Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Update clarification

As I posted before, I made clarification on Pendet dance from Malaysian claim. According to recent news, it was a mistake made by the television broadcast. It seems quite an easy confirmation since Pendet dance indeed belongs to Balinese and Indonesia. In this matter, I can accept that Malaysia free from any misconduct.

Unfortunately, this clarification not instantly diminished the label attached to Malaysia regarding stolen culture demeanor on Indonesia. For instance Rasa Sayange song, the clarification still apply...

Clarification not only for Malaysian, but for people all over the world

Given recent news which initiated by blatant Malaysian government over claiming another traditional Indonesian dance, in particular Balinese dance; I want to confirm not only Malaysian but also people all over the world as following:

Pendet dance is originally Balinese and Indonesian own dance. Malaysia never ever create or even own such a beautiful dance. Only Balinese and Indonesian who have capabilities to invent such creative dance and it is already being part of their life from their beloved ancestor.

Malaysia ought never ever try to claim and justify any dance that originally own and created by Indonesian. Malaysia must immediately quote the authenticity of any cultural activities that originally from any part of Indonesia. Malaysia must avoid any "stolen culture" demeanor, particularly from Indonesia of being used and claimed as Malaysian. Therefore, Malaysia can prove their dignity and sovereignty as a nation.

I urge Malaysian government and people of Malaysia to consider this clarification for the sake of etiquette.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Article of the day

From The Jakarta Post: Bali is reaching a crossroad

Bali is reaching a crossroads

Anak Agung Gde Agung , Jakarta | Sun, 08/09/2009 11:35 AM | Opinion

The rejection by the Bali administration to relocate 10 Komodo dragons from their natural habitat in Wae Wulu, West Manggarai, to the island province is a highly praiseworthy decision made for all the right reasons.

For one, forcing the komodo dragons to exist in a possibly harmful alien environment is worthy of mention. Secondly, Bali has shown it will not pursue its own goals as a cultural tourist destination at the expense of something more significant.

The second reason is a very important development in the mind set of Balinese officials, who have up until now only sought the maximum number of tourists by any means possible. The result has been catastrophic for the conservation of Bali's rich culture and environment.

The erosion of Bali's, tradition, culture and natural environment as a result of massive efforts to boost tourist numbers has occurred in a number of ways. The most visible is the overload in infrastructure and overuse of precious natural resources. Roads have become cramped with cars at all hours of night and day, while farmlands have disappeared at a rate of around 1000 hectares per year to make way for hotels, villas and malls.

All of Bali's 37 beaches and eight rivers have undergone serious transformations from their original states through development activities that have illegally violated building codes. Water levels at various points are so low they risk drying up altogether, inviting sea water to seep in. This problem and many more like it were foregone conclusions when the number of hotel rooms, set by French tourist company Sceto at a maximum 22.000 for Bali, exceeded the 70.000 mark. This excludes villas, home stays and condominiums which have mushroomed in quantum leaps these past few years.

The more fatal effect of this overload of tourists lies in the impact it has culturally. As farmlands are converted into tourist infrastructure, alienation not only occurs with the land but also to the temples, rituals, ceremonies and communal life - the essential lifestyle of the people who used to live on that land. The Balinese way of life, culture and tradition has been displaced in the blink of an eye.

Worse still, the hotels that have come to replace the indigenous farmers bring in their wake western values of individualism, meritocracy, efficiency and other modernist traits. These exist in stark contrast to the previous Balinese symbol-oriented society. Needless to say, rapid transformations occur wherever the Balinese language is abandoned for English as a sign of advancement.

Considering this tragic trend, the recent announcement by the Balinese administration that the focus of its tourist industry is cultural is therefore something of a landmark. If seriously adhered to, this could signal the reversal of some of these damaging trends Bali has been enduring.

Now that the intent is there, the administration needs to identify the means by which is plans to achieve its objectives, that is conserving the island*s cultural and natural heritage.

The important point here, as far as tourist management is concerned, is to heed to the basic idea that tourists travel to a place to experience its unique cultural and natural environment. With this in mind, the administration should focus on three strategies.

First, it should aim to preserve and enhance the special cultures, traditions and natural environment of Bali through multifaceted defensive and motivational policies.

Next, it should bring in the right type of tourists who can appreciate the culture and natural environment of the island. It should stop emphasizing the sheer number of tourists arriving and begin advocating for the right kind of people it wishes to host. This will prevent Bali from becoming everything for everybody and eventually nothing for nobody. In short, it will protect it from losing its uniqueness. Those visiting Bali for its unique culture will reinvigorate local pride in culture.

Finally, Bali's key philosophy on life, the Tri Hita Karana, should be strengthened. The premise of the philosophy teaches that man in his every action should always heed his impact on the three main surroundings - his fellow being, his natural environment and his god or morality. In meeting his needs, man should balance them in such a way that the needs of those around him are not impaired.

He should adhere to the way of the Tri Hita Karana, or the "Sacred Balance", which governs behavior to conform to propriety, reciprocity and interconnection, all of which mean honoring heritage and conservation. If Balinese can truly live the way of the Tri Hita Karana, they will refrain from achieving their objectives at the expense of their tradition, culture and environment.

While the clock is ticking fast and Bali is rapidly approaching this crossroads, it is not too late to turn fate around. May the rejection of the Komodo dragons wake the Balinese to the dire danger that their rich heritage faces and galvanize them toward the right course of action.

Dr. Anak Agung Gde Agung is a graduate of Harvard (US) and Leiden (Holland) universities and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (US). He was a member of the Supreme Consultative Body (MPR - RI, 1999 - 2004) and was a Minister of Societal Affairs under President Abdurrahman Wahid.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

SuperFreakonomics for the suicide bombers

Courtesy of Freakonomics

I would like to buy this book for two main reason: 1) I want to know what will be the new topics discuss by Levitt and Dubner in this book as I already read their previous book - Freakonomics; 2) I have this crazy idea since the last part of the title really relevant with latest incident of bom attack in Jakarta. If I know the bombers and their follower personally, I would like to buy and give this book for them and I hope they really read the chapter about why suicide bombers should buy life insurance.

I guess the suicide bombers actually already have "life insurance" in heaven for doing the bombing, based on their faith and believe. Having said that, I had realized that by reading this book they will not easily being "brain washed" since economic science have no doctrinal teaching approach. But, I still wish to try to change their mind somehow. I am not hate them, just felt sorry for them.

Teroris = Para Pencari Sensasi = Suratkabar

"Pertama, saya belum mendapatkan verifikasi dari jaringan teroris itu sendiri, yang kedua banyak kejanggalan yang terjadi dalam penembakan itu", ujar Al Chaidar saat dihubungi melalui telpon genggamnya"
Jika benar ada orang yang memiliki "pengetahuan" tentang para teroris SEBAIK dan SETEPAT ini, bilakah dia: a) kaki tangan teroris, atau b) teroris sendiri, atau c) sang pencari sensasi...?

Jika a) dan atau b) berlaku, mengapa dia tidak ditangkap?

Namun jika c) yang berlaku, mengapa dia bisa dikutip oleh suratkabar/berita yang cukup ternama?

Tidakkah ini berarti bahwa para teroris sama dengan para pencari sensasi serta sama dengan suratkabar atau kantor berita yang memuat artikel seperti ini?

Friday, August 07, 2009

A note of lament for 'Sam' - the Koala

I was touched by his story a few months ago on how he escape from a disaster. Despite his cute face (Who don't like to see a koala? Poor you!), his experience with his savior give us some meaning about how to have a great relationship in our live.

But, now you're gone and I have this true lament feeling for your death. So long, Sam. Rest in peace...

PS: I really want to see a koala, for sure

Bravo Sandhy Sandoro...

courtesy of The Jakarta Globe

Another Indonesian artist - a singer - who successfully serve the great name of Indonesia in international competition.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Another good lesson from Scandinavian

My admiration to Scandinavian has not yet over. In fact, it keep coming on due recent economic crisis where we see how the world, including most of developed as well as superpower countries, facing the global economic downturn. The article titled "Why Scandinavia can teach us a thing or two about surviving a recession" definitely could hinted us few things on how they respond to the crisis. The way Scandinavia respond to economic situation is not only due to the crisis, but also during their "happy" moment.

One good lesson regarding natural resources richness management - as I assumed that Indonesia to some extent also having this kind of advantage - could be cited from Norway

Norway shines especially brightly: unlike Britain, it is saving its North Sea oil and gas revenue into a sovereign wealth fund, not worth 2.384 trillion kroner (£228bn), or 1.4 times its GDP. Only 4% of the fund goes into the national budget, the rest is saved for future generations. So when Norway needed to find money to stimulate the economy, it was able to find it without having to cut public budgets or increase taxes, as Britain is set to do.

The bottom line of this strategy is to keep the economic transformation go on in sustainable pace and put the point of view in longer term by doing saving today for future better endowments. With a lot of natural resources that Indonesia have, this kind of strategy worth to be consider and to apply as it will definitely prevent the worse of another possible shocks as well as serve our future generations with sufficient wealth.
Let's change our perspective first and save for the better future...