Archive | December 2008

Christmas, Jakarta Style

29,000 policemen are assigned to guard around 1,000 church locations, in fear of attacks.Some voices in the Islamic community are urging their fellow Muslims to not say “Merry Christmas” to Christians, because it would mean that they believe in Christmas and Jesus Christ too. Ironically, there are no religious edicts banning Muslims from congratulating Buddhists or Hindus on their religious celebrations, or Easter for that matter.Some of those on holiday and not celebrating Christmas decide to… go to the zoo.Pacific Place mall has scheduled fake snowfall every day, together with Christmas caroling.Malls outdo themselves with Christmas decorations and programs.Jakarta streets are relatively empty, because today is also the 1st day of a  5-day long weekend.However bad or good, absurd or funny Christmas can be in Jakarta, we at Plis Deh Jakarta hope those of you celebrating have a Merry Christmas!

Lavish, Huh?

A coalition of NGOs got together to scrutinize the city budget, concluding that it is too lavish on some points. I agree, there is Rp 1.6 billion set aside for … speech writing? I think presidential speech writing is something necessary, but… on the city level? When was the last time you heard a commanding and heart-rousing speech from a city official? We’d most likely hear a commanding and heart-rousing speech from a student demonstrator, and they do it for free. Not that either speech would be heard by Jakartans in general.But I’m not sure why the NGOs pointed out that equipment for the fire department, at Rp 1 billion, was extravagant. Have they ever seen our pitiful excuse for a fire department? They need all the help they can get.A state budget limit of Rp 12 million for laptops a bit over the top considering that city officials won’t be doing 3D animation or video editing anytime soon, but budget allocations for Rp 35 million laptop? I think someone just has their eye on a nice 17″ MacBook Pro, which would look nice on their desk, be damned if he didn’t have the slightest idea how to use it properly. That’s what the desktop PC next to it is for.When asked about the obvious excess from limits of state budgetary rules, the city official in charge merely said ‘state budget limits do not apply to regional budget decisions’. And this quote is priceless: “.. we have no authority to say whether they are overpriced”. Use your head! The rest of us surely can.On the positive side, at least the public budget can come under scrutiny now. It’s one small step.So, congratulations to Jakartans who have until the end of this month to sign up for their tax number (NPWP). Your future taxes will be well spent, if this is any indication. The question is for whom.

Pay Me To Clean Up My Own River

Trash piled up in the Citarum in North Jakarta. The river supports 28 million people and 20 percent of national industrial output. (Adek Berry/Agence France-Presse) - from the International Herald Tribune

The Asian Development Bank will be lending USD 50 million to the Jakarta city administration to clean up Citarum river.Hm.We actually need to borrow money to clean up our own mess, regardless on whether or not the money will actually be spent cleaning up the river or becoming somebody’s Hummer. And the debt will be paid off at the taxpayers’ expense, including the Hummer.Of course, the ADB will be implementing measures and controls that will somewhat prevent or decrease misuse of funds or corruption, but yeah well… if there’s one thing Indonesians are good at, it’s definitely cooking the books! But you know what? As long as we get the river properly clean and keep it that way, I don’t mind paying for a few Hummers. As long as we know about it.

Alternative Fuel in Coconut Juice?

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Perhaps alternative energy sources are here already. Your coconut juice can also become your Pertamax.Submitted by Nita.

We Love The Flag – Ours

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A view from outside of one of the political party offices. We blurred out the party name… a bit.

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Close-up: despite having tons of party flags, the office only has one small, measly Indonesian flag on the car.Submitted by iiiccchhhaaa.