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.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Yes, I am above 18 and I Agree

After the new law that will allow the government to block risque sites is passed, now the government is set to do it.

Apparently, the government will compile a list of sites that are considered indecent and then pass the list to internet service provider. The ISPs will then block the sites.
This will give some kind of security to ISPs: If there are some indecent sites are found to be accessible, ISPs will not be blamed as long as the sites are not on the list [1].

To formalize it, the government will setup a new agency to do the job: "The task of this agency is to compile the list of forbidden sites which then be placed in the domain name server" [2].

A government job of reviewing dirty sites. Paid for by your tax money. Now that's one juicy job.

A true example of your tax money being hard at work. Literally !

[1] Menkominfo: Blokir Situs Porno Tak Harus 100 Persen
[2] Lembaga Pelacak Situs Porno Siap Dibuat

Folks, to be fair to the government we feel obligated to mention this:
the agency in fact will not only review sexy sites, but also sites that promote violence and racism. Not a bad idea.
(Although we still think educating our people to digest various information on the internet intelligently will have a more lasting effect than mere censorships.)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Big R

As the US is heading towards the big 'R' (read: recession), its currency is losing value in many other currencies (Euro, Yen, to name a few). But interestingly enough, that does not apply to our big 'R' (read: Rupiah).

Check out the charts below:

Let's start with US Dollar vs the Euro:

US Dollar vs Japanese Yen:

US Dollar vs Indian Rupee:

US Dollar vs Chinese Yuan:

Now take a look at our currency...

US Dollar vs Indonesian Rupiah:

The US Dollar doesn't budge! It's still up there !

Source: Yahoo finance

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Young Guns

One day we had an opportunity to take our interns to lunch. 11 of them. We love our interns. We call them 'the kids'. Some even call them 'our kids' (Yes folks, most of us are THAT old). Our interns remind us how great it is to be young: Full of energy, the future is right ahead of you, and you think you can do and achieve anything and everything. They are after all a glimpse of our country's future.

And a good sample for our silly little survey:

During lunch, we asked them this question:
"Which one of you think Indonesia will be a better country 10 years from now ?"

Nine of them raised their hands. The other two shook their heads, citing corruptions as the culprit.
So the majority of them are optimistic. That's great.

So we went ahead and gave them this one piece of information:
"Do you know that according tho UNESCO, Indonesia's government spent THE LEAST money on primary education compared to ANY OTHER COUNTRY in the world?"
(Indonesia spent 3% of per capita national income annually per primary student. The region's median is 15%. North America and Western Europe spend 22%) [1]

We showed the kids the chart below (click image for bigger picture) and let them digest it.

Then we asked again:
"Now, which one of you think Indonesia will be a better country 10 years from now ?"
No hands this time around. Some even had problem swallowing the lunch.

You see folks, our kids got it: Education is the future. If we invest too little in it, there will be no future.
Our kids know it. We know it, you know it. We all know it. We all get it.
Ask anyone you meet on the street and they all get it too.

Isn't it funny that when we combine us all as a country, we suddenly just don't get it?

"It's the government's fault, not ours", said one of our kids.
Yes, but it's OUR government. We elected them. So in the end it's our fault. Is it not? We, the people, must know what we want and know how to demand it.

"Which one of you voted in the last election?" we asked. All of them did.
"Good. When you were at the voting booth, which one of you voted for the one (either an individual or a party) that you think will do a good job in education?"

"Ok, it does not have to be education. It could be the economy, environment, women's right, anything. Which one of you voted based on the views on one of these issues?"

Oh dear. And these are the well-off university-educated bunch of kids. The patriotic, optimistic, idealistic kids: And they voted without even consider these things? What were they thinking?
Or maybe they are not as patriotic, optimistic, idealistic as they want us to think.

Oh well.
So allow us to ask you, our dear fellow Indonesians: which one of you think Indonesia will be better off 10 years from now ?

[1] UNESCO Institute for Statistics, December 2007, No. 06. (PDF file, 9.52MB)

For more on education and other views on Indonesia, visit this site setup by our good friend Jakartass.
And don't hesitate to contribute. Your voice counts.