18 November 2008

Bakrie Brings Out the Lawyers

It seems that Tempo Magazine has got under the skin of the Coordinating Minister of Bakrie Welfare (AKA People's Welfare) with a few special reports that it has done on the financial woes of the Bakrie Group. These woes do not seem to be getting any better if the press conference of yesterday is anything to go by. This press conference ended with a call for the attendees to pray for a successful outcome. The reality is that the Group is manoeuvring to put itself in a position to obtain alternative financing and / or to ensure that it does not lose majority control of Bumi Resources.

Bakrie had his lawyers send a letter demanding that Tempo give the Coordinating Minister of Imploding Welfare the right to respond or if Tempo was unwilling to grant a right to respond then they should just print a retraction and an apology. Generally, when the attack dogs (AKA lawyers) come into the frame it means that things are getting a little too hot and hitting a little too close to home.

There is a threat of criminal action which is kind of interesting as this would suggest that Bakrie is prepared to go to court and have Tempo prove the truth of their claims. According to the Bakrie lawyers the claims to date are untrue, false, slanderous, and damaging. I would have thought defaming would have been in the mix as well.

It seems that Bakrie's biggest beef with the articles in Tempo is the alleged campaign donation Bakrie made to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Jusuf Kalla during the 2004 election campaign. The implication is that this secured his cabinet post. I am not sure that Kalla needed the funds as he is a pretty wealthy fella in his own right.

Bakrie's other beef is with a 17 November cover of Tempo that depicts a forehead with 666 on it. The lawyers for Bakrie feel that the forehead belongs to their client and the suggestion that he is the devil is unfair. For this perceived slight the lawyers for Bakrie are demanding that the magazine run an apology in seven consecutive editions. If they refuse then the lawyers have suggested that they will file both a civil and criminal complaint.

Let the fun and games begin.


GJ said...

Rob, wouldn't their client remember going to a photo shot and getting a 666 painted on his boofhead??


Maybe they ran it through some sort of forehead recognition software.

Common on guys where there is smoke, it will end up burning you. Starting to smell like sate bakrie....me thinks.

Rob Baiton said...


Had a squizz at the cover of the Tempo Mag earlier today. It is one of those mosaic type deals.

He does not look all that devilish to me in the picture. He has been on the stick for a while.

invisible said...

GJ, obviously they photoshopped the '666' on his alleged forehead.

Rob, in a similar case of using heavy handed tactics to stifle freedom of speech:

'Indonesian artists protested here Tuesday after police bowed to pressure from Islamic hardliners and shut down production of a film about the 1965-66 massacres of communists.

Protesters rallying outside police headquarters in Surakarta, Central Java, said police should protect the filmmakers from religious fanatics rather than shut down the film.

"We have deep concerns that police failed to stop intimidation by militant groups that accused the film of disseminating communist ideology," protest coordinator Kelik Ismunandar told reporters. '

full story: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=081118172436.jo8mbb3p&show_article=1

ps: its good they didnt use your forehead rob, they could have printed the whole pancasila on it. hehe kiddddding......

schmerly said...


Good article, these kind of people don’t like anything that doesn’t suit their warped ways of thinking, I wonder why is it that these religious extremists always get in on the act? After all it’s just an historical film, I don’t think there’s anything about religion in it.

Sadly this is the way Indonesia is going, more and more you’ll see these religious cranks getting more brazen, and taking the law into their hands, especially now they have the porn law, which will give them carte blanche to interpret it in any way they think suits their ideas of what they think is right or wrong.

If these cranks decide they don’t like something they’ll always find a way to justify their actions by weaving their idea of Islam into it, but there again I’m not saying anything new am I?

The police are already scared of them, for years and before the new porn law, they have been smashing up bars, discos Etc. and the police have stood by and done nothing, I’ve seen it first hand in Kemang, and this was a bar that closed during Ramadan, so they smashed up the closed bar! Democracy LOL!

Rob Baiton said...


Heavy handed tactics or a valid use of the prevailing laws and regulations?

Freedom of speech is never absolute. Indonesians are finding this out now as people start to avail themselves of the provisions of the ITE law.

As soon as the words communist, PKI or 1965-1966 are heard then there is sure to be someone somewhere wanting to protest even if they do not know what they are protesting about.

Thanks for the link.

Pancasila and the amended Constitution!


The porn law does not allow citizens to take the law into their own hands so to speak without being responsible for their actions. The Elucidations to the relevant articles (20-22) make this clear.

Enforcement of these provisions is a different matter. However, the provisions would seem to work against those wanting to take the law into their own hands.

I am not going to argue about the interpretation part. The definitions of porn are clearly too broad to be effective and even enforced. The fundamentalists can interpret as they please, but if they try and do a "sweep" to eradicate porn then they would be in breach of the law.

Jakartass said...

If Bakrie didn't bankroll SBY's campaign, as everyone seems to have assumd for the past 3 years, then my 'appreciation' of SBY has dropped immensely.

I don't agree with pork-barrel politics, but few politicians, it seems, are immune. Having Bakrie in the Cabinet for (financial) services rendered made a kind of sense.

But if he didn't bankroll SBY, then it's reprehensible that Bakrie - the cause of the Sidoarjo refugee problem, whereas he could have been their saviour - should have been Minister of Welfare for so long.

What I find strange - hypocritical even, is his announcement this week that he's not willing to be part of the next government as he wants to devote his time to "charity".

Given his (lack of) charitable record, apart from his foundation for business executives, may we assume that it won't be the Sidoarjo Slush Fund?
NB. I noted two other ' heavy handed' legal affairs yesterday, both involving the use of hyperspace, one for 'spreading rumours' and the other for defamation.

Is this the start of a trend? Are the rich beginning to feel vulnerable to the slings and arrows of misfortune (or the disappearance of their fortunes)?

If so, then shouldn't we be applauding from the sidelines?

Rob Baiton said...


Had a long talk with Mr. Piliang of presstalk yesterday. Very interesting case on a number of levels, all of which I am not going to get into here at least in specifics (I have been writing on these issues for my clients and will be writing on them more publicly through the blog).

Writing on Bakrie is both boring and somewhat amusing at the same time. Not amusing for those who have suffered at his excesses but amusing in the sense that he has so badly read public opinion on just about all fronts. Making his shuffling to the People's Welfare portfolio ludicrous in the extreme.

Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I do not usually write all that much that interests you in a comment :D

It seems that Tempo is not yet ready to back down, so I guess my desire to let the fun and games begin is going to be realized.

schmerly said...


Get real ya, look at this crap from some extremist nutter: Al-Qaeda's second-in-command has slammed US president-elect Barack Obama for vowing to back Israel.
Ayman al-Zawahri warned Mr Obama that he would fail if he followed the policies of President George W Bush.
He made the statement on an audio tape published by the Site Institute, a US organisation that monitors Islamic militant groups.
Zawahri said: "America, the criminal, trespassing crusader, continues to be the same as ever, so we must continue to harm it, in order for it to come to its senses.
"Its (America's) criminal, expansionist crusader project in your lands has only been neutralised by the sacrifices of your sons, the mujahideen."
Zawahri also criticised Mr Obama for what he described as turning his back on his Islamic roots.
He said: "The Muslim nation received with extreme bitterness your hypocritical ... stance towards Israel. You were born to a Muslim father, but you chose to stand with the enemies of Muslims."
Mr Obama visited Israel during his presidential campaign and vowed continued US support for the Jewish state.

rani said...


some suggest it's time for moderate muslims to disown the extremes. I mean, we have condemned their act, yet we still regard them as muslim brothers.

I always thought most Indonesians are moderates, even abangan. but maybe I'm wrong.

hey, isn't this post about bakrie?

Rob Baiton said...


See Rani's comment ;)


Yes, it is about Bakrie, but the Muslim extremism angle comes in under the freedom of speech and expression I suppose.

Look My point is that Bakrie is using the law as his lawyers see it operating...that's all I said.

schmerly said...


Sorry mate I wandered off the subject a bit, I think Bakrie is a disgrace in the arrogant way he treats people, specifically the mud victims of Sidoarjo, who as far as I know still haven’t received their compensation from him yet, despite the fact that SBY agreed the people should be paid. This is an interesting headline from The JP today. (Aburizal still politically powerful, experts say)

Brett said...

Would Bakrie object if Tempo had implied that he is a MUSLIM devil? After all, 666 is the sign of the Anti-Christ. I'm not sure that Islam has an equivalent folklore figure...

Rob Baiton said...


It would seem that you are not the only one with that particular opinion of Bakrie.

Rob Baiton said...


I wonder.

So, the anti-Christ is folklore?

Would this be a case of a blogger using the medium to incite a response, pushing the buttons if you will, from a particular part of the community?

Just asking. :D