Commitment is about doing whatever it takes.—Anonymous

Council rejects Transjakarta price hike plan

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ikram Putra
The Jakarta Post/Jakarta

The newly-elected members of the Jakarta Transportation Council rejected the planned Transjakarta fare increase set for Jan. 1, 2008, a press conference revealed Saturday.

Head of the council Edi Toet Hendratno said before the city administration raised the fare, it should first do an assessment to see whether there was a real need for the increase.

“We would thus know whether or not the bus operators are suffering losses,” said Edi, also rector of Pancasila University in Jakarta.

In early December the city administration drew up a plan to increase busway fares. It cited the expansion of the busway system from 99 to 170 kilometers as the main reason.

Another reason was an anticipated reduction in the city’s subsidy for Transjakarta operations.

Haryasetyaka Dillon of both the Jakarta Transportation Council and the Urban and Regional Development Institute said raising the fare was not a simple matter.

“It is true the addition of kilometers and corridors would increase Transjakarta’s operational cost. On the other hand, the revenue from (increased) ticket sales would also increase,” he said.

The council also criticized Transjakarta’s poor customer service, citing a report by the Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) showing most busway users still unsatisfied with the service.

“They should improve services first before asking for a fare raise,” said council member Tubagus Haryo Karbyanto.

The council also suggested an integrated service between trains and buses to overcome the city’s severe traffic congestion.

Bambang Pujantiyo, another council member, said the existing physical infrastructure was an asset to developing integrated transportation between trains operated by state-owned PT. Kereta Api (PT KAI) Indonesia and Transjakarta. Most commuters from Tangerang, Depok, and Bekasi still depend on PT KAI’s lines.

Bambang said Transjakarta should build a special route for train users, making travel from train stations to Transjakarta stations comfortable and efficient.

“For example, make a special route that only serves Blok M-Dukuh Atas shelter, to serve people who use the Ciliwung Blue Line train,” he said.

The Ciliwung Blue Line is a new train service from PT KAI which runs a circular route serving North, South, East and Central Jakarta.

It stops at stations such as Manggarai, Sudirman, Karet, Tanah Abang, Duri, Angke, Kampung Bandan, Kemayoran, Pasar Senen, Kramat Sentiong and Jatinegara.

Besides the Ciliwung line, this year PT KAI has gradually prepared an expansion of its services from the suburbs to the capital.

The air-conditioned, economy train Ciujung, which runs a route between Serpong (Tangerang) and Tanah Abang, was launched in July.

PT KAI is also scheduled to launch another air-conditioned, economy class train traveling between Depok and Manggarai on Jan. 3, next year.

Bambang Pujantiyo said he was hopeful that if trains and Transjakarta services were integrated, people would leave their private cars and use public transportation.

“And when people start using public transportation instead of their own cars, the traffic will no longer be congested,” he said.

Bullying case closed, all parties happy with verdict

Friday, December 28, 2007

Ikram Putra
The Jakarta Post/Depok, West Java

A bullying case that has caught nationwide attention was closed, Thursday, with a verdict that satisfied parents, defendants and the plaintiff.

“What you did was wrong and intolerable,” said Justice Zainuddin, reading the verdict.

“You are punished so that you will learn that what you did was wrong.”

The defendants, five young students, were gazing at their shoes. They looked tense and so did their parents.

“Considering the good attitudes you have shown during the court sessions, and your promise not to repeat the wrongdoing, and most importantly the good relations you’ve built with the victim, I hereby sentence all of you to one month and 15 days,” said Justice Zainuddin.

The five boys and their parents looked relieved; the sentence meant the boys could go home Thursday at midnight because it corresponded to the amount of time they had already spent in detention.

“Son, be grateful to God and kiss the earth,” ordered a mother. Three of the convicts then kissed the earth for about half a minute while the other two said prayers vaguely.

“I am so happy my son is coming back home,” said Irsal Salim, father of Ernes Sebastian, who spent almost every night at the police station looking after his son.

Outside the court, Herry S. Sirath, father of injured boy Muhammad Fadhil Harkaputra, said he was satisfied with the decision.

“It doesn’t matter how long the sentence is. I am just protecting my son anyway, not looking for trouble,” he said.

An activist at the National Commission for Child Protection, however, was not happy.

Arist Merdeka Sirait said the decision failed to recognize the spirit of child protection, as the judge did not rehabilitate the convicts’ names.

“Their criminal status can be a burden for them one day. They will not be able to apply for certain jobs in the government, for example,” he said.

“They should be rehabilitated. We must bear in mind that these kids were once victims, too.”

Justice Zainuddin said it was not his prerogative to grant rehabilitation, but the President’s.

However, one of the parents, Irsal Salim, said he was not thinking about restoring his child’s good name. “My son is coming home. That’s the most important thing for me right now.”

The convicts were students of State High School No. 34 in South Jakarta.

On Aug. 17, Welly Dani Permana, Denny Agusman, Jevenson Davied Sihombing, Ernes Hasiholan Sebastian, and Dwi Fajar Novianto slapped some tenth-grade students in a yard in Cinere, Depok, West Java.

One of the juniors, Fadhil, was kicked five times and had his arm broken.

The beating was part of a long-standing tradition undergone by new members to join the high school gang “Gazper”.

On Nov. 8, Fadhil and his father reported the incident to the police.

The case received nationwide media attention and seminars were held on bullying among school children. Experts opined that Fadhil’s experience was not an exception but increasingly a rule in contemporary school life.

The case also caught the attention of children’s right activists, who demanded more sensitive legal procedures to protect the rights of underage defendants.

Ke Pernikahan Tyas - Rizki

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Saya bertemu Alfonso dan Obigesto (dua teman saya yang sok artis) di Cilandak Town Square pada Sabtu (15/12) siang. Kami bertiga hendak pergi ke pesta resepsi pernikahan dua orang teman; Tyas Apsari dan Danang Rizki Ginanjar.

Mereka pasangan serasi yang memadu kasih (aih aih...) sejak 2003.

Dengan taksi bertarif lama dan bersupir lumayan gaul, kami berangkat menembus kemacetan Jakarta menuju Kelapa Gading, tempat resepsi dilangsungkan.

Sampai di dalam, kami memutuskan langsung makan soalnya antrian orang salaman sangatlah panjang. Tapi ternyata ketemu banyaak sekali kawan lama. Akhirnya tidak terlalu fokus pada makanan tapi malah ngobrol. Begitu antrian sudah lumayan pendek, kami pun naik ke pelaminan.

Tapi sebelumnya foto-foto dulu dong ya kan.

(Bertemu Lucky Luqman untuk pertama kali)

Di atas pelaminan kami menyalami sang pengantin baru. Rizki kalau kata saya sih wajahnya biasa-biasa saja sementara Tyas cantik sekali. Ini saya berkata jujur loh, tanpa bermaksud menyinggung pihak manapun *apalagi sang suami.

Begitupun, ada yang sama antara mereka. Sama-sama terlihat bahagia dan terlihat lega. Rizki terlihat sumringah terus tetapi bukankah dia memang doyan nyengir? Hahaha. Sedangkan Tyas berjalan lambat sekali seperti pengantin betulan.

Ini foto mereka di atas pelaminan:

Dan ini mereka pas acara sudah selesai. Mohon maaf, tolong abaikan saja makhluk yang nyempil di tengah itu :P

Tyas, Rizki, sekali lagi selamat ya! Semoga rumahtangga kalian selalu diwarnai cinta dan kasih sayang! Dan doakan kami, pembaca blog ini, juga dong supaya cepat menyusul (amiiiin...!)

Kok ada yang bilang "amin" dengan sepenuh hati gitu? Hehehehe.

Innocent attitude sees Mirza through

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ikram Putra
The Jakarta Post/Jakarta

Hady Mirza said he could not believe it when he was named the first Asian Idol.

The audience of more than 5,000 at the Jakarta International Expo Kemayoran building in Central Jakarta – and the millions of other people huddled around their TVs in the six countries where the show was aired live – witnessed 27-year-old Mirza being crowned the first Asian Idol on Sunday.

Mirza, the 2006 Singapore Idol, secured the most SMS votes, beating out Indian Abhijeet Sawant, Malaysian Jaclyn Victor, Filipina Mau Marcello, Vietnamese Phuong Vy and Indonesian Mike Mohede.

None of the judges predicted Mirza would emerge the winner, assuming the Indian and Indonesian Idols would get more votes, because they come from countries with much higher populations.

Mirza got SMS votes from nearly all six countries.

Marcello, Victor or Mike had been tipped to win because of their refined vocal techniques.

But after Mirza sang Berserah (Submission), which was popularized by his predecessor Singapore Idol Taufik Batisah, many said he had won over the audience.

Shortly after the announcement was made Sunday night, emotions ran high and Mirza suddenly dropped to his knees, covering his face with his hands for a few seconds before his rivals lifted him up.

“I never thought about that (the win). Not even for a second,” Mirza said during a press conference after the show.

“I just came here to sing with these guys.”

To the surprise of many, Mirza won Singapore Idol on Sept. 25 last year, with more than 70 percent of the vote.

His debut album achieved platinum status within four days – it only takes 150,000 copies to go platinum in Singapore due to its small population.

He was also named the “Most Popular Artist” at the Anugerah Planet Muzik 2007.

“Well I don’t know, everybody says I deserve this and that but I guess what’s more important is the heart that you have,” he told The Jakarta Post.

“Up until now I still can’t believe I made these all because all I know is I am just doing my part.”

Anu Malik, one of the six judges, said Mirza’s strength lies in his attitude, which somehow drives people to vote for him.

“When he sings, he really does sing. He doesn’t care whether he wins or loses. Maybe because he already knew he couldn’t win,” he said.

“He doesn’t even look at us judges and I like that,” said the Indian judge at the press conference.

Paul Moss of Malaysia said the results were a reflection of public opinion. “You cannot reject that,” said Moss, who once said Mirza was too good-looking to sing a U2 song.

Malik pointed out that besides having a good voice and a bit of luck, Mirza won because he was determined to win. “When it has to happen, it happens.”

As judge Pilita Corrales of the Philippines put it, “God works in some miraculous ways.”

Journalists, comedians rally to support friend

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ikram Putra
The Jakarta Post/Depok

More than 50 journalists and television personalities packed into Depok District Court on Wednesday to offer their support to a journalist charged with slandering state prosecutors in an opinion article.

In an earlier court session, prosecutors sought an eight-month jail term for former Tempo magazine journalist Bersihar Lubis.

“There is quite a team gathered here today, unlike in previous sessions,” presiding judge Suwidya said in court Wednesday.

Bersihar, who represented himself in an earlier six sessions, was accompanied by a team of lawyers from the Legal Aid Institute for the Press (LBH Pers).

“I don’t understand the legal system as well as I understand journalism,” Bersihar said.

Senior journalist Fikri Jufri and actors from the political satire Republik Mimpi were among those in attendance.

Bersihar was charged with insulting the Attorney General’s Office in an opinion article published in the Koran Tempo daily on March 17.

The article, titled “The tale of an idiot prosecutor”, criticized a ban on several history books issued by the prosecutor’s office on March 5.

The textbooks refer to the foiled 1965 coup attempt as G30S rather than G30S/PKI, which is the officially preferred acronym for the Sept. 30 Movement/the Indonesian Communist Party.

In his article, Bersihar said several authors had questioned the New Order government’s claims regarding the PKI’s role in the coup.

Bersihar also quoted Joesoef Ishak, the publisher of Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s works.

“I was tortured by the idiocy of prosecutors and they had been tortured by the idiocy of their bosses,” the quote read.

Pramoedya was imprisoned for a period of time during the Soeharto administration for supporting the now-banned communist party, despite the fact this could not be proved in court.

Bersihar has maintained he is innocent of the charges filed against him as he has the Constitutional right to express his opinions.

“Charge me with violating the Press law, not the Criminal Code. Anyway, it was up to the editors of Koran Tempo to decide whether or not to publish my article so they could also be involved in this case.”

In court, Tikyono said the case had nothing to do with the Press Law as the alleged wrongdoing was committed by an individual and not a media company.

Bersihar’s lawyers asked the judges for more time so as they could draft a written argument. They said their client was yet to receive all of the relevant court documents, including the prosecutor’s dossier.

As the prosecution team had no objections to the request, the panel of judges agreed to adjourn the trial until Jan. 9.

The judges said they would deliver their verdict after the defendant submitted his final argument.

“No one can interfere with our decision, not even the ‘Vice President’,” judge Suwidya said, referring to comedian Jarwo Kuat who impersonates Vice President Jusuf Kalla in Republik Mimpi.

Team says it takes a city to fight floods

Friday, December 07, 2007

Ikram Putra and Mustaqim Adamrah
The Jakarta Post/Jakarta/Depok

A special flood mitigation team says the community has a major role to play in lessening the impact of flooding in the city.

"People must learn where they should keep their valuables, or where they should evacuate when flooding does occur," the institutional communications specialist of the Netherlands-based Jakarta Flood Team, Darismanto, said Thursday.

"People need to play an active role in mitigating floods. They must also know children's safety comes first before they save others," he said.

The team met with administration officials at City Hall to discuss strategies for curbing flood risks.

An engineer with the team, R. Van Nes, said the administration needed to work on getting out early flood warnings to residents.

"The administration should tell the people to prepare medicines, drinks and clean water in advance," he said. "They may already know about this but we need to remind them."

He also warned of future tides higher than the ones on Nov. 26 that resulted in major flooding in North Jakarta.

Jakarta's crisis center also warned that Penjaringan and Pluit subdistricts in North Jakarta would be threatened by high tides between Dec. 8 and 12, and Dec. 20 and 25.

The administration can also help reduce the impact of floods by revitalizing water catchment areas and waterways in the city, said Van Nes.

The administration, he said, can simply clean the rivers of waste to restore their function.

"Such efforts may overcome half of the flood problems," he said.

He said the administration should also cooperate with neighboring administrations in Greater Jakarta and with the central government.

Governor Fauzi Bowo has met with the governor of neighboring Banten, Ratu Atut Chosiyah, to try and put together a plan on revitalizing water catchment areas along the border between the two provinces.

The Jakarta administration granted Banten Rp 5 billion (US$537.63 million) for the joint plan.

Fauzi also has met with Depok Mayor Nur Mahmudi Ismail to assemble a team tasked with tackling a number of common issues, including floods.

"The team will give suggestions on issues involving both administrations," Fauzi said Wednesday.

He said both Depok and Jakarta faced similar issues like floods and traffic congestion that needed to be addressed through cooperation between the administrations.

"I've learned Depok has numerous water catchment areas that could help us mitigated floods in Jakarta," said Fauzi.

"It would be great, I can say, if we could make the water heading to Jakarta run slower."

Mayor Nur said his administration had asked for Rp 300 billion from the central government to revitalize 30 man-made lakes in Depok.

"We're also planning to build a small dam on Ciliwung River to catch more water. But the available budget will depend on the central government," he said.

Journalists demand apology from police

Thursday, December 06, 2007

DEPOK: A workgroup of journalists has demanded that Depok Police chief Sr. Comr. Imam Pramukarno apologize for intimidating three of its members at work.

"He should have given them access to information, instead of intimidating or restraining them," group head Mirmo Saptomo said Wednesday.

He said intimidation was contrary to Indonesia's law on the press providing that journalists have a right to seek, gather, and publish information and ideas.

The incident occurred when three journalists were covering a church service at a shopping mall last Friday. An unidentified group of people later forced the service to dismiss, claiming it was unauthorized. A clash was believed imminent at the time police arrived.

Pramukarno ordered photojournalist Muftia Ridwan of Monitor Depok daily and cameraman Parulian Panggabean of Lativi to destroy images they had captured.

When the journalists refused, Pramukarno threatened them with "trouble" if they disseminated the images.

Attempts to reach Pramukarno for comment were not successful. – JP

Pejabat Tak Tahu Arti Korupsi

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Seorang pejabat pemerintahan kota Depok mengajak saya menjadi pegawai negeri sipil.

“Masuk sini saja. Panjangkan janggut itu sedikit, ikut arus,” kata dia.

(Ikut arus artinya menyesuaikan diri dengan Walikota Depok saat ini; Nur Mahmudi Ismail. Dia maju dengan dukungan Partai Keadilan Sejahtera, partai yang berusaha menegakkan nilai-nilai Islam termasuk sunnah rasul memanjangkan janggut bagi laki-laki)

Awalnya saya datang ke kantornya untuk wawancara. Keperluan kantor. Selepas itu waktunya bincang-bincang santai. Buku catatan dan pulpen saya simpan tas. Tapi melihat dia terus-terusan merokok di ruangan dingin itu, saya pun mengeluarkan sebungkus rokok.

Dua alasan. Pertama, jadi perokok pasif itu lebih berbahaya bagi kesehatan. Kedua, saya kan juga pengen gantian menghembuskan asap ke arah dia.

Ngobrol ngobrol ngobrol. Sampai di satu titik, pembicaraan kami sampailah ke soal perbaikan negeri ini. Dia mengungkapkan keheranannya tentang betapa mudahnya orang menyalah-nyalahkan pemerintah. “Padahal kalau mau bikin perubahan, bikinlah dari dalam,” katanya.

“Kamu masih muda. Daripada kamu mengkritisi dari luar terus seperti ini, kenapa nggak coba perbaiki dari dalam?”

Masalahnya bagi saya adalah, masuk ke dalam berarti berkubang bersama orang-orang yang kita ingin ubah. Sedangkan saya tidak punya pendirian yang cukup teguh untuk memegang prinsip. Mudah terbawa lingkungan, mudah hanyut dibawa arus.

Padahal pasti akan selalu ada nilai-nilai yang harus dikompromikan. Misalnya seperti memanjangkan janggut itu tadi?

Baru hendak masuk saja sudah harus kompromi bagaimana nanti.

Saya rasa tak akan cukup tenaga saya untuk terus berkompromi. Apalagi saya sudah patah hati dengan ungkapan “mencoba memperbaiki dari dalam” sewaktu dulu ketar-ketir memutuskan bergabung dengan himpunan atau tidak. Hasilnya? Cukup sekali deh.

Saya lalu bilang kepada dia bagaimana kalau kita “bermain peran” saja. Biarlah Abang di dalam saya di luar (oya, karena sudah santai saya panggil dia abang). Abang punya pencapaian saya tulis, abang korupsi saya tulis juga. Perbaikan akan jadi lebih bagus kalau dilakukan seperti itu bukan?

Dan di titik inilah tanggapan dia sungguh mengejutkan. “Apa sih korupsi itu?” dia bertanya.

“Memanfaatkan jabatan untuk memperkaya diri sendiri atau keluarga,”

“Sekarang kalau kita kerja capek-capek lalu ada yang memberi tanda terimakasih, masa’ kita tolak?”

“Sekarang kalau kita nggak pegang jabatan apa-apa, masa’ orang itu akan mau memberi?”

Mungkin kamu sudah bisa menebak letak kejutannya ya. Benar. Ternyata hari gini ada pejabat belum tahu apa definisi korupsi. Ternyata lagi, hari gini ada pejabat belum dengar kabar kalau gratifikasi punya pertalian darah dengan korupsi.

Bayangan saya akan pemberantasan korupsi di negeri ini makin suram saja. Sudahlah masih berjalan tebang pilih (akibat kompromi-kompromi yang terjadi di tingkat atas sana), ternyata Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi masih harus berhadapan dengan pejabat-pejabat yang kurang gaul semacam ini. Kasihan sekali.

Jadi ingat. Tanggal 20 November yang lalu Effendi Ghazali dan teman-temannya dari acara televisi “Republik Mimpi” datang ke SMA Madania, Parung. Di sana mereka bikin acara dan di tengah-tengah lawakan, mereka menyelipkan pesan-pesan anti korupsi. Tentunya setelah terlebih dahulu menjelaskan definisi korupsi dan saudara-saudaranya.

Saya kira Effendi dkk. perlu juga sesekali datang ke lingkungan pemerintahan untuk melakukan hal serupa.

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