prabowo Subianto from the 2014 Presidential Election.

“Widodo is a good man.” At least, that is the opinion and perception stuffed into the minds of the Indonesian people. One of the characteristics of a good man honest, one who does not (have the hobby to) lie. Up this point, the public has now started to find something different. Unfortunately, the people are given facts that belie the image of “honesty”.

The memory of the Indonesian people can be called short. However, just to remember the promise made by the Incumbent Presidential Candidate for the 2019 called “Cak Jancuk” (“Brother F***er”) by his supporters in East Java, i.e. that he would not make any food imports, is certainly not difficult. During the 2014 Presidential Debate, the Jancuk boldly promised that when elected President, he would stop rice, sugar, corn, soybean, fruit, salt, meat, and other food imports. The reason? Indonesia already has them! In large quantities!

However, within the more than four years of his rule, all the promises were broken to smithereens. Amazingly, imports were actually made in the middle of great harvest time! Is it a wonder that farmers scream under the weight of their burden? “Widodo has lied!”

During the 2014 Presidential Campaign, the Jancuk also said that if he were elected President, he would stop foreign debts. Again, what happened was to the contrary. Within fewer than four years, he has amassed more than Rp 1,600 trillion in debts. That was the biggest amount of debt, generated in the shortest amount of time! “Cak Jancuk lies!”

Lies and untruths seems to be part of the beat and rhythm of this man. It is still fresh in our minds how, during the Second Presidential Candidate Debate on 17 February, the Jancuk bathed the forum with lies and untruths. His statement about going alone with only his chauffeur to a fishermen’s village at Tambak Lorok, Semarang, was clearly an untruth. How can the President leave alone with his chauffeur in the middle of the night? Where were the Presidential Bodyguard at the time? Taking a mass retirement?

The President of the Republic of Indonesia, whom Chairwoman of Indonesian Democrat of Struggle Party (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan – “PDIP”) Megawati publicly belittled as “an official of the party” further said that throughout his rule, no forest fires occurred. This is also an outrageous untruth. The Ministry of the Environment and Forestry said that in 2016 forest fires burnt 14,604.84 hectares. In the following year, 11,127.49 hectares of fires were burned. In 2018, forest fires consumed 4,666.39 hectares.

In response to the above untruths about forest fires, within a matter of minutes the social media universe was filled with various rebuttals, complete with data. As if that were not enough, WhatsApp groups were also flooded with photos of Jancuk standing amid the ashes of burnt forests.

Sprinkles of untruths also occurred when he said there were barely any agrarian conflicts during his rule, as the Government grants sufficient damages to the people for lands used in each project. In fact, in nearly all sites of the people’s lands used for development projects, there were conflicts that cause many deaths and injuries. The Agrarian Reform Consortium (Konsorsium Pembaharuan Agraria – “KPA”) recorded that in 2018, the size of lands subject to agrarian conflicts covered 807,170 hectares.

Among the list of untruths spouted by Cak Jancuk that night is data on corn imports, which are said to have decreased down to 180,000 tons. In fact, Statistics Indonesia (Badan Pusat Statistik – “BPS”) stated that corn imports in 2018 totaled 737,220 tons. Similarly, regarding data on palm coconut production, Widodo has lied by saying that total production in the past year was 46 million tons, while in fact we only produced 34.5 million tons.

The man who loves to take selfies in disaster areas also spread out a hoax by claiming that he has constructed 191,000 km of village roads. This claim is clearly super messed up and impossible to perform. The calculation goes like this: a total of 191,000 km of village roads, divided with 4 years, that that’s equal to 47,050 km/year constructed. That would mean 3,979 km constructed a month or 132 km a day. Divide that into 24 hours, that means that the Jancuk claimed that he has constructed 5.5 km of village roads an hour, or 91.6 m a minute, or 1.5 m a second.

Please note these numbers well. What common sense can accept such imaginary claims? Even Bandung Bondowoso of the myths, who was claimed to have built 1,000 temples in a night, is scarcely an exaggeration when compared with this feat!

Lies are clearly not a good sign. Whoever indulges in them cannot be called a good person, especially if lies are his hobby and daily routine. Naturally, such a person would not only be an untrustworthy man, but also a dangerous one.

Unfortunately, the Indonesian people cannot (yet) differentiate between private lies and public lies. If a husband lies to his wife, for example, that is a private lie. Only the wife stands to suffer any damage, or at most his children too. However, when lies are spouted by a public official, especially a President, it would be public untruths. The ones to be damaged are the people in general. When a (Candidate) President said that he would not import rice, farmers would naturally plant rice enthusiastically. Yet when great harvest arrives, major rice imports are revealed. Consequently, farmers are victimized by the failure of their harvest to sell in the domestic market. We are not talking about one or two farmers, but millions, even tens of millions of farmers suffering major losses.

The Indonesian people should learn to differentiate between private untruths and public untruths. Advanced countries apply high standards for untruths. The American people, for example, could understand when Clinton admitted his affair with White House apprentice staff Monica Lewinsky. He was spared an impeachment. On the other hand, President Nixon was swept away by the Watergate scandal because it was proven that he has lied.

One lie is a mistake. However, multiple lies are habit and character. There is a mountain of lies, a pile of untruths. In the fairy tale Pinocchio, the nose of the eponymous wooden puppet coming to life lengthens every time he lied. However, Pinocchio’s lies were private lies, even a child’s lies. Therefore, it is clear that even Pinocchio’s level of lying is still below that of our president. I really don’t dare to think what would happen if this fairy tale rule applies in our world – how many meters long would the man’s nose be then…?

Lying is deplorable. Rasulullah SAW even mentioned lies as one of the three characteristics of a hypocrite, the other two being an inability to keep promises and the tendency to break a trust. A good person is not a liar. An honest man is not a liar. Cak Jancuk has lied and spread untruths many times. At this point, he is definitely not a good man. Indonesia does need a president who understands issues and able to resolve them quickly and accurately.  But equally important, Indonesia needs an honest president, not a liar!

Crooked polls

Irawan Ronodipuro

IO – Prior to the 2014 presidential election, with his simple dress, rolled-up sleeves and easy demeanor, Jokowi came across as an honest, down-to-earth politician who, when he served as a local leader, seemed to be a champion of reform and good governance.  As a political brand, Jokowi’s persona worked well, and in the end a sufficient lot of the electorate found him appealing enough to vote him into office.

Almost five years later, Indonesians are being asked to reassess their measure of the man.  Those who remember his numerous promises on the 2014 campaign trail, most of which have been unfulfilled, are left questioning his credibility.   Stagnant economic growth and high unemployment rates have made it harder for the average family to make ends meet.  Two of the president’s biggest failures, namely to deliver on his promises of better and more affordable health care and education, are black marks that lesser advantaged Indonesians will surely take into account.  Last but not least, there is now a large cloud hanging over Jokowi’s carefully cultivated image of honesty:  after being caught spinning numerous lies and half-truths in the presidential debates, many voters have come to the conclusion he is somebody entirely different from what they were initially led to believe.

Yet, in spite of Jokowi’s shortcomings, which should imply he is vulnerable and could easily lose his bid for a second term in office, an alternate narrative—of a popular president leading in the polls—is taking place.

What, exactly, is going on?

For one, media tycoons are firmly behind Jokowi.  The mainstream media has unerringly granted Jokowi a pass or underplayed reports of the president’s failures and deceptions, all of which provides the fodder needed to construct a storyline that suggests Jokowi is both popular and invincible.   As we have written before in these pages, this is not a huge surprise for those who understand the cozy, reciprocal relationship between media owners and the palace.

A narrative, however, has particular import and power to influence when numbers supports it.  And in politics, those numbers lie within the hands of pollsters.   Entrusted by the public to be impartial and using scientific-based methods to conduct their surveys, political pollsters should be able to offer us reliable statistics on voter sentiments and preferences.  But what if they are neither scientific nor impartial?

In the world of Indonesian polls, a healthy dose of skepticism is definitely warranted.  So-called professional pollsters have consistently cooked the numbers in favor of ruling parties and their candidates, more often than not in return for financial rewards.   This holds for the upcoming presidential election, as well, where many pollsters are predicting Jokowi will easily win—in some cases, by a margin as large as twenty percent over his opponent, Prabowo Subianto.

Here, the age-old admonition of caveat emptor should be heeded.  The inaccuracy of local polls in past elections, which are rarely audited by the media to gauge their reliability, illustrates just how badly pollsters have performed and why they can’t be trusted.

As an example, just before the last year’s local elections, polls projected West Java gubernatorial and vice-gubernatorial candidates Deddy Mizwar and Dedi Mulyadi, backed by Golkar and Partai Demokrat, were poised to win over forty percent of the vote. They also predicted Gerindra candidate Sudrajat, paired with Ahmad Syaikhu from PKS, would only garner seven percent of the vote.  The election results? Mizwar came in a distant third place, and the opposition Gerindra candidate came in second with close to thirty percent of the vote.

Striking differences in pollsters’ predictions and actual support for candidates on election day were also seen in the case of the gubernatorial race for Central Java.  Practically all of the pollsters predicted Ganjar Pranowo and Taj Yasin—a ticket supported by PDI-P, PPP, Nasdem, Partai Demokrat and Golkar—held a popularity of sixty-six percent before elections, while Sudirman Said and Ida Fauziyah, backed by opposition parties Gerindra, PAN and PKS, had a popularity of only thirteen percent.   In the end, Sudirman won more than forty percent of the vote.

A similar bias in polls in favor of ruling coalition candidates was recorded across the board before the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial race, where the Anies Baswedan-Sandiaga Uno ticket, backed by Gerindra, was polled in the run-up to the election to be far behind with only twenty percent support from voters.  When the Anies ticket finally won with a landslide victory with fifty-eight percent of the vote, one could reasonably ask:  how can such pollsters be afforded any credibility?   After all, such vast disparities between polling numbers and election results cannot be explained by statistical margins of error, which at most run between five and seven percent when polls are done properly.

Yet bizarrely, in spite of the facts, the pollsters have retained their credibility, at least in the eyes of the media.   Polls predicting Jokowi will be re-elected are being dutifully reported in national newspapers and television stations, and for those who have forgotten just how badly the pollsters performed in previous elections and remain ignorant of media bias, it seems like a plausible story with a happy ending.

This raises the question, for what purposes (besides the money being made by unethical pollsters) are manipulated surveys being held in the first place?  Studies of voter behavior in electoral democracies have revealed that once a person has made up his or her mind, polls make little difference in their preferences.  But polls can make a big difference if they predict a voter’s favored candidate is bound to lose, which could convince one to stay at home on election day.  And when one factors in the behavior of undecided voters, who are known to be more easily persuaded to cast their ballots for the predicted winner, such manipulated polls means a systematic lie can turn into reality.

What this means for the outcome of the 2019 presidential election is anybody’s guess.  Internal polls conducted by political parties, which are not used to sway public opinion but rather give candidates a more realistic sense of their chances of winning, are showing that Jokowi’s popularity has been on a steady decline over the past few months and the gap between the president and Prabowo are in single digits.  Those same polls are also revealing that as much as forty percent of the electorate could swing in either direction on election day.   Crooked polls or not, Jokowi could easily find himself out of a job in 2019.

For future elections, there is an urgency for the Indonesian government to oversee the activities of polling companies to ensure they behave in a more ethical manner.  Until now, these opinion shapers have acted with impunity in spite of the injuries they inflict on our electoral democracy.  In an age where even the slightest insult or criticism against politicians can be twisted to be portrayed as a hoax or slander with potential legal consequences, surely pollsters should be held accountable, preferably to an even higher standard than the average citizen.  If not, then our elections will continue to be tainted by lies fabricated to masquerade as the truth—the very definition of a hoax itself.

Part I: Rememberance event in Bali for Indonesian feminist writer N.H. Dini

N.H.Dini at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. (photo: The Ubud Writer Festival Doc.)

IO – Was N.H Dini a feminist writer? Wikipedia describes her as one but Mirta Kartohadiprodjo, CEO of Femi­na, Gadis and Ayahbunda Indonesia’s foremost national women’s magazines and director Widarti Djajadisastra dis­agree, “Oh no, we would not call her a feminist. Not in this day and age. She was not militant enough. No bra burning demonstrations etc. Nothing like that.”

“When I first met her, with her hair in a konde (chignon) and dressed very conservatively, she looked like a contented housewife; not at all as you would imagine a feminist,” added Mir­ta Kartohadiprodhjo.

Dini’s close friend and neighbor, Sulis Bambang supports their view, “Dini would have agreed with them. She always said that she was not a feminist. She liked to dance, to paint, to garden, to write, to cook and to em­broider. She just felt that as a woman she should support other women.”

However, Dini’s daughter Marie Claire Lintang who came to Indonesia to teach in Bandung so that she could be closer to her mother, did not agree, “Of course my mother was a feminist. She was really pro-women. My moth­er was always for the underdog and she did not want one part of humanity lording it over the other part. That’s why she also supported the environ­ment – from saving turtles to support­ing elephant relocation in Sumatra.”

At one point, Dini’s father passed away and her mother had to try to make ends meet on her own by cre­ating batiks. It was difficult for her mother to find the means to survive the family of five children and it was perhaps this experience that gave Dini such insight and empathy for the poor and the down trodden. This empathy for the underdog was extremely strong and remained with Dini all her life. It emerges in her novels about social issues such as Orang-Orang Tran or “Tran People”, Tanah Baru or “New Land” and Tanah Air Kedua or “Sec­ond Homeland”.

So, who was right? The definition of a feminist changes with time and is different in different eras. In the 19th century Kartini was a feminist who fought for education for women. At the beginning of the Suharto era Dini was a feminist in that she was one of the first women to write openly about love both from an emotional as well as a sexual perspective. “She was one of the first in Indonesia to write about sex outside the marriage,” commented Widarti Dajajsastra who also lectures in modern Indonesian literature at the University of Indonesia. “When Dini began publishing during the Suharto government, it was a new era. Suhar­to had shut down Lekra or Lembaga Kebudajaan Rakjat, the literary and social movement associated with the Indonesian Communist Party and we needed new reading material for wom­en. It is when Femina, the first new women’s magazine at that time be­gan to be published. Dini was part of that wave of new women writers and also wrote articles for Femina. Her first article appeared in its second edition. She also wrote in the two main literary journals of that time: Horison and Sastra and I made my students read her books.”

Suzanty Sitorus a feminist, envi­ronmentalist and food sustainability activist is of the opinion that Dini made independent decisions and was prepared to confront the prevail­ing views at the time. She believes that Dini had the attitude of a femi­nist although she expressed it more in her personal life rather than fight­ing for things politically. Now-a-days she would be called a soft feminist. Meanwhile, Oka Rusmini the Bali­nese feminist writer of Tarian Bumi or “Earth Dance” remarked, “Dini gave Indonesian women a new discourse on marriage and their relationship to men. Her book “Once on a Ship” will continue to help regenerate Indone­sian women.”

Dini was born in a leap year on the 29th of Februaury 1936 in Semarang with the name Nurhayati Srihardini Siti Nukatin. Later when she started writing she took the pen name N.H. Dini. Her friends called her Dini and one thing that everyone who knew her seems in agreement on is that Dini was a strong, independent thinking woman. She followed her own drum­mer. Love was one of the most import­ant themes in her novels. In her first novel “Once on a Ship” she describes the various male admirers of the her­oine, Sri who is unhappily married to a French diplomat and how she ends up falling in love with a sea captain. The story reflected Dini’s own life al­though Sri’s character is according to Dini’s friends a composite character Dini created by combining the per­sonalities of four women one of whom is Bualantrisna Djelantik. Other nov­els of that genre by Dini were “La Bar­ka” and Istri Konsul or the “Consul’s Wife”. “I don’t know who the other two women were that made up Sri’s com­posite character but Dini took my ex­periences as a dancer and used them in “Once on a Ship”. In another novel she used my divorce and then created a new personality quite independent of me who was bitter about men and kept marrying and divorcing them as a sort of revenge,” explained Bulan­trisna with a laugh, “That part was her own creation.”

Dini went where she found love without any thought for conventions (at the time marriage to a foreigner was still disapproved of by many Indonesians) and when love was no longer there she also left without worrying about the conventions or opinions of others, She divorced her husband and returned to Indonesia at a time this was still frowned upon in Indonesian society. In “Once on a Ship” the heroine had an affair when she was still married. “That was based on real life,” explained Su­lis. “Dini met a ship’s captain. His name was Maurice a n d she fell in love with him. She was already separated from her French husband but not yet divorced. She and Mau­rice were to be married but then he died in an accident. I never asked her about him and she never spoke about him except by accident in passing but I surmised that she had two great tragedies in love: the failed love of her marriage and the death of Maurice.”

That may have been the case nev­ertheless despite that, Dini seems to have created a life that brought her much satisfaction and enjoyment. Later in the evening Dini’s daughter Marie Claire Lintang Simonetti said that she wanted her mother to be re­membered for her strength. She add­ed, “My mother was an accomplished dancer and a talented painter and she created beautiful embroideries. I remember how she gave dance les­sons when we lived in the Philippines. And she could take any plot of land and turn it into heaven. She spoke to plants and they responded. It is this creative force that we are celebrating tonight!”

Mirta Kartohadiprodjo spoke about Dini’s book Amir Hamzah, Pangeran Seberang or “Amir Hamzah, the Prince from Across the Sea” which her Gaya Favorit Press published. “My mother Soegiarti was close friends with Maria Ulfah Soebadio Sastrosatomo (the first Indonesian woman to receive a law degree and to become a cabinet minister) and the love of Amir Hamzah’s life, Ilik Soendari. All three ladies were part of the nationalists’ movement who at the time could only speak Javanese and Dutch. After the Sumpah Pemuda or Youth Pledge of 1928 (see: ) however, they were all determined to learn Indonesian. Ilik Soendari introduced Maria Ulfah to Amir Hamzah and they both received Indonesian lessons from him whereas my mother took Indonesian lessons with my father (see: ). Ilik Soendari and my mother passed away survived by Maria Ulfah. One day in her old age Maria Ulfah told me about the story of Ilik Soedari and Amir Hamzah. She said that the story of Indonesia’s greatest poet would make a wonderful book and that I should publish it (see: ). So, I contacted Mbak Dini and asked her to write the book. It was different from her usual novels in the sense that it was a historical biography and I felt that she wrote it very well.”

The Rejang Santi dance choreographed and led by Bulantrisna Djelantik (centre), a very close
friend of N.H. Dini. (photo: IO/Tamalia)

N.H. Dini’s remembrance gathering was held on the 28th of February on the lush green lawns of the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel in Kuta, Bali which with its Balinese style candi bentur gates facing the vast eternal blue of the sea and the sky created a very fitting setting, almost as if one could walk straight to paradise through them. The event began with the “Rejang Santi” dance choreographed by Dr Bulantrisna Djelantik of the Karangasam royal family who was extremely close to N.H. Dini during her lifetime. They were both dancers and independent highly creative women who seemed to have shared a similar outlook on the relations between men and women “This dance,” explained Bulantrisna “was inspired by the Karangasam Rejang. Every village in Karangasam has a variation on this dance. It is a communal dance performed at the village pura or temple and it is performed for peace and healing and to ward off evil. I have in a way secularized it a little for today but it fits as we ask for blessings from the sky and the earth and above all we pray for N.H. Dini.” (Tamalia Alisjahbana)

Indonesian Women Artists art exhibition: Into the Future

Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf) Head Triawan Munaf gave the opening speech in during the opening of the Indonesian Women Artists: Into the Future event in Galeri Nasional, North Jakarta. (photo: IO/Aldo)

IO – Awareness in synergizing art, technology and science has become an attraction as well as the strength of the exhibition of Indonesian Women Artist (IWA) entitled “Into the Future”, which takes place at Building A National Gallery Indonesia, Jakarta, from February 26 to March 16. This exhibition will showcase the latest works from 21 female artists, representing Jakarta, Bandung and Yogyakarta. A total of 21 installation and mixed media works will be displayed in the IWA 2019 exhibition, ranging from linocut, textile, photography, glass, gauze, ceramics, watercolor, iron plates, to tree branches.

The works in this exhibition were also present through video art, sound art, LED light, photo media, and coding to the use of bacteria, such as Acetobacter xylinum and bacterial flowers from female genitalia as part of the artist’s working concept. The IWA 2019 exhibition was initiated by Cemara 6 Museum-Gallery in collaboration with the National Gallery of Indonesia, curated by Carla Bianpoen and Citra Smara Dewi and received full support from the Creative Economy Agency (BEKRAF). In this exhibition IWA 2019 will also be launched, which contains a profile of 21 contemporary Indonesian artists, works, work concepts, and achievements, including the selection of artists based on the concept of work “Out of the Box” with a very strong spirit of work.

“Of the 21 artists aged 21 to 48 years, we see the concept of work and the medium used. Not only 2D dimensions but they use mind power and skill,” said curator of the exhibition Carla Bianpoen at the National Gallery of Indonesia.

In his curatorial Carla Bianpoen, female spirit or “female spirit” which emphasizes sense and “sensitivity” that are typical of women, is the power of the 2019 IWA Exhibition. Technology is growing rapidly, new discoveries of science enrich life today, and “female spirits” is making a breakthrough that can’t be detained anymore.

All of that, opens up challenges and possibilities as well as new ways in contemporary art that create “Art of Another Kind”. “The Indonesian Women Artists exhibition: Into the Future signifies the direction of the work of art in the future, where female spirits become prima donna in determining new art, or contemporary art or we can call Now Art,” said Carla Bianpoen.

Head of the Indonesian National Gallery, Pustanto, said that the exhibition, which was also equipped with a book launch on Indonesian female artists, not only presented their beautiful works to be accessed and enjoyed by the public, but also as a recognition of the existence and contributions of the artists in history. the development of Indonesian art.

As a series of activities there will also be a public education program, in the form of book surgery, on Friday (1/3), presenting speakers Prof. Melani Budianta, Carla Bianpoen, and Aprina Murwanti, as well as moderator Debra Yatim. There is also an Art Talk with the theme “Art, Science and Technology”, on Saturday (9/3) with speakers Prof. Ign Bambang Sugiarto, Carla Bianpoen, Irene Agrivina, Etza Meisyara, and Andrita Yuniza Orbandi, with the moderator Citra Smara Dewi. Then the curator tour will be held twice during the exhibition, namely on March 2 and 9, guided by curator Carla Bianpoen and Citra Smara Dewi. There was also a discussion with the theme “Fine Art, Intellectual Property, and Creative Economy”, on Thursday (3/14).

In this art performance the Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf) supports the national creative industry, one of which Bekraf supports the launch of the Indonesian Book of Women Artists: Into The Future. There are new things presented at the exhibition this time, the female artists who participated in the exhibition have not all had long experience in the field of Indonesian art, but at the same time this is also the beginning for the artists to be more accomplished in the future. which will come.

“Bekraf is proud of the recent increased interest of female artists with various touches of beauty along with critical and innovative thinking, this is an appreciation and acknowledgement for all women for their dedication to Indonesian art and culture. “This activity proves that Indonesian women also have a touch of fine art in real life with a vision to respond to the challenges of the present,” said Head of Bekraf, Triawan Munaf, in his remarks.

The birth of the Indonesian Women Artists book: Into The Future is inseparable from the ideas of Indonesian women artists and humanists because since 2007, when the book was launched on Indonesian Artists, The Curtain Opens at GNI, there was no writing or publishing about the role of female artists. While the existence of Indonesian female artists has been recognized and has a significant role in the development of contemporary art, both national, regional and international. The purpose of the publication of this book is to complete information about the history of the world of art, especially the role of Indonesian women in developing the world of art in the country. Indonesian Women Artists book: Into The Future can also be used as a reference in knowing the progress of Indonesian female artists.

“The effort to publish this book can be a reference for art activists and other creative actors to document achievements in accordance to their respective sub-sectors. We believe that books are references that mirror the future. Through the publication of Indonesian Women Artists: Into The Future, this will be a publication of the progress of Indonesian female artists and can become a reference for research on the development of Indonesian art, “Triawan Munaf concluded. (Aldo)

Wonderful Lake Sentani

Not just a source of water, Sentani Lake is also a tourist spot in Jayapura. (photo: IO/Prive. Doc)

IO – Visiting the land of Papua is a tourist trip that is definitely desirable for every tourist both local and foreign. This island in the easternmost region of Indonesia has all the natural beauty that is still intact for you to explore. Mainland and underwater natural areas have become a paradise for nature lovers. Not only is the nature rich, Papua also saves the wisdom of local culture that still survives in today’s modern era. Exploring Papua will certainly be an interesting experience for you when traveling in this region.

Sentani Lake in Papua is a lake that is not only used as a source of water but also as a tourist place in Jayapura. Lake Sentani is the largest lake in Papua with an area of ​​9,360 hectares, located at an altitude of 85 meters above sea level and about 75 meters deep. Lake Sentani is also a unique lake, and the only lake formed by tectonic activity in the form of landslides and dams.

The meaning behind the name Sentani is said to be a hope for Papuans in particular, and Indonesia in general. The name Sentani means “here we live peacefully”. The name of the cantic lake was first pinned by a Christian Pastor BL Bin in 1898. The meaning stored behind the name Sentani does indeed bring a message of peace that should be applicable in all areas of life. Both in Papua and in Indonesia.

Danau (Lake) Sentani Jayapura has 22 small islands scattered around the lake. Some of these islands are even used as Jayapura tourist destinations. One of the most famous is the island of Asei, an island that is believed to be part of the dragon’s body. Even the local residents believe that they are the descendants from ancestors riding the dragon. Bark bark is one of the typical of Asei. This art is the original art of the Asei people and has been famous throughout Indonesia and even the world.

Our initial journey starts from the Kalkothe ​​pier in Sentani Timur, then the local guide will took us along the lake by boat and stopped at one of the islands. My friends and I stop at the nearest Asei Island or Ayapo. Before stopping on the island we were invited to tour the lake, look closely at the lives of local residents with houses on the water whilst looking at the surrounding scenery.

Local residents have been waiting for their wares in the form of paintings and crafts from bark. The price is varied, small paintings start at Rp. 75,000. The price they offer to tourists is negotiable but not too cheap. The paintings on average are of birds of paradise, tifa, honai, which are typical ornaments of Papua. The ones who paint are generally big men and boys, while the ones who are coloring are mama-mama(the women). The coloring is natural: red from the ground, black from the cauldron, white from lime, yellow from turmeric. So if you come here, you may want to buy the craft as a souvenir, calculate to share the sustenance with the people of Sentani.

Lake Sentani is a lake that is rich in natural beauty and its uniqueness has several endemic species that are only in the center. Their strong cultural values make us aware that Indonesia has a lot of natural and cultural wealth. No need to worry about visiting the East, you can have numerous experiences that you won’t usually get  when visiting Java. So, you must travel as far as you can. (Mahrayuni)


A sea of santri welcome Prabowo to Membaul Ulum Pesantren, Bata-Bata, Pamekasan (26/02). (photo: IO/ARP)

IO – In the last week of February 2019, presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto carried out a campaign tour, meeting voters on three islands, visiting Medan, North Sumatra on Friday-Saturday (22-23/2), Pamengkasan and Sampang in Madura Island (26/2), and finally Yogyakarta (27/2).

During his visit to Medan on Friday night, Prabowo attended a meet and greet event with national figures, businesspeople, and Indonesians of Chinese ancestry in the Selectra Royal Ballroom, Medan. In the morning, the Great Movement Party (Gerindra) Chairman was greeted by thousands of older women in the Regale International Convention Center. Thousands of Prabowo’s supporters and volunteers had arrived since the morning and had filled up the arena.

The grand meet and greet had the theme “North Sumatra’s Enthusiasm for Prabowo-Sandi to Build a Civilized Democracy to a Victorious Indonesia”. In his speech, Prabowo called for the return of Indonesia’s honor. “Our people cannot be lied to again. We must be prosperous because prosperity must be felt by all of Indonesia’s people,” said Prabowo. “We will take back Indonesia’s riches, we will take back independence, we will take back Indonesia’s honor. I am sure together with you we can.”

In Madura, on Tuesday (26/2), just as Prabowo stepped out of a helicopter in the Public High School 3’s (SMA 3) field in Jalan Pintu Gerband, Pamekasan, he was greeted with shouts of “Allāhu akbar”. The people’s enthusiasm roared as throughout 7 km, residents filled the streets. Supporters were standing at the side of the road to cheer Prabowo passing by.

Prabowo closed the series of events in Madura by attending the Haul Akbar Masyayikh and Habaib in Mbak Tutut Field, Lengser, Camplong, Sampang, Tuesday night. On top the stage and in front of thousands of residents, Prabowo thanked the Pamekasan people for their extraordinary greeting. “Thank you to all the Pamekasan people. Thank you for the extraordinary greeting,” he said. In his 15-minute speech, Prabowo stated that he came to the pesantren to ask for prayers from the ulama, kyai, ustād, and santri, but not for his campaign.

In the next province, shouts of “Allāhu akbar” and “Prabowo Presiden” echoed throughout the Grand Pacific Hall in Sleman on Wednesday (27/2/2019) afternoon. In his speech, Prabowo promised to improve the prosperously of government employees, judges, prosecutors, police, and soldiers. “We will fix it, so they have honor; they will not want and not be allowed to be bribed by anyone.”

Prabowo then stated what he thought was the key to successfully running the nation: sustainable food, energy, and clean water. Prabowo stressed in his speech that the key to managing the economy was that government managers must not look for personal benefit.

Wherever Prabowo went, a sea of people was always there to greet him. This was a clear sign that the people are longing for a leader that cares for the people’s interests and needs. For a leader that gives hope. (Esti)

The santri want a new president. (photo: IO/ARP)
Prabowo attends a grand gathering of his supporters in the Regale International Convention Center, Medan, North Sumatra. (photo: IO/ARP)
Prabowo meets with Medan locals. (photo: IO/ARP)