The JIS case: It never rains but it pours

Originally posted on Unspun:

One of the characteristics of a crisis-like situation is that when you think that things can’t get worse, they do.

It now turns out that a “prolific” child predator, who taught at the Jakarta International School (JIS) about 2 decades ago, took his life because the FBI was investigating his alleged trangressions (see CNN story below).

JIS knew about Vahey and JIS headmaster Tim Carr alluded to him in his press conference, saying that they were assisting the FBI for a case that occurred 17 years ago.

None of the media took up the story then but now that Vahey’s death has brought his case, and the fact that he worked at JIS in the past, into the limelight there will be renewed interest in the possible extent of the adage he did while at JIS.

It may be an answer that no one is able to answer adequately but that…

View original 635 more words

People: Agus Santoso

Agus Santoso, deputy chairman of the money-laundering watchdog PPATK, hopes Indonesia will have a new law targeting terrorist financing by February. The law would enable authorities to freeze bank accounts used to finance terrorism.

Agus Santoso, deputy chairman of the money-laundering watchdog PPATK, hopes Indonesia will have a new law targeting terrorist financing by February. The law would enable authorities to freeze bank accounts used to finance terrorism.

Name              : Agus Santoso

Place of Birth  : Purwokerto, Central Java

Date of Birth   : 9 Agustus 1960

Job tittle          : Deputy chairman of the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK)

Wife                : Juli Widiastuti SH

Website          : www.agussantoso.org

Related article

  1. Indonesia prepares terror financing law

People: Ansyaad Mbai

Terrorism remains a real threat in Indonesia, and the target has shifted to the "near enemy", Indonesian police chief of the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT), Ansyaad Mbai told Khabar Southeast Asia in an exclusive interview last week. [2013: Oktofani]

Terrorism remains a real threat in Indonesia, and the target has shifted to the “near enemy”, Indonesian police chief of the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT), Ansyaad Mbai told Khabar Southeast Asia in an exclusive interview last week. [2013: Oktofani]

Name             : Inspector General (Retired) Ansyaad Mbai

Job tittle         : Head of National Agency for Combating Terrorism (BNPT)

Place of Birth : Buton, Southeast Sulawesi

Date of Birth  : 2 June 1948

Related article about Ansyaad Mbai:

  1. Bomb-makers getting more sophisticated: Ansyaad Mbai
  2. Indonesia: Following the money to new terror funding tactics
  3. Indonesia preparing amendment to terrorism laws: Ansyaad Mbai

New MataMassa app empowers regular people to help monitor elections

New MataMassa app empowers regular people to help monitor elections

by: Yositha Nirbhaya

Free mobile application encourages citizens to monitor violations during the election, inviting greater engagement in the democratic process.

A smartphone app offers greater Jakarta area residents a way to help ensure free and fair upcoming 2014 general elections.

The Jakarta branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) and the ICT Laboratory for Social Changes (iLab) launched MataMassa (“Eyes of the Public”) in November as a way for citizens to monitor and anonymously report administrative, criminal or ethical violations during voting or campaigning.

Those could include installation of campaign banners in houses of worship, highways, or hospitals; vote buying; or other violations as defined by the General Election Committee (KPU) and the Election Supervisory Committee (Bawaslu).

Nelson Simanjuntak, Bawaslu committee commissioner, said the app encourages direct societal participation of the process.

“It needs to be understood that MataMassa really helps us improve the 2014 election,” he told Khabar Southeast Asia.

Users can download MataMassa for free and use it to submit a report of a violation by text, photo or video to AJI Jakarta. Project personnel investigate and submit verified reports to Bawaslu.

Between December 15th last year and March 13th, MataMassa received 1,249 reports, and verified 1,154 of them, according to AJI. Because of limited funding, project personnel could only verify violations in Jakarta and outskirts including Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi, AJI Jakarta Chairman Umar Idris told Khabari.

Direct participation

Renanda Laksita, a Partai Demokrat candidate for the House of Representatives (DPR) wished the app could be more widely used.

“I think this is a new innovation to invite society to participate in our democratic process, as we know that many Indonesian people love to use gadgets. I hope society takes advantage of it,” the candidate from Bali told Khabar.

“It would be better if it is applicable all over Indonesia than greater Jakarta only,” she added.

Stefani Bilwa tried, but failed to submit a violation in the form of a massive poster of a candidate in Setiabudi.

“Unfortunately, I was unlucky in submitting it directly through my iPhone,” she told Khabar. “Therefore I have to submit it through the website, which is not as efficient.” Still, Stefani liked the idea of the app to help deliver a fair election.

Reports can also be submitted through SMS center to 081370202014 or via email at lapor@matamassa.org for people without a smartphone or the app.

People: Umar Patek

Umar Patek, an accused bombmaker in the 2002 Bali attacks, was speaking to reporters in West Jakarta District Court [2012: Oktofani]

Umar Patek, an accused bombmaker in the 2002 Bali attacks, was speaking to reporters in West Jakarta District Court [2012: Oktofani]

Name              : Hisyam bin Ali Zein

Alias                : Umar Patek alias Umar, Abu Syekh, Arsalan, Abdul Karim, Umar Arab, Umar Syekh, Zacky dan Anis Alawi Jafar.

Date of birth    : 20 Juli 1970

Place of birth  : Pemalang, East Java

Wife                : Fatimah Azzahra binti Husein Luceno alias Ruqoyah

Case               : 2002 Bali Bomb

Summary        : Umar Patek was found guilty of murder and bomb-making in connection with the Bali attacks, which killed more than 200 people, mostly foreigners. West Jakarta District Court has convicted a militant of making explosives used in the deadly 2002 Bali bombings and sentenced him to 20 years in jail in 2012.

On March 2014, Umar Patek was relocated from the Brimob prison in Kelapa Dua, Depok, West Java to Porong Penitentiary in Sidoarjo, East Java. The relocation was due to the police’s efforts to uncover a regional terrorism network.

Related article about Umar Patek:

  1. Witnesses: Loopholes in system helped Patek flee
  2. Patek: Bali bombings were “against my conscience”
  3. Prosecutors seek life sentence for remorseful Patek
  4. Witness: Patek said terror attacks were against Islam
  5. Judge: Patek can help deter youth from radical extremism
  6. Patek lawyers: client didn’t know what bombs were for
  7. Money for Bali bombing came from bin Laden, witnesses say
  8. Bali suspect apologises to victims, says bombings were wrong
  9. Muslim leader: terrorists must stop undermining Islam’s image

Indonesian candidates add social media to campaign arsenals

Indonesian candidates add social media to campaign arsenals

Yosita Nirbhaya

The Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy's (Elsam) Wahyudi Djafar speaks at the "Challenges to Freedom of Expression in the Online World" forum in Jakarta on January 21st. [Yosita Nirbhaya/Khabar]

The Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy’s (Elsam) Wahyudi Djafar speaks at the “Challenges to Freedom of Expression in the Online World” forum in Jakarta on January 21st. [Yosita Nirbhaya/Khabar]

Candidates are using twitter, Facebook and other social networks for the electoral pushes

Politicians running in the 2014 Indonesian elections are not relying solely on traditional campaigning to win votes.

Hopefuls in the legislative and presidential races are going online and reaching out to Indonesia’s huge social media audience, using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to spread their messages.

One voter who has been getting to know the candidates via social media, is university student Abimata Putra, 23.

“I think knowing the character and the profile of political candidates is very important. They will make decisions and regulations for society, including for me,” he told Khabar Southeast Asia.

Among Twitter-savvy candidates are Prabowo Subianto, presidential contender from the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) and Wiranto, one of his rivals in the July 9th election, who represents the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura). Respectively, the two use “@prabowo08″ and “@wiranto1947″ as Twitter handles.

Gerindra’s account has more than 147,000 followers, according to Setyoko, a member of the party’s online media team. He created the account to interact with supporters, he told Khabar.

“Social media gives politicians and political parties a chance to have a direct interaction with constituents,” said Wahyudi Djafar, a representative of the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (Elsam).”They must pay attention to the use of social media, and where it should reflect the principles of democracy.”

Indonesia’s online boom

Politicians and their parties are trying to reach voters via the Internet and mobile phone-driven social media networks exploding in Indonesia.

According to the Indonesian Association of Internet Service Providers (APJII), 62 million Indonesians – nearly a quarter of the total population – used the Internet regularly in 2013.

And according to January 2014 statistics from wearesocial.net, 62 million are social media users– 52 million of whom rely on mobile phones to access social media networks.

Although Indonesia ranks among the top five countries for social media penetration, according to government data, Internet use is less evenly distributed across the archipelago.

The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology says that 70% of Internet users are concentrated on Java, mostly in the Jakarta area.

Young people and members of the country’s middle class are primary users of social media, activist Enda Nasution told Khabar. Twitter, Facebook and other networks allow Indonesians to express themselves and also obtain free access to online information, Enda said.

Victims of violence hope to change terrorist mindset

Victims of violence hope to change terrorist mindset

Sudirman Abdul Talib, 31, a victim of the 2004 Australian Embassy bombing, believes some terrorists do not understand the impact of their actions. [Elisabeth Oktofani/Khabar]

Sudirman Abdul Talib, 31, a victim of the 2004 Australian Embassy bombing, believes some terrorists do not understand the impact of their actions. [Elisabeth Oktofani/Khabar]

Those who have suffered at the hands of violent extremists believe some recruits will be moved to repent once they understand how terrorism destroys lives.

Victims of terrorism gathered on Sunday (September 8th) to commemorate a tragic episode in Jakarta’s recent history – namely, the 9th anniversary of the 2004 Australian Embassy bombing, which killed nine people and wounded at least 150 others.

“Many people might have forgotten [about the incident]. But I think it is important to make them aware that the terrorists’ victims do exist, and we are still struggling with the aftermath of the attacks,” said Mulyono Sutrisman, chairman of the Kuningan Forum, an association of people who have been affected by extremist violence.

Such atrocities must not happen again, he said at the event, which was sponsored by Alliance for Peaceful Indonesia (AIDA)

Sudirman Abdul Talib, 31, is a former security guard at the embassy. He lost his left eye in the attack and suffers from a permanent disability affecting both of his hands.

“As victims, we want to be involved in the government’s deradicalisation programme, in eliminating terrorism and preventing the growth of violent extremism in Indonesia,” Sudirman told Khabar Southeast Asia.

He believes that if all victims are united against terrorism and promote peace, it will make a difference in the future.

“We just want to be involved in making Indonesia more peaceful,” he added.

Sudirman, who now works as an administrative staff member for the security guard department, says he does not want to become a prisoner of the trauma he experienced. He believes his story can be used to change the minds of those who have been misled by violent and extremist groups.

“I have met a few former convicted terrorists. I told them about the impact of the terrorism. They were shocked and cried. They regretted their actions and apologised,” Sudirman said. “It is clear to see that sharing and explaining the impact of terrorism on the victims is an effective method to convince them [terrorists] to stop their actions.”

A crucial role in combating extremist notions

The director of AIDA, Hasibullah Satrawi, said that Indonesia has the potential to win the battle against terrorism – not only because of law enforcement efforts, but also because victims of terrorism have been willing to join in efforts to combat it.

“The victims play a strategic role in bringing Indonesia to a more peaceful place,” he said. Therefore, it is very important to empower the victims – whether mentally, physically, or financially.”

Al Chaidar, a terrorism analyst, agreed that those affected by violence have great potential to combat recruitment by extremist groups. He agreed that the government should involve victims of terrorist activity in deradicalisation programmes.

“By meeting and seeing the victims, the terrorists would consider the actions that they are going to take because they have seen the impact of their attacks,” he added.

Sudirman, the wounded security guard, says he is troubled that his hometown of Bima, in West Nusa Tenggara, is being appropriated by terrorists as a base for planning their attacks. In 2011, police raided the local Umar bin Khattab Muslib Boarding School, where they found bomb-making materials as well as weapons and jihadist videos.

“Bima is a very religious place,” Sudirman said. Muslims pray five times a day and have strong faith. As far as I know, they are not radical people. They need moderate religious leaders to tell them that Islam is actually a religion of peace,” he said.

Those vulnerable to the message of radical terrorists need to be aware of the consequences of violence, he reiterated. “They need to meet people just like us to show them the impact of terrorist acts. It is also hurting Muslims as well,” Sudirman said.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,029 other followers