Indonesia Anonymus

We are a group of Indonesians, ranting about our beloved country. This blog is a result of many people grumbling about many things in many ways.
Feedback: indonesia.anonymus at gmail dot com


Anonymus is the Latin word for anonymous, the correct English spelling. The Latin spelling, however, is traditionally used by scholars in the humanities to refer to an ancient writer whose name is not known, or to a manuscript of their work. Read more at Wikipedia.

Our blog in Bahasa Indonesia (but rarely updated) can be found here.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Good news is hard to get

But not today: Indonesia matters wrote that Indonesia's competitiveness is now ranked 50th, went up from 74 last year [1].
Sure, compared to the neighbours Malaysia (26th) or Thailand (35th) it's still down there. But hey. Up is up.

And Indonesia's Fitch debt rating is now positive. Up from stable [2].

And the regulation No. 37/2006 that gave (some say outrageous) pay rise to parliament members is revoked.
Not just that, those who already received the money must return it [3].

Way to go.

If things kept going this way, SBY may well have his reelection safely in the bag.

[1] Indonesia Matters - Competitiveness Rank
[2] Indonesia Matters - Debt Ratings
[3] Kompas - Presiden Instruksikan Revisi PP 37 Tahun 2006

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Enjoy the show

Fellow Indonesians: Maybe it is time to wake up. The world is changing and what have we been doing?
Are we going to join the game or forever be spectators?

From the tribune:
"Ten years ago much of Asia was wracked by a financial crisis". But now, "with booming Chinese economy at their core Asian economies are forecast to provide the biggest share of the world economic growth." [1]

"The outlook hints at what some economists believe may increasingly come to define a new world economic order".

Here's more:
The Indian economy will join that of China in surpassing the size of the US economy by 2050 to become a motor of global growth, according to Goldman Sachs.
The United States is currently the world's largest economy. Goldman forecasts that the Chinese economy will pass that of the United States around 2035, while India will do the same about a decade later" [2].

And Indonesia?

It's been a while since we got our sweet democracy. It was a big leap forward at the time and we are all proud of it.
But maybe now it is time to make use of it.

Allow us to ask you this question:
When was the last time you heard our government unveiled a plan for Indonesia's future: a detailed-plan with short, medium and long term?

We asked this question around the office and what people mostly remember was Suharto and his Repelita (a 5 year development plan - consisting of Pelita 1 to 5, which makes it a 25 year plan) [3].

But that was then. Before democracy. Forgotten.
What about now? Do we have a plan? A plan that spans longer than say a 2-term presidency? A plan that will be consistently carried out one administration after the other? (if we do, dear reader, kindly enlighten us, because obviously we don't see it).

One colleague puts it well:
"There is one problem of having a democracy: we let our country run by politicians. And our politicians seem to only have one plan in mind: To survive the next election."

Will we ever have a plan that will bring our country to be 'among the biggest economy in the world in a decade from now' ?
A plan that will lift millions out of poverty (like in China [4]),
a plan that will make us (or our children, or our children's children) proud someday?

Or are we going to watch the world changing and forever be spectators?
If that's the case then sit back and enjoy the show, because the changes are happening right now in front of our eyes.

[1] International Herald Tribune, Jan 24 2006, Page 6
[2] International Herald Tribune, Jan 25, 2006, Page 14
[3] Wikipedia - Repelita
[4] China Economic Net - 100 mln poor in rural China lifted out of poverty 

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Good Excuse, Bad Excuse

To continue from yesterday, let's be fair and listen to what our Minister of Transport has to say about the latest fiasco [1]:
In his defense, our beloved Minister of Transport, Hatta Rajasa said that he frequently made mistakes because he is way too tired. There are many accidents lately, he is extremely busy and that led to mistakes [2].

"I am tired and I receive too much information, so sometimes I mentioned things inaccurately", he said. (Or something like that - rough translation from [2]).

All right. Fair enough. Let's help him.What should he do?

So we did a silly experiment: We went to one of our young managers (just promoted recently), and ask her some "what if" questions :

Question no 1:
"What if one of your staff came to you and said that he is too tired doing his job? What would you say to this person?"

Young Manager:
"Does he/she have staff working under him?"

"Well, yes."

Young Manager:
"Three words: delegate, delegate, delegate.
If he had enough people under him, he should delegate some of the work.
If someone came to me saying he/she is too tired, in my opinion it means 3 possibilities:
One: he/she does not have enough people. Two: he/she has enough people but cannot delegate. or Three: he/she is just too unorganized and not up for the job."

Question no 2:
What if this staff said that he receives way too much information. More than he can handle?

Young Manager:
"That's just basic management. He has to set his priority. Organize the information into high, medium, and low priority and respond accordingly.
If he said all are in top priority, that means he has not thought them through. Or simply has no ability to organize himself.
Trust me, even on a burning platform [3], you can always organize issues into different level of priorities.

Question no 3:
What if this staff said, receiving too much information has led to him making mistakes. Inaccurate statements for example. Some even get to the press.

Young Manager:
"For God sake. Who is this guy anyway? That is just inexcusable.
Who is he? One of mine? Because I can assure you I won't tolerate this kind of behaviour."

We could not hold our laughter any longer so we showed her the printout of the news.

Young Manager:
"A minister? You made me criticize a minister?
Get out of here, you bunch of w***ers ! ..."

[1] Our Previous Post
[2] - Gara-gara keletihan, Hatta Mengaku Sering Salah Ngomong
[3] Just a typical office jargon, frequently used here. Among us "burning platform" means 'high priority/critical issues" or "crises".

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I Say You Say They Say

What a way to start a new year.
A plane is reported missing and dozens of busybodies can't even get the fact right:

Hasanuddin airport announced that the wreckage of AdamAir plane was found in Ranguan village, Polman,West Sulawesi.
Information was given by the locals who found the plane and the bodies.
Transportation minister Hatta Rajasa announced that AdamAir is found. 90 died, 12 survived.
The press went from Makassar to Polman
Hasanuddin air force base commander Eddy Suyanto confirmed , 90 bodies found, 12 still missing.
The press, 30km from the village reported that the locals had never found a single dead body.
KNKT held a press conference, confirming 90 dead.
From Polman, the press reported that the SAR team had not gone to Ranguan. Not because of the rain, but because no wreckage to be seen. Locals also said they did not see any plane crashed in the area.
AdamAir held a press conference saying that the news about 90 dead and 12 survivors came from the locals.
Transportation minister Hatta Rajasa and the Hasanuddin-airbase commander held a press conference at Hasanuddin airport, saying the plane is still missing. The location of the crash was a hoax. The fate of the passengers and the crew are still uncertain. They apologized. [1]

All this people. Even a minister with literally hundreds of staff under him. All just swallowed whatever they heard, took it as their own, and then open their mouth without even bother to at least re-check the fact.

Come on. People are confused because their loved ones are missing. The least you can do is to get the fact right. The last thing you should do is to give false information.

(Not a) happy new year.

Oh, one more thing: we think the minister should be fired. If this is not incompetence, we don't know what is.

[1] translated from