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.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hard to say I am sorry

You know, people say in politics you can spin anything.
Not this time, eh Malaysia. It looks bad whichever angle you look at it. Come on.
Background story, read here.

How do you spin a news about policemen beating up a civilian (who is a foreigner) for no obvious reason?

This, of course does not mean we are saying that Indonesian police is better.
But you know, with all the news we read about Malaysia, the economic successes (in relative comparison to Indonesia), we thought things would be better there than here. And many things are: Indonesian GNI per capita for example, is USD 1,280, while Malaysia is USD 4,970. Life expectancy at birth, Indonesia 68 years, Malaysia 74 years [1].

But apparently some things remain the same:

Read the comments on Malaysia Today [2] regarding the news. We assume it is written mostly by Malaysians, and you'll see that despite the economy, some things just won't change.
Like corrupt public officials. Or abusive policemen.

Some of the comments that attracted our attention (just in case it is censored later on by the Malaysian government):
"Bpk harus beri duit kopi dan polisi akan memberi persembahan lagu dan tarian "namawee".
Semuanya salah bpk kerane tidak tahu budaya polisi Malaysia"
"The only difference between thugs/muggers and the PDRM is that the former is unlicensed, while the latter is free to hassle the general public. Infact, I truly believe in Malaysia, the PDRM is guilty of more crimes that the criminals. We were taught in school that actually a policeman's role is suppose to be preventive, but somehow that is not the case in Bolehland."
"Don't tell me these policemen thinking that this guy is a foreigner is a good game for robbing (policemen have been known to rob the illegals)"
"In Malaysia we are in constant fear of two groups of people, The Criminals and The Police."
"Years back, the Thomas Cup finals in Jakarta was marred by the unruly crowd.But today, Malaysia has sunk below Indonesia in fairplay & gamesmanship...and the Polis is implicated. IF the Govt. does not stop the rot (at 'the guardians of the law'), the country will be avoided by investors & tourists."
"If Anwar Ibrahim who was then the DPM can be beaten up by the police, who else cannot be beaten?"

We say no more.


[1] World Bank Key Development & Statistics


Anonymous Anonymous said...

welcome back,
well the only thing that I want to say is: my boss is malaysian, and he often grunted about his fellow malaysian, especially about their government.


11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi guys
been on holiday?

The malays do seem to have a problem with their police department. First there was the retired tourist couple who were harrased by the religious police in Lankawi. There was another tourist who was locked up by police because he was looked african, and the famous one of the chinese girl doing maked squats in the jail - this one made the bbc. I think that in last case there was some disiplinary action taken but only after a huge public uproar. Indeed initially the police were more focused on who released the video than the the degrading acts contained therein. Sorry to hear about the indonesian guy getting assaulted. At least he got an apology.

11:10 PM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...

roi & pj_bali,

No, not on holiday. Been working, mate. Everybody's been awfully busy.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Jakartass said...

Welcome back after tooo long.

I do believe that the karate referee got beaten up by the Malaysian police, and that wasn't good. However, considering that Indonesians generally come from the same ethnic stock as Malays, could there be another interpretation of this incident?

What was he doing out of his hotel, without his ID at 2 in the morning? Shouldn't he have been getting his beauty sleep, like his athletes? Looking for food? With a coffee bar open in the hotel?

When stopped, could he have adopted the aggressive karate pose (asana?) which kick starts a bout? Just a thought.

And it's not as if Indonesian police aren't above a bit of aggro.

But then I'm much more upset about the Malaysian TV company, Astro, 'stealing' the broadcasting rights to the EPL. This was the subject of the most recent demo outside the Malaysian embassy, and one much more in tune with Indonesian society.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your blog and miss your post very much.

I recall sometime ago a question like: "what's the difference between mafia and the goverment?"

Answer: One is less organized and the other is extremely organized.

Is it true? :p

11:35 AM  
Blogger tokasid said...


Just a small correction on pj_bali comment.
The 'squat incident' was actually a Malay women from Malaysia. She is at the moment suing the govt and Police Force over the incidents.

I am a Malaysian residing in Malaysia. However I have lots of Indonesian friends who are mainly labourer working in the building industries or in the plantation sectors. I see many on a daily basis due to my work. I have heard lots of frustation from them, the way they were treated by the govt agencies and their employer.

They also told me, they have no choice but to come to Malaysia to work because at present Indonesia is unable to provide them work.

The problem of the police department abusing or mistreating foreigners is not exclusive to Malaysia. So is corrupted policemen. This can happen anywhere in the world, even in USA itself.
( My Indonesian friends told me, back in Indonesia the corruption is widely practised,not only by police force but by most agencies. I have visited Bali, Jogja and Medan before and my local Indonesian tourist guide told me of the same thing).

That is beside the point. The fact that a team of policemen had beaten Pak Donald is uncalled for. No policemen should beat anyone(whetehr Malaysia or foreigners). If that person had done something wrong, just apprehend him and take to the police station. If necessary, get a remand order from the court.
What the policemen did was wrong and rightly the Malaysian govt and Police force must apologise to Pak Donald and Indonesian ppl.

As Malaysians, we are waiting for our Police force and other forces to be 'overhauled' disciplinary wise. We know they have to do their job, but we hope they will more dicipline, compassionate and clean.

At the same time, I do hope the Malaysian and Indonesian public will and can remain calm. What happen is serious but I see it as an action by undicipline and overzealous policemen.

Yes, Indonesian should protest over that incidenta, but protest to make both govt (Msia and Indonesia) aware what is happening with their respective policeforces and other agencies. Protest that can make both govts give their people justice and opportunity.

We shouldn't let this incident to destroy over relationship( ppl to ppl).
Thank you

11:53 AM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...

Jakartass, we agree on the astro thing. But as far as legality is concerned, what can we do but moan?

Tokasid, thank you for your point of view. Allow us to emphasize once more that we never say that indonesian police is any better. Far from it.
Excessive force by the police is not unheard of,nor raise eyebrows when they actually happen.
Sad that it happens in Malaysia too.

7:12 PM  
Blogger gram.kong said...

It is indeed sad that the Malaysian police are always in the limelight for the wrong reason.It's most disgusting that some Malaysians have not yet learn how to treat those below them with human dignity.Please read my article 'SOMETHING TO LEARN FROM SABAHAN' at '

10:33 AM  
Blogger zorro said...

IA, please accept an apology from me a Malaysian. I am thoroughly disgusted with the episode. You do not kick a person when he is "down". Even animal predators move away when the other shows sign of submission.Those policemen are Ugly Malaysians.
This year, on Chinese New Year Eve, the family went out for the reunion dinner at a restaurant. Outside the restaurant two Indonesian workers were having drinks. All worked had stopped for the next week and I am sure these two were relaxing and looking forward to the long respite. They were quietly enjoying each other's company and even acknowledged my nod when i came out for a pipe-ful. Much later, I saw a squad car pull up and two policemen were alighted. One Indonesian took flight. The other got up to pay for his drinks but before I knew it, he was told to get into the squad car. I tried to intervene to tell the cops that he was not causing any trouble. I was told to mind my own business and they drove off with the Indonesian worker. When I learnt that the lady boss was the one who alerted the cops, I told her that she over-reacted. The restaurant has been a favorite of ours but we do not patronise it anymore. I can visualise whe the cops will do. They will take him to some quiet area, intimidate him and finally unload him of whatever cash could be found on him....and I am sure that it was quite a sum....being angpow (equivalent to duit raya)from the construction boss. I can always empathise with AND APPRECIATE all Indonesian migrant workers. THEY BUILT OUR CITIES!

8:41 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home