Archive | July 2009

Essay: The Importance Of #indonesiaunite

Well of course, the #indonesiaunite movement that started through Twitter was initially part of a reaction towards the bombings of JW Marriot and Ritz-Carlton last Friday. But in mere hours, #indonesiaunite has morphed into a wave of nationalism that has not been seen since the 1998 demonstrations that brought down Soeharto.

Because of the high profile #indonesiaunite has received through Twitter’s Trending Topics (and reached no.1 several times), many Indonesian twitterers have been stating the virtues of Indonesia in 140 characters or less. Whether it be the exotic islands and culture, the culinary adventures, or even imperfect sides like Jakarta’s seemingly constant traffic jams, Indonesians have been pushing out positive messages and promoting their own country.

It would seem that, as I had said in a previous tweet, that all the closet nationalists have come out and made themselves heard. Of course, in such a diverse country like this, some naysayers or skeptics are questioning on whether that #indonesiaunite is just a fad, or is it something that would actually matter.

Well here’s my thought. Most of us bloggers and twitterers aren’t in the armed forces, so we don’t know anything about physically defending the country. Many of us aren’t politicians, legislators or bureaucrats either, so there is not yet anything concrete we can do to make Indonesia better. Most of us are still in school or are simple employees, so we do not have the capital to fund something significant.

Yet we all do recognize something – the power of viral communication. I might only be able to persuade, say 5 people around be aware of the spirit of #indonesiaunite, but if all the Indonesian users of Twitter could do the same thing, we’d have a small yet growing thing going.

The message of #indonesiaunite is simple yet it might be different for every person – that is why it is a potent force to begin with. It is time that we all rediscover our love of country, and make sure we rekindle it in others too!

You could say that #indonesiaunite is a political movement, because, up to today, it has not morphed into, say, a non-governmental organization. I would say no to such thing, because to institutionalize an idea like this would be to kill the idea itself. Organizations need leaders, but yet #indonesiaunite has no leader other than the concept itself.

#indonesiaunite has, in the span of 3-4 days, become a uniquely 21st century movement – a wholly crowdsourced movement where each and every participant contributes equally to the strength of the movement.

Whether or not the #indonesiaunite spirit can be transferred offline, as has been the discussion for the past 2 days, and properly infused into the general public psyche, remains to be seen. Such a direction may need more traditional approaches. Nevertheless, one may hope that when historians look back on the moment where Indonesia picked itself up and flew into the future, it would not be because of one person or a group of people, it would be because of #indonesiaunite.

Only together we can change this country for the better. Indonesia unite!

Komentar Subyektif Tentang Serangan 17 Juli 2009

Ternyata gue nggak bisa tinggal diam. Tadinya gue nggak mau berkomentar apa-apa, hanya berduka untuk keluarga-keluarga yang terkena musibah serangan teroris di Ritz Carlton dan JW Marriot Jumat kemarin, dan menggenapkan semangat untuk tidak takut pada serangan teroris.

Tapi baru lewat 3 hari, udah makin aneh omongan orang di media.
Pertama, presscon Presiden SBY hari Jumat, yang malah membahas ada upaya menghentikan beliau dilantik. Gue masih agak bisa menerima ini sebagai upaya menggambarkan ke masyarakat Indonesia bahwa banyak orang yang berupaya mengacaukan perdamaian di Indonesia; beliau pun bilang belum tentu terkait. Namun, hal ini langsung ditanggapi tim Mega-Prabowo sebagai sesuatu yang salah, bla bla bla… sambil mereka menyatakan juga, serangan bom jangan dipolitisir. Menurut gue, ga usah komentar dulu kalo ga mau memperkeruh suasana.

Terus, media luar (dan mungkin pernyataan dari beberapa perwira) bahwa serangan-serangan tersebut terkait dengan Jemaah Islamiyah. Terlalu dini untuk menyimpulkan itu, karena bukti (paling tidak yang sudah diberitakan di media massa) belum konklusif, dan tidak ada pernyataan dari JI sendiri. Biarkan polisi bekerja. Kalau memang ternyata JI, ya kita liat buktinya saja. Kalau bukan, ya biarkan bukti yang bicara, karena orang bisa ngomong apa aja.

Lalu ada sang pakar telematika yang bilang, teroris pasti nggak pakai internet untuk melakukan serangan. Gue nggak mau komentar deh yang satu ini.

Nah sekarang, Tim Pengacara Muslim, yang entah kenapa harus menegaskan bagian ‘Muslim’nya, mengeluarkan pernyataan bahwa serangan bom Kuningan tidak berkaitan dengan JI, dan meminta kepolisian tidak terburu-buru menyimpulkan bahwa serangan terkait dengan jaringan Islam tertentu.

Sekarang gue balik deh. Fakta yang sudah diberitakan adalah, walaupun modus operandi baru, cara rakitan bom identik dengan serangan-serangan lain yang sudah dibuktikan terkait dengan JI. Nggak berarti udah pasti JI sih, tapi belum tentu juga bukan JI. Mentang-mentang namanya ‘Jemaah Islamiyah’ (yang menurut gue, nama itu adalah rekaan media Barat) jadi harus dibela sama TPM. Kalau JI memang ada, harus dibela? Karena mereka bunuh orang atas nama Islam, harus dibela? Islam itu kuat kok, dan Islam itu suci. Nggak berarti orang Islam itu pasti nggak salah kan. TPM bilang jangan berspekulasi, tapi bilang juga bahwa tidak terkait JI. Ah, gimana sih.

Kita perlu memberi ruang dan waktu untuk membiarkan para aparat menyelesaikan penyelidikan, dan tugas kita sebagai warga negara adalah terus membangun Indonesia. Indonesia akan maju bukan karena pemerintahannya saja, tapi karena rakyatnya juga. Rakyatnya yang bersatu demi bangsanya. Kayaknya udah nggak jamannya lagi kita terlalu membedakan antara suku, agama, ras dan… satu lagi apa sih… ya itu deh.

Indonesiaunite!

Roads Repaired With Recycled Material

This is definitely one of the best decisions made this year, whether or not it actually gets carried out. So instead of using totally new material for road reparations, the city administration is planning to recycle basic material like asphalt from previously used material.The amount recycled is not much, but it’s a start. Next step would be figuring out how to use the hundreds of tons of garbage Jakartans throw out each month and use it as cheap building material. I wonder if any of the distinguished universities have made any studies into this…