10 October 2010

Islamic law - whether it is about a choice

Before you continues to read this post, please read the brief history of Aceh, until Tsunami disaster happened and finally get a special autonomy right from Indonesian central government.

For years the Indonesian military has struggle to fight against what we call Gerakan Aceh Merdeka / GAM (English: Free Aceh Movement) who want to establish an Islamic state and impose Sharia law in Aceh province. This proves that Indonesia do not wanting Islamic state system because Indonesia is a country based on the laws (national law), democratic, consist of various ethnic groups, has 6 official religion, with national motto: Unity in diversity, not an Islamic state that implement Sharia law.

However, this war has caused many casualties and was not offering the civil order, harmony, and security for millions of civilians in Aceh. I say thousands of victims as a side effect of war, not just a matter of the position of a woman as reported by Jakarta Globe with the title "Women Unfit to Lead, says Acehnese District Council Chairman". And I quoted a paragraph below:
"According to Shariah, a woman is prohibited from becoming a leader. Ridwan said Anisah’s appointment as subdistrict chief in April had caused a rift in the community, with one side supporting her and the other against her".

Seemingly what was reported by the Jakarta Globe is to remind us (especially to Indonesian people outside Aceh) that if Islamic law applies, then this is the consequences that must be accepted. That was a good reminder I think.

A case will get different treatment depending on the context, degree, and its level. If we speak in a personal level, then the caning and the prohibition for women to be an official in Aceh province is pathetic. If we are talking in the context of state administration and law, then what happened in Aceh is a matter of choice. They have chosen Sharia law in Aceh province, not because of the Indonesian government. They have the right to choose Sharia law but those outside Aceh also have the right to reject the implementation of Sharia law. That woman are actually problems with the rules applicable there but she also have the option to live outside Aceh. I think this is a better solution to avoid more victims instead of continuing to impose our principles or belief.

The puzzle is: while they have the right to choose the Sharia law, then should the Indonesian military continue to eradicate their rights? If yes, then I am sure America will be screaming about human rights, while on the one side are also allergic to Islamic law.

Like China and Hong Kong - one country two systems, which it showing the eastern wisdom.

10 September 2010

Condemns the Koran burning plan

Terry Jones, a pastor who leads a tiny church called "The Dove World Outreach Center" in Gainesville, Florida, U.S. plans to burn copies of Koran on September 11, 2010, as reported on New York Times with the title: A Bonfire in Danger of Spreading. The reason of this action is to commemorate the event of terrorist attacks on 9/11. Gosh, for me it's really a crazy plan. I warn you that your plan, if it really happened, will spreading the new tensions around the world and very possibly this event (burns the Quran) could be used by extremists as a justification to act further. I also condemn the creator of a Facebook page titled "International Burn A Koran Day" and urge the owner of Facebook to aware and immediately remove such page because the contents of this page just showing emotional debate, hatred and also stupid.

Any negative actions will produce another negative reactions as opposed to you. If we really want to give a small contribution for peace and harmony, at least at around you, I think the best way that we can do is to calm the opposite reaction using a very simple way called "restrain ourselves to react negatively". Indeed a little thing but it will create an extraordinary effect if more and more people realize it. Just think of it before you really want to burn Koran (Quran).

Through this post I appeal to all Muslims, especially in Indonesia, not to be provoked by the plan of a handful irresponsible people in a tiny church to burns Koran (Quran). Let's just say they're looking for popularity because their church did not grow (according to the news their member only about 2-3 dozen).

As I read at VIVAnews, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has even wrote to Obama to ask the U.S. government to stop these plan. "This will threaten the world peace", he said. "In his letter, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wrote that, Indonesia and the U.S. has built the bridge for western world with Islam. If burning the Quran happened, all these efforts will be futile," said Presidential spokesman Teuku Faizasyah.

The U.S. government must take a clear action for the sake of their own interests and also the concerns of many people around the world. But I guessed that Terry Jones's action likely would be protected by the US constitution's right for the freedom of speech and the human rights. Oh my god, conflict with the freedom of speech and the human rights again? Ah... this prompted me to share my own principle with respect to both of these principles. About freedom of speech, I will says that we do not have absolute freedom of speech. And about human rights, I will says that please enjoy your human rights as long as not interfering the other human rights. Why? Because there is still a part of society who were not use the same approach (the same point of view) to understand and filtering the things with the same way as you are. So please use both of them wisely. Meanwhile, let's see what is really happened until the deadline.

Along with this post I want to say Happy Eid Ul Fitr 1431H to all Muslims. Please forgive any of my physical and emotional wrongdoings.

28 August 2010

Between logic and unlogic - science and faith

Maybe this post can be used as a reflections of how you deal with logic and faith (unlogic). After that, let people know what you think. Just see how you react to this post.If you're very religious people (almost fanatic) then I guess your reaction will be very different to those who think more logical in response to various occurrence in these universe or even to your daily life. Take an example on a plane crash. Logical approach would yield the answer that lead to "human error" or "engine failure" and then find ideas to fix it. Religious approach will yield the answer that lead to "God's will (fate)". Or... perhaps you are in between them which it called moderate.
Illustration between science and faith

Can you compare or even combine the two of the flowchart above? If you can, then I will say you are being in best efforts. Why? Because... even sophisticated computer was run based on the combination of two signals namely positive and negative. What distinguishes human from robot is a human have the ability to trust in things beyond logic which it called instinct / beliefs / feelings. What distinguishes human from animal is a human have the ability to think logically to overcome the wild instinct / beliefs / feelings.
Yin and Yang symbol
That is why the Yin and Yang symbol came from and was intended by the creator of the symbol. Never ignore both positive and negative. Never ignore both daylight and night. Never ignore that you have brain and feelings. Just combine them in one unity in your soul and body, and I call it the perfect combination ever. This post does not intend to steer you to certain beliefs, but only to stimulate your mind to reach the equilibrium degree. How according to you?

Image taken from:

22 August 2010

What a PhD mean for you

What is Ph.D.? Yes, I know it is an academic degree. That's it. No, I think. It's hard to describe it in words. You better focus on the illustration below:

And... the things that made me fall silent is what was said by Matt:
"If you zoom in on the boundary of human knowledge in the direction of genetics, there's something just outside humanity's reach. My wife and I chose to start funding these graduate students after we learned that our son has a rare, fatal genetic disorder. It may be too late for my son, but it's not too late for other children. Even one child suffering is one child too many. The only way to end this kind of suffering is science. And, the best way to do science is through graduate students."
What a beautifull thoughts that touched my heart.
Note: This work is originaly from The Illustrated Guide to a Ph.D. by Matt Might.

17 August 2010

The way I see the independence of a country

Indonesia will celebrates its 65th Independence Day on August 17, 2010 (means today). Many event like game competitions, ceremonial, decorations, and excitement happening on all over the country to welcome this special day, making the atmosphere felt more patriotic.

I do not know why current atmosphere spurred my thoughts to ponder a simple question like this: "What is the meaning of independent ?" This question is in the context of a country. It is also possible to reflect the meaning of independence for a country out there, not only for Indonesia. In popular sense, the meaning of independence is being free from colonialism. That sense was popular at the time of World War I and II, but for present century I tend to use a different approach.

So to ponder the question, I take an example of a smallest entity of a state, namely a family. A family (assuming a father as the head of a family) can be said to have been independent if :
  1. Independence to give love, peace, and harmony equitably to all family members, although each family member may have different desires, for example: different religions, different political views, different personal principles, etc. but still remain in one family bonds that must be cherished.
  2. Independence to make decisions for his family affairs independently without depending on other parties.
  3. Independence to manage his own family (especially kids) into a better direction. For this one I often hear a naughty kid who is often troublesome parents, but parents confused how to overcome it.
  4. Independence to fulfill the basic needs of his family, namely: food, clothing, house, health, education. For this one there is still a lot of young families who are still supported by parents.
  5. Independence to protect all family members against external threats.
Did you know that the number of independent family in a country is the mirror of the real independence of a country, and now I have been thinking that this achievement is more effective to prevent invisible threats. That's my way, and the next is your turn to judge.

08 August 2010

Night entertainment business during the fasting month

Starting on (Indonesia time) 7 August until 14 September 2010 the night entertainment venues (such as pubs, bars, cafes, discotheques, karaoke), massage parlors and whorehouses (brothel) must be closed temporarily almost in most regions in Indonesia. The reason of this closure is to respect and to provide serenity for the Muslims during the fasting month (Indonesian: Bulan puasa). Generally each city government use the formula: From H-3 to H+3. Means three days before the first day of fasting until three days after Eid ul-Fitr (Indonesian: Idul Fitri). This is approximately equal to one month plus one week for no activity of such companies. This maybe a consequence because Muslim is majority in this country. The circumstance is definitely different in the countries with majority non-Muslim.

Last year in some cities like Jakarta, Manado and the cities in the province of Bali and Irian Jaya, the night entertainment venue were not closed totally but the city authority limiting their operating hours and asked them to not open the door vulgarly and openly (I do not know how for this year, maybe the rules are still similar to last year). In some cities even the game arena for family like Time Zone and Fun City, sport game like billiard, online game stations, and even cinemas have to limit their operating hours only from 10:00 until 17:00. Restrictions on operating hours may be different in each city. Can you imagine how many firms that affected by this rules throughout Indonesia?

There is no central legislation to regulate this issue so it all depends on the policies of each city government. However, local governments usually tend to follow majority voices to issuing the closure policy for the night entertainment venues, whorehouses and all the things which it considered can influencing this holy month, for instance, restaurants are encouraged to not open the door openly / transparently.

Other problems as a result of this rule is how the fate of the workers. There are companies that do not pays of their employees wage (especially wages based on working days / hours of work), arguing that the closure was not from management but from the willingness of government. So, who's to blame?

If you have more time please continue to read related post below:
1) Night worker ladies, between pity and cost of living
2) Long journey for alcoholic beverage in Indonesia

PS: I changed my blog title using my own handwriting. Firstly I wrote it on a paper, then scanned it using a scanner, and then using Photoshop to take my handwriting. How it look ?

25 July 2010

Someone has stolen my article - plagiarism

A user of with the initials "Pinoy" has stolen my articles titled "Long journey for alcoholic beverage in Indonesia" without my permission nor mentioning the source of original post (my article). I call this plagiarism or cheating. He/She has completely copying (stole) my article into his/her blog and then submit that article to using his/her blog as the source with user name "Pinoy".

Firstly I found my article was published at with the URL:

And below is the captured image from Zimbio page, where my article has been stolen by Pinoy. Click the image to enlarge and look at the red arrow or visit its link to dig more.

You can see that the source of article was written from "" (plagiarist blog). Out of curiosity then I clicked on the link and found my article are also stolen and copied into his / her blog, with the URL =

Below is the image captured from plagiarist blog:

Wooow... the plagiarist was stole my article to makes money online via Google Adsense, ha... ha...
Maybe I would not mind if only quoting part of paragraph (not 100%) and write the original source.
Some people still think that what has been published on the Internet is public property because the Internet is a public space. Is this true? And what should I do for this case? Any suggestions?

This is a good example shown by Social Computing Software website. Their website Admin provides a link to the original source. I give a great respect to the Admin.

 = Update on July 27, 2010 for a good news =
Yesterday morning, July 26, 2010, I sent my report to Zimbio as suggested by Yenni in comment to this post. And today, July 27, 2010 afternoon, I get a reply from Zimbio to informed me that they have reviewed this matter and the article was removed (click on the image of their email to enlarge). A good news and also a rapid reply that makes my salute to them. Ohh ... my efforts were not in vain. Now just waiting for a reaction from Google on my report about his plagiarism post which it using blogger as a platform. Let appreciate other people's work and do not keep silent against plagiarism.

23 July 2010

Good news for transition to clean energy technology

As I have mentioned in previous post titled "Oil spills and its impact - what you think" that we should not only focus on the incident, its causes or its impacts, in association with the use of unfriendly energy to environment. I also mentioned that scientists and the government involvement through regulations and international agreement can play a role and necessary. So, in this post I want to share the good news for those who care about clean energy.

Good news on July 19-20, 2010 quoted from the website of Clean Energy Ministerial :
"The first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial will bring together ministers and stakeholders from more than 20 countries to collaborate on policies and programs that accelerate the world's transition to clean energy technologies. The meeting will provide an opportunity for groups of governments and other participants to announce actions to accelerate deployment of clean energy technologies. The agenda of the Clean Energy Ministerial will focus on concrete steps forward to promote clean energy."

"Yet, barriers to the adoption of clean energy technologies abound. Traditional patterns and practices limit acceptance. Regulatory barriers persist. Costs of some technologies remain high. Coordinated action and information-sharing among leading nations can help overcome these barriers."
Good news on July 21, 2010 quoted from The White House Blog :
"Yesterday, more than 120 leaders in the commercial building community came together with Federal officials at a White House Clean Energy Economy Forum to discuss the role of Federal leadership in sustainable building. White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, General Services Administration Administrator Martha Johnson, and Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Ron Sims got a conversation started that focused on three key topics: leveraging the scale, financing, and innovation."
For complete reading please visit the both sites above. I think this is a strong starting point for the transition to clean energy technologies because the stronger government support can accelerate the transition.

13 July 2010

Oil spills and its impact - what you think

Who can ensure that oil spills, like BP oil spill, will not happen again. The oil companies certainly will takes responsibility when oil spills happen and promise to increase safety on production and distribution process. Yeah that's good. But how about its impact to our environment?

In the future let's not focus too much to just discuss the causes of the incident, its impact, and how to handle it. Better focus on the use of alternative energy such as solar energy or electrical energy that derived (generated) from geothermal heat, hydro power or sunlight. Maybe I'm just easy to say but that's what I think after watching these video. How with you?

== Post Update ==
Comment from Looney to this post has sparked my attention, so I think it's good to copy his comment and my reply to him below:

I am all for alternate energy, but not not if the government picks the technology and then pours billions of taxpayer money into it, or forces people to buy products through regulation. We have this all over California, but none of it is economically viable, the economy is slowly dying, and it still hasn't reduced the use of fossil fuels.

I know from media that Governor California Arnold Schwarzenegger is very concerned to the issue of global warming. My admiration for his efforts to fight against global warming. I don't know exactly what happened there, but let me try to just write my view below:
  1. The government involvement (and international agreement) can play a major role. And about the fund it certainly needed for big project. Now I'm difficult to find AC that still using Freon (CFC) in the stores. That's because of Montreal Protocol and I think that's good.
  2. To achieve the viable level economically then the law of demand and supply also play a role.
  3. If the demand (users) increases, then by naturally the manufacturer in cooperation with scientists will be racing to think hard to create products that are cheap and economically feasible. I think manufacturer still wait and see before pouring a billion dollar fund to produce green products massively. Demand is still a key.
  4. Government should support the development of adequate infrastructure to support the program. Takes an example in the implementation of the use of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) for cars in Jakarta. Don't ask how much LPG stock for vehicles, for home purpose often out of stock. Besides, the number of LPG filling stations for vehicles is still limited. Not available even on each capital city of province in Indonesia. It does not means LPG is a green energy but only an example of the availability of adequate infrastructure which it must be supported by government.
I think a little push from government through regulations and international agreement is necessary. See how this world fight Freon / CFC. Unfortunately, Schwarzenegger with California alone is not enough and Indonesia is still far behind in the use of green energy.

28 June 2010

STOP the hatred war in the social networking site

Lately, I feel very worried by unscrupulous users of Facebook who already out of the spirit of Facebook motto namely "Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life". Some of Facebook users who use this site only for uploading pornographic images and shared it using private setting to certain people (not shared to everyone) and the other using it for spreading the hatred feelings, like a Facebook Group calling for Obama's death.

Although a very controversial Pages on Facebook namely "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" which it created by Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris has been closed by Facebook after receiving protests from various parties including protests from the Indonesian government, the most recent controversy is the two opposing group on Facebook who mocked each other namely: "Everybody Draw Mohammed day (Indonesian version)" and the other one is "Everybody Draw Jesus day (Indonesian version)". As I observed on its language it seemed the both pages was created by Indonesian users. I saw it was clear that the hatred feelings on both pages still raging and releasing fracas on Facebook. Below is the images of both pages that I captured yesterday and all the harsh words has been crossed out in red before I use it in this post.

I'm aware that Facebook's administrator also difficult to control all of its user one-by-one so through this post I called out to all readers to make an effort to stop each page containing the hatred and insulting on other religions. Report it to Facebook or post this calls on your own blog and encourage your reader to do the same effort. Very hopefully in the future you cannot access the both pages above. It's meant has been closed by Facebook. Yes, that's my goal.

As a response to a controversial group on Facebook entitled "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day", then on May 2010, a Muslim-oriented social networking website called MillatFacebook has been launched by IT expert from Lahore, Pakistan (read here). As I visited their website, I can feel their strong aura to compete with Facebook (created by Mark Zukerberg). To dig more deeply, it's interesting to read an interview between a writer of Hindustan Times's blog and Omer Zaheer Meer (CEO of Global IT Vision Ltd, the company that launched Millatfacebook). On the first paragraph the writer said: "....But even after more than a dozen telephone calls, emails and one story later, I can’t say with confidence whether I’ve understood the man or his motives". Click here to read their interview. Seems he get the right moment for launching.

It's very sad if the spirit of "connect and share with the people in your life" turned into a virtual battlefield. How according to you?

== Post Update ==
Thanks to Neil by showing this post to his blog's reader. I strongly agree with what Jim said in his post that "we don't have absolute freedom of speech".

There is still a part of our society are not well educated at the same level to understand and filtering the things with the same way. I believe that still many people, especially in developing countries, are easily provoked. That's why I encourage readers to help by reporting such pages to Facebook. Login to your Facebook account, then visit the both URL that written right below the two images above.  Just click a link "Report page" at the bottom left of the page, chose the reason and click submit. Thank you !

08 May 2010

My congratulations to Sri Mulyani Indrawati

Starting on June 1, 2010, Indonesia's Finance Minister, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, will officially take his new position as Managing Director of the World Bank. Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has officially agreed to a written request from the President of World Bank Robert B Zoellick to appoints Sri Mulyani as Managing Director. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono also considers it is a strategic position, important and honorable position, namely as the second person on the World Bank. According to a press release No:2010/379/EXC from The World Bank, Sri Mulyani Indrawati will supervise three regions: Latin America and Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and East Asia and Pacific.

"I am delighted to announce the appointment of Sri Mulyani Indrawati. She has been an outstanding Finance Minister with in-depth knowledge of both development issues and the role of the World Bank Group" said Mr. Zoellick.

"Ms. Indrawati brings a unique set of skills and experience to the World Bank Group, from the vantage point of an advancing Middle-Income country that still faces significant challenges of poverty. She has received global recognition for her success in combating corruption and strengthening good governance" noted Mr. Zoellick.

I'm personally feel that Indonesia will loss the best minister of finance. During her term of office, Sri Mulyani has been working hard to implement reforms in the financial sector and save Indonesia from global financial crisis so its impact was not too effected the Indonesian economy and the recovery running fast. As the side effect of Sri Mulyani's efforts in save Indonesia economy from global crisis, many parties including the People's Representative Council of Indonesia has considers Sri Mulyani in capacity as minister of finance must be responsible for the disbursement of Rp 6.7 trillion in the bailout process of Bank Century. Basically the Council see that the policy of Short Term Loan Facility in the bailout process is a problematic policy and through voting has brought this case into legal channels.

Towards these issue (without reducing my respect to the legal process), I still support Sri Mulyani, because:
  1. Until now, at least until I publish this post, there is no one of legal decision stating that Sri Mulyani Indrawati as Minister of Finance is guilty.
  2. She did not enjoy that bailout money for her personal interest but for this country.
  3. She just did any strategic decisions that needed for facing emergency situation namely global financial crisis. At that time, many countries also doing the same thing namely bailout. In case a little not procedural I think we should aware to the situation. In case the money was misused in the body of Bank Century, I thought the most responsible parties is bank management.
  4. The appointment of Sri Mulyani Indrawati as Managing Director of the World Bank also proving her quality, integrity and credibility in the eyes of the world is considered good.
I rarely write about political issues on this blog because in political world does not recognize the eternal friends or enemies, only recognize the eternal interests. But the big achievement of Sri Mulyani has drawn my attention to write this post. Hopefully you're more successful and "more comfortable" in the World Bank. End of words, I invite the readers of this blog to judge.

19 April 2010

Long journey for alcoholic beverage in Indonesia

Two sides of the wish.
Circulation of beverages containing ethyl alcohol (alcoholic beverage), such as Beers, Tequila, Vodca, Martell, Johnny Walker, Hennessy, Wine, etc, seems to still be a prolonged debate in Indonesia as the largest Muslim country in the world. MUI (Majelis Ulama Indonesia / English: Indonesian Ulema Council ) as the highest Muslim authority in Indonesia has issued a Fatwa that stated "Haram" (Haraam / forbidden) for these type of drinks. I believe that all religions in Indonesia (Islam, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu) including all good parents do not want their children to be a drunkard. In this case, I think, Muslim community is more extreme against this alcoholic beverage.

On the other hand, Pancasila is the philosophic fundamentals of the state, and the national motto is "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" (Unity in Diversity). The country need to protect pluralism and diversity in the society under "one umbrella". It's clear that Indonesia is not a religious state, as it has been said by former president Abdurachman Wahid.

Starting point of the journey of alcoholic beverage debate.
I still remember when I lived in Bali in 1994, "AS" together with "EB" through their company namely "AMI" (sorry for just write the initials) were crowded mentioned relates to the circulation of alcoholic beverage (such as Johnny Walker, Martell, Hennessy, Chivas Regal, Tequila, etc) in Bali province for the first time. They run a business that controlling the circulation of alcohol beverage through a mechanism called labelization (labeling). Each manufacturer and distributors of alcohol beverage is subject to levy of Rp.600 and Rp.750 per liter, respectively for beverage containing alcohol between 5% to 55%. At the time, this mechanism is supported by the local government (governor of Bali). From Bali, then these controversy regarding the circulation of alcoholic beverage was sticking on the surface and became a starting point of its long journey, and still debated to this day, that is whether all alcoholic beverage should be banned or controlled (means NOT banned).

In many regions always arises prolonged debate in the Regional Representative Council (Indonesian: DPRD / Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah) during the process of drafting local regulations on alcoholic beverages and night entertainment business. Nonetheless I believe local governments will think twice to ban the circulation of alcoholic beverages in their respective region because there is no prohibition at central government regulations (top level law). According to the hierarchy, local regulations must not violate to the law on top level. Just a note, there is a case on regional regulation in Banjarmasin city that prohibit alcoholic beverages but then rejected by the central government with the reasons contrary to the rules above.

On the other hand, the spirit of regional autonomy has been delegated some authority to local governments to take policy in accordance with the conditions and dynamics of society life in their respective areas, although not allowed out of the central policy framework. This also affects the policies in each regions against alcoholic beverages and night entertainment business, that is local governments have the authority to decide:
  • The amount of regional tax rates for entertainment business that sells alcoholic beverages (see the strict regulations in this post).
  • The place that allowed to sell alcoholic beverages, whether only in starred hotel or also allowed in pub, discotheque, karaoke, cafe, and nightclubs that are independent (outside the hotel), and whether also allowed in certain supermarket and shop.
  • Limiting the operating hours for night entertainment business. In some regions the operating hours is officially allowed from 21:00 until 00:00 and in other regions is allowed until 01:00 or 02:00.
  • The distance between the outlets that sell alcoholic beverage and the worship places, schools, hospitals and housing. Some regions sets the distance to 200 meters, while on other regions has set to 500 meters. The problem is how to the alcoholic beverage outlets that violate this rule but they had already existed before this rule was made, or how if a new worship place or a new school suddenly built adjacent to the outlets that already exists. There is an idea for zoning (moving all the night entertainment outlets to a special zone). But how much it cost? Not so easy to do that. I think a wise approach should be taken.
Strict regulations for alcoholic beverage and night entertainment business.
Many publicity about the negative impact of alcoholic beverages on various media and the number of pressure / protests from some particular groups to ban its circulation, I think quite influence to the birth of these strict rule. I feel that perhaps this was a middle way for this issue.

According to Undang-Undang Republik Indonesia Nomor 28 Tahun 2009 Tentang Pajak Daerah Dan Retribusi Daerah (English: Law of The Republic of Indonesia number 28 year 2009 concerning The Regional Tax and Regional Retribution), on Article 45 Paragraph (2) mentioned that the tax rates for entertainment business such as fashion show, beauty contest, discotheque, karaoke, nightclub, dexterity game, massage parlors, and steam bath / spa, may be set to a maximum of 75% (seventy five percent). It means the tax rates on each regions (city / district) may be vary and can be set up to 75%. And according to Article 44, the amount of taxes to be paid is XX percent multiplied by the amount of money received or that should be received. It means XX percent from gross revenue (NOT from net profit).

In the field of alcoholic beverage excise tax, starting on 1 April 2010 applied the Peraturan Menteri Keuangan Nomor 62/PMK.011/2010 (English: The Minister of Finance Regulation Number 62/PMK.011/2010) about the excise rate of ethyl alcohol, beverage that containing ethyl alcohol, and concentrate that containing ethyl alcohol. According to this new regulation, in general the excise rates for alcoholic beverages increased by 300 percent. As a comparison please refer to the old rules in 2006, that is Peraturan Menteri Keuangan Nomor 90/PMK.04/2006 (English: The Minister of Finance Regulation Number 90/PMK.04/2006).

With this tax and excise, this means that trading and selling alcoholic beverages was allowed, although a bit burdensome for entrepreneurs and consumers. I think the imposition of high taxes and excise may also trigger the trade of illegal products as its negative impact.

Arguments from the group who is pros and cons.
Often I heard the pros group usually using moderate thinking and objective towards these issue. Their arguments are:
  • If all manufacturers, importers, distributors and outlets of alcoholic beverages is banned then please imagine how many employee who lose their job.
  • Alcoholic beverage industry contributes significantly to the state revenue. Take an example just for beer. National beer industry has become the largest taxpayer, generating approximately Rp. 1.5 trillion of PPNBM tax (value added tax for luxury goods) and excise to the government, said Ipung Nimpuno, spokesperson of Gabungan Industri Minuman Malt Indonesia / GIMMI (English: Malt Beverage Industry Association of Indonesia) on VIVAnews
  • This industry also support the tourism sector. Should foreign tourists can not drink beer in Indonesia. I think an intriguing question for readers of this blog who have a plan for a vacation in Indonesia.
  • Indonesia is not a religious state.
  • If we want to maintain our health, do not smoking. If we do not want to get drunk, do not drink alcoholic beverages. This goes back to yourself.
And below is the arguments from the group who cons:
  • Drinking alcoholic beverage is forbidden by religion.
  • Many acts of violence occurred because triggered by alcohol.
  • Alcohol has ruin the moral of society.
  • Alcohol ruin our health.
Really a polemic that raises the pros and cons. My big question is: "Whether Indonesia should free from alcohol?" End of words, I don't know whether "these journey" will stop or to be continue. If you ask my views then I will just say "I'm a moderate thinker". How with you?

06 April 2010

A musings about friend and enemy

A story about enemy (an essay).
When the fierce battle between two group of armies was ended, there's someone who still confused and then asking two question to each soldier on both side. Did you know anyone who you kill? The answer is NO. Did all of your victims has wronged to you? Again the answer is NO. So who is your enemy?

A story about friend (true story).
Long time ago I have a friend who is rich and good-doer. I know he have a lot of friends when he still in good condition. But now he was often sickly and most of his wealth has depleted for medical treatment. One day I met him at his house. I felt like he live lonely. Along with our talk, I suggest him to call his friends to gather together with him with the hope he will feel good after that. Did you know his answer for me? He said: "Most of my friends was just like in my memory. They leave me one by one".

A story about friend and enemy from a senile old man (an essay).
One day a senile old man being asked by someone with a question like this: "Do you still remember all of your friends?". His answer: "Most of them has been disappear from the memory of my brain". And the second question to him: "If so, do you still remember of your enemy?". His answer: "I have no sense like this anymore, probably because my memory continues to decrease along with my age, so they are more quickly disappear from my brain".

And a political anecdote about friend and enemy.
There is no eternal enemies or eternal friends. There is only the eternal interests which in our brain.

So... who is your real friend or eternal enemy when you become a senile old man? NONE.

17 March 2010

What was in my mind regarding same-sex marriage

The escalation of same-sex marriage sometimes intrigued me to think about this phenomena. Often I think of an analogy of a micro-organism that mutating for resistant against antibiotics, so I'm imagining whether human gene is also mutating for resistant against the complexity of love in order to find alternative way. Along with the development of this phenomenon, scientists which I think stand in neutral position need to do a "laboratory research" to find a new formula like this (just my joke):

Chromosome X + X = resulting a baby.
Chromosome Y + Y = resulting a baby.

Usually supporters of same-sex marriage always using a key-word "human rights" to get their right. Hmm... human itself creates "Human Rights" and then this "Human Rights" is being used to get the other "unusual right".

In this opportunity let me share my own statistic forecast which was in my imagination, that is:
1) If the trend of gay marriage is go up then the trend of plastic surgery by women will go down.
2) If the trend of lesbian marriage is go up then the trend of the men interest to women will go down.
3) If we tend to let both statistic trend above to grow then the trend of human populations will go down.

Could this be interpreted as no baby any longer ??? Aha..., this is more dangerous than the issue of climate change, but... wait a minute, or otherwise it will help to reduce global warming. Which one you chose? If you say more dangerous then the international concern needs to be appealed because this is a warning for the next human history. If not, then the scientists need to test the formula above as soon as possible.

Pssst... I'm just releasing my mind within this post while still let you to disagree with me. Just say this is my mad post.

03 March 2010

Global warming and smoking

The effect of global warming is like the effect of smoking. Both of them has no immediate impact. The impact of smoking will slowly but sure will reduce of your quota to live. Maybe the impact of global warming / climate change will not immediately or directly affecting the present generation but I believe it will inherit a huge disaster (like time-bomb) for the next generations, that is our own descendants.

Partly of human habit is likely not concerned to the matter that has no fatal impact immediately, like discard old batteries in the gutter, the use of bombs or potassium cyanide to catch fish, as well as drunk and smoking habits.

I'm aware that this post is only a very very small contribution to raise the awareness of global warming issue.

I have inspired by Neil who already create a special sub-page on his blog with the title "Climate change is real, real, real…". Three times for "real" as you see.

11 January 2010

The inner voices when I am get old

A few days ago, I have visited my Grandfather (father of my Mother) and my Grandmother (grandmother of my wife). I could feel how happy they are with my presence, as well as myself. I can see despite their spirit remains alive but I can not deny that their physical abilities has decreased naturally. So I start to think how if I'm getting old like them. While thinking of it, suddenly my mind remembered a touching story that was discovered by my family, Yenny Ang. Whatever I had felt and imagined, I pour it into this post. Hopefully your love to the elderly and your parents will be more.

=== When I'm get old ===

When I spilled vegetable's gravy on my clothes,
when I no longer remember how to tie a tie,
when I no longer remember how to tie shoelaces,
remember the time how I teach and guide you to do that.

While I am senile and constantly repeating the word that bores you,
please be patient to listen to me, do not interrupt me.
At the days of your childhood, with affection I kept repeating a fairy tale for you, which I have told thousands of times until you lulled in a dream.

When I need you to bathe me,
please not to blame me.
Remember the days of your childhood,
I'm in many ways try to persuade you to take a shower.

While I'm puzzled to face the new things in modern technology,
do not laugh at me.
Please reflect on how I was patiently answering every "why",
that you asked in your childhood.

When my leg has been too weak to walk,
please stretch out your young and strong hand to support me,
like in your childhood, when I guide you stepping your leg to learn to walk.

While I'm forget the topic of our conversation,
please give me a little time to remember.
Truthfully that topic is not so important to me,
as long as you were by my side,
the most important things is YOU! Yes, you are.

When I'm old, I'm no longer like myself before !
Don't be sad, please support me with your love,
like me to you when you begin to learn about life.

== Post Update ==

1) Thanks to Rummuser for sharing a very touching video-clip on YouTube within the comment of this post. So I encourage readers to watch because it was very related to this post.

2) Thanks to D'Ellis to expand the reflections of this post with "Ascent: The Children". As in "Polarities: Two Views From Around The World", D'Ellis said : "Please enjoy this example of just how close we really are. And just how IMPORTANT each of us is to one another"

Related post:
1) Mother and Child - an essay 2) Mother's Day - a tribute for Mother

01 January 2010

Gus Dur, I love you

Former President Abdurrahman Wahid (known as Gus Dur) has died on December 30, 2009 at 18:45 in Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital (RSCM) Jakarta, because of illness. This is the most shocking news in Indonesia. Why? Because, Gus Dur is a teacher of the nation, guardian of democracy and justice, always emphasize the importance of togetherness between the majority and minority, inter-ethnics and inter-religious, so that Indonesia become a great nation. If you have more time, please also read this.

I am a Chinese who lived and has became an Indonesian citizen since my Grandfather, and what I said about him is NOT because he has gone, but truthfully from the deepest of my heart. Mr. Gus Dur, the leader of my heart, I pray your soul rest in peace. My tear is for you and I love you full.

Remember...! Charisma of a leader is a gift from God. Unlike the leaders who want to look "authoritative" because that is something that can be conditioned, so impressed (look like) authoritative person.