11 January 2011

The Problem with the Indonesian Remission System...

This is probably not an expose on the scale of Wikileaks. However, thanks to my mate Treespotter, we do have access to some interesting documents that highlight how poorly organised the remission system is in Indonesia. The files attached to his post relate to the case of Artalyta Suryani or Ayin. Ayin was convicted and sentenced to prison in a corruption case. She was found guilty of bribing a prosecutor.

Ayin's case did not end there. She decided that as a woman of means, she would spruce up her cell a little. So, in agreement with the relevant jail authorities she co-opted a couple of cells and made them into a little fiefdom where she ran a beauty salon and a karaoke parlour. Her enlarged cell also had a visiting room where she could entertain guests.

Unfortunately for Ayin, the word leaked regarding her luxury set up and a random raid uncovered her souped-up cell arrangement. Her punishment was that she was not to receive a remission in 2010. Remissions are at the discretion of the relevant authorities. These authorities are ultimately at the discretion of the Minister for Justice and Human Rights who will have the final say on a remission. Nevertheless, it was a surprise to see a convict who was not supposed to be getting any remissions in 2010 because of her bad behaviour end up with a remission of 2 months and 20 days.

In the words of Treespotter:

"Hypocrisy really knows no bounds".

Perhaps it is time that Indonesians stopped buying into this diversion called SBY and came to understand that there are obviously more powerful interests above the president that really run the show in Indonesia. The war on corruption is an illusion and the president is a fraud.

In essence, the first document authorises a remission for Ayin. The second document, at point 5, notes that Ayin is not to be granted any remissions in 2010.

This whole sorry saga is seemingly another black mark against the name of the Minister for Justice and Human Rights who simply has no control over the Ministry that he leads. Then again, with a leader like SBY, what does a lowly minister have to fear. The president is too busy trying to sure up his legacy and promote himself as an international statesman worthy of the Secretary General's post at the UN to be too worried about undeserved remissions for corruptors.

Ho hum...


Anonymous said...

Love it. "to sure up"...

Rob Baiton said...

@ Anonymous...

It would be so much more fun if I knew who you were. For some reason it would be a case of enjoying the challenge more. Never mind.

I am guessing you are referring to the shore up vs. sure up non-debate. Grammatically, there is no debate. The correct English grammar is to "shore up" something.

You will see an interesting response to a question of which is correct here:


Generally, shore up means to prop up or support something by placing it against something solid. I think this might be the Webster's definition.

However, my use of sure up was conscious. Firstly, I was humouring myself to see whether anyone really reads my posts and to find out whether there were any grammar buffs. Now, I know that there is at least one of you.

the other reason was a play on words and definitions of words. Perhaps the president is unsure of his legacy in his own mind and one way of ensuring what that legacy is to be sure of what it is hence to "sure up".

Is it irresponsible to be an English teacher who plays around with the language in order to gauge what is flexible and changeable? Or should one stick to the pre-ordained rules of the language, the conventions? After all, English is a living language, is it not?

But, this comment will have to suffice in lieu of a footnote to the original post.

Thanks for being so knowledgeable and pointing out the 'error' in such a supportive way.

Rob Baiton said...

@ Anonymous...

I should also add, I was in bed. I checked the comment out on the iPod which serves as an at your fingertips email checker, at least for me.

You actually inspired me to get out of the comfort dream zone and respond.


Anonymous said...

I do thank you. I do support your taking liberty with the English language. I am one who believes in making language work for us. You were doing just that it seemed to me.

fxhawaii said...

Thanks for your article, really useful information.