Monday, March 12, 2012

Smuggled drugs worth Rp 3.2 billion seized at Soekarno-Hatta airport

Multa Fidrus | Tangerang | 12/03/2012

Customs and excise officers have foiled five smuggling attempts of drugs worth Rp 3.2 billions at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and arrested seven Indonesians as suspects including Raka Widyarma, the foster son Banten deputy governor Rano Karno.

“Officers seized the drugs in five smuggling cases between March 4 and 5,” Oza Olivia, head of Customs office at the airport said in a press confrence at her office on Monday.

She said that on March 4, officers conducting intelligent analyses against delivery packages sent Malaysia through a delivery service company (PJT) confiscated four packages containing 300 Nimetazepam pills worth Rp 45 millions.

“The packages were reported as documents. Officers who later conducted delivery control to the receiver address in Cipete, South Jakarta managed to pick up three suspects identified as Diana S, 24, a company director, PS, a private company employee and A who works as a disc jokey,” she said.

On the same day, officers also seized 5 ecstasy pills worth Rp 2 millions sent from Malaysia to an adress in Bintarto, South Tangerang.

Officers pretending to be PJT courier then conducted delivery control to the adress and found Raka Widyarma, 20, and his friend Karina Andetia, 19 who had been waitring fro the drug on Jl. Perkici Raya, Bintaro..

Officers also seized a packet containing 16 ecstasy pills worth Rp 6.4 million which was reported as document by AS, the sender and arrested MRZ, 27, the receiver of the drug in Manado, North Sulawesi.

Officers also seized another delivery package containing 20 ecstasy pills worth Rp 8 million which was sent by a man identified as D to an adres in Karawaci, Tangerang. The receiver seemed to be aware of the situation so that he left before officers found the adress.

On March 5, officers discovered 628.5 grams cocaine worth Rp 3,142,500,0000 hidden in 178 buttons of woman’s dress which were sent from Gijarat, India through PJT by a man identified as GNK to a reciver with initial DIP in Bali.

“When conducting delivery control to the adress in Bali, officers picked up FI, 30, as suspect. FI who works as a tailor said he was asked by a man called T to take the drug and was promised Rp 1 million.

The ecstasy pills and the suspects were handed down to the airport police for further case develipment while the coanine and the suspect were submitted to the National Narchotic Body.

Dwiyanto Soemirat, BNN spokesman said with the seizure of the drugs, 6,285 people were safe from the danger of drug abuses.

Since January, customs officers have foiled 12 drug smuggling cases and seized 3,315.8 grams crystal methamphetamine, 628.5 grams cocaine, 536 levomertofan pills, 300 happy five pills and 41 ecstasy pills worth Rp 8.3 billions on total..

Officers had also arrested 15 Indonesians, a Malaysian and a Sierra Leonean (African) as suspects in the smuggling cases.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

BNN picked up Iranian drug convict from Tangerang prison

Multa Fidrus | The Jakarta Post | Tangerang

The National Narchotics Body (BNN) agents picked up an Iranian drug convict Muhamed Jafad, 32, from the Tangerang Youth Penitenatiary early on Thursday following arrest of another Iranian Hamed Mohamad, 30, in Senayan, South Jakarta.

The arrest was witnessed by Denny Indrayana, deputy minster of Justice and Human Rights who all at once inspected the prison at about 1 .a.m.

Benny Mamoto, BNN’s director for hunting and prosecution said Jafad was picked from his cell to be questioned at BNN office because Hamed was nabbed while talking to him by phone.

He said Hamed was arrested while making drug transaction with an Indonesian identified as Iyus, 35, at a fastfood restaurant in Senayan. Officers seized 3 kilograms crystal methamphetamine from both as evidence.

“In initial questioning, Hamed had testified that it was Jafad who controls the drug transaction from behin the bars and therefore we need to develop the case by examining him for further case development,” he said.

Meanwhile, Denny Indrayana said international drug syndicate had conditioned prisons as the safest place to control drug transactions and distribution in the country and he mentioned Jafad as an example of evidence.

He said that none of inmates is allowed to hold cellular phones while serving punishment in prison but the fact showed that many drug convicts could easily comminicate through cellular phones from behind the bars to control drug transactions.

He believed that Jafad is one of drug convicts who had masterminded drug distribution and transactions activities across the country.

Denny promised to take stern measures against prison officers who are proven to facilitate or help pave the way for inmates to have cellular phones.

He said the ministry had purposely cooperated with BNN in effort to severe the chain of drug link between inmates and outsiders.

However, the BNN agents failed to reach a target when picking up Jafad from the cell as they could only found a CDMA phones with a number of phone cards, not a GSM phone as Jafad used when cominicating with Hamed.

Warden Kunto Wiryanto admitted that inmates could easily hold cellular phones in the prison despite regular raids.

“Inmates could have cellular phone from visitors or with the assistance of prison officers who betrayed the institution,” he said.

He said in a recent raids held in the prison, officers confiscated 24 cellular phones from inmates and it was unclear how they got them.

He defended that the Youth Penitentiary is home to 2096 inmates while the total capacity of the prison is only for 800 inmates. 69 percent of the total nimates are serving jail punishment for drug cases.

“There are only four groups consisting of 21 officers who alternately control the inmates. We have repeatedly requested additonal officers but to no avail,” he said.

Kunto said that Jafad had served 2 years of a 5-year jail punhisment for drug offense in the prion while his wife Sonia is also serving jail setence at the Tangerang Woman Penitentiary.

Smuggled Indian star turtles repatriated to its habitat in India

Multa Fidrus The Jakarta Post Tangerang

The Indonesian government repatriated 19 out of 61 Indian star tortoise (geochelone elegans) smuggled into the country throughSoekarno-Hatta International Airport in November to its original habitat in India on Thursday.

“Those turtles will fly with Malaysian Airline to India this evening. We will see them off along with Customs officers, airport security, officials form the Forestry Ministry and NGS activists,” Musyaffak Fauzi, head of airport quarantine center said at his office.

According to Mustaffak, as many as 61 land turtles were smuggled into the country on Nov. 7 by an unidientified foreigner and were confiscated by customs officers after they were left at terminal II. 47 of the turtles were identified as the Indian star tortoise.

Customs officers then handed down the smuggled turtles to the quarantine center for further handling. Unfortunately, 28 of the protected species died on arrival at the airport due to poor treatment.

“This is the first animal repatriation from Indonesia to other country we ever did as form of international cooperation. We have several times received repatriation of wild animals from other country,” he said.

He said the smuggling of animal from overseas into the country violated the 1992 law on animal, fish and plants quarantine and the 1990 law on biodiversity and ecosystem conservation becuase of it harms Indonesia economically.

“Animal and plants smuggling from overseas will harm Indonesia economically because they could threat the originity of Indonesian nuftah plasma,” he said addingf that . wild animal trafficking transaction at international market reached up to US$180 billion.

Musyaffak the inernational transaction had triggered the trafficking and the smuggling of protected species from and to Indonesia to be rampant to happen.

Meanwhile, Puja Utama head of animal distribution control department at the Forestry Ministry said that the total population of the Indian star tortoise curently reached up to 32,500 all over the world.

“But if the illegal animal trafficking continues, sooner or later the species will face extinction,” he said.

He added that in domestic market, the price of a big Indian star tortoise measuring between 10 and 15 centi meters reach up to Rp 30 millions while the small ones measuring 5 up to centimeters were normally sold between Rp 8 and 10 millions.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Crackdown on high crime rate in Tangerang

Multa Fidrus The Jakarta Post | Wed, 03/07/2012 11:56 AM

TANGERANG: The Tangerang Police say that a fast-response policy and a new task force have led to 44 arrests in one week in one the nation’s most crime-ridden regencies.

“We quickly followed up every report that came in from the community and arrested 44 suspects between Feb. 27 and March 6,” Tangerang Regency Police chief Sr. Comr. Bambang Priyo Andogo said on Tuesday.

The suspects were detained for several offenses, including robbery, vehicle theft, burglary, weapon possessions and fraud.

“Tangerang regency has always been ranked third in the list of regions with the highest number of criminal cases across the nation. We are striving to reduce the regency’s crime ranking,” Bambang said.

The police recently set up an anti-crime task force to deter criminals by focusing on community monitoring and empowerment in 33 districts across the regency.

“Just three months after the task force was formed, the number of crimes solved by the police has sharply increased,” Bambang said.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Antasari to stay in jail on his daughter’s wedding party

Antasari to stay in jail on his daughter’s wedding party

Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang | Mon, 03/05/2012 5:00 PM
A | A | A |

Antasari Azhar: Former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman. JP/J. Adiguna
Antasari Azhar: Former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman.JP/J. Adiguna

Antasari Azhar confirmed that the Tangerang penitentiary had turned down his request for a permit to attend his daughter’s wedding reception.

“We have filed a request for a permit to leave the penitentiary during the process of my daughter’s wedding but the permit was only given to attend thesiraman [bathing] ritual on Thursday and the wedding ceremony on March. 9,” Antasari told a press conference at the Tangerang penitentiary on Monday.

Antasari, who looked fatter and healthier, said that he and his family respected the warden’s decision.

“I just want to give clarification on media reports about my plan to attend the wedding party. Controversial media reports have disturbed my family,” he said.

Law and Human Rights Ministry spokesman Goncang Raharjo said that the decision was fully the authority of warden Priyadi, who is on a minor pilgrimage journey in Mecca.

When asked why Antasari would only be allowed to attend the ritual and the ceremony, Goncang said that the wedding reception was only ceremonial.

“His presence during the ritual and the ceremony will legitimate his daughter’s wedding,” he said, adding that Antasari would be tightly escorted by the police and penitentiary officers.

Antasari’s daughter’s wedding proceedings will start on Thursday while the wedding reception will take place on Sunday at Balai Sudirman in South Jakarta.

Antasari was sentenced to 18 years in prison by the South Jakarta District Court for suggesting the murder of Putra Rajawali Banjaran director Nasruddin Zulkarnaen, who was shot in the temple while driving his car at the Modern Land housing estate, Tangerang municipality in 2009.

Former South Jakarta Police chief Williardi Wizar and media businessman Sigit Haryo Wibisono were also sentenced to 12 and 15 years respectively for orchestrating the murder with Antasari.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Prosecutors seek death for cocaine smugglers

Saturday, November 08, 2008
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

Prosecutors at the Tangerang District Court sought the death sentence for three foreigners convicted of smuggling cocaine into the country through Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in February.

Prosecutors Teuku Rahman and Haryadi said in a hearing Thursday evening the defendants, a Thai woman, Thitirat Charoensuk, 24, and two British men, Michael Anthony Guevara, 34, and John Patrick Patton, 52, were proven guilty of smuggling the drugs.

The prosecutors said the defendants violated Article 82 of the 1997 Drug Law. The article carries a maximum penalty of execution.

"The defendants intentionally smuggled 515 grams of cocaine into the country," Teuku Rahman told the panel of judges presided over by Haryono, with two other members Barmen Sinurat and Arthur Hangewa.

He said Guevara and Patton were the owners of the cocaine, and had asked the Thai woman to take the drugs to Indonesia.

The defendants were shocked to hear the penalty demand. Charoensuk fainted.

The defendants were arrested soon after their arrival at the airport on Feb. 20. Customs and excise officers became suspicious after Charoensuk appeared to be nervous at the customs check point.

After being examined, officers found drugs estimated to be worth Rp 2 billion (US$181,000) hidden in a bag she was carrying.

An interrogation led officers to arrest Michael Anthony and his Thai girlfriend Naksri, who flew from Thailand to Jakarta on the same flight.

"Naksri was released later because she was not involved in the smuggling attempt," Eko Darmanto, chief of intelligence at the Customs office, said Friday.

The police subsequently learned of the alleged receiver's address and arrested John Patrick Patton in Cilandak, South Jakarta, seizing eight grams of cocaine from him.

The presiding judge postponed the hearing until Monday to hear the defendants' lawyer Husin Tuhuteru read out the defense.

Banten province gets ready for floods

Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Banten

As the wet season approaches, Banten's provincial administration has been making moves to mitigate the effects of floods that will likely occur across the province in the middle of this month.

The administration has spent Rp 10 billion (US$950,000) building several embankments designed to hold back overflow of river water in Pandeglang, Lebak, Serang regencies and Serang municipality, an official said.

To cope with possible flooding in Tangerang regency the provincial administration has spent the Rp 135 billion it received from the central government last year.

The money disbursed by the central government from the 2007 state budget has been used to finance the repair of dam sluices and dredge mud at Bendungan Pintu X in Pasar Baru subdistrict, Tangerang municipality, Situ (lake) Parigi, Situ Pamulang, Situ Cilandak, Situ Ciputat and along the Cirarab river.

"All of the flood handling projects are now underway," head of the provincial Resettlement and Water Resource Agency Winardjono said on Tuesday.

He said 87 locations in Banten are prone to flooding. Of them, 63 are spread across Tangerang regency, with 14 in Pandeglang and six in Lebak. The remaining four are in the Serang regency.

Tb. Baihaki, head of society protection at the National Safety Office, said that the administration had also spent Rp 1.48 billion purchasing four rubber boats, a minibus and a pick-up truck to evacuate flood victims, as well as 178 army tents, 77 tarpaulin tents and utensils for public kitchens.

The provincial Geophysics and Meteorology Agency (BMG) predicted that heavy rain would begin in mid November.

The Tangerang municipal administration has also taken a number of measures, such as preparing water pumps, dredging rivers and setting up a crisis prevention team, in preparation for the wet season.

"We have built and repaired several embankments in certain areas prone to flooding," Mayor Wahidin Halim said. The embankments have been built at several flood-prone points along the Cisadane, Sabi and Angke rivers, to prevent water from entering residential areas in Cileduk, Cibodas, Karawaci, Periuk and Pinang districts.

Wahidin said the total budget needed to completely free the municipality from flood disasters was around Rp 1.5 trillion.

"We will likely start the dredging, the widening and the straightening of rivers flowing through the municipality next year, because the central government has promised to disburse flood handling funds in 2009," he said.

Around 150,000 houses in Periuk, Jatiuwung, Karawaci, Pinang, Cipondoh, Cibodas and Cileduk districts are prone to annual flooding.

Widespread flooding in Tangerang regency earlier last year resulted in a temporary but significant 20 percent increase in unemployment, as many factories were forced to stop production.

The floods also damaged 23,716 hectares of rice fields in Tangerang regency, causing farmers losses of Rp 35 billion.

South Tangerang to have roads repaired, widened

Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

The Tangerang municipal administration has prepared detailed engineering designs for road construction and repairs in the newly approved South Tangerang city, Tangerang regent Ismet Iskandar said over the weekend.

The regent asked the residents to help the projects progress smoothly because the administration would also widen several roads connecting seven districts in the new municipality.

The seven districts are Ciputat, East Ciputat, Pamulang, Pondok Aren, Serpong, North Serpong and Setu.

"Therefore, we ask the residents to not increase the price of the land for the road construction and road widening projects," Ismet said Saturday.

The regent said he had heard the price of land in Ciputat had increased soon after the administration decided the area would be the administrative center for South Tangerang.

"Before we announced Ciputat as the administrative center for South Tangerang, the land only cost between Rp 700,000 (US$64) and Rp 900,000 per square meter but now the price has increased to 2 million," he said.

Ismet promised that road repairs in South Tangerang would continue until 2009 because this is only part of the preparations needed to establish the city.

Data at the regency's Public Work Agency showed that the total length of damaged roads in South Tangerang was at least 1,646 kilometers, and includes 258 bridges.

However, the administration will only repair several main roads in South Tangerang in the near future.

Ciputat district administrative secretary Aplahunnajat said the district administration had proposed that the municipality repair all damaged roads this year.

"There are at least 73 roads in South Tangerang that need repairs and the administration has only allocated Rp 18 billion from this year's budget to repair them," he said.

Commenting on the recruitment of new civil servants to fill the new administration, Tangerang municipal assistant Mas Iman Kusnadar said it had yet to become a priority because more than 4,000 existing civil servants would be transferred to the new administrative office.

He said there were two kinds of services -- civil service and public service -- that the new municipal administration would have to deliver in the near future following the establishment of the city.

"Civil service is for ID cards (KTP), family cards (KK) and yellow cards for job seekers," he said, adding that public service deals with parking and environmental sanitation.

He said the Tangerang municipality was currently preparing a design competition for South Tangerang's logo.

"We have 45 days to find and determine the administrative logo; it must suit the city's culture and characteristics which have been developed into residential areas, education, trade, business and tourist areas," he said.

Security tightened ahead of bombers' execution

Monday, November 03, 2008 pyraerg
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

The details of the executions of the Bali bombers remain unknown, but authorities are taking no chances, with security at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport being tightened and the Australian government warning its citizens against traveling to Indonesia.

Airport security guards and police have been tightening inspections of vehicles entering the area since Saturday, fearing a backlash from Islamist militants over the executions of Amrozi, 47, his brother Mukhlas, 48, and Imam Samudra, 38.

"We will tighten security at the airport until the execution of the convicted terrorists is done," Comr. Sutimin, chief of traffic police at the airport, told The Jakarta Post.

He said a number of plain-clothed detectives had been deployed to monitor the situation at the airport.

The 2002 Bali bombings killed 202 people, mostly foreign holidaymakers, including 88 Australians.

The executions by firing squad are expected to be carried out in the next week or two.
These will be the first executions to be carried out under Indonesia's terrorism laws.

Although there has been no official confirmation of a circulating text message claiming National Police anti-terrorism squad intelligence indicates there could be retaliatory bomb attacks in public places, especially big shopping malls, authorities have placed foreign embassies, shopping malls and ports under close guard.

The Australian government issued a travel warning Sunday over fears of an extremist backlash against the executions. Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith said any Australians traveling to Indonesia should stay clear of places that could be targeted.

"We are making sure that we advise Australians firstly to reconsider their need to travel to Indonesia," Smith told the Nine Network television channel.

"We also indicate to them that if they do travel to Bali and Indonesia, to keep away from sites which have obviously been terrorist sites in the past."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said the Australian travel warning was unnecessary as Indonesian security officers would guarantee the safety of foreign nationals.

"We hope tourists won't cancel their trip to Indonesia," he said Sunday, as quoted by
According to Faizasyah, the Australian government issued a travel warning last year that was still in effect, but rather than discouraging tourists, the number of visitors increased by 50 percent.

Immigration Office spokesman Maroloan Baringbing also said the planned execution had not affected the number of people visiting the country.

"No significant fluctuation (in the number of visitors)," he told on Sunday, adding that domestic security would be tourists' main concern.

"Therefore, we have to work together to ensure security," he said. "It's not just the task of the authorities."


Residents, councilors support new city

Saturday, November 01, 2008
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

Many Tangerang residents have expressed their support for the new South Tangerang City.

"It is high time that several districts in the southern part of the regency have autonomy," Rita Zahara, a housewife who lives in East Ciputat district, told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

The district is one of six in southern Tangerang regency, which borders with Jakarta, that used to be at odds over the idea to form a new municipality.

But soon after the House of Representatives approved the proposed South Tangerang City and nine other new regions Thursday, the residents' skepticism suddenly turned into support.

Abdul Rohim, Communication Forum of Tangerang Village, is the most vocal critic of the move. Abdul said he first thought the idea was to accommodate the interests of several people wanting to control the vast area, and, therefore, it should have been ignored.

"I didn't think the proposal would reach the House. I was wrong," he said.

Councilors Abdul Muin Basuni of the National Awakening Party (PKB), Haris Sudiono of the Democratic Party, Dicky Syafrudin of the Golkar Party and Basuki Rahardjo of the National Mandate Party (PAN) voiced their support.

Basuki said 17 councilors representing the six districts agreed with the move because South Tangerang had been unfairly treated by the administration.

He argued that the South Tangerang City contributed 40 percent of the regency's Rp 1.3 trillion (US$119 million) annual revenue, but little of the money came back to the area.

Tangerang regent Ismet Iskandar, who attended a thanksgiving ceremony for the new South Tangerang City on Thursday evening, said he had prepared four candidates to be put forward as the municipality's acting mayor.

The officials are regency secretary Nanang Komera, administration assistant Mas Iman Kusnandar, head of the regency development planning body Bunyamin Davnie and head of the regency sanitation and landscape agency Hery Haryanto.

"We will propose the four names," Ismet said. "The Banten provincial administration will decide which of will be appointed with the task."

The ceremony was attended by Presidium for the Formation of South Tangerang City chairman Zarkasih Nur, legislator and resident Jazuli Juwaini, and hundreds of community figures.

The idea to establish the new city first emerged in 1992 and was backed by a group of Ciputat, Pamulang, Serpong and Pondok Aren residents.

In 2000, residents of the newly established Cisauk and Pegedangan districts said they also wanted to become part of the new city, which would have a total population of 1.6 million and Rp 69 billion in potential revenue.

Incumbent mayors secured second term

Friday, October 31, 2008
Multa Fidrus and Theresia Sufa, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang, Bogor

Incumbent Tangerang mayor Wahidin Halim and running mate Arief R. Wismansyah were reelected in a landslide victory over two other running pairs, securing their second term in office.
Similarly Bogor mayor Diani Budiarto, pairing with the former West Java legislator Achmad Ru'yat, convincingly outdid four other pairs to secure her position at the Bogor municipality office until 2014.

Wahidin won around 88 percent of the total votes in Tangerang. Muhamad Bonie Mudfijar and Diedy Faried Wadji came in second with 10 percent of the votes, while Ismet Sadeli Hasan and Mahfud Abdullah only obtained 2 percent.

The election took place peacefully on Oct. 26 despite accusations of irregularities.
The losing pairs in Tangerang can file for a review within the next three days should they have any objections.

"Each candidate can file their objections within the next three days. We will submit the election results to the municipal legislative council for approval and prepare for the mayor's swearing-in ceremony on Nov. 16," Imron Khamami, the chairman of the municipal elections commission (KPUD), told The Jakarta Post.

In Bogor, Diani won 64 percent of the votes, exceeding the 15 percent of votes collected by Dody Rosadi-Erik Irawan Suganda pair. The three other couples shared the remaining votes.
The leads were expected as both winning candidates received support from political party coalitions.

In the municipality's first-ever direct poll, Wahidin and Arief were backed by a coalition of several political parties such as the Golkar Party, the Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle (PDI-P), the Democratic Party, the United Development Party (PPP), the National Mandate Party (PAN), the Star Crescent Party (PBB), the Reform Star Party (PBR) and the National Awakening Party (PKB).

The Diani-Ru'yat pair was supported by PDI-P, Golkar, PKS, Democracy Party, PBSD, PSI, PKPI, PPDI and PDK.

The voting process itself, however, still faces some challenges. Tangerang municipality suffered a low voter turnout rate of around 67 percent. Imron said the commission had registered a total of 972,207 eligible voters, but only 653,944 turned up to vote on Oct. 26.

Meanwhile, the Bogor election commission faces a problem of invalid votes. Of 415,612 votes cast, around 7 percent was deemed invalid.

More former Banten councilors arrested for corruption

Thursday, October 30, 2008
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Banten

Banten prosecutors arrested eight former provincial legislative council members for their alleged involvement in a Rp 14 billion (US$1.32) corruption case in 2003.

Yunan Harjaka, special crime assistant at the prosecutor's office said the arrests were made after his team obtained enough evidence of the misuse of funds and because there were fears the suspects would escape or damage the evidence.

"We have completed the dossiers and we will soon hand the case over to Serang District Court for trial. The suspects received an average Rp 75 million each from the housing fund," he said Wednesday.

The eight former councilors are Rosyid, James Tangka, Eli Soepriyadi, Encep Daden Ibrahim, Toto Heryanto and Yahya Sanusi of the Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle (PDIP), Irsyad of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) and Maman Prihatna of the Star Crescent Party (PBB).

The suspects have not returned the money they took from the provincial administration's budget for councilor housing and welfare allowances.

The former councilors were initially summoned to the prosecutor's office for questioning only, but were sent to Serang prison directly after the examination was finished.

The case centers on the alleged misuse of budgetary funds under former governor Djoko Munandar. The eight councilors served during the 1999-2004 period.

More than Rp 3.5 billion was allocated to councilor activities, but they were granted an extra Rp 10.5 billion for the construction of 75 houses.

When councilors for the 2004-2009 period took office it was discovered that no housing complexes had been built.

An initial investigation into the corruption case resulted in six former councilors being sentenced in 2005 to up to four years' imprisonment.

The six former councilors jailed were Dharmono K. Lawi, a former Banten council chairman from the PDI-P; former Banten council deputy speaker Muslim Djamaludin; ousted council deputy speaker Mufrodi Muchsin; council secretary Tardian; former secretary of the council's budgetary committee Tuti Sutiah Indra; and former Banten governor Djoko Munandar.

Last year, 14 more former councilors were arrested in a different case.

The 14 councilors were accused of extorting money from the administrations budget for disaster relief.

Five of them -- Iwan Rosadi, Riril Suhartinah, Achdi Syamlani, Jhon R Maulana and Zaenal Novani -- walked free after the district court declared them innocent. The remaining nine are still serving jail terms at Serang prison.

Japanese-built school opens for kids with disabilities

Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

The sounds of laughter and cheerful chatter filled the air at the new school building for children with disabilities in Tangerang on Tuesday.

The students, most of whom are from low-income families, knew something different was going on because the campus of SLB Yanaiz had been decked out for the building's inauguration ceremony.

Japanese Ambassador Kojiro Shiojiri presided over the ceremony at the campus on Jl. H. Ridwan, Bojong Poncol kampung in Pinang district, Tangerang municipality.
Tangerang officials also attended the event.

According to Shiojiri, the Japanese government had financed the construction project of the school under the Grassroots Program. The financial assistance amounted to US$85,994, he said.

"We want children with disabilities to be able to study at this school," he said.

Twenty-year-old Khalid, a fourth grader in a class for people with autism, said the new school building was closer to his home.

"I love the new classroom," Khalid said, who is suffering from hydrochepalus and needs regular medicine to control its symptoms.

The school's 123 students pay school fees of between Rp 5,000 (40 US cents) and Rp 10,000 each month.

"The most important thing is that I pay (school fees), no matter how much it is. The money is for the teachers' salaries," Khalid said.

SLB Yanaiz is managed by Erihatu Samasuru Lesuri Tapirone, a humanitarian foundation established by Izak Timisela in 2000.

"We started the school in a small rented house and now we have a three-story building with 12 classrooms, a health clinic, a kitchen, a teacher's office and a meeting hall, thanks to the Japanese government," he said.

Unfortunately, the classrooms have yet to receive new furniture so the students and teachers still use old desks and chairs. Some of the desktops even have holes in them.

Wahidin wins 88.5 percent of votes

Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

Incumbent Tangerang Mayor Wahidin Halim looks set to win the first-ever direct municipal election, according to preliminary results announced by the municipality's elections commission on Monday.

Wahidin and running mate Arief R. Wismansyah have 572,967 (88.5 percent) of the vote from Sunday's election.

Poll commission chairman Imron Khamami said the commission had counted poll results at 2,000 out of the total 2,273 polling stations throughout the municipality.

"We will soon complete the counting," he told The Jakarta Post.

There were 909,800 registered voters for the election and 90 percent of them cast ballots on Sunday.

Trailing the leading candidates are Muhamad Bonie Mudfijar and his running mate Diedy Farid Wadji, with 65,657 votes (9.2 percent).

Ismet Sadeli Hasan and Mahfud Abdullah trail well behind with 16,596 (1.7 percent) of the votes.
"We will announce the final, official results of the vote on Oct. 30 and the elected mayor will be inaugurated on Nov. 16," said Imron.

Imron added that, as of Monday, the commission had not received any reports of possible election violations.

Moreover, Tangerang Elections Supervisory Body chairman Syafril Elain confirmed his institution had not received any reports concerning violations during either the casting or counting of votes.

"So far, we have received no reports or complaints ... However, we are ready to deal with any reports of possible fraud," he said.

During his inspections of five polling stations, he noticed that three of the stations did not have all their voting booths covered.

"It's unusual, but not considered a violation of the election law," Syafril said.

The poll watch had also received several reports of alleged fraud by supporters of the incumbent, including text messages people received on their cell phones saying voters could cast ballots more than once, as long as they cooperated with the polling stations' working committee, he added.

"There have also been reports of intimidation, money politics and other violations at polling stations before voting began, but we could not process the reports because those who filed complaints could not produce any evidence," he said.

Wahidin and Arief are backed by a coalition of 15 political parties including the Golkar Party, the Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle (PDI-P), the Democratic Party, the United
Development Party (PPP), the National Mandate Party (PAN), the Star Crescent Party (PBB), the Reform Star Party (PBR) and the National Awakening Party (PKB).

Bonie and Diedy are backed by the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), while Ismet and Mahfud are running as independent candidates.

Incumbent takes early lead in election

Monday, October 27, 2008
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

The first-ever direct election for Tangerang mayor ran peacefully Sunday with preliminary counts putting incumbent mayor Wahidin Halim in the lead.

It was reported that 90 percent of registered voters turned up to vote.

The high turnout was unexpected as most Tangerang residents work in Jakarta and therefore tended not to be well-informed about the municipal election.

Polling stations, particularly in suburbs on the border of Jakarta, saw as many as 10 people at a time turning up between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Many residents said they had good knowledge only of Wahidin, who is trying to secure his second term.

"I know a lot about Wahidin Halim but nothing about the other two candidates," said Jusniati of Tajur subdistrict, Cileduk.

Tangerang municipality, formerly part of the Tangerang regency, stretches from the fast-growing western outskirts of Jakarta to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in the northwest.
When the municipality was established in 1993, it had six districts but has now developed into 13 districts with a total population of 1.4 million.

As of Sunday afternoon, the municipal elections commission had recorded about a turnout of 90 percent and put the pair of Wahidin and Arief Wismansyah in the lead with 89.07 votes, followed by Muhamad Bonie Mudfijar and Diedy Farid Wadji with 9.19 percent, and Ismet Sadeli Hasan and Abdullah Mahfud trailing with 1.8 percent votes.

"We got the preliminary results from an electronic count reported by 83 polling stations," commission chairman Imron Khamami said, adding there were 2,276 polling stations set up across the municipality.

The final results are expected Monday afternoon.

The commission registered 909,800 eligible voters for the election.

Wahidin, who looked tense while waiting for information on the result, said he had not set a target for the votes.

"I never set a target of a percentage of votes to win. I will thank God if I am reelected mayor," he said.

"It means I can continue the development programs I'm already committed to."

Separately, Tangerang Elections Supervisory Body chairman Syafril Elain said that during his inspections of five polling stations, he noticed that three of the stations did not have all the polling booths covered.

"There was no cover behind the voters which means (their vote) could just be seen from behind when they voted for a candidate and the secrecy of the ballot was not guaranteed at all," he said.

Syafril said he believed the three noncompliant polling stations were among many that failed to ensure voters' privacy.

Wahidin and Arief, president director of Sari Asih Group, which manages several hospitals in Tangerang and Serang, are backed by a coalition of 15 political parties including the Golkar Party, the Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle (PDI-P), the Democratic Party, the United Development Party (PPP), the National Mandate Party (PAN), the Star Crescent Party (PBB), the Reform Star Party (PBR) and the National Awakening Party (PKB).

Bonie and Diedy are backed by the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), while Ismet and Mahfudz are running as independent candidates.

Respiratory problems among children rises

Saturday, October 25, 2008
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

Tangerang health officials are on alert following a jump in the number of cases of acute respiratory infections in children in the regency this year.

"We have recorded a total of 5,764 children under five years of age who have contracted respiratory infections since January," Yuli Sunar Dewanti, head of communicable disease prevention at the agency, said Friday.

She said 1,883 of those cases had been recorded in just the past two months.
The total number of cases last year is 2,058.

Yuli said the figure was bound to increase should community health centers in the regency fail in their prevention efforts.

"We have instructed all 47 health centers in 36 districts to improve service and take preventive steps through early detection because respiratory infections are the number one killer for children under five in the regency."

She explained these airborne diseases could easily spread, especially during the transition from the dry to the rainy season.

The agency has also ordered each health center to disseminate information to residents on how to curb the spread of the diseases and to train volunteers in emergency response.

"We have also prepared medicines to be distributed to all health centers," Yuli said.

In response to agency instructions, Endang S. Sumarah, head of Pondok Aren's community health center, said she had already trained 11 volunteers for emergency response not only in anticipation of more respiratory infections but also for possible flooding.

"We have even formed an emergency post to help serve patients better."

Drowned kids mar election campaign

Friday, October 24, 2008
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

The Tangerang municipal poll watchdog (Panwas) and local police are investigating a series of alleged electoral breaches by candidates including a campaign event at Lake Cipondoh in which two children drowned.

At the event for candidate pair Wahidin Halim and Arief R. Wismansyah, several violations of the electoral regulations reportedly occurred. The most serious allegation breached a law regarding the involvement of children in the campaign.

The organizing committee for the event, chaired by Syachrudin, Cipondoh district chief, asked residents to scramble for one ton of fish released into the lake.

Two children, identified as 10-year-old Eko Nur Faizi and 14-year-old Aditya, were allegedly among hundreds of residents who plunged into the water. The pair subsequently drowned among the crowds.

Cipondoh Police chief Insp. Sukarna said police were still looking into the incident to determine whether those distributing the fish acted negligently during the event.

"We will question all the organizing committee members as witnesses but so far haven't decided whether any of them will be named as suspects," he said.

The Tangerang municipal poll watchdog (Panwas) chairman, Syafril Elain, said Thursday the involvement of children and civil servants in the campaign event for Wahidin, the incumbent, and Arief was considered a serious breach.

He said besides Wahidin and Arief, the other two pairs of candidates also reportedly committed minor violations of electoral regulations.

"We began to receive reports of violations being committed by candidates on the first day of campaigning, ranging from the use of children, excessive use of vehicles and placing campaign posters in the areas far before the campaign period had started," he said.

According to Syafril, the other two pairs of candidates, Muhamad Bonie Mudfijar and Diedy Farid Waji, and Ismet Sadeli Hasan and Mahfud Abdullah, only violated minor regulations set by the municipal Elections Commission (KPUD).

"However the use of minors and civil servants in the campaign is a serious offense," Syafril said. Both KPUD law and a government regulation forbid administration officials and district and subdistrict chiefs from campaigning on behalf of any municipal candidates.

Syafril said the campaign watchdog would suggest that the KPUD impose sanctions against the offending candidates.

"We will also advise the KPUD to process two of 11 violations reported to Panwas during the campaign period because they are serious violations," Syafril said.

Supporters for Wahidin and Arief erected banners before the campaign period had begun while supporters of Bonie and Waji (Niji) were reportedly spreading hatred, accusations of blackmail and defaming candidates Wahidin and Arief.

KPUD chairman Imron Khamami said the commission had sent warnings to the candidates over these violations.

"The campaign period ran peacefully. However, we will impose administrative sanctions to each pair of candidates because they committed administrative violations," he said.

The campaign started on Oct. 10 and ended Thursday. The election is scheduled for Oct. 26.

Air traffic controllers reject civil-servant status

Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

Air traffic controllers are asking the government not to recast their employment status from professionals managed by a state enterprise to civil servants managed by a government office.

"To guarantee the quality of air traffic service, as recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization, we are asking the government to let air traffic control continue to be managed as a state enterprise," Adri Gunawan, president of the Air Traffic Controllers Association (IATCA), said in a press conference at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Tuesday.

The association came out against the wholesale revision of the air transportation law now being deliberated which calls for placing air traffic control management under a public service office.

"If passed, the new bill will allow the government to function as both regulator and operator of air traffic service," Adri said.

That would mean air traffic operations would be dependent on the state's tight budget, he added.
"If air traffic control is administered as part of a public office, it will be part of the bureaucracy ... the degrading of the quality of our service would be inevitable."

IATCA is a professional organization established in 1999 by air traffic controllers. It currently has 1,271 members nationwide.

Adri said his association had not been involved in drafting the bill currently being deliberated by the government and the House of Representatives.

"The association was invited once to a House hearing on the revision plan, but nothing else after that. The draft bill needs a clearer formulation and better transparency."

The 1992 air transportation law comprises 14 chapters and 104 articles, while the newly proposed law is far more extensive with 26 chapters and 405 articles.

Susila, head of air traffic control at I Gusti Ngurah Ray International Airport in Denpasar, who attended the press conference, said rumors about the possible change to their employment status had spread among the employees.

"None of the air traffic controllers want to be civil servants because they are professionals," he said, adding that air traffic service could wind up someday being led by civil administrators with little understanding of air traffic control.

One IATCA member who declined to be identified said that, should the government insist on changing air traffic control management status from a state enterprise to a public office, air traffic controllers would likely strike.

"The government and the lawmakers should reconsider this.... Air traffic control has been doing a good job under state enterprise management," he said.

Pondok Aren braces for possible floods

Thursday, October 16, 2008
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

As the rainy season nears, Pondok Aren district, in cooperation with Tangerang regency's social welfare agency, has begun to repair and clean drainage systems in several flood-prone sites in the district.

The district chief Chaerudin on Wednesday identified six flood-prone areas, all housing complexes.

They are: State Secretary (Setneg) in West Pondok Kacang subdistrict; Taman Mangu in West Jurangmangu subdistrict, Vila Bintaro Regency; Pondok Maharta and Prima Pondok Kacang complexes in East Pondok Kacang subdistrict; and the Ministry of Defense complex in Pondok Betung subdistrict.

"Last year those housing complexes chronically flooded so we will monitor them throughout this year," he said, adding the administration had also established a crisis center in the district.

He said officers from the social welfare agency would check in on each vulnerable site once the rainy season arrives.

"We are optimistic these housing complexes will not suffer similar flooding this year because we have worked hard to improve the drainage," Chaerudin said.

Separately, Abdul Qadie, an official with Ciputat's meteorology and geophysics agency, said the southern part of Tangerang regency had already entered the transition period from the dry season to the rainy one.

"The rainy season this year will begin early next month. We are calling on residents to be on the alert for flooding."

Flyers to pay more to jack up regency's tax revenue

Monday, October 20, 2008
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

The Tangerang regency legislative council will soon approve a bylaw which will pave the way for the regency to collect fees from passengers at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.
The fee will be collected at Terminal 2, which is located in the regency's jurisdiction.

About 340 out the total 2,600 hectares of the airport area is located in Rawa Rengas, Rawa Burung, Belimbing and Jatimulya subdistricts in Kosambi district, in the northern part of Tangerang regency.

"We will soon approve the transportation bylaw which will function as the administration's legal umbrella to collect fees from passenger taxes," Council speaker Endang Sudjana said Saturday.

He said the fee would be collected along with the airport tax. It means that when passengers pay the airport tax, they will also pay a fee to the regency.

However, the council has yet to decide how much each passenger will be charged.

"The fee may be 10 percent of airport taxes for domestic and international flights. For example, if the domestic tax is Rp 25,000, each passenger will pay Rp 2,500. For international flights, the fee may be Rp 5,000," he said.

The administration has long prepared plans to collect fees at the airport. A decision to create the bylaw became firmer after the council's Commission C conducted a comparative study in several other regions across the country.

"We found that most of other regional administrations obtain revenue from air transportation activities and we have yet to do so. The airport has been operating a long time and we have only been collecting taxes on the land and the buildings."

According to the council speaker, with the implementation of the regional autonomy law, the regency should also be obtaining revenue from several other sources of levies at the airport such as advertising and parking taxes.

"We will propose the revenue collection from passengers first. Later we will consider other sources which are under the regency's authority and we are sure that airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II will listen to our wishes," he added.

The council said this bylaw was expected to be approved by the end of the month.

PT Angkasa Pura II spokesman Trisno Heryadi refused to comment on the regency's plan to ask for fees through one of the company's airports. He said the issue was a matter for the administration.

He said he was aware that outside Soekarno-Hatta airport, regional administrations had installed counters to collect money from air passengers.

"We do need to clarify that we (the company) collect no tax from passengers. Only the government does so," he told The Jakarta Post.

According to Trisno, the term "airport tax" is actually a service charge that airport operators collect from air passengers at every airport. The money is used for cost recovery and for the maintenance of the public facility, he said.

PT Angkasa Pura II manages 12 airports in Jakarta, West Java and Sumatra.

Airport facelift costs questioned

Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

Prosecutors will soon launch an investigation into the development of public facilities at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, following allegations of misappropriation of state funds earmarked for the project.

"We received information that renovations of washrooms at the airport cost Rp 40 billion (US$4 million). This is very odd," Tangerang head prosecutor Agus Sutoto said Monday.

"We are still monitoring and collecting supporting data about the project work to date."

He said prosecutors who had inspected the recently opened washrooms at terminals I and II and other public areas at the airport had found nothing special about the new facilities.

"However, we have to be very careful in launching an investigation into the airport because there are so many vested interests there," he said.

Agus added that if prosecutors found sufficient initial evidence of misappropriation of project funds, the investigation would be developed.

Airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II inaugurated the new facilities on Sept. 23 as part of its Clean Airport Action (CAA) program. The program consisted of upgrades to facilities such as restrooms and musholla (prayer rooms).

At the inauguration ceremony, attended by Transportation Minister Jusman Syafei Jamal and Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik, PT Angkasa Pura president director Eddie Haryoto announced that the CAA program had cost Rp 59 billion.

"We installed 139 new toilets and renovated 168 existing ones and we constructed nine prayer rooms in response to public complaints about conditions at the airport," Eddie said at that time.

Other items listed as included in the improvement plan are an integrated food court, new trash cans and more seats in waiting areas.

In response to suggestions of possible misuse of funds from the renovation project, Angkasa Pura II spokesman Trisno Heryadi said the budget was not used for toilet renovations alone.

"Rp 40 billion was an accumulative figure of the entire renovation work, covering toilets, musholla, bus shelters, a canopy for the terminal lobby and infrastructure such as the three-lane ring road in front of terminal I," he said.

All construction and renovation projects had been open for tender and had been carried out in line with the appropriate procedures, he added.

"The improvements of public facilities at the airport were financed from PT Angkasa Pura's own budget and not from the state budget," Trisno said.

Police still seeking Kosambi fire cause

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tangerang Police are still investigating the cause of the fire which claimed the lives of eight workers in a steel-cutting factory in Kosambi district, Tangerang.

Tangerang police chief Sr. Comr. Agus Andrianto said Saturday forensic investigators were still looking into evidence at the site, which belongs to PT Surya Sejahtera Metalindo Lestari.

"We have questioned six workers, the company's president director Warjono and the director Wiriyanto as witnesses in the fire incident," he said.

He said so far, however, arson by the owner was unlikely because two of the victims were relatives of the warehouse owner.

Fire burned down the steel-cutting factory located at Pantai Indah Dadap Warehousing Complex Block K-7 in Kosambi on Friday afternoon. Workers panicked and fled but eight workers got trapped and died.

Survivors of the incident said a big blaze suddenly appeared in the welding area on the first floor.
"The big fire spread really quickly and all the workers on the first floor ran in a panic," survivor Eko Marhaen Dianto said.

Firdaus, who worked in the cutting department, said flames first appeared right under the stairs leading to the second floor.

"It flared up quickly and blocked the way out from the second floor. At least seven workers were up there along with two mechanics repairing computers," he said.

The eight fatalities were identified as Endang, 20, Lisye, 25, Malla, 26, Mei Ling, 32, Merry, 20, Priyono, 30, Ratna, 20, and Tasya, 28. They were found dead on the second floor which functioned as the factory's administrative office.

The victims' bodies were sent to the morgue at Tangerang General Hospital for identification.

Forensic investigators at the fire scene said strong indicators suggested the fire was caused by sparks from the welding area.

"The sparks landed on the foam of the partition wall in the factory warehouse and the fire spread quickly," said one officer who requested anonymity.

One male worker, Muhamad I'if, was rushed to the hospital after being badly injured. He survived the fire trap by jumping from the second floor. -- JP/Multa Fidrus

Poll body reports candidates' wealth

Saturday, October 11, 2008
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

The Tangerang Municipal Elections Commission (KPUD) on Friday published a list of the personal fortunes of all mayoral candidates that will contest this year's election, scheduled for Oct. 26.

The list was compiled from documents demanded of the candidates in accordance with a Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) regulation.

At the top of the rich list is incumbent mayor Wahidin Halim, whose total personal wealth, comprising property, vehicles, bank accounts and bonds, is Rp 8 billion (US$842,000).

Second on the list, with a personal wealth of Rp 6.5 billion, is Wahidin's running mate, Arief Wismansyah, who is also president director of Sari Asih Group, which manages several hospitals in Tangerang and Serang.

The coalition of parties in support of the duo includes the Golkar Party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the United Development Party (PPP).

"The candidates' wealth was calculated from the list of assets they submitted to the KPUD. They have to declare their liquid and non-liquid assets, including vehicles, land and buildings, bank accounts, bonds and gold," poll commission chairman Imron Khamami said Friday.

He said the list was published to offer transparency to voters.

Dadang Hermawan, chairman of the Candidacy Working Group at the KPUD, said the requirement had been prompted by the many cases of corruption that plagued politics in Indonesia.

"If a candidate's wealth has been verified by the KPK and publicly announced before they are elected, it will be easy to monitor any fluctuations of wealth once they take up their new position," he said.

Ismed Sadeli Hasan, a retired civil servant and a former Jakarta City council secretary, is the second richest mayoral candidate, with a wealth of Rp 3.5 billion.

His running mate, Mahfud Abdullah, a Muslim preacher, has a personal fortune of Rp 1.1 billion. Ismed and Mahfudz are independent candidates.

Muhamad Bonie Mudfijar, who is backed by the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) is third on the list with a total wealth of Rp 293.5 million. His running mate, Diedy Farid Wadji, is worth Rp 1.7 billion.

Bogor and Tangerang start mayoral campaign

Thursday, October 09, 2008
Multa Fidrus and Theresia Sufa, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang, Bogor

All candidates slated in Tangerang's upcoming mayoral elections have promised a peaceful campaign and vowed to focus on improving the welfare of local residents if elected.

Three pairs of running mates -- Wahidin Halim and Arief Wismansyah, Ismed Sadeli Hasan and Mahfud Abdullah, and Muhamad Bonie Mudfijar and Diedy Farid Wadji -- made a joint declaration at the municipal elections commission (KPUD) office on Wednesday.

KPUD chair Imron Khamami said the next phase of the election called for each party's ticket to deliver vision and mission statements Thursday.

All candidates told journalists Wednesday their agendas would outline policies in agribusiness, education, health care, industry, infrastructure, tourism and trade as well as strategies for developing human resources across the board.

There were no significant differences among the three pairs.

Tangerang municipality will hold its first ever direct elections on November 26.

A coalition of 15 political parties are backing the ticket of Wahidin, the incumbent, and Arief, president director of Sari Asih Group which manages several hospitals in Tangerang and Serang.

Parties in the coalition include the Crescent Star Party (PBB), the Democratic Party (PD), the Golkar Party, the Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle (PDI-P), the National Awakening Party (PKB), the National Mandate Party (PAN), the Reform Star Party (PBR) and the United Development Party (PPP).

Bonie and Diedy are backed by the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS). Ismet and Mahfudz are independent candidates.

Poll watch agency chair Sapril Elain, also present during the declaration, said his agency had only found administrative infractions on the part of the Wahidin-Arief ticket.

"Wahidin Halim-Arief Wismansyah is the only ticket which kicked off its campaign before the period officially started. We will remove all banners and flags they've placed on the streets soon."
The joint declaration specified all candidates would campaign between October 10 and 22.
Tangerang municipality, which will celebrate its 16th anniversary on February 28, is home to 1.5 million people.

In another outskirt municipality, Bogor, five pairs of mayoral candidates delivered their vision and mission statements Wednesday.

The five tickets all presented agendas focusing on environmental issues, Bogor's traffic woes and street vendors.

The five, in campaign-numbered order, are: independent candidates Syafei Bratasendjaya-Akik Darul Tahkik; the independent pair of the purported psychic Ki Gendeng Pamungkas running under his given name Iman Santoso with Ahmad Chusaery; Iis Supriatini-Ahani backed by, among others, PD and PBR; Dodi Rosady-Erik Irawan Suganda backed by PAN, PPP, PBB and PKB; and Diani Budiarto-Achmad Ru'yat with support from Golkar, PDI-P and PKS.

The head of Bogor's KPUD, Radjab Tampubolon, said the campaign period was starting Wednesday and would run through October 20.

The election is scheduled for Oct. 25.

Green group accuses battery producer of toxic dumping

Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

Dozens of local environmental activists of green group Yayasan Peduli Lingkungan (Yapelh) staged a rally in front of a battery factory in Tangerang municipality Tuesday to protest alleged toxic dumping.

The protesters urged consumers to boycott batteries produced at the PT Yuasa factory, which they said dumped toxic waste into the nearby Cisadane river, the main source of fresh water for residents of Tangerang municipality and Tangerang regency.

"We call on the public not to buy all Yuasa products and we ask the Tangerang municipal administration to quickly take stern action against the company," Uyus Setia Bakti, Yapelh executive director, told journalists.

Yuasa security officer Dewan Hadi Setiawan, who said he had been authorized to speak on behalf of the company, denied the allegations.

"We have obtained business and operational permits from the government and therefore we always process the waste at our waste treatment facility before dumping it into the river," Dewan said.

Uyus said that since 2004, laboratory tests had continuously shown that waste discharged from the factory exceeded legal limits, but that the local administration had turned a blind eye to the findings.

He said the company dumped untreated waste, including mercury, into the river, and that the factory's waste-treatment facility was incapable of filtering out all toxins.

Some sections of the Cisadane river, once a popular fishing and recreational attraction, resemble a muddy swamp.

State Minister for the Environment Rachmat Witoelar, who inspected the Cisadane river on a boat earlier this year, said the river was polluted and that cleaning efforts would take up to 20 years.

Natural sedimentation has also decreased the quality of the river's water.

Water suppliers PDAM Tirta Kerta Raharja and PDAM Tirta Benteng, owned by Tangerang regency and Tangerang municipality, respectively, depend on the river for water supply.

PDAM Tirta Kerta Rahardja distributes treated water from the river to Jakartans via a water utility company in the capital.

Suspect in murder of marine evades police

Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

A murder suspect, whom the Tangerang police arrested last month for allegedly killing a marine soldier, managed to escape from four officers on Sunday.

The missing suspect, identified as Zahiri alias Miki bin Marsan, was leading four detectives to the hideout of three other members of his robbery gang, who were still at large in Pandeglang on Sunday, when he ran off.

Police had not officially detained Miki when he slipped through their fingers.

Miki had been taken into police custody along with two other gang members identified as Ali Sadikin bin Ambarwan and MD in Kalijodo, West Jakarta, on Sept. 17.

MD was shot dead for trying to escape arrest whereas Ali is still in custody. Two other members, identified as Yuliandri and Zanuri, are still at large.

A marine platoon arrived at police headquarters in Tigaraksa on Sunday following reports the suspect had gone missing.

Maj. Elfian Rakawira, a marine public relations official, said the Marine Corps were respecting legal procedure; they were aware the police were still investigating.

"We just hope the police are handling the case professionally because the robbers were reckless enough to kill a military soldier, as well as civilians. They are very dangerous people," he said.

Tangerang Police chief Sr. Comr. Agus Andriatno gave a statement about the newest case development.

"The missing murder suspect has yet to be registered as a detainee under police custody. I've ordered P3D (internal affairs) officers to examine the officers who were escorting him to determine if there was negligence or other factors."

A member of a robbery gang allegedly shot dead 1st Brig. Diki Nur, 28, a marine soldier who was trying to stop a grocery store holdup in Pondok Aren, Tangerang, on Sept. 16.

Diki Nur was assigned to a military facility in Cilandak, South Jakarta. He was passing by the crime scene on his way home. He was living in a rented house with his wife and their two-month-old in the Pondok Jagung subdistrict.

The soldier stopped after he heard a scream coming from a grocery store belonging to Tri Martin, known as Atjong, 55. The robbers were forcing Atjong to hand over money from the till when the soldier stepped in.

They shot Diki in the chest and made Atjong give them Rp 43 million (US4,600) before leaving the crime scene on two motorcycles.

Soekarno-Hatta airport gets 139 new toilets, nine prayer rooms

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

PT Angkasa Pura II, operator of the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, invited three cabinet ministers on Tuesday to inaugurate newly installed facilities.

The new facilities are part of the operator's Clean Airport Action (CAA) program, comprising infrastructure improvements such as washrooms and Islamic prayer rooms, an additional terminal and other upgrades.

"We installed 139 new toilets and renovated 168 existing ones, and we constructed nine prayer rooms as our response to public complaints about unsanitary conditions at the airport," president director Edie Haryoto said.

He said CAA had cost the operator Rp 59 billion (US$6.35 million) this year.

"We will always monitor complaints filed by the public about our service because complaints challenge us to improve our performance," Edie said.

Earlier this year, a number of non-profit organizations surveyed hundreds of airport users. Complaints about airport toilet facilities topped the list.

Edie said he would be reminding all users of airport services to help keep the airport clean.

Present during the washroom inauguration ceremony were Transportation Minister Jusman Syafii Jamal, Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik, State Minister for State Enterprises Sofyan A. Djalil, Banten Governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah and Tangerang Deputy Regent Rano Karno.

Wacik cited a survey which showed 70 percent of air travelers who arrived at the airport from overseas visited the washrooms.

"We have to support the airport's efforts to take better care of the public toilets and other facilities for visitors," he said.

The airport is also getting ready a new, third terminal which will start operating Dec. 3. Train service from Jakarta to the airport is also still in the works.

Other items listed in the improvement plan are an integrated food court, new trash cans and increased seating.

The passenger lounges now have new stainless-steel seats and minigardens decked out with Balinese sculptures and wood carvings, but the lobbies and entrance halls still have limited seating, forcing passengers to sit or crouch on the floor.

The departure area taxi stands have been better organized, enabling passengers to take their preferred service more promptly without having to wait in long lines or go through the hassle of bargaining with aggressive drivers.

The airport management has also set up new welcome billboards at the airport gates as well as a statue of Indonesia's founders, Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta.

"We will invest whatever we must to gradually improve the services and facilities at the airport," the airport executive general manager Haryanto said.

Some travelers, however, still voice complaints about the presence of hawkers offering various informal services: ojek drivers (offering motorcycle hire), ticket scalpers and illegal taxis.


Keladi Tikus Obat Kanker

Keladi Tikus Obat Kanker

Kanker Bukan Lagi Ancaman

Penyakit kanker sudah tidak lagi jadi ancaman yang mematikan bagi kehidupan manusia sebaba para penderita kanker kini memiliki harapan hidup yang lebih lama dengan ditemukannya tanaman “Keladio Tikus” (Typhonium Flagelliforme/ Rodent Tuber) sebagai tanaman obat yang dapat menghentikan dan mengobati berbagai penyakit kanker dan berbagai penyakit berat lainnya.

Tanaman sejenis talas dengan tinggi maksimal 25 sampai 30 cm ini hanya tumbuh di semak yang tidak terkena sinar matahari langsung. “Tanaman ini sangat banyak ditemukan di Pulau Jawa,” kata Patoppoi Pasau, orang pertama yang menemukan tanaman itu di Indonesia.

Tanaman obat ini telah diteliti sejak tahun 1995 oleh Prof Chris Teo K.H, yang juga pendiri Cancer Care Penang dari Universiti Sains Malaysia. Lembaga perawatan kanker yang didirikan tahun 1995 itu telah membantu ribuan pasien dari Malaysia, Amerika, Inggris, Australia, Selandia Baru, Singapura, dan berbagai negara di dunia.

Di Indonesia, tanaman ini pertama ditemukan oleh Patoppoi di Pekalongan, Jawa Tengah. Ketika itu, istri Patoppoi mengidap kanker payudara stadium III dan harus dioperasi 14 Januari 1998. Setelah kanker ganas tersebut diangkat melalui operasi, istri Patoppoi harus menjalani kemoterapi (suntikan kimia untuk membunuh sel, Red) untuk menghentikan penyebaran sel-sel kanker tersebut.

“Sebelum menjalani kemoterapi, dokter mengatakan agar kami menyiapkan wig (rambut palsu) karena kemoterapi akan mengakibatkan kerontokan rambut, selain kerusakan kulit dan hilangnya nafsu makan,” jelas Patoppoi.
Selama mendampingi istrinya menjalani kemoterapi, Patoppoi terus berusaha mencari pengobatan alternatif sampai akhirnya dia mendapatkan informasi mengenai penggunaan teh Lin Qi di Malaysia untuk mengobati kanker.

“Saat itu juga saya langsung terbang ke Malaysiauntuk membeli teh tersebut,”ujar Patoppoi yang juga ahli biologi.

Ketika sedang berada di sebuah toko obat di Malaysia , secara tidak sengaja dia melihat dan membaca buku mengenai pengobatan kanker yang berjudul Cancer, Yet They Live karangan Dr Chris K.H. Teo terbitan 1996.

“Setelah saya baca sekilas, langsung saja saya beli buku tersebut. Begitu menemukan buku itu, saya malah tidak jadi membeli teh Lin Qi, tapi langsung pulang ke Indonesia ,” kenang Patoppoi sambil tersenyum.

Di buku itulah Patoppoi membaca khasiat typhonium flagelliforme itu. Berdasarkan pengetahuannya di bidang biologi, pensiunan pejabat Departemen Pertanian ini langsung menyelidiki dan mencari tanaman tersebut. Setelah menghubungi beberapa koleganya di berbagai tempat, familinya di Pekalongan Jawa Tengah, balas menghubunginya.

Ternyata, mereka menemukan tanaman itu di sana. Setelah mendapatkan tanaman tersebut dan mempelajarinya lagi, Patoppoi menghubungi Dr. Teo di Malaysia untuk menanyakan kebenaran tanaman yang ditemukannya itu.

Selang beberapa hari, Dr Teo menghubungi Patoppoi dan menjelaskan bahwa tanaman tersebut memang benar Rodent Tuber. “Dr Teo mengatakan agar tidak ragu lagi untuk menggunakannya sebagai obat,” lanjut Patoppoi.

Akhirnya, dengan tekad bulat dan do’a untuk kesembuhan, Patoppoi mulai memproses tanaman tersebut sesuai dengan langkah-langkah pada buku tersebut untuk diminum sebagai obat.

Kemudian Patoppoi menghubungi putranya, Boni Patoppoi di Buduran, Sidoarjo untuk ikut mencarikan tanaman tersebut. “Setelah melihat ciri-ciri tanaman tersebut, saya mulai mencari di pinggir sungai depan rumah dan langsung saya dapatkan tanaman tersebut tumbuh liar di pinggir sungai,” kata Boni yang mendampingi ayahnya saat itu.

Selama mengkonsumsi sari tanaman tersebut, isteri Patoppoi mengalami penurunan efek samping kemoterapi yang dijalaninya. Rambutnya berhenti rontok, kulitnya tidak rusak dan mual-mual hilang. “Bahkan nafsu makan ibu saya pun kembali normal,” lanjut Boni.

Setelah tiga bulan meminum obat tersebut, isteri Patoppoi menjalani pemeriksaan kankernya. “Hasil pemeriksaan negatif, dan itu sungguh mengejutkan kami dan dokter-dokter di Jakarta ,” kata Patoppoi.

Para dokter itu kemudian menanyakan kepada Patoppoi, apa yang diberikan pada isterinya. “Malah mereka ragu, apakah mereka telah salah memberikan dosis kemoterapi kepada kami,” lanjut Patoppoi.

Setelah diterangkan mengenai kisah tanaman Rodent Tuber, para dokter pun mendukung Pengobatan tersebut dan menyarankan agar mengembangkannya. Apalagi melihat keadaan isterinya yang tidak mengalami efek samping kemoterapi yang sangat keras tersebut. Dan pemeriksaan yang seharusnya tiga bulan sekali diundur menjadi enam bulan sekali.

”Tetapi karena sesuatu hal, para dokter tersebut tidak mau mendukung secara terang-terangan penggunaan tanaman sebagai pengobatan alternatif,” sambung Boni sambil tertawa.

Setelah beberapa lama tidak berhubungan, berdasarkan peningkatan keadaan isterinya, pada bulan April 1998, Patoppoi kemudian menghubungi Dr.Teo melalui fax untuk menginformasik an bahwa tanaman tersebut banyak terdapat di Jawa dan mengajak Dr. Teo untuk menyebarkan penggunaan tanaman ini di Indonesia .

Kemudian Dr . Teo langsung membalas fax kami, tetapi mereka tidak tahu apa yang harus mereka perbuat, karena jarak yang jauh,” sambung Patoppoi. Meskipun Patoppoi mengusulkan agar buku mereka diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Indonesia dan disebar-luaskan di Indonesia.

Dr. Teo menganjurkan agar kedua belah pihak bekerja sama dan berkonsentrasi dalam usaha nyata membantu penderita kanker di Indonesia. Kemudian, pada akhir Januari 2000 saat Jawa Pos mengulas habis mengenai meninggalnya Wing Wiryanto, salah satu wartawan handal Jawa Pos, Patoppoi sempat tercengang.

Data-data rinci mengenai gejala, penderitaan, pengobatan yang diulas di Jawa Pos, ternyata sama dengan salah satu pengalaman pengobatan penderita kanker usus yang dijelaskan di buku tersebut.

Dan eksperimen pengobatan tersebut berhasil menyembuhkan pasien tersebut. “Lalu saya langsung menulis di kolom Pembaca Menulis di Jawa Pos,” ujar Boni. Dan tanggapan yang diterimanya benar-benar diluar dugaan. Dalam sehari, bisa sekitar 30 telepon yang masuk. “Sampai saat ini, sudah ada sekitar 300 orang yang datang ke sini,” lanjut Boni yang beralamat di Jl. KH. Khamdani, Buduran Sidoarjo.

Pasien pertama yang berhasil adalah penderita Kanker Mulut Rahim stadium dini. Setelah diperiksa, dokter mengatakan harus dioperasi. Tetapi karena belum memiliki biaya dan sambil menunggu rumahnya laku dijual untuk biaya operasi, mereka datang setelah membaca Jawa Pos.

Setelah diberi tanaman dan cara meminumnya, tidak lama kemudian pasien tersebut datang lagi dan melaporkan bahwa dia tidak perlu dioperasi, karena hasil pemeriksaan mengatakan negatif.
Berdasarkan animo masyarakat sekitar yang sangat tinggi, Patoppoi berusaha untuk menemui Dr. Teo secara langsung. Atas bantuan Direktur Jenderal Pengawasan Obat dan Makanan Departemen Kesehatan, Sampurno, Patoppoi dapat menemui Dr. Teo di Penang. Di kantor Pusat Cancer Care Penang, Malaysia , Patoppoi mendapat penerangan lebih lanjut mengenai riset tanaman yang saat ditemukan memiliki nama Indonesia .

Ternyata saat Patoppoi mendapat buku “Cancer, Yet They Live” edisi revisi tahun 1999, fax yang dikirimnya di masukkan dalam buku tersebut, serta pengalaman isterinya dalam usahanya berperang melawan kanker. Dari pembicaraan mereka, Dr. Teo merekomendasi agar Patoppoi mendirikan perwakilan Cancer Care di Jakarta dan Surabaya.

Maka secara resmi, Patoppoi dan putranya diangkat sebagai perwakilan lembaga sosial Cancer Care Indonesia , yang juga disebutkan dalam buletin bulanan Cancer Care, yaitu di Jl. Kayu Putih 4 No. 5, Jakarta , telp. 021-4894745, dan di Buduran, Sidoarjo.

Cancer Care Malaysia telah mengembangkan bentuk pengobatan tersebut secara lebih canggih. Mereka telah memproduksi ekstrak Keladi Tikus dalam bentuk pil dan teh bubuk yang dikombinasikan dengan berbagai tananaman lainnya dengan dosis tertentu. Sumber (Milis Alumni Smandel)

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