I was hoping to have my ‘interview’ with Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, online today to coincide with his departure from Indonesia. However, that must wait as I’m busy preparing an anthology of Jakartass posts.
Through Nulis Buku, “Indonesia’s first online self-publishing / print on demand” host, I hope to have this completed within a week or so. If you are interested in a book for bedtime, or something to read in the ‘little room’, do email me.
Meanwhile, here are a few news snippets which have caught my eye.
1. Tommy Suharto, who served just five years of a 15-year sentence for ordering the murder of a Supreme Court judge, is suing the Indo Multi Media publication house for Rp.25 billion ($2.8 million) alleging that he lost business because an article in the Garuda Inflight magazine described him as a “convicted murderer”.
Given that he ordered the murder of the judge who had convicted him of corruption, and who stashed much of his ill-gotten wealth overseas, he is surely one of the most detested of the country’s élite classes.
The defense has “presented evidence to the judges that proves that the description was added by the English translator.” One may legitimately ask whether the phrase was in the original Indonesian version.
That Tommy has just lost a court case over unpaid tax debts of $136.8 million is also, to this correspondent, an indication of how petty minded he is.
3. Access to the internet has been truly appalling recently. So bad in fact, that I wonder if this 75 year old woman is to blame.
4. In contravention of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Ahmadiyya Muslims in Indonesia have been having a bad time recently.
Some nine months ago, the Southall branch (West London) of Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (AMA) began using messages on the side of London’s buses (picture) and distributing flyers promoting a message of “loyalty, freedom, equality, respect, peace.”
The president of the of AMA, Shaikh Latif ur Rahman, said: “The aim of the publicity campaign is to reassert the true principles of Islam and to counter the extremists who hijack the faith for political ends. By emphasising the values highlighted in this campaign we hope to facilitate a better understanding of Islam so that people can judge for themselves the actions of those who claim to speak and act in its good name. Islam stresses the promotion of peace in words and deeds.”
Amen to that.
5. Earlier this week Adventurous Kate got shipwrecked off Komodo Island.
Her account is very personal – she was extremely scared – but thankfully no-one suffered physical harm. As an encounter with what could have been a near death experience, a sense of proportion is required. Indonesia is not as dangerous a country to travel in as, say, the USA, where 40,000 people die every year in road accidents.
What adds insult to non-injury to Kate and her co-passengers is that once they’d been ‘rescued’ by another tour boat and recovered better spirits overnight, their crew went back to salvage what they could of the left-behind personal belongings.
Our salvaged luggage was brought to Labuan Bajo. Immediately, we went down to the pier to see if any of our belongings had survived. I was still praying for my passport.
And it was there. All three of my bags were there, and my passport was still snugly in my purse, albeit waterlogged! I kissed it. Unbelievably, my credit cards had survived as well.
But my happiness was short-lived – Our bags had been ransacked.
How did we know?
Zippers were unzipped – hidden, random, inner zippers – and valuables were taken out, the pockets were refilled with Anker beer cans and Ritz cracker tubes, and then they were zipped up again.
There is NO WAY the water did that.
Indeed, but why am I not surprised in the least?
6. Finally, here’s some good news – maybe.
Today, the House of Representatives passed the much-anticipated Immigration Bill into law.
This is good news for ‘Er Indoors, Our Kid and I as it gives me entitlement to a permanent residence permit assuming ‘Er Indoors sponsors me. We’ve been together for over 20 years, far longer than the two year minimum stated in the law.
The law now also allows “foreign spouses of Indonesian citizens” to work in the country. This, of course, I have been doing ever since I’ve been here, most recently under the aegis of Penabur BPK.
Once they finally settle with me as decreed by the Supreme Court, ‘Er Indoors, Our Kid and I can get on with the rest of our lives.