LG Scarlet's movie trailer-like commercial

You know, I firstly thought that this was a movie trailer till I found out that it was none other than.... an LCD TV commercial.


Creative advertisement, though. I like it.


Cease monopoly by the PLN!

Undang-Undang Dasar, Pasal 33, Ayat 2:

Cabang-cabang produksi yang penting bagi Negara dan yang menguasai hajat hidup orang banyak dikuasai oleh negara.

(Indonesian Constitution, Article 33, Verse 2:

Production sectors that are vital to the state and that affect the livelihood of a considerable part of the population are to be controlled by the state.)

The particular verse above, I recalled very well, was taught in the Economy lessons back at school as a justification used by the government to hold a total monopoly over the so-called “vital assets”. Rather than being used as a means to benefit the Indonesian populace, that verse has so far been used an attempt by the government to avoid the private sector from getting their hands on those “vital assets”, hence they gain a total control over the main public uses in Indonesia such as water, telecommunication, fuels, and electricity.

However, the irony remains that the verse is not upheld well today. So why should PLN keep monopolising the Indonesian electricity supply?

Let me reveal them one by one…

Water. The PAM (Perusahaan Air Minum, Drinking Water Company) had thought that they controlled the national tap water circulation fully. Really? Hmm…. What about the wells in the villages? Do they control them too?

And recently, we got the privately-owned Tirta Kerta Raharja company supplying tap water in certain Areas of Tangerang.

Telecommunication. Telkom, which used to be the sole provider of telecommunication in Indonesia, was a monopoly holder, which went along lawfully with the Indonesian Constitution.

However, things went wrong when Telkom turned into a semi-privatised company (Temasek, anyone?). Telkom is no longer an Indonesian government-owned company; it is a partial Singapore-partial Indonesian owned one!

Now before I start claiming anything, let me see what the Constitution says about foreign ownership of Indonesian natural resources, taken from UUD, Article 33, Verse 3:

Bumi dan air dan kekayaan alam yang terkandung di dalamnya dikuasai oleh negara dan dipergunakan untuk sebesar-besarnya kemakmuran rakyat (The land and the waters as well as the natural riches therein are to be controlled by the state to be exploited to the greatest benefit of the people).

I leave it up to you to draw up your own conclusions.

Fuel. Pertamina used to hold total monopoly over our fuel supplies too, until this Malaysian company:

Zorpia Photo Sharing: Free Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth
A Malaysian-owned outlet in Veteran Street, Kebayoran Lama, South Jakarta

together with the Dutch and the Californian started to play a role in Indonesian public fuel consumption.

Electricity. Now THIS is the remaining monopoly in the country.

If there is any other electricity supplier in Indonesia, I would no doubt have switched to that one from this anger-rousing PLN. Pardon me for deriving my discontentment from my own experience here, but I had taken note that PLN had turned off the electricity in my house district for more than ten hours yesterday. In developed countries, this would no doubt have led to a massive economy disruption, but we in Indonesia seem to take this kind of thing for granted.

The blackouts following power cuts in several areas this week should lead some of us to wonder: Is it still reasonable to have PLN monopolising our electricity consumption, while PAM, Telkom, and Pertamina no longer does?

We had a bigger blackout almost three years ago, a massive power outage that affected some 100 million people in Java and Bali, making it the largest blackout in world history. It was caused by a lack of generation capacity. Not much a different case from today, apparently they haven't learned much lesson over the last three years.

All these blackouts, now and then, should lead us all to wonder if PLN is still competent to hold on strongly to the 2nd verse of the 33rd Article of our Constitution. The government should realise that since PLN is no longer able to provide satisfactory service to the people, they should consider opening the path for private-owned companies to provide it.

JAKARTA: An official at the Jakarta chapter of the state electricity firm, PLN, said Tuesday the firm could not provide a fixed schedule of future blackouts following power cuts in several areas this week.

In the past two days, PLN turned off electricity in several locations in Jakarta and Tangerang due to a 1,000 megawatt (MW) shortfall in its Java-Bali power plant.

In response to the shortfall, PLN took measures to save power consumption by reducing 88 MW from the total 4,100 MW used during the day and 3,900 MW at night in Jakarta and Tangerang.

"I do not know yet whether we will continue the power cuts Wednesday because I am not the operator directly in charge of executing the decision in the field," PLN Jakarta public relations head Azwar Lubis told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, power cuts were made in several areas in Cawang in East Jakarta, Tangerang in Banten, Duren Tiga in South Jakarta, Duri Kosambi and Kembangan in West Jakarta, and Bekasi.

blog it


Cats, cups, credits, and cellphones

Little things in my life that (I think) are worth posting.


My seven-year-old cat sleeping on the pillow

Born 9 October 2000 (I took note of her birth in my old diary). Used to have two brothers, who died before reaching the age of one. A female domestic breed, she is always largely antagonistic towards other cats (even to her own mother!). I named her after a female game character in Rival Schools that I used to admire as a primary school student. She is my favourite feline.

"Grandma" Akira on the cushion

Dani sleeping in the front yard

Born 2002. Given by my aunt who is a cat-lover. A male (neutered) domestic breed, he is the slackest of my three cats. Couldn't stand being held in humans' hands, presumably due to his uneasiness. He is my sister's favourite.

Dani in 'awake' mode

Another Dani close-up, with Brown sleeping in the background


The royal prince sleeping

Born 2003. Given by my cat-lover aunt too, he (who is also neutered like Dani) has a certain regalia within him that always holds people in awe, especially with all the goldie in his hair. However, just like my other two cats, he is also a domestic. He is my Mom's favourite (though my sister's most disliked).

A habit of Brown: sticking out his tongue in his sleep

Having brought up together (even breastfed to the same female), Brown and Dani naturally treat each other like brothers. Brown is the most handsome one, but Dani is the unarguably the more photogenic one, perhaps due to the unique combination of stripes he has.

Brown and Dani sleeping together

Due to Akira's antagonistic attitude towards others, it is very rare to see the trio cats sitting together. Usually the clans are just like "Brown+Dani" vs Akira (alone). Hence this picture below could be very rarely taken, usually on certain days when the cats are not in a mood to fight:

This photo should earn me a Pulitzer for its rarity


How cute!

This is the only odd "cat" out. A little male bought last February for Rp20,000 (€1.20). Presumably born in 2007.


Vit Cups

I just found out yesterday that Vit has changed its cups shape for a new variety... Looks funny.


A parody of vehicle licence plate

I smiled reading the label on this sticker yesterday.


The cellphones being jumbled up

A collection of cellphones in my home being charged after a looooooong blackout today. Curse the PLN.

A closer snapshot

The second left Esia and the blue-cased Nokia 5300 are my sister's while the red-and-white Nokia 5200 belongs to me. The other four belongs to my superbusy Mom.


Snapshots of "Do not take pictures!"

A quite defiant attempt in breaking the rules. I took both pictures myself.

Jakarta History Museum, Kota Tua, Central Jakarta.
17 May 2008.

Pertamina Petrol Station, Pamulang, Tangerang.
18 May 2008


Indo-lyric: Aku dan Dirimu (Ari Lasso feat. Bunga Citra Lestari)

English translation:

Me and You

the time has come for us to talk
about this feeling that has tortured us
about this fiery dreams
about the unspoken love

we have kept quiet for so long
sunken beneath unsuppressed anxieties
that has filled our dreams at night

oh my love, my dear
please release
your feelings, your yearnings
all your love
and now there is only
me and you
a moment in eternity

if the time could be stopped
and every dreams come true
to melt all the limits
between you and me

Original lyric in Indonesian:

tiba saatnya kita saling bicara
tentang perasaan yang kian menyiksa
tentang mimpi yang menggebu
tentang cinta yang tak terungkap

sudah terlalu lama kita berdiam
tenggelam dalam gelisah yang tak teredam
memenuhi mimpi-mimpi malam kita

duhai cintaku, sayangku
perasaanmu, rindumu
s’luruh cintamu
dan kini hanya ada
aku dan dirimu
sesaat di keabadian

jika sang waktu bisa kita hentikan
dan s’gala mimpi-mimpi jadi knytaan
meleburkan semua batas
antara kau dan aku


Happenings in May 2008

Batam faces classroom shortage

A classic case indeed. We had quite aplenty of such cases a couple of years ago, if I’m not wrong.

Merging of University of Indonesia faculties

Read this on the paper a little while ago, about how the currently existing 13 faculties of UI (Universitas Indonesia) would be merged into just three, as a plan to make UI gain more reputation in the international world.


A disabled person qualifies for the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Great move by the IOC! I hope this would also open up ways for other disabled athletes to enter future Olympics, and help reduce the number of discrimination against the disabled in the future.

Increase in Indonesian Fuel Price

Good move by the government. No, I ain’t being sarcastic here, because I honestly believe that the government is doing the right thing.


As an editorial by The Jakarta Post recently substantiated (sorry, no hyperlink here), those who benefit most from the subsidy were actually they who belong to the higher-income strata of the Indonesian society. Yes, that “higher-income strata” does include you and me as ordinary Indonesians who have access to whatever gadget we are using to access this blog.

To be honest, though I myself was expecting to see an increase of fare for the Pamulang-Ciputat angkot (minibus), I was taken aback by how much I actually had to pay this afternoon. The usual fare of Rp2,000 spiked saliently to Rp3,500!

Geez. I was a bit disappointed, but I think we shouldn’t mind much, really.

I guess that’s one little drawback we get for having this subsidy emasculated. Hence let’s just hope that the part of the budget used for the fuel subsidy could jolly well be used for some other better purposes (and not end in some people’s pockets).

Here is a totally random snapshot I took then in a Ciputat-Bintaro angkot:

click to generate larger image

The usual fare for Kampung Utan-Bintaro Plaza route used to be Rp2,000, but it went for a 50% increase to Rp3,000. Just to give you an idea of what’s happening.

Increase in Global Crude Oil Price

Meanwhile, the price increase in crude oil had finally reached $135/barrel last Thursday, which should have posed an alarm to all of us since those barrels had reached the $100 notch not so long ago.

35% spike in a year or a decade would be more understandable… but months? Now that’s what I call a drying up on our natural nonrenewable resources.

As a non-direct impact, U.S. airlines have taken their psychopathic moves to do whatever they can to afford paying the gasoline, including:

1. Cutting back on domestic routes
2. Cutting back on food service
3. Imposing a fee on bag checks

I don’t really mind point no.1 really, because it could help save the earth by cutting on flights.

Point no.2 isn’t that big a problem either, though of course the passengers could feel quite annoyed by their stinginess.

But point no.3?

This fee on bag checks, as it turns out, has a $15 check fee for your first bag, $35 for your second, and $100 for your third.

Honestly, what the hell is going on here? Who the freak do they think they are, extorting money from the very people whose safety they’re supposed to guarantee? Seriously, those airlines have some pretty sick managers running the company. They could have increased the ticket fee instead but they didn’t. Nothing else should save them from desperation, I suppose.

Obama-Clinton duet

Uhm.. This has nothing to do with the current happenings whatsoever, but you should check it out anyway. Sung by their lookalikes, I was in for a laugh.


Conservatism, Conservation, and Religion

When I was 15, I once proudly declared myself as a Conservative. It had nothing to do with political or social stances though, because I was still so naïve that time that I thought being a “conservative” had anything to do with “environmental conservation”.

Now that I have fully understood the difference between conservatism and liberalism, I very much prefer to be on the moderate left side of the political sphere, that is, in favour of new changes in the society. It was bloody regrettable of me to declare conservatism back then, because little did I know that most environmentalists like me endorses the Democrat Party!

One thing that I dislike of people’s view of liberalism is, since liberalism inclines to move the society away from the conventional ways of life, there is a larger tendency among them to be non-religious. The accepted stereotype in America is that most conservatives are the churchgoing ones, while the liberals are those who either shun going to their places of worship, atheists, or agnostics.


Such a notion is so deeply rooted in America that Americans have their joke of “God invented war to teach Americans Geography”, and since the conservatives are God-loving people, they favour wars.

It’s kinda ludicrous in my opinion. How can a person who believes in God favours wars?

I recently found an amusing book titled, “If Democrats had any brains, they’d be Republicans”.

A must-read book for all stonyhearted people

That book’s title would surely find its offence among Democrats, but the riposte to that title by Martin Manurung was what I found much more amusing:

“If Republicans had any hearts, they’d be Democrats”

I couldn’t agree more.


Reviving Communist Party in Indonesia? Why not?

“Communism is definitely the best political system, ever”, my PRC senior once told me, “you know, I’m like envisioning a world where all countries in the world would unite under a single leadership of communism”

“But that’s impossible”, I retorted.

“Not for now, lah. Perhaps year 2500, or year 3000…”

“But why do you PRC people endorse communism that much, huh?”

“Well Toshi, you see… The thing is, even democracy like Singapore doesn’t allow people to speak freely. So, what’s the point of having democracy, then? It would be better off to have communism out in the open rather than having democracy yet restricting their freedom of speech”

“Hmm… yeah, I suppose you’re right”, I said.

The conversation above happened three years ago in Singapore when my geographical knowledge was not so widely open as today.

But now that I’ve learned a lot more about communism and capitalism, I would like to say this to him (who now resides in Canada) if we had the chance to discuss communism again:

“But Singapore isn’t really the type of libertarian capitalism. It’s more of the authoritarian one. And you forgot to mention the fall of USSR, who was once the biggest communist country in the world.”

I would not go to any length to elaborate my ‘authoritarian capitalism’ point in this blog, because I could safely assume that ordinary Singaporeans and foreigners who have spent considerable time in that island entity know what I am trying to say here.

But as I’ve said a few days ago, that “Communism is good, but democracy is better” shows an open defiance on my part against the youth’s mainstream nowadays. Despite my higher liking towards democracy/capitalism, I’ve never thought communism as a bad influence on the society as a whole.

Let me tell you why.

We all know that there exist poor examples of communist governments, such as in North Korea and Cuba where the economy is very piteous. And there is always the restriction on freedom of speech in communism, which is very detrimental to the maturity of the society.

But there are good sides to communism too.

You know, Indonesians are very phobic when it comes to communism. Whenever they hear anything related to the PKI (Indonesian Communist Party), bloody riots would surely follow. The taints of the G30S-PKI still lingers thru this day that mentioning the word “PKI” in Indonesia these days is similar to mentioning the word “Satanism”.

Now that’s an asinine mob mentality to be honest. Why should we Indonesians oppose communist party when in capitalist countries they have shown great virtues?

Here are a few examples.

First, Japan. Yes, Japan is a capitalist country, but do you know that the third largest political party after LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) and DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan) is the JCP (Japan Communist Party)? In fact, JCP is the only currently effective opposition in the Japanese parliament, because LDP and DPJ basically agree on most of their agenda.

Second, USA. Despite being the most well known capitalist country in the world, the communist party there, Communist Party of USA, had played a defining role in the U.S. labor movement from the 1920s through the 1940s and was well-known to have pursued intense anti-racist activity.

Third, China. Of course, this largest economy in the world-to-be has its Communist Party ruling supremely. And China is the best example of where communism doesn’t always have to be equalised with a poor economy.

Most Indonesians may argue that Indonesia has the Pancasila state ideology wherein it was stated:

Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa (Belief in One and Only God)

And since communism promotes atheism, it is thus not suitable for the Indonesian political atmosphere.

Oh, really? In what way does being a communist makes one an atheist, honestly?

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan also has its own communist party. And so does other Middle Eastern countries such as Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.

As the former president of Indonesia Gus Dur once veritably stated, Indonesia's original 1945 constitution did not prohibit or even specifically mention communism

There are examples of communist parties in numerous other capitalist countries, such as in France, Canada, Portugal, and Sweden.

If a mega-capitalist country like United States of America has its own communist party, why can’t Indonesia have one? Doesn’t a democratic Indonesia should by now be able to allow a communist party to contest in its elections?

And don’t forget, PKI was once the largest non-ruling communist party in the world prior to being crushed in 1965.

Before you comment negatively on this blog post, let me get things straight. It’s not that I’m supporting communism here.

But I do wholeheartedly endorse liberalism, which advocates a chance for all kinds of political ideologies to contest in a fair election, including one that is on the extreme political left.

And I think the 43 years that have passed since year 1965 should be long enough for us to move on from our G30S pains.


Firefox add-ons worth installing

I’ve recently found out that if you open my blog in that notorious Internet Explorer, it doesn’t show up very nicely, with a lot of HTML line breaks here and there. Hence I suggest you to switch to Mozilla Firefox (or Opera or whatever) if you haven’t done so.

In regards to Mozilla Firefox, it is the best browser I’ve used so far (I used to have Opera too but uninstalled it due to its hefty restrictions). Today I’m going to provide a list of Firefox add-ons I’ve had embedded to the software, together with a short review of their features. Perhaps you may want to consider embedding them to your Firefox too.

(My add-ons, Click to generate a clearer image)

AVG Safe Search

Provides a quick scan in our Google searches, which I’ve found useful in guaranteeing the “safeness” of particular sites. Below is what I found when googling my own pseudonym.

Google Icon

Shows the website’s icon on the left-hand side of its title when they show up in Google search. This in turn allows us to browse the site’s origin quickly without having to read their title.

(again, Click to generate a clearer image)

British English Dictionary

I’m not exactly sure what this dictionary add-on does to the words I type, because I haven’t found it autocorrecting my spellings so far. But you could see that the reason I have this installed was mainly due to my dialectal bias towards the Londoners instead of the Yankees.


As shown in the snapshot below, Clipmarks allows us to quote up to 1000 Latin characters neatly to any other websites, be they blogs, forums, or whatsoever. Unspun is a regular user of this add-on. And uh, don't mind the IE you see on my Quick Launch, because the only loyal fan of IE in my family is my sister.

Download Statusbar

Shows the download status within Firefox instead of the Windows taskbar.

(for the third time, please click to generate clearer image!)


Shows a “softer” look of that 'server-not-found' page.

Fierr error status

Fast Video Download

Allows downloading of various video formats such as .flv, .avi, etc.


Shows the location of the website’s server. Especially useful if we want to find out the location of the (paid) site’s owner. But it doesn’t help at all when it comes to blogs, since they’re either under the flag of USA’s Google or Wordpress or Typepad.


Allows us to download… what else? Flash.

Imageshack right-click

Serves to ease the uploading of images we find elsewhere on the net onto ImageShack. This one must be downloaded from the Imageshack’s own website.

Veoh Browser Plug-in

Veoh is a video-hosting site with videos of higher resolution than those we find in Youtube. One drawback I find in downloading from Veoh is, with a much higher resolution, the file sizes could get extremely big and hence, not recommended for dial-up users.

A complete display of most of my add-ons


This is the add-on I’ve found the most useful this far. It allows us to capture websites snapshot without having to peck on that “Prt Scr” on our keyboard.

Site snapshot without ScreenGrab

Site snapshot with ScreenGrab


Indo-lyric: Hanya Ingin Kau Tahu (Repvblik)

English translation:

I just want you to know

I have found
The beauty of my pain
The destruction of my hopes
When you let go of my love

I feel the eternity
Even if you understood
Even if you inferred
I think I've known you wrongly

I just want you to know
How immense my love is
The height of my imagination with you

To go thru the time left now
On every single day
In the remainder of my breaths

ow wooo wo wo wo

Although all of them only exist in my wishes
Only within my dreams
To sail the life

I feel the eternity
Even if you understood
Even if you inferred
I think I've known you wrongly

I just want you to know
How immense my love is
The height of my imagination with you

To go thru the time left now
On every single day
In the remainder of my breaths

I just want you to know
How immense my love is
The height of my imagination with you

To go thru the time left now
On every single day
In the remainder of my breaths

ow wooo wo wo wo wo wo wo wo wo

Original lyric in Indonesian:

Ku telah miliki
Rasa indahnya perihku
Rasa hancurnya harapku
Kau lepas cintaku

Rasakan abadi
Sekalipun kau mengerti
Sekalipun kau pahami
Ku pikir ku salah mengertimu

Aku hanya ingin kau tahu
Besarnya cintaku
Tingginya khayalku bersamamu

Tuk lalui waktu yang tersisa kini
Di setiap hariku
Di sisa akhir nafas hidupku

ow wooo wo wo wo

Walaupun semua hanya ada dalam mimpiku
Hanya ada dalam anganku
Melewati hidup

Rasakan abadi
Sekalipun kau mengerti
Sekalipun kau pahami
Ku pikir ku salah mengertimu

Aku hanya ingin kau tahu
Besarnya cintaku
Tingginya khayalku bersamamu

Tuk lalui waktu yang tersisa kini
Di setiap hariku
Di sisa akhir nafas hidupku

Aku hanya ingin kau tahu
Besarnya cintaku
Tingginya khayalku bersamamu

Tuk lalui waktu yang tersisa kini
Di setiap hariku
Di sisa akhir nafas hidupku

ow wooo wo wo wo wo wo wo wo wo


Colour pink for guys

“Change it,” my roommate told me, “ It looks gay on you”

I gawked at him incredulously.

“But Aik Wee wears pink too and he looks fine in it!” I protested.

“He’s different. Not all guys have the same ‘effect’ wearing pink. Certain people could look gay, and you’re one obvious example. Trust me. Especially with that shade of pink.”

I decided to take a look at the mirror to see what he’s really talking about. He was true. While the pink in Aik Wee’s T-shirt was of this shade:

mine looked like this:

which was much more feminine in comparison. His reasoning sounded logical enough to me that, in complete obedience to his words, I decided to change my newly-bought SG$5.00 pink T-shirt for a white one. In the end, I sent that pink T-shirt back to my Aunt in Indonesia (who is of the same size as me).

Light pink doesn’t usually draw spectators when worn by guys, but darker pink does. And now that I thought about it, this dear roommate of mine had just saved me from the embarrassment of my life.


Is it bad for a writer to be moody?

Normally I would have written this topic on my other, more personal blog, but today I want to get as many feedbacks as possible, hence my writing here.

I know that in order to become a professional writer, I must split the line between my personal world and my occupational one. However, that line could sometimes become quite thin for writers (especially those of fictional/inspirational ones), since the piece of writing he/she produces requires a certain amount of creativity. And whenever a storm hails down, that creativity tap could get turned off and the writer oneself becomes unproductive.

Without creativity, most of one’s writing would seem quite lifeless, or soulless as I choose to say it, because as we may know, that piece reflects the mood of the writer oneself.

In regards to myself, a couple of downpours I’ve been having over the last couple of weeks in my backyard haven’t been completely cleaned up for now (please mind the metaphor), and it has led me to ponder over the fact if I was really born to be a writer after all. Especially with this heavy blizzard I had yesterday that totally shut my creativity tap off.

As a note, the only type of literature I could produce during blizzards is (sad) poetry. And I don’t really enjoy writing sad poems, despite the fact that they help me to express my emotions in an implicit way.


I love writing because I know I do love it, but I always feel immensely guilty whenever my creativity tap is blocked by such hindrances. For any writers out there who have their own ways of isolating such emotional fluctuations as not to let them affect their work, I would greatly appreciate if you would share them here.


The amount of alms donated for the 2004 tsunami

Two years ago, I had this discussion with a friend who was interested in embracing Catholicism.

Talking about Catholic rites and other heaps of stuff led us to the part about donating alms. In Catholicism, nobody else is supposed to know how much alms have you donated every Sunday Mass, in order to receive grace from God only.

It was unfortunate that he trapped me into this segment of conversation below.

S: By the way, is it OK for us to give a donation as small as (SG) 25 cents?

Me: Yep. God’s perfectly fine with that, as long as you’re giving it willingly. It’s much better to donate 25 cents willingly than $100 unwillingly, because God knows our true intent in giving the money.

S: So… How much was the largest amount of alms you have donated?

Me: $10

S: Whoa.. That’s a pretty large amount! When was it?

Me: During the last tsunami period. You know, the Singapore parishes were appealing to us church goers back then to donate more than we usually did. And I was quite touched indeed that I decided to donate $10 instead of the usual coins I donate.

(Note: the largest nominal of Singapore coin is $1)

S: But Toshi.. You’re not supposed to tell me the amount of alms you donate, right? You’ve lost your grace from God, then!

S: (evil grin)

Me: (surprised, realises what he has just done)

Me: Shit! You trapped me into telling!

S: So that $10 you’ve donated was for nothing!

S: (laughs)

Me: (laughs too)

Me: But S, I don’t care that much about that grace from God, honestly.

S: (looks confused)

S: But why?

Me: Well you see, when I donated that $10, the only thought on my mind was to help the suffering people in Aceh and Phuket and Sri Lanka, nothing else. I don’t really care about how much graces I receive from God by donating that. The most important thing in donating religious alms is to help people, you know. Don’t focus too much on graces from God, otherwise your mind would get clouded of the real purpose of donating

S: Whoa.. That’s quite….. um….

T: What?

S: Benevolent of you!

T: *grins* Haha, of course!

On that week of Tsunami aftermaths, the Singapore diocese was able to gather millions of Singapore dollars to donate to the tsunami-stricken areas of Aceh, Phuket, and Sri Lanka. Singaporeans were the most generous when it came to donating stuff, and that’s what we as other Asians should salute of them.


Indo-lyric: Permintaan Hati (Letto)

English translation:

Heart Request

I am lulled, fallen into
the beauty in waiting
this hesitation inside has bespoken
one hindered by certainty of love

I am lost
I am lost

The night fog appeared with hopes refracted
the one kept has a million masters
this hesitation inside has bespoken
one dashed by certainty of love


Please listen to this heart request tormented in stillness
and give a meaning to my life
the one dashed and taken away
from your hug... and your accompanying me... and without you, I am always lost

I am lost
I am lost

The night fog appeared with hopes refracted
the one kept has a million masters
this hesitation inside has bespoken
one dashed by certainty of love

Reff twice

Original lyric in Indonesian:

Terbuai aku hilang terjatuh aku dalam
Keindahan penantian
Terucap keraguan hati yang bimbang
Yang terhalang kepastian cinta

Aku hilang
Aku hilang

Tersabut kabut malam terbiasnya harapan
Yang tersimpan sejuta bertuan
Terasa kerinduan hati yang bimbang
Yang terhempas kepastian cinta


Dengarkanlah permintaan hati yang teraniaya sunyi
Dan berikanlah arti pada hidupku
Yang terhempas yang terlepas
Pelukanmu bersamamu dan tanpamu aku hilang selalu

Aku hilang
Aku hilang

Tersabut kabut malam terbiasnya harapan
Yang tersimpan sejuta bertuan
Terasa kerinduan hati yang bimbang
Yang terhempas kepastian cinta

Reff 2x


When you’re in the middle of nowhere in the ocean and no help is around…

Do not take off your clothes!

Seriously, if you think that your clothes pull your body down as a weight, think again.

You may not be able to swim, but at least those clothes could help keeping your body warm for a certain time.

And do you know that, statistically speaking, the chances of a non-swimmer to drown (in case of a ship accident) are much less than the chances of a swimmer?

It is logical enough, considering that non-swimmers are more likely to take the lifebuoy than swimmers.

Most swimmers think that being able to swim fast in the Olympic pool is everything, hence their snobbish attitude in refusing the lifebuoys. But they surely don’t know that, in the middle of the ocean, it could be at least 100 kilometres away from the nearest land. And no man could ever swim such a distance!

Yes, not even those English Channel crossers. If you think that they swam the English Channel nonstop, then read their articles again. They had several breaks, and along the way they were accompanied by lifeguards.

So… in case you happen to be in a nautical accident, just remember my two tips above, keep your clothes on and hang on to the lifebuoys!


Indonesian student died of National Exam

Arin Triani, a secondary student from Madiun, East Java, suddenly collapsed when she was stepping out of the exam venue. She was brought straight to the hospital but it was too late. She died while having the Natural Sciences national exam.

As for now, the police have not found any signs of violence. According to the teachers and her friends, Arin did have a heart disease. Due to the lack of signs of violence, her body was soon handed to the family for a burial.

(Above is the shortened translation of the news excerpt from SCTV below)

Such a tragic happening indeed. She did not even have the chance to enjoy how it felt to be liberated from all those exam stresses…

clipped fromwww.liputan6.com

09/05/2008 06:05 Pendidikan
Arin Meninggal Saat Ikut Ujian Nasional

Liputan6.com, Madiun:
Suasana Sekolah Menengah Pertama Negeri II, Kecamatan Geger, Madiun, Jawa Timur, Kamis (8/5) siang, mendadak ramai. Ini setelah Arin Triani, siswi kelas IX C, tiba-tiba terjatuh ketika keluar dari ruang ujian. Bahkan, saat dibawa ke ruang unit kesehatan sekolahm nyawa Arin sudah tak tertolong. Arin meninggal saat mengikuti ujian nasional mata pelajaran Ilmu Pengetahuan Alam.

Hasil identifikasi sementara, polisi tak menemukan adanya tanda-tanda kriminalitas. Menurut sejumlah guru dan rekan korban, Arin memang memiliki penyakit jantung. Lantaran tak ada unsur kekerasan, jenazah Arin diserahkan kepada keluarganya untuk dimakamkan.(BOG/Dirgo Suyono)

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The Jakarta Post seminar on Indonesian Education

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The signboard in front of the venue

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Outside the venue

This free seminar on Indonesian education, entitled “Enlightening the Life of the Nation” was to commemorate both May as the Month of National Awakening in Indonesia, and coincides a week after the Silver Jubilee celebration of The Jakarta Post. It was held yesterday (9 May) in Hotel Mulia in the Senayan, South Jakarta, and the registration for all attendees was opened from 8.30 to 9.00 in Ballroom 1.

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Inside the ballroom

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Minutes before the seminar started

At around 9, the event was opened by an introductory speech of Jusuf Wanandi, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Jakarta Post.

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View of the audience

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Another view of the audience

The event started with the first session which was about “Comparing Notes – The Experience of Singapore and South Korea” which lasted from 09.15 to 10.15.

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The emcees opening the event

The first keynote speaker was Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the Minister of Education and Finance of Singapore. He spoke with a slightly crisp accent (despite having been educated in the USA) about the history of education of Singapore since the independence. Having been 10 years in his current post, he was knowledgeable enough of the need of education in Southeast Asia. He basically presented how the education in Singapore was built from nothing after the separation from Malaysia (then Malaya), and how today it had incorporated various elements of the society to cater the different needs of students with their respective differing abilities and skills.

The second person to speak was Kim Shinil, the Former Deputy of Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Human Resources Development of S. Korea. He initially started his presentation of Korean education a bit longwindedly, and realizing this, he admitted to the audience jokingly how verbose his speech could become. His presentation mainly focused on how the Korean society adapted to the needs of education with differing approaches in each the rural and urban areas, especially since all males in South Korea are to be entitled to three years of National Service. He then noted how dire the Korean education was back then in his time, with cases of having 115 students per class! Its striking similarity to Indonesian education in terms of the cultural and compulsory aspect showed how the Indonesian government could learn more from Korea.

The emcee by then had introduced a last-minute speaker from the Indonesian Ministry of Education, the Director General of Higher Education Learning Fasli Djalal. Most of the seminar attendees were satisfied for his inclusion in this event, as he was going to speak on what kind of planning the Indonesian government have got in mind for its improvement.

Djalal firstly showed a presentation on the dire conditions of Indonesian education today, with its low rank in HDI, the dilapidated primary schools in various districts, the low wages of teachers, and the low percentage of qualified teachers as compared to the total number of teachers across the country. Most of the audience seemed quite excited to know what kind of visions he have brought to the seminar as to tackle those dire conditions.

Unfortunately, those two simple messages from the respective representations from South Korea and Singapore seemed unable to reach the Indonesian delegate. Instead of speaking how the Indonesian education could be improved by taking the examples of other more developed countries, Djalal showed an unrealistic vision on how the Indonesian education could be improved by focusing heavily on the use of Technology.

The presentation by then had taken turn into a several-minutes video that showed the use of the dull-looking TVRI-ish educational channel, an educational portal in the internet, an interactive radio, and how the usage of all those technological aspects above could be used more holistically in the near future.

It was a disappointment indeed. The current expenditure of education in Indonesia, which currently stays at the minute figure of 3% of the budget, was only mentioned once without any further elaboration. And he furthermore did not even touch the issue of how the welfare of teachers in the country, together with the improvement of their qualification, could be ameliorated.

The Q&A session for Session One was unfortunately expired due to the limited time both foreign delegates had on that day. Shinil had a flight to catch, while Shanmugaratnam had had other events to attend.

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Shanmugaratnam shaking hands after the event

However, it to be commendable for the Singaporean minister that even for 10 minutes after the session expired, he chose to stay in order to answer various questions posed by the ordinary schoolteachers who attended the seminar. On the other hand, the Indonesian delegate Djalal had disappeared to nowhere; raising suspicion among ourselves of whether he was avoiding the questions we attendees had been dying to ask him.

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Shanmugaratnam using body language to enliven his answers

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Shanmugaratnam's answer being recorded with an MP3 Player

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Shanmugaratnam's picture being taken

After 15 minutes of coffee break, the second session which was about “The Role of the Business Sector in Education” lasted from 10.30 to 11.30.

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During the first coffee break

The first speaker this time was Yani Panigoro who belongs to the Board of Trustees of the Medco Foundation. She spoke English with a thick Javanese accent and her speech was regrettably read from a text that it prevented her message to be conveyed in any clearer way than what had already been written.

The second speaker was James T. Riady who is the Founder and Chairman of Pelita Harapan University. He offered fresh insights on how the education in Indonesia could be improved by focusing on changing the mindset of the people from the Knowledge-oriented pedagogy to the Learning-oriented one. Being a Chinese Indonesian brought up under the Soeharto rule, he spoke of how Confucianism values had affected his upbringing greatly.

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Mr Riady receiving tokens of appreciation

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Mr Riady and Mrs Panigoro shaking hands

The Q&A session which took the remaining 20 minutes of the session had one questioner requesting both Panigoro and Riady, being two powerful people in Indonesian education, to lobby the government for the improvement of education not only limited to private sectors, but also the public institutions, where most of the Indonesian children could afford to attend. Unfortunately as it turned out, that question was diplomatically ducked by Panigoro (who chose to answer in Indonesian) presumably due to her unwillingness to do the lobbying herself.

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Shown on the far left is Sabam Siagian, the first Chief editor of the Post, and the third person from the left Fasli Jalal

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Riady and Panigoro engaging in conversation

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Panigoro talking with Djalal

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During the lunch break

After an hour of lunch break, the third session which was about “Best Practices in Primary and Secondary Schools” was held from 13.00 to 14.30.

The first speaker of this session was Father Baskoro Poedjinoegroho, the Principal of Kanisius College Jakarta. He spoke of the strict approach that the Catholic institution had implemented thus far with all the multitudinous cheatings and indiscipline actions.

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Ms Amir showing presentation on High Scope Indonesia

The second person to speak on stage was Antarina S. F. Amir, the Managing Director of High Scope Indonesia. She spoke of how the High Scope educational system has been adapted to suit to the needs of Indonesian students with its Indonesian approach to a bilingual education in class and being totally founded and managed by Indonesian nationals. At the end of her presentation, she showed an interesting video of “A Vision of K-12 students in the 21st century” which aroused the interest of the audience, with various students from differing ethnicities showed messages of the current technological needs of kids today on their respective whiteboards. In the end, High Scope has shown its realistic vision towards the unpredictable demands of jobs in the future by preparing the kids with the holistic approach they teach at school.

The third speaker was Niken Asih Santjojo who is the Principal of SMAN 10 Malang, who enthusiastically spoke of the various aspects of how her school has become one of the most reputed public high schools in the country. It was unlucky that she had not shown very clearly what the main point of her presentation was.

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Mrs Santjojo receiving token of appreciation

After the third session ended, the attendees were given free copies of the book “The Voice of Reason”, which a Post columnist Simon Pitchforth recently blogged about. It was an anthology of the best select of 200 editorials of The Jakarta Post during the 25 years of its conception and as an embodiment of what kinds of stances the Post has stood over its lifespan. I was quite lucky to get my book autographed by Sabam Siagian, the first editor-in-chief of The Jakarta Post. When he saw me, he guessed that I must have been a Binus student. There must have been a lot of them attending the event that he thought I was one of the students.

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People "queueing" to get free copies of the book. A typical Indonesian "queue" indeed

The blogger's own free copy of the book

The seminar was to end at 16.30 with the last session of “Best Practices in Tertiary Education” but alas, I had an urgent matter to attend at home that I had to leave the remaining contents of the seminar to others to write. All in all, the seminar with loads of its freebies was a nice step taken by The Post towards enlightening the life of the nation by starting on its education factor, though I honestly doubt that the points concluded in this event would be noticed at all by the Indonesian ministry.


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