02 August 2010

Pong Harjatmo -- Actor and Graffiti Artist...

Most people would expect that their elected members of parliament would live by a creed that demands honesty resoluteness, and fairness. So, having it spray painted on the roof of the Indonesian parliament does not seem all that outrageous in the big scheme of democracy.

Then again, it is Indonesia and most would argue, at least anecdotally, that the people's house in Indonesia, the parliament, is not a bastion of honesty, resoluteness, or even fairness. It is a place, usually uninhabited during plenary sessions, that spends a lot of money, the people's money, and has next to nothing to show for it. For example, legislation. Members can you count the number of pieces of legislation you have passed this term to date? Oh yes, none, zero, zip, bugger all.

So, when Pong Harjatmo decided he was going to climb up onto the roof of the DPR and spray paint his demands on the green roof, it was sure to attract a little attention. It was good to see that the old fella was not disappointed. Pong was a bit of a legend of film back in the 1970s and 1980s, he is now a legend again but for slightly different reasons.

Pong was arrested for his artwork and questioned. He was, however, released without charge. He was given a slap on the wrist and told not to be out and about spray painting his protests on government buildings. Not to be deterred, Pong has said he will be making his protests wherever he feels is appropriate. If I may be so forward, the Police Headquarters could use some new paint!


Harry Sufehmi said...

Can you believe that some people actually CRITICIZE Pong ????

They said that Pong is a vandalizer. Nothing more.

Common sense is not that common.

Same kind of people also complained about demonstrations. Said that it caused traffic jams.

Well duh :

[1] The Parliament is to blame here, since they don't provide the facility for people to express their opinions.

In London, they have speaker's corner in... Hyde park? So people can voice their concerns, without disturbing the general public.
Not here in Indonesia.

[2] The demonstrators are putting efforts, and sacrificed their time & money for the sake of OUR interests.
But instead of getting thanks, they got angry complaints instead.

That is just too f*cked up.

Sometimes I'm feel ashamed for our own actions :(

Rob Baiton said...

Hey Harry S...

I am glad I did not scare you off after the last little to and fro :D

Your comments are illuminating, to say the least, and it is always a good thing to be challenged on one's ideas and perceptions of the world in which we live!

I can comprehend the criticism, and I can see why it is made. I do not believe that the criticism, as you point out, focuses on what is really important.

I am not sure that a speakers' corner or some kind of soap box venue is going to be big enough for the litany of complaints that might arise for Indonesians. Then again, it could be programed into thematic areas and be like 24 hour news ;)

Protests and demonstrations are part and parcel of a democracy. They happen here in Australia too, but they are not always traffic stoppers.

Perhaps, the part you refer to as being too f*cked up just highlights general apathy towards the political process as it currently exists in Indonesia.