27 August 2008


For any of my readers who are Indonesian citizens and living in Jakarta. If you are looking for a change of scene then the following might be of interest to you.

The government has determined that it can promote development in current under-developed regions by encouraging self-sufficient potential trans-migrants to uproot and move to these under-developed regions. This is in contrast to transmigration programs where the government facilitates the movement of individuals and families through the provision of financial and technical assistance.

The Minister of Labor and Transmigration Regulation, No. PER.09/MEN/V/2008, repeals an earlier Minister of Transmigration and Settlements Decision, No. KEP.105/MEN/1993. The basic premise of the Regulation is to facilitate the implementation of Article 15(3) of Law No. 15 of 1997 on Transmigration and Article 9(2) and (6) of Government Regulation No. 2 of 1999 on the Management of Transmigration.

The objectives of the Regulation are to set out appropriate government services and the obligations these entail. Secondly, it is to ensure that the regions where this targeted transmigration is to occur, does in fact provide the envisaged development of the relevant region.

There are five essential features of the Regulation:
* implementation;
* direction, services, and assistance;
* cooperation (in a public / private partnership sense);
* defining mechanisms for implementation; and
* monitoring, evaluation, and control.

These issues are then enumerated individually.

The Regulation also addresses the issue of the procurement of land as well as the development and planning of associated trans-migrant settlements.

The critical feature of this Regulation is that the targeted individuals are those that are interested in becoming trans-migrants and have the means to do so. In essence, the necessary capital to start a business venture that is going to contribute to the development of the region to which they migrate.

The Regulation has been in force since 19 May 2008 and is expected to ensure the effective implementation of the self-sufficient and unassisted transmigration program.

Shifting the Electricity Burden from Weekdays to Weekends

Something to ponder if your working conditions are changing as a result of the following.

The Minister of Labor and Transmigration has issued Circular No. SE.304/MEN/PHI-KPHI/VII/2008 which follows on from the recent Joint Ministerial Regulation issued on the same subject. The Circular is addressed to all Governors, Regents, Mayors, and Provincial / District / City officers from the various agencies that have responsibility for labor issues.

The basic premise of the Circular is to ensure that the provisions of the Joint Regulation are implemented. All industries and companies, except those specifically noted in the Joint Regulation, who work a 5-day week from Monday to Friday are required to allocate at least two work days per month to either a Saturday or Sunday. It is expected that this will ease the burden on the electricity network during the peak periods from Monday to Friday.

For industries and companies that are already working a 6-day week, then these industries and companies are deemed to have already satisfied the provisions of the Joint Regulation and the Circular.

The Circular also stipulates that the provisions of Article 77 of the Labor Law (Law No. 13 of 2003) still apply and that the days off do not have to be construed as being either a Saturday or Sunday. Furthermore, if any company regulations or other agreements between employers and employees mandate that the days off are to be Saturday or Sunday, then these agreements are to be read as meaning that any day from Monday to Sunday may be an agreed day off.

In light of the above, Saturdays and Sundays are now deemed to be regular working days that do not attract any special allowances. However, where an employee is required to work on a day that has been deemed as a day off then that employee is entitled to overtime for any hours worked.

The relevant officers of the agencies responsible for labor issues are to facilitate the implementation of the Joint Regulation and the Circular.

The Circular is current as of 25 July 2008.

26 August 2008

The Night Before Christmas – Legally Speaking

To keep you all amused.

Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain improved piece of real property (hereinafter "the House") a general lack of stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse.

A variety of foot apparel, e.g., stocking, socks, etc., had been affixed by and around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick AKA/St. Nicholas AKA/Santa Claus (hereinafter "Claus") would arrive at sometime thereafter.

The minor residents, i.e., the children, of the aforementioned House were located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations, i.e., dreams, wherein visions of confectionery treats, including, but not limited to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in said dreams.

Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred to as "I"), being the joint-owner in fee simple of the House with the parts of the second part (hereinafter "Mamma"), and said Mamma had retired for a sustained period of sleep. (At such time, the parties were clad in various forms of headgear, e.g., kerchief and cap.)

Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the unimproved real property adjacent and appurtenant to said House, i.e., the lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance. The party of the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the cause of such disturbance.

At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree of wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter "the Vehicle") being pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8) reindeer. The driver of the Vehicle appeared to be and in fact was, the previously referenced Claus.

Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction and guidance to the approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically identified the animal co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen (hereinafter "the Deer"). (Upon information and belief, it is further asserted that an additional coconspirator named "Rudolph" may have been involved.)

The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer intentionally and willfully trespass upon the roofs of several residences located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House, and noted that the Vehicle was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of unknown origin or nature. Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either express or implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House, and Claus entered said House via the chimney.

Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with residue from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a portion of the aforementioned packages, toys, and other unknown items. He was smoking what appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation of local ordinances and health regulations.

Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stocking of the minor children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and other small gifts. (Said items did not, however, constitute "gifts" to said minors pursuant to the applicable provisions of the US Tax Code.)

Upon completion of such task, Claus touched the side of his nose and flew, rose and/or ascended up the chimney of the House to the roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as "lookouts." Claus immediately departed for an unknown destination.

However, prior to the departure of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus from said House, the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim: "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!" Or words to that effect.

25 August 2008

Polygamy and Life Expectancy

If one ever needed a good argument for the practice of polygamy, then it seems researchers have found one. The University of Sheffield has found that men in polygamous cultures live 12% longer than those from non-polygamous cultures.

The research has been published in the New Scientist magazine and is based on a survey of older men from 140 polygamous cultures and those from 49 monogamous cultures. The findings do not get into much debate about the "why", but rather leaves it open to possible social and genetic factors.

The findings were presented in a recent conference in New York.

(Photo from here)

Kinky Sex -- The Key To Happiness?

One might wonder what the key to happiness is. At least in some ways that question seems to have been answered, kinky sex. Any desires Australia might have harboured of conforming to some perceived drab and dreary sexual norm has been shattered by a recent sex survey which found that there are many Australians who enjoy bondage, discipline, and sadomasochism (BSDM). This kind of sexual practice involves role play.

This was not a survey of just a few hundred people. The survey questioned some 20,000 people and found that contrary to wide-held beliefs that the practitioners of these kinds of sexual pleasures were not damaged and dangerous as a result of their preferences. The study also found that BSDM was also not practiced as some kind of reaction to previous sexual abuse. But never fear the practitioners account for a mere 2% of Australians.

The survey was conducted by public health researchers from the University of New South Wales. The findings have been published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

The fact that 2% of Australians partake in BSDM is not so surprising, but the fact that the findings of the survey suggest that they are happier than most others is a surprise. I took a couple of psychology courses at university and was always taught that BSDM was deviant sexual behaviour and that the practitioners were in some way damaged goods and in need of specialized intervention in order for recovery to be achieved.

It may now be the case that people looking for a little happiness might want to consider a healthy bondage or discipline session.

The findings might be good for business for those sex shops that supply the necessary equipment for a good ol' bondage and discipline session.

Fining Lawyers

Now here is a thought!

If any bill, answers, replication, or rejoinder, shall be found of an immoderate length, both the party and the counsel under whose hand it passeth shall be fined.

Sir Francis Bacon (17th Century)

Parody -- Lawyers

Although a parody, this is a good reason why lawyers need to consider seriously adopting a plainer drafting and writing style.

The part of the first part hereinafter known as Jack, and the part of the second part hereinafter known as Jill, ascended or caused to be ascended an elevation of undetermined height and degree of slope, hereinafter referred to as "hill."

Parody from 20th Century

Plain Language

Plain language and the lawyer, a question of compatibility.

Diversionary tactics on the part of lawyers come from their fear that their expertise won't seem very special if they write it down in plain English.

Andy Rooney (1987)

Legal Writing

Are lawyers good writers?

I should apologize, perhaps, for the style of this bill. I dislike the verbose and intricate style of modern English statutes ... You however can easily correct this bill to the taste of my brother lawyers, by making every other word a "said" or "aforesaid" and saying everything over two or three times so as that nobody but we of the craft can untwist the diction, and find out what it means.

Thomas Jefferson (1817)


Something to ponder for all the lawyers out there!

They have no lawyers among them, for they consider them as a sort of people whose profession it is to disguise matters.

Sir Thomas More -- Utopia (1516)

Income Tax – An Amendment Bill

The amendment of the Income Tax Law has been in the pipeline for some time. However, the list of problems identified with the amendments runs to some 770 issues. This means that Commission XI of the House of Representatives (DPR) and the Work Committee set up to resolve these issues has plenty of work to do.

It is nevertheless expected that this work will be resolved by the end of 2008 and the amended legislation will be passed by the DPR. The general consensus is that the amendments are technical in nature and are unlikely to trigger a significant ideological or policy debate.

The amendments will see a reduction in the number of taxation levels from the current five to just four. The maximum rate of taxation will fall from 35% to 30%. Salaries up to IDR 50 million will be taxed at 5%, salaries between IDR 50 and IDR 250 million will be taxed at 15%, salaries from IDR 250 to IDR 500 million will be taxed at 25%, and salaries above IDR 500 million will be taxed at 30%.

The amendments would see the removal of the Fiscal Tax that is paid by residents leaving the country. This will be phased in commencing in 2009 and be in full operation from 2011. The idea of phasing out the fiscal tax is based on the assumption that people will obtain a tax file number. Therefore, those who already have a tax file number appear to be the most likely to see an immediate benefit from this initiative.

Other amendments include incentives for those making contributions to religious activities; incentives for listed companies; incentives for micro, small, and medium enterprises; the taxing of revenue not currently classed as taxable objects (such as the Bank Indonesia surplus), and incentives designed to make Indonesia an attractive destination for both domestic and foreign capital investments.

The amendments are expected to ensure that Indonesia has in place a modern, effective, and efficient tax code that will contribute significantly to national development.

22 August 2008

Monopoly -- Communist / Soviet Style...

Keeping on an earlier Monopoly theme. What the world might look like if the other side won the war.

This picture comes via here.

Show Me The Lolly!

On first sight this would seem to be the kind of confectionery that you might find in a sex shop. It could have been just a simple case of trying too hard and getting it wrong on pretty much all counts. I am not sure why one would want to eat lighthouses or what genius thought that making a lolly that is supposed to resemble a lighthouse would be a big seller.

Yet, the unintended outcome here is that perhaps the lolly might just become a big seller after all because it not only resembles a lighthouse, but for those of us with a little bit more of a creative imagination can see a completely different shape on display.

Now, who would have thought for $1.99 you could get yourself 50 or so multi-coloured penises?

20 August 2008

Monopoly World Version -- Sydney Rules!

Monopoly was one of the board games that I really enjoyed playing as a kid. It is probably because I was born into a family of competitive siblings in which no quarter was ever given. Perhaps I just enjoyed grinding my younger brother and sister into the make believe financial abyss.

The world version of the game is set to be released on 26 August. However, most everyone knows what cities made the cut and it is now time for the 22 cities that did to enjoy some bragging rights. Sydney is the only Australian city to make the grade. This is a point that the increasingly unpopular Premier of NSW has been making over the last 24 hours or so. It is sad that the Premier has to resort to a board game to try and revive his flagging popularity.

It is interesting that Sydney has ranked alongside New York and London. Interesting, not because it does not deserve to be there, but rather it could have been in so many other possible combinations. The 22 successful cities were chosen after a vote conducted in 58 countries throughout the world and more than five million votes were cast.

The cities that made the cut are Montreal, Riga, Capetown, Belgrade, Paris, Jerusalem, Hong Kong, Beijing, London, New York, Vancouver, Shanghai, Rome, Toronto, Kyiv (Kiev), Istanbul, Athens, Barcelona, Tokyo, Taipei, Gdynia (Gdansk), and Sydney.

The World Edition includes some changes to the monopoly of old that we used to play as kids. The main changes are that the homes and hotels reflect architectural themes and icons from the cities included. There is also a new currency but hopefully it is not the Euro.

The 22 cities:

Dark blue - Montreal, Riga

Green - Capetown, Belgrade, Paris

Yellow - Jerusalem, Hong Kong, Beijing

Red - London, New York, Sydney

Orange - Vancouver, Shanghai, Rome

Magenta - Toronto, Kyiv (Kiev), Istanbul

Light blue - Athens, Barcelona, Tokyo

Brown - Taipei, Gdynia (Gdansk)

19 August 2008

Heirs of the Knights Templar

Most people probably had never heard of the Knights Templar before Dan Brown wrote the Da Vinci Code and those that had heard of them were probably academics with an interest in the field or conspiracy buffs looking to find traces of the Holy Grail and perhaps long lost heirs of Jesus living somewhere in France. However, the Knights Templar might again rise to prominence as a recently filed law suit in Spain is suing Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church for some 100 million euros.

The law suit is premised on the idea that the Catholic Church misappropriated the assets of the Knights Templar when the Order was dissolved by Pope Clement V in 1307. Aside from seeking the cash, the suit also aims to have the Catholic Church restore the good name of the Knights Templar who were at the time alleged to be heretics, devil worshippers, and sodomizers.

The Order of the Knights Templar was founded in 1119 and functioned as a band of Christian warriors that protected pilgrims on their way to and from the Holy Lands, specifically Jerusalem, during the Crusades. However, the Order fell foul of the then King of France, Philip IV, who it has been alleged owed considerable sums to the Knights Templar. The accusations brought were seen as the perfect means of avoiding paying the debt and expropriating some of the Templar wealth.

One of the many conspiracy theories is that even though the Templar were dissolved as an order in 1307 they did not disappear forever. In fact, the assertion is that they went underground and continued to practice and pass down their traditions and beliefs. This has never been proven however it would seem that the group that has brought this action, Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ, would have the courts believe that they are descended from the original Knights Templar.

The most likely cause of this suit is that the Vatican has been taking steps to rehabilitate the name of the Knights Templar. Last year the Vatican published a book, Processus Contra Templarios, that included a series of documents that were supposedly secret or if they were not secret wrongly filed away in the Vatican Library and only recently discovered. These documents include a parchment known as the Chinon parchment. The Chinon parchment shows Pope Clement V absolving the Templar of their crimes. Nevertheless, the ruling to disband the Templar remained in place.

The Templar's last Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, was burned at the stake along with many, many other Templar, the majority of whom had confessed to their "sins" under torture. The picture is of de Molay being led to the stake.

The chances of the current claimed incarnation of the Knights Templar are not likely to succeed in this claim unless they can furnish some irrefutable proof that they are in fact directly descended from the original Knights Templar. Most pundits believe that this is just not going to happen. Yet, it makes for fun and educational reading.

18 August 2008

Nursing Mothers and Beer

I have a vested interest in this subject seeing "The Better Half" is pregnant. There is this old wives' tale that drinking beer, and particularly dark beer like Guinness, increases breast milk production and is good for the baby.

The science in this area suggests otherwise. I have cut an article from here and I paste it in its entirety below.

It is an interesting read if you have a need or concern in this area.

WebMD Expert Commentary from DrGreene.com

About a quarter of nursing moms today are told by one of their health professionals to have a glass of beer or wine to help them with nursing, echoing the nursing folklore that has been around for centuries. The popular wisdom suggests that the alcohol will help the mom relax, thus increasing milk production and enhancing milk let-down. Not so! – according to a brilliant study by Julie Mennella, Yanina Pepino, and Karen Teff published in the April 2005 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. When science and folklore appear to collide, they often both contain pieces of a larger truth. Putting it all together, what do we now know about alcohol and nursing? The everyday magic of milk production and let-down arise from the marvelously coordinated choreography of nursing hormones. Oxytocin and prolactin are the stars of the show. How do they perform with a drink?

In the current study, healthy nursing women arrived at a research center of the University of Pennsylvania and had an IV placed in their arms to measure blood levels. They were given 45 minutes to relax after this, in case the needle stick had affected their hormones. No babies were present, because the sight, sound, or smell of a baby can change milk production. The women were not even allowed to watch television, or talk or read about food or babies, because these things might change hormone levels. Mothers were then given either orange juice with about the same amount of alcohol as in a glass or two of wine, or plain orange juice (disguised with about half a tsp of alcohol on the surface, to trick them with flavor and smell). Electric breast pumps were used to get milk samples. On the next test day, the procedure was repeated with each mother getting the beverage she did not get the day before. The results were dramatic!

Oxytocin levels for each woman fell a striking 78 percent during the session where she had the alcohol. The women also reported feeling more tired and less happy on those days. Prolactin levels, on the other hand, surged by 336 percent during the alcohol session. The two hormones that normally move together in the nursing dance, went spinning in opposite directions after a drink. The result? Women produced less milk (volume and calories). But high prolactin levels lead to an increased sensation of breast fullness, so mothers feel like they are making more milk even though they are making less. Babies suck more vigorously at the beginning of nursing after their mother has had a drink, leading many mothers to think that babies are drinking more. Probably they are sucking harder because they are getting less. Breastfed babies drink an average of 20 percent less milk after their mother has had alcohol.

A glass of alcohol does make mom sleepier and make her breasts feel fuller. This could be the explanation for the generations of folk wisdom. Because moms couldn't measure how much milk their babies were drinking, there was nothing to contradict this advice.

It appears that alcohol by itself truly does not help. But there are still unanswered questions. Studies I'd like to see: 1) The same study, but comparing plain orange juice to the alcohol-scented orange juice (Does just thinking you are having a drink help you relax and increase milk production?). 2) Comparing beer to taste-masked non-alcoholic beer (Beer is more commonly believed to help nursing than wine or other alcoholic beverages. Is alcohol in combination with the grains in beer more effective than alcohol in orange juice?) 3) Comparing non-alcoholic beer or wine to water or other common beverages (is there something in beer or wine that helps, other than the alcohol?). I've heard from a number of women that Brewer's yeast or non-alcoholic beer seems to make a big difference.

What about alcohol’s effect on the baby? The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that light alcohol consumption is compatible with breastfeeding. The short-term risks appear to be negligible. But we don’t yet know if there are long-term effects from imprinting the baby with a fondness for alcohol. We do know that heavier alcohol use by a nursing mother (2 or more drinks a day) can have a negative impact on the baby’s development, unless the drinking is timed carefully.

If you have one glass of beer or wine after nursing, the alcohol that would go into your milk will likely have done so within 2 or 3 hours. If you pump and discard after that, your baby should not be exposed even if you have a drink.

I’ve written more about how the things a nursing mom eats or drinks affect her milk and her baby in From First Kicks to First Steps (McGraw-Hill 2004). Is chocolate okay? How about coffee? Yes! – in the right amounts and at the right times. What you eat and drink can be a wonderful experience for you and your baby to share!

Something To Brighten Up Your Day!

Something that came into my inbox that I thought was worth sharing!

1. Phone answering machine message - '...If you want to buy marijuana, press the hash key...'

2. A guy walks into the psychiatrist wearing only Clingfilm for shorts. The shrink says, 'Well, I can clearly see you're nuts.'

3. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find any.

4. I went to the butchers the other day and I bet him 50 bucks that he couldn't reach the meat off the top shelf. He said, 'No, the steaks are too high.'

5. My friend drowned in a bowl of muesli. A strong currant pulled him in.

6. A man came round in hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, 'Doctor, doctor, I can't feel my legs!' The doctor replied, 'I know you can't, I've cut your arms off'.

7. I went to a seafood disco last week...and pulled a muscle.

8. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly. They lit a fire in the craft, it sank, proving once and for all that you can't have your kayak and heat it.

9. Our ice cream man was found lying on the floor of his van covered with hundreds and thousands. Police say that he topped himself.

10. Man goes to the doctor, with a strawberry growing out of his head. Doc says 'I'll give you some cream to put on it.'

11. Man says to his doctor 'Doc, I can't stop singing The Green, Green Grass of Home.' The doctor says 'That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome.' So the man asks 'Is it common?' to which the doctor replies 'It's not unusual.'

12. A man takes his Rottweiler to the vet. 'My dog's cross-eyed, is there anything you can do for him?' 'Well,' says the vet, 'let's have a look at him' So he picks the dog up and examines his eyes, then checks his teeth. Finally, he says, 'I'm going to have to put him down.' 'What? Because he'scross-eyed?' 'No, because he's really heavy!'

13. Guy goes into the doctor's. 'Doc, I've got a cricket ball stuck up my bottom.' 'How's that?' 'Don't you start.'

14. Two elephants walk off a cliff...boom, boom!

15. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.

16. So I was getting into my car, and this bloke says to me 'Can you give me a lift?' I said 'Sure, you look great, the world's your oyster, go for it.'

17. Apparently, 1 in 5 people in the world are Chinese. There are 5 people in my family, so it must be one of them. It's either my mum or my dad, or my older brother Colin, or my younger brother Ho-Cha-Chu. But I think it's Colin.

18. Two fat blokes in a pub, one says to the other 'Your round.' The other one says 'So are you, you cheeky bugger!'

19. Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks. They charged one and let the other one off.

20. 'You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said 'Parking Fine.' So that was nice.'

21. A man walked into the doctors, he said, 'I've hurt my arm in several places' The doctor said, 'Well don't go there any more.'

With a bit of luck this post has put a smile on your dial.

Amrozi, Samudra, Mukhlas

The public desire to see the sentence handed-down against Amrozi, Samudra, and Mukhlas carried out has not reached fever pitch just yet. But, it is worth noting that the Attorney General, Herman Supandji, is coming under much more regular questioning about when the sentence is likely to be carried out. With a bit of luck this extra pressure will force the government into making sure the process is not being stalled for whatever reason.

The Attorney General is currently hiding behind the bureaucratic excuse that the requisite paperwork has not made its way from the courts, to the jail, and then to the OPP. This is convenient, but the government has been talking itself into a bit of a corner when it has said that it intends to ensure that the verdict is carried out before the start of the fasting month on 1 September.

By my reckoning there is less than 13 days to get the paperwork in order and get the deed done. If the bureaucracy fails to come through before 1 September, then I would imagine that a substantial lobby will form to ensure that the first thing the government does on 3 October after the Eid ul-Fitr is to see these three murderers put to death.

Just so none of you are confused here and try and read some hypocrisy into my rants. I am against the death penalty. My personal belief is that these three should rot in prison for the term of their natural lives. However, the sentence is what it is. If the death penalty is not going to apply, then it applies to none. But, if it is going to apply then it must be carried out in the same manner for all.

Thus endeth the sermon!

Enjoy your week.

Gun Safety

The test to pass the gun safety course at the Indonesian Police Academy must not be too hard. A story out of Cirebon in West Java highlights the gung-ho nature of some police officers in this neck of the woods. A Brigadier AU (thankfully for him just his initials) has managed to shoot himself in the arse with his own gun.

The good brigadier, who is part of the motor vehicle theft unit, was in the office and presumably going about his duties and paperwork. He was then ordered by a superior to go and run an errand or something and stood up rather hastily to get to completing the order. Unfortunately, AU forgot that in the spirit of a gun-toting cowboy he had placed his pistol in his waistband rather than in its holster.

In his haste the pistol falls out, hits the ground, lets off a round, and shoots its good owner fair and square in the arse. There are a couple of things that are a little out of place here on the safety front, such as, "why wasn't the pistol holstered?", "why wasn't the safety on?", and "why was the pistol in the officer's waistband to start with?"

I know for sure that the last thing I would want to have happen is have my family jewels blown away by Smith & Wesson!

Apparently, the bullet has been removed and the lucky officer is recuperating in hospital.

Stupid is as stupid does.

Beer Goggles

It has finally been proven that what most of us men already knew is a scientific fact, beer goggles are real! A team from the University of Bristol has proven in a controlled study that alcohol intake increases the regularity of our thoughts on sex and improves the appearance of those around you.

The team conducted a controlled experiment on 84 heterosexual volunteers. The experiment involved half of the group getting a little bit drunk and then the whole group being asked to rate the attractiveness of others in a series of photographs. The results of the study are reported in the New Scientist magazine.

The results indicate that those that were slightly drunk rated the attractiveness of those in the photos that they were shown as being more attractive than the group that was sober. An interesting aside was that the slightly drunk volunteers also found members of the same sex to be more attractive.

This would seem to end the argument as to whether the "beer goggle" theory is true or not, it seems that it has now been scientifically proven. I reckon that this will now become the scientific reason and excuse for those many indiscretions of one's youth.

Happy drinking to you my loyal readers!

17 August 2008

Qantas -- Safe or Not?

The story goes that the national press is always harder on the national flag carrier than it is on other airlines. Yet, in the case of Qantas (photo) then perhaps this increased glare of the spotlight is warranted considering the consistent failures logged over the last month or so. For an airline that has prided itself on its safety record while allowing its service standards to slip. I must admit that I have not flown Qantas in years, and the reason for this was that their service was less than expected.

However, on with the safety issues. Qantas is taking a bit of a hammering of late as the list of failures grows ever-longer. The most recent of these "events" includes a Perth bound 737-300 making an unscheduled toilet stop in Adelaide on its way from Sydney. It seems that the ground staff had forgotten to empty out the bowels of the plane and consequently mid-flight things went all to crap. I guess this is both in the literal and figurative senses of the word.

After the delay the flight continued on its merry way.

The second "event" was the delay to the QF2 flight out of London. which was delayed some 15 hours because of a broken rudder. I guess though this was not a mid air which is probably a relief for the passengers that were taking this flight.

These two "events" follow a string of other incidents including a mid-air explosion that forced a plane to divert to Manila in the Philippines, a hydraulic leak that forced a plane to divert to Brisbane, and the loss of a panel from a plane in flight that was not discovered until the plane landed at its destination.

The best is yet to come as a drunken Qantas flight attendant fell against a fire alarm in a hotel in New Zealand that caused a full-scale evacuation of the hotel in the wee hours of the morning. The flight attendant has since resigned. Another flight attendant from the same flight refused to take a breath test before boarding the plane and was stood down from the flight. This served to delay the flight for several hours as a new crew was flown in to cover for their drunk and embarrassed colleagues.

I guess people will have to draw their own conclusions on this expanding list of events.

Does the World Need Tougher Children?

This is for all the readers out there with young children. I know at least one of my regular readers, katadia, has a couple of youngsters. I hope this helps!

The picture accompanies a great little story that can be found here.

You should go check it out!

Independence Day -- Indonesia

In honour of Indonesia's 63rd Independence Day here is the Proclamation that started it all. The year '05 is a shortened version of the year 2605 and this is based on the Japanese calendar.

In Indonesian:


Kami, bangsa Indonesia, dengan ini menjatakan kemerdekaan Indonesia.

Hal-hal jang mengenai pemindahan kekoeasaan d.l.l., diselenggarakan dengan tjara saksama dan dalam tempo jang sesingkat-singkatnja.

Djakarta, hari 17 boelan 8 tahoen 05.

Atas nama bangsa Indonesia

[tanda tangan Soekarno and Hatta]

Soekarno - Hatta

In English:


We, the Indonesian people, hereby declare the independence of Indonesia.

Matters concerning the transfer of power, etc., will be carried out in a conscientious manner and as speedily as possible.

Jakarta, 17th day of 8th month, year 05.

In the name of the nation of Indonesia

[Signatures of Soekarno and Hatta]

Soekarno - Hatta

Is Isaac Hayes Really Dead?

Being a bit of a fan of South Park meant that I was familiar with Isaac Hayes' membership of the Church of Scientology or the Cult of Scientology. The Church vs. Cult issue depends on your definition of either church or cult. Nevertheless, Hayes (photo) was a star long before ever signing on to be the voice of Chef in South Park. Hayes was the voice of the theme song of the movie Shaft.

However, this post is not really about Hayes' fame and fortune but whether or not when he was found dead last week crumpled next to the treadmill whether he was really dead or not! Now, if that sounds a little confusing, it should not be. Scientology believes that Hayes simply moved onto another body or as the Scientologists would have you believe, Hayes has gone onto claim his next piece of "meat". Scientologists believe that the human body is just a piece of meat that is inhabited by a spiritual being known as a thetan.

Hayes was a dedicated convert to Scientology, so much so that in July 1997 Hayes and fellow Scientologist Lisa Marie Presley founded the Church of Scientology in Memphis. The thing about Scientology is that it cultivates relationships with the rich and famous by convincing them that they are better than everyone else and in some bizarre way better than the rest of us not so rich and famous people.

I am guessing that Isaac Hayes has not chosen to inhabit my body, although I would not mind being able to sing! Unfortunately, the exact means of Hayes' spiritual being finding a new piece of meat is not entirely clear. However, the means of transfer is apparently an inside secret for those who are members. Therefore, if you want to know how the Scientology version of reincarnation works you will either need to become a member or wait patiently like the rest of us until a convert un-converts and sells the story to the National Enquirer.

For those of us who were not alive or were too young when Hayes hit his popularity peak in the 60's and 70's, our acquaintance with him and his spiritualism came via South Park. The beauty of South Park is that the creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, have no shame and are prepared to satire anything and everything without fear. This included a satire of Scientology and in particular the most famous face of Scientology after its founder L. Ron Hubbard, Tom Cruise.

Hayes' main beef with the episode was:

There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs of others begins. Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honoured. As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices.

However, as South Park co-creator Matt Stone pointed out:

This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology… He has no problem — and he’s cashed plenty of checks — with our show making fun of Christians.

So, it would seem that Hayes' had no beef with ridiculing all other religions but got a little upset when his own came under the harsh glare of the South Park sun. To many this would be hypocrisy in a somewhat extreme form.

Yet, those scientologists are a little crazy. It was not all that long ago that Tom Cruise was off on a crusade against psychiatry as being phantom science and medicine. This included some ranting about Brooke Shields and post-partum depression.

Scientology -- A religion or a cult?

As Fox News Channel is fond of saying, "we report, you decide".

Celebrities and Drugs -- Sheila Marcia Joseph

The attraction of drugs for some is just too powerful to resist and even more so when you are in a relationship where both people are users (abusers). Drugs and celebrities is not a unique phenomenon in that it is restricted to Indonesia, it can be found throughout the world of celebrities.

Yet, it is sad that Indonesia's younger celebrities are increasingly getting caught up in the world of drugs. The recent arrest of a young rising star, Sheila Marcia (photo), highlights the dangers of letting your demons get the better of you. Sheila Marcia had been making a bit of a name for herself in Indonesian horror films, such as Manggarai Ghost Train (Kereta Hantu Manggarai).

Sheila Marcia was arrested last week allegedly at a drug party in North Jakarta. The party was being held in the Golden Sky Apartment complex in Pluit in room number 8 on the 7th floor. This is the beauty of Indonesia where the information is always available in the scandal pages. I wonder how anyone ever keeps a secret in this part of the world.

Unfortunately, her boyfriend, Roger Danuarta, has gone to ground. It has been suggested that he is in drug rehab. However, this has been denied by his family. Roger is also a celebrity for his Indonesia soap opera appearances. Nevertheless, the going to ground is probably a smart move on his part because if he is using the police will find out. I am sure that this is small comfort to his young girlfriend who could probably do with some support from her man.

However, standard police practice in Indonesia with regards to drug allegations is to do a urine test. He is sure to take some flack for this as he probably will not be paying a visit to his girlfriend anytime soon or at least until any drugs that he has been taking have cleared the system. Although the police have said that they are not looking for him in relation to this case.

The sad part here is that Sheila is only 19 years old. The good thing here is that she is only 19 years old. If she wants to she should be able to recover from this and still have a career. It is being reported that over the last week in detention she has come closer to God. This is always a good ploy but if she really believed in God she probably should have considered getting a little closer a little sooner.

In Australia this offence would probably attract no jail time and perhaps a slap on the wrist in the form of a community service order. As a young starlet she could do a lot of good educating other youngsters about the dangers of drugs and the impact that it can have on your life and the lives of those around you.

Then again, it is Indonesia. I wonder how much jail time she will get?

Indonesian Political Parties -- 2009 Election

The following is the most up-to-date list of the political parties set to contest the 2009 General Elections. The list includes the four parties that recently won the right to participate after the State Administrative Court agreed with their application that the General Elections Commission had erred in excluding them from the original line up.

There are now 38 parties set to contest the General Election and a further 6 parties that are permitted to contest the General Election in the Province of Aceh. The four additional parties have been allocated the numbers 41, 42, 43, and 44, respectively. However, as they are set to contest the General Election throughout the archipelago I have slotted them in between numbers 34 and 35.

The List:

1. People's Conscience Party (Partai Hati Nurani Rakyat / Partai Hanura)
Awareness for the Nation Party (Partai Karya Peduli Bangsa)
Indonesian Entrepreneur and Workers Party (Partai Pengusaha dan Pekerja Indonesia)
National People's Awareness Party (Partai Peduli Rakyat Nasional)
Great Indonesia Movement Party (Partai Gerakan Indonesia Raya / Gerindra)
National Front Party (Partai Barisan Nasional / Barnas)
Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (Partai Keadilan dan Persatuan Indonesia)
Prosperous Justice Party (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera)
National Mandate Party (Partai Amanat Nasional)
New Indonesia Party for Struggle (Partai Perjuangan Indonesia Baru)
Sovereignty Party (Partai Kedaulatan)
Regional Unity Party (Partai Persatuan Daerah)
National Awakening Party (Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa)
Indonesian Youth Party (Partai Pemuda Indonesia)
Indonesian National Party Marhaenism (Partai Nasional Indonesia Marhaenisme)
Democratic Renewal Party (Partai Demokrasi Pembaruan / PDP)
Party of Struggle (Partai Karya Perjuangan)
National Sun Party (Partai Matahari Bangsa)
Indonesian Defenders of Democracy Party (Partai Penegak Demokrasi Indonesia)
Democratic Nationalist Party (Partai Demokrasi Kebangsaan)
Archipelago Republic Party (Partai Republik Nusantara)
Pioneer Party (Partai Pelopor)
Golkar Party (Partai Golongan Karya)
United Development Party (Partai Persatuan Pembangunan)
Prosperous Peace Party (Partai Damai Sejahtera)
Indonesian National Populist Fortress Party (Partai Nasional Benteng Kerakyatan Indonesia)
Crescent Star Party (Partai Bulan Bintang)
Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan)
Reform Star Party (Partai Bintang Reformasi)
Patriot Party (Partai Patriot)
Democratic Party (Partai Demokrat)
Indonesian Democratic Party of Devotion (Partai Kasih Demokrasi Indonesia)
Prosperous Indonesia Party (Partai Indonesia Sejahtera)
Ulema National Awakening Party (Partai Kebangkitan Nasional Ulama)

41. Freedom Party (Partai Merdeka)
42. Indonesian Nahdlatul Community Party (Partai Nahdlatul Ummah Indonesia)
43. Islam Unity Party (Partai Sarikat Islam)
44. Labor Party (Partai Buruh)

35. Prosperous and Safe Aceh Party (Partai Aceh Aman Sejahtera)
36. Aceh Sovereignty Party (Partai Daulat Atjeh)
37. Independent Voice of the Acehnese Party (Partai Suara Independen Rakyat Aceh)
38. Aceh People's Party (Partai Rakyat Aceh)
39. Aceh Party (Partai Aceh)
40. Aceh Unity Party (Partai Bersatu Aceh)

Air Travel -- Budget No More?

The rapidly rising fuel costs are ensuring that budget travel is not so budget anymore. Most airlines have already started to slug customers with a fuel surcharge in order to cover costs. The cynical among us might say that the reason is to ensure high profits. But perhaps those profit-oriented business types will say that companies have an obligation to shareholders and investors to provide a return on that investment.

I priced a ticket on Air Asia the other day. The ticket was cheap but the fuel surcharge doubled the price. I am not sure whether this works for all airlines but for Air Asia the simple math is to double whatever the published fare is and then you will have what you will have to pay.

The other income generator that is being implemented supposedly to offset rising fuel costs is one where passengers are slugged with a check-in baggage fee. This would seem to be a captive market considering most people travel for more than a few days and you cannot take liquids, gels and other sprays on board (they must be checked in). This will mean that most people will buy the liquids such as perfume, toothpaste, and deodorants on arrival. It will also mean that people will try and cram everything but the kitchen sink into their carry-on bag.

If you have ever been on an Indonesian airline you will know that people try and carry-on bags that only just fit into the overhead storage racks and clearly exceed the permissible carry-on size. This is worthy of another post because this is not the only insanity that flight attendants and ground staff seem to allow.

Anyway, it seems that Virgin Blue (photo) and Pacific Blue will be slugging passengers with a AUD 20 fee to check-in baggage from 1 September 2008. However, if you book and pay online for your check-in baggage then the fee is a mere AUD 8. You do, however, get to check-in up to 23 kilos. But, if you front up at the airport you will be hit with the flat AUD 20 fee. The excess baggage fee is AUD 8 per kilo.

I am looking forward to the "pay for weight" program being applied to people. The idea being that the fare you pay is based on how much you weigh. Now, this on face value would seem to be discriminatory against overweight and obese passengers. Yet, when you think about it the physics of the matter is that it presumably takes more fuel to move the heavier people from the ground and into the air. So, I guess, the question, "is if you are being charged based on how much it costs to move you, are you being discriminated against?"

What does this mean for budget travelers, shop around. There are still deals to be had even in these times of high fuel prices. When it is all said and done there is still more than one airline to choose from.

16 August 2008

Beheading the Bali Bombers

The Bali Bombers; Amrozi, Samudra, and Mukhlas, have instructed their lawyers to lodge an appeal with the Constitutional Court. The basis of this appeal is that execution by firing squad is a cruel and inhumane form of execution. The arguments in support of this rely on the botched execution of Muhammad Tubagus Yusuf Maulana (Usep) on 10 March 2008. Usep was executed by firing squad and did not die for 10 minutes. The question here is whether the firing squad is inhumane or whether those tasked with the duty of executing Usep were just poor shots?

The Constitutional Court decision is likely to be handed-down fairly quickly as the government intends to execute the three before 1 September. The fasting month of Ramadan is scheduled to start on 1 September and it is unlikely that the government would execute them on the first day of Ramadan. So, if the executions do not happen before 1 September then they are likely to be postponed until at least early October.

The team of lawyers representing the three also seem to be basing their arguments on the fact that beheading is permitted in Sharia Law. This is indeed true, however, Indonesian criminal law is not based solely on Islamic or Sharia Law and beheading is not the recognized form of execution for those on death row. Therefore, this argument to all intents and purposes is moot. The lawyers that form the Muslim Defenders Team (Tim Pembela Muslim / TPM) are better off arguing hard on the unconstitutionality of the form of execution rather than the right of Muslims to be executed by beheading. Once again this right is not explicitly recognized in Indonesian law.

Interestingly, if the Constitutional Court is true to form in this respect, even if they were to decide in favour of the application, the decision must only apply from the date of the decision and cannot apply retrospectively. Therefore, because the firing squad was constitutional at the time the sentences were handed-down, then these three can still be executed in this manner. However, going forward the government would be required to put into place an alternative form of execution. This would probably be lethal injection. The former Attorney General, Abdul Rahman Saleh, alluded to such a change before stepping down from the position to take up an Ambassadorial post.

One of the lawyers from the TPM has allegedly suggested that France still permits the beheading of prisoners. However, my understanding is that the French abolished the death penalty in 1981 and I have not heard of it being revived of late as an acceptable form of punishment. I guess I will have to do some more research on this unless one of my readers points me to a source.

The end result is that "dead is dead". Nevertheless, I do not see why these individuals should get any special treatment in comparison to other death row inmates. Their crimes were abhorrent and the punishment, irrespective of whether I agree with it or not, has been handed-down. As soon as the government and the courts entertain regulating punishments on religious beliefs then to ensure fairness then all religions must be able to dictate the forms of punishments that are acceptable. I am not sure that this is the way that Indonesia wants to go.

I have posted on the Bali Bombers before, but once again, the moment of truth is forever getting closer. These three murders will soon be meeting their maker, and my guess is that there will be no 72 virgins waiting for them but with a bit of luck an eternity of pain and suffering similar to that which they inflicted on the victims of their murderous deeds. I still feel that they should have been sentenced to rot in jail for the terms of their natural lives.

The photo attached here includes the following information: Aitape, New Guinea. 24 October 1943. A photograph found on the body of a dead Japanese soldier showing NX143314 Sergeant (Sgt) Leonard G. Siffleet of "M" Special Unit, wearing a blindfold and with his arms tied, about to be beheaded with a sword by Yasuno Chikao. The execution was ordered by Vice Admiral Kamada, the commander of the Japanese Naval Forces at Aitape. Sgt Siffleet was captured with Private (Pte) Pattiwahl and Pte Reharin, Ambonese members of the Netherlands East Indies Forces, whilst engaged in reconnaissance behind the Japanese lines. Yasuno Chikao died before the end of the war.

Telkom Speedy

Telkom Speedy now has a program that lets you have free downloads from 20.00 through to 08.00. The only real condition / restriction is that you sign in after 20.00 and sign out before 08.00. I might take advantage of this as I have been over quota for downloading the past three months. Even though it is likely to adversely effect my sleeping patterns!

It is about time Telkom did something smart. The Missus (aka my better half) has been thinking of changing to First Media, as this would allow us to combine our current cable subscription with Internet access.

Telkom's decision might just stave of this change for a little while.

Funding the Knowledge Nation

The funding of education is an issue that has gained increasing prominence over the past several years, particularly exactly how much of the State and Regional Budgets must be allocated. The allocation issue has been one that has made its way to the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court handed-down a decision that stipulated that there was a constitutional requirement that the government ensure that at least 20% of the State budget was allocated to education. The ball is essentially back in the government’s court with regards to ensuring that they comply.

Nevertheless, the Constitutional Court decision is the easy part. The more difficult part is finding the money to reach the 20% allocation threshold considering the competing needs that the Indonesian government finds itself facing. The sky-rocketing price of oil in world markets and the government’s decision to reduce fuel subsidies has had, and will continue to have, an impact on the lives of ordinary Indonesians. Even though world oil prices have eased in recent weeks from record highs, the government’s insistence on maintaining even reduced subsidies continues to put pressure on the budget’s bottom line (photo).

If the government intends to comply with the 20% allocation for education in the sooner rather than later time frame, then perhaps the government will have to tap into its large foreign reserves. This is particularly so if the government intends to run a budget that is predicted to be in deficit to the tune of some IDR 100 trillion through 2009. Furthermore, it is worth considering how the 20% funding allocation is to be made up. For example, is it to include salaries of teachers and administrative staff?

It is worth noting that the Government Regulation, No. 48 of 2008, is not a specific response to the Constitutional Court decision but rather it is aimed at enforcing Articles 46(3), 47(3), 48(2), and 49(5) of Law No. 20 of 2003 on the National Education System.

Where the Funding Burden Lies
Interestingly, the Regulation characterizes the funding of education as a joint endeavor not just between the central and regional governments but also with the help of the community. The sharing of the burden and the involvement of the community is designed to foster an education management budget and structure that is fair, efficient, transparent, and accountable.

This is intended to ensure that the burden is shared but the involvement of the community and that community picking up part of the tab for education is perhaps the first step towards the complete privatization of the educational sector. Complete privatization would be many years into the future and would be unlikely to ever succeed unless there were specific provisions in place that would cater for those that would not have access to private education, the poor and disenfranchised.

The simple math would suggest that the smaller the number of public education facilities the larger the Rupiah amount of a 20% allocation to the funding of public education. This would seem to be a good thing as then the government could conceivably allocate more of the obligatory 20% of the State budget to acquiring more land and building more schools. This would then allow the government to also come good on its promise of providing a basic nine-year education that is free of fees to all Indonesian children.

The Regulation defines the community in terms of educational units established and managed by the community, participants in education programs or their parents or guardians, and the all capturing “anyone else” with an interest and a role to play in education. The ‘anyone else’ is further defined in the Elucidations to this particular article as being business people, alumni, and social organizations.

Articles 3, 4, and 5 of the Regulation list a whole series of fees that are associated with education including the investment in land and buildings, investment in operations, and the investment in teacher and administrative staff salaries and allowances. For example, the Regulation is explicit that these fees are to include the basic salaries and allowances for teaching and lecturing staff.

These fees are the responsibility of the relevant governments. The fees which have been noted in some detail are the responsibility of the governments involved and as such the numbers must be formulated and then allocated in the budget as educational expenditure.

Investments by the Government
The investments noted above are then enumerated in detail in the articles that follow. These investments include capital expenditures in the procurement of land and the subsequent building of schools on that land. However, the investments are also to include development of human resources.

The investments can be in the form of grants from the Central Government to the Regional Government or vice versa where the purpose of the grant is clearly identified as being for an educational purpose.

Regulatory Framework
Each of the provisions includes a statement that all of this investment is to be carried out pursuant to any prevailing laws and regulations. It is therefore expected that there will be additional regulations and Ministerial directives issued in order to set out in ever greater detail the means of implementing the provisions of this Regulation.

Foreign Aid & Assistance
The Regulation permits foreign parties to provide assistance for education initiatives, such as the procurement of land and buildings. This assistance can presumably include expert human resources provided these human resources comply with prevailing labor laws and regulations.

However, the assistance or aid provided must be non-binding. In essence, the provision of aid does not entail that the foreign party has any say in the administration of any educational facility that may benefit from the foreign assistance.

Funding Sources & Management
Chapters V and VI of the Regulation provide extensive lists with regard to what the valid sources of education funding are and how these funds are to be managed.

Generally, these sources include:
1. Central Government budget;
2. Regional Government budget;
3. Foreign aid and assistance; and
4. Other legitimate sources.

For private educational institutions the sources of funding includes:
the founder(s) of the institution;
1. community donations, and fees from students;
2. income from courses; plus
3. Central and Regional Governments;
4. Foreign aid and assistance; and
5. Other legitimate sources.

The management of education funds is divided into two basic principles:
1. General; and
2. Special.

The general principles envisaged in the Regulation include the principles of fairness, efficiency, transparency, and accountability. Each of these principles is further enumerated in the Regulation. For example, efficiency refers to the need to optimize access, quality, relevance, and competitiveness in the provision of educational services.

The special principles stipulate that allocated funds are to be managed in accordance with the government’s budgetary system and pursuant to the prevailing laws and regulations. This is to be interpreted as requiring proper book keeping and reporting with respect to the management of education funding. Therefore, there is an expectation that proper accountancy standards will be followed.

The second part of the special principles section is the requirement for planning. Planning requires the Central Government to allocate funding based on considerations such as the long and medium term national development plans. The Central Government must also consider the strategic national education plan. On the regional government level the general considerations are the same. However, a Regional Government must also consider the regional strategic plan.

The Percentage of the Budget to be Allocated
The Regulation does stipulate in Article 80 that at least 20% of the State Budget must be allocated to education on an annual basis. This is contained in a solitary sentence and is then followed by another sentence which states that the Minister of Finance is to issue further regulations to set out how the government will comply with this obligation.

The most interesting consideration to be determined in this regard is whether or not the 20% allocation is to include the salaries of teaching and administrative staff. If the allocation is to include salaries and other entitlements, then the majority of regional governments and the central government itself would seem to be close to this level of allocation already.

Article 81 requires that Regional Governments also allocate at least 20% of their respective budgets to education. The precise manner and mechanisms for this are to be regulated in an as yet to be issued Minister of Finance regulation.

The enactment of this Regulation is a positive sign that the government is taking seriously the need to develop and maintain an education system that is not only competitive but a world leader. The provisions of this Regulation set out a framework within which this particular dream can conceivably be realized. Nevertheless, this relies on more than just the government paying lip service to education funding, it requires the government to not only make the necessary allocations in the budget, but requires the government to ensure that the allocations are dispersed as they are meant to be.

If both the Central and Regional Governments were to allocate at least 20% of their respective budgets to the education sector then in a very short span of time Indonesia must become the “knowledge nation”.