The Southeast Asian Times
NEWS FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA



Media black-out called for after tour bus slaying

Manila, September 11: This cartoon titled “Ineptness” was published with this announcement: “More than the media, the Philippine National police and higher ups are to blame for the Quirino Grand Stand hostagetakingincident” in the Bulatlat of Saturday, August 28, 2010, five days after dismissed Philippine policeman senior inspector Rolando Mendoza, 55, armed with an M16 rifle seized a tourist bus carrying 23 passengers and the driver and threatened to shoot the mostly Hong Kong tourists aboard unless he was reinstated.
The former policeman, who was named one of the Philippines top ten police officers in 1986, was among five Manila policemen dismissed after they were found to have extorted money from a hotel chef accused of drug trafficking.
The newly-elected Philippines President Benigno Aquino has acknowledged “inadequacies” in the police response to the 12-hour seige in which the dismissed police inspector was also killed.
The live media coverage of the bus seige was among the “inadequacies” that had resulted in what the media described as 'botched' or 'failed negotiations'.
“The intensive media coverage provided a wealth of information to the former policeman who was watching television on the bus and listening to the radio throughout the day,” said President Aquino.
Philippine Interior Secretary Jessie Robredo attributed the failed negotiations to inadequate training and equipment.
This Bulatlat cartoon goes inside the tour bus on the day that ended with the slaying of eight Hong Kong tourists to see senior inspector Rolando Mendoza watching the arrest of his brother Gregorio Mendoza on television.
A recorded interview by Radio Mindanao Network with the former police inspector via his mobile phone that was submitted to the commission of inquiry in the week after the seige revealed that the distraught former policeman shot the hostages after he saw the arrest of his brother on the television monitor.
“I can see my brother, why are they doing that? he asked
I’m the one at fault here, not him!
He’s not at fault.
Show me that he’s being freed!
Show me or else I’ll start shooting the people here!” he shouted.
The former policeman had freed eight of the 25 tourists by the afternoon of the day he took them hostage but shooting started after his brother - also a police officer - was arrested because the police apparently believed that he was involved in the seizure of the bus.
The Southeast Asian Times

 


Judge Ibrahim delivers guilty verdict

Jakarta, August 17: This cartoon published in The Jakarta Post 8 August 2010 shows judge Ibrahim in the dock rather than at the bench where he sat delivering guilty and not guilty verdicts until he himself was found guilty of a breach of the Indonesia’s Corruption Act on August 3.
Dressed in his prison stripes, Judge Ibrahim is ready to serve a six-year sentence after a look- alike delivered a guilty verdict.
Judge Ibrahim was found guilty of accepting a rupiah 300 million, about US$37,000, from lawyer Adner Sirait and businessman Darianus Lungguk Sitorus in March.
For his money the judge was to rule in favour of the lawyer and businessman in their appeal to the court over a land dispute with the Jakarta administration.
Lawyer, Adner Sirait and businessman Darianus Lungguk Sitorus were tried in another court and face 15 years in prison if found guilty for allegedly bribing judge Ibrahim.
That judge Ibrahim was found guilty of bribery is not indicitative of the findings of Indonesian Corruption Watch report of January this year which showed that 106 judges leaned towards acquittal or lenient sentences in the prosecution of alleged corruption in 2009
One judge had dismissed 35 corruption prosecutions during that year.
Indonesia Corruption Watch found that only 154 guilty verdicts were delivered in the 378 corruption cases before the courts in 2009.
The findings also showed that 82 of those found guilty received prison sentences of less than a year.
Twenty three were sentenced to up to two years and 26 prison sentence of up to five years. Six of those found guilty received up to ten years in jail.
Only one received a sentence of more than ten years and the remaining 16 received a suspended sentence.
Judge Ibrahim was only the second judge to have been found guilty of breach of the Indonesia Corruption Act since 2006.

The Southeast Asian Times

 

 

Indonesia's public order officers out of order


Jakarta, July 21: This lampoon depicting Indonesia's public order officers as a public menace was published in The Jakarta Post on July 10 ahead of the plan to clear Jakarta streets of beggars before Ramadan and the eviction of squatters from shanty towns built on either side of the Cipinang East Jakarta railway line to make way for a dual track
The cartoon was published amid calls for the disarmament of the public order officers and three months after the ministerial decree in March that had effectively armed them with gas pistols, tear gas grenades and tasers.
Calls to disband the Public Order Agency that employs the officers began in April after a riot at Tranjung Priok left three public order officers dead and hundreds of rioters and police injured.
The Public order officers are also accused of destroying homes and business premises in the enforcement of municipal bylaws
Imam Prasodjo, sociologist at the University of Indonesia, says that the public order officers take their orders from the Public order Agency and are often poorly trained junior high school graduates who are paid about rupiah 300,000 a month.
Poltak Sinaga of the Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association says that there were 21 cases of alleged violence by public order officers since 2004 on the record.
Human-rights violations by public order officers toward minority groups and the poor, including street vendors, buskers, transvestites, women and children, violate the Constitution, she said.
Allegations of abuse by the public order officers from various parts of Indonesia include the death of a 14 year old in 2007 after a beating from nine public order officers.
Public order officers were accused of being behind the death of a further five who were involved in a land dispute with the military in the same year.
The public order officers were also accused of seriously injuring nine after a raid on a market last year and last month three teenage buskers died after being chased by the public order officers.
The new chief of the Public Order agency, Effendi Anas, has admitted that the public order officers 'needed to repair their image as abusive enforcers'.
The Southeast Asian Times



Poet returns prestigious arts award
Jakarta, June 28: The cartoon above which shows the bewildered Golkar Party President Aburizal Bakrie still in bed mid morning was published in The Jakarta Post after poet Goenawan Mohamad returned his 2004 Achmad Bakrie Award to its joint organisers - the Freedom Institute and the Bakrie untuk Negeri Foundation on June 22.
The poet said that he returned the award to show his disappointment with its sponsor.
The award was returned because the Bakrie company, Minarak Lapindo Jaya Brantas, denied responsibility for the May 2006 mudflow that has inundated houses, fields, shops, factories, schools, hospitals and mosques as well as displacing more than 50,000 people from 12 villages in Porong district, Sidoarjo regency, East Java
The poet when asked why it took him six years to return the award said: “I tried not to relate the award with what he does as a political figure and businessman, but the contradiction has gone too far”.
He also returned the rupiah 100 million in prize money plus interest.
The poet was also asked why it took him so long to realise the true nature of Bap Bakrie
The Southeast Asian Times




Cartoonist’s ignorance sparks apology
Bangkok, May 31: Stephff's View, the cartoon above published in Thailand’s mass-circulation English-language Nation newspaper, prompted a quick rebuke and apology. “We would like to inform you that this is of very poor taste and totally disrespectful,” wrote an indignant India-Thai Chamber of Commerce president Subash Baja. “We take very strong objection to this and we fail to comprehend how The Nation has allowed this kind of offensive language and the cartoon. We have been deeply hurt by such insensitivity.
The president then explained that the work by Indian sculptor living in Thailand Ravinder Reddy had been commissioned by the India-Thai Chamber of Commerce King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 80th birthday. The contrite cartoonist, Stephff, Stephane Peray, replied: “I need to apologise to the whole Indian community because I honestly didn't know it was Indian
(I assumed it was Thai because of the hairstyle). There was absolutely no intention to be disrespectful to the Indian people, but you are right, I certainly hurt the feelings of the artist, so therefore yes, I do apologise to him.

The Southeast Asian Times




Seeing no evil, hearing no evil, speaking no evil
Bangkok, May 26: Judges of Thailand Criminal Court approved the issuing of an arrest warrant for fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to answer charges of terrorism at a closed sitting.
Approval of the warrant was given to Special Investigation Department chief Tharit Pengdit, his deputy Police Colonel Narat Savetanant and chief investigator Police Lieutenant Colonel Thawal Mangkhang.
It was provided after the judges were shown videos of Thaksin Shinawatra speaking to his red-shirt supporters from via a satellite link from outside Thailand.
Chief investigator told reporters that his department would now establish in which country the fugitive was living and seek his extradition.
The Southeast Asian Times





Australian parliament applauds slaying of terrorist
Jakarta, March 13: The members of the Australian House of Representatives and Senate – both supposedly dedicated to the rule of law – burst into spontaneous applause when visiting Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono confirmed that his elite police Detachment 88 had conveniently dispatched alleged bomb maker Dulmatin in a shootout in Pamulang, Jakarta, earlier this month. History shows that suspected terrorists and potentially embarrassing drug traffickers are likely to fall victim to extrajudicial slaying long before they go to trial in Indonesia. But if the human-rights-supporting Australians were quick to forget the rights of an alleged terrorist, a Jakarta Post cartoonist was at least able to realize that for Australian and Indonesian rulers, Dulmatin’s was a timely death. Still, unlike the mass slaughter of the 1960s, the killings are now selective and, as then, have the approval of the Australian government, diplomats and commercial representatives.
The Southeast Asian Times