Friday, 27 August 2010

Kisah Indonesia Mau Ganyang Malaysia Bulan Ramadhan 1431 Hijri Part II: Nampaknya hubungan kita sudah enggak bisa diatur ya?

Indonesian Lawmakers Still Waiting For Malaysian ‘Mea Culpa’

Armando Siahaan & Camelia Pasandaran | August 26, 2010

Jakarta. While a Malaysian minister said patience was running thin for Indonesia following an offensive protest at its embassy in Jakarta, lawmakers here on Wednesday demanded the government seek an official apology from Malaysia for the border incident that had sparked the protest.

The demand was made by members of House Commission I dealing with foreign affairs, in a hearing with Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa to discuss the arrests by Malaysia of three Indonesian maritime officers earlier this month.

“The meeting resulted in an effort to strengthen the diplomatic note [from the foreign ministry] with the aim of having the Malaysian government officially expressing its apology,” said Mahfudz Siddiq, the chairman of the commission.

“Let’s see if they will respond to the note or not.”

Marty had told the lawmakers that the Foreign Ministry was currently gathering evidence that would be included into a new diplomatic note of protest to Malaysia over the arrest of the three officers which Jakarta said took place in Indonesian waters.

He said that since Aug. 18 the government had sent the first diplomatic note of protest to the Malaysian government over the incident in Tanjung Berikat but the development since required further notes of protest.

“Since August 18 there have been developments. We will send a protest note to seek an appropriate response, an expression of regret or apology,” Marty said.

Marty said that even without evidence of physical abuse or mistreatment by the Malaysian authorities, the Indonesian officers had clearly been treated badly.

“Even without evidence of physical abuse or any mistreatment, the fact that they were handcuffed and had to wear prison clothing, that warrants a protest,” the foreign minister said.

The three maritime officers have said they had not been physically abused but had been mistreated, including by having to take off their official uniforms and being handcuffed.

Arguing that the government “needs more space in dealing with the issue,” Marty managed to convince the commission to cancel its intention to push for a demand by the legislature for official apology from Malaysia.

He also said that withdrawing the Indonesian ambassador to Malaysia, as some individual lawmakers had suggested, may be detrimental to bilateral ties in a larger context.

“We need to put into consideration the greater national interest. If we withdraw the ambassador, it would reduce the weight of our diplomatic ties,” he said.

The absence of an ambassador in Kuala Lumpur could disturb other issues that needed to be dealt with between the two governments, including migrant workers, trafficking, illegal logging and border disputes, the foreign minister explained.

Mahfudz said that the commission would wait for Malaysia’s response before taking any further action.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman was quoted by news portal Star Online as saying that Malaysia had run out of patience and sent a protest letter to Indonesia over the arrest of seven Malaysian fishermen in disputed waters and the protest at its embassy in Jakarta on Tuesday that involved the throwing and smearing of human feces.

Mahfudz said it is hard to prevent such reactions, arguing that it was the result of an accumulation of anger and that unless Malaysia changed its attitude, protests may only escalate.

“It’s not just because of the recent incidents. It’s about foreign workers, cultural claims, illegal logging and other long-running issues,” he said.

Meanwhile, the government vowed to assure the security of the Malaysian mission here and its diplomats.

“As the host, we have to guarantee protection to foreign diplomats and their representative objects here,” Teuku Faizasyah, spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, said at the President’s Office on Wednesday.

“We will coordinate with the police and other security officers to ensure the safety of Malaysian diplomats in Jakarta and other regions in Indonesia, as well as the security of their buildings.”

Jakarta Globe

Waah kita di Malaysia disebut "immature" but does Indonesia really know their Maids Real Story? Baling tahi di Embassy Malaysia itu "mature" Pak?

Only Maturity Will Solve Malaysia Issues

August 26, 2010

When a nation’s sense of pride and self-respect gets trampled, emotions can run high. That has been evident this week as the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta has attracted protests by various groups.

While we can empathize with the emotions of those who feel the nation’s pride has been hurt by the treatment of Indonesians in Malaysia, we do not condone the actions of groups who have thrown feces at the embassy.

This only casts Indonesia in a bad light and hurts the nation’s reputation.

There is no denying, however, that both sides need to sit down together and resolve the issues that have given rise to heightened tensions.

Talks are planned for Sept. 6, and they can’t come soon enough; the sooner diplomats from both sides talk, the better.

The fact that both governments have realized the mutual problems — disputed border areas and the ill-treatment of Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia — is a good first step.

Both governments must now find a mature way of resolving these issues using diplomatic channels.

Both nations share a heritage which gives prominence to deliberations as a means of defusing conflicts and solving problems.

In this regard, we applaud Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa’s rejection of calls by some parliamentarians to recall the ambassador from Kuala Lumpur. Such a step would no doubt be tantamount to throwing fuel onto a fire.

For the Sept. 6 talks to be fruitful and meaningful, Indonesia needs to show more engagement with the issues at hand, and must present clear lines of argument.

We must make our stance crystal clear and have solid legal backing, especially on the border disputes. Resolving this dispute will require both political will and understanding.

For its part, Malaysia must show more respect to Indonesia, especially in the treatment of migrant workers. We cannot help but feel that in Malaysian eyes, all Indonesians are viewed as maids and plantation workers.

Some lawmakers are saying that the current passionate protests against Malaysia stem not only from the recent arrests of three Indonesian maritime officers.

Rather, they say the incident might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, unleashing accumulated resentment against Malaysia resulting from various incidents in the past.

Kuala Lumpur must show a greater commitment to prosecuting employers who mistreat Indonesian workers — especially domestic maids — and must recognize the economic contribution these workers make to their economy.

The media on both sides must also avoid getting caught up in the emotions. The news that Malaysia had slapped a travel warning on Indonesia, for example, proved false when both countries denied it.

It is important that both countries take a step back and review the situation calmly and resolve the problems amicably.

Jakarta Globe

Hubungan Malaysia-Indonesia: Angkara Siapa Indonesia Sentiasa Memilih Bulan Ramadhan Yang Mulia Untuk Bergaduh Dengan Saudara Sebangsa dan Seagama?

By Agence France-Presse, Updated: 8/25/2010

Indonesia condemns Malaysia over border spat

Indonesia said Wednesday it is investigating reports that Malaysia abused three Indonesian officials after illegally detaining them in Indonesian waters, but called for calm on both sides.

Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told lawmakers that any abuse of an Indonesian official in Malaysian custody would be "unacceptable" under any circumstances.

In response to tough questioning from lawmakers demanding to know what action had been taken, the minister said Jakarta had sent a protest letter to Kuala Lumpur on August 18 in which Indonesia "strongly condemned the arrests".

"We are gathering information and interviewing the officials about what happened in the detention centre and on the boat," he said, amid conflicting reports about how one of the officials suffered head injuries in custody.

The officials -- arrested in disputed waters last week and held for several days before being released Tuesday -- complained of being handcuffed and given only one meal a day.

Natalegawa said Indonesia was increasing maritime patrols in waters claimed by both countries off the Riau islands after the latest in a string of incidents and alleged incursions.

"Indonesia never considers those zones as grey areas... On the contrary, we're increasing patrol operations to show our jurisdiction and sovereignty over them," Natalegawa said.

Police said they had boosted security at the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta after protesters managed to hurl a package containing human faeces at the building on Monday.

Three demonstrators were arrested and scores of police backed by water canons prevented them from throwing more, but Malaysia on Wednesday accused Indonesia of failing to do enough to protect the site.

"We're continuing to monitor the situation," police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said.

Despite the periodic escalation of tensions between the prickly neighbours, Natalegawa said relations remained strong and called for dialogue to resolve disputes, especially the maritime border.

He rejected a lawmaker's suggestion that Indonesia withdraw its ambassador from Kuala Lumpur, saying this would be counter-productive.

Officials from both sides would meet "in the coming weeks" to discuss the maritime border.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Monday there could be "no compromise" over Indonesian territory.

MSN News

Monday, 23 August 2010

Welcome to the Malay World of Witchdoctors, Spiritual Healers, Believing and Non-Believing Jinns

By Agence France-Presse, Updated: 8/22/2010

The new face of Malaysia's Islamic witchdoctors

By day he is a BlackBerry-wielding computer analyst, but by night he destroys evil spirits using the Koran. Meet Mazlan Hakim, one of the new generation of Malaysia's "bomohs" or witchdoctors.

As in many parts of Asia, a belief in the supernatural is widespread in Malaysia, but the practice has a different twist in the Muslim-majority country where meddling with the occult is banned under Islam.

Mazlan Hakim is one of a new breed of bomohs who are well-educated, plugged-in to the modern world, and base their ghostbusting and healing on Islamic precepts instead of animist or otherworldly techniques.

The 56-year-old has been a bomoh for 30 years and unlike his non-Islamic counterparts who say they use demons known as "jinn" to do their bidding, he unleashes verses of the Koran to heal the sick and drive out evil spirits.

Dressed in a grey open-necked shirt and brown slacks, Mazlan sips a cafe latte and checks emails on his phone. He looks like a typical business executive but his conversation is anything but routine.

"There are two types of jinn, the Muslim and the non-Muslim jinn," he says.

"The worst is the Muslim jinn as the other jinns come out of the body when I read passages from the Koran, but the Muslim jinn are immune to the Koran so I have to use my telekinetic abilities to pull the demon out."

Mazlan says he has seen spirits since he was 15, but it was only after studying under religious scholars that he sharpened his mental powers and mastered telekinesis, which he claims to demonstrate by moving ping pong balls.

As he closes his eyes and his face scrunches in concentration, one white ping pong ball on the table somehow starts to tremble before moving slowly towards the other.

"This is not a parlour trick, I use my mind to chase out the spirits that have possessed people, this and the Koran give me success," he says.

"I have an almost 100 percent success rate and most of my clients are rid of the spirits or curses that plague them."

Such claims would seem to be at odds with Islam, and the religious authorities in Malaysia who are notorious for their hardline enforcement of moral and spiritual rules.

But Islamic bomohs are tolerated and even approved of, as a better alternative to old-style black magic practitioners who still do a brisk trade with their concoctions and incantations.

Local magazines are filled with advertisements for "love potions" and elixirs to "stop wandering spouses" and "get even with the neighbours."

Occult researcher Azizah Ariffin says Malays have long practiced the dark arts, originally derived from animist practices which were reinforced by Hindu beliefs before the arrival of Islam in the region.

"Black magic has been a part of Malay life for many centuries as the village bomoh still held on to animist beliefs and rites of earlier religions to cure people," she says.

"Upon the arrival of Islam, the Imam took care of the people's spiritual welfare."

"It was not until the 1980s that the Islamisation of the bomohs began, and only recently have many witchdoctors begun using Koranic verses to cure people instead of rituals."

Azizah says old-style techniques like burning aromatic resin to summon the jinn and commune with spirits, and brewing up magical medicines, are now less in favour.

"The Islamic bomohs are the ones who use the Koranic verses and they do no harm but help to cure ailments and remove black magic spells. It is the bomohs who don't use the Koran that are of concern because only some do good while others are the real black magic practitioners using animist rituals," she adds.

Leading Islamic cleric Mohammad Tamyes Abdul Wahid says although black magic is against Islam, it is widely used in Malaysia by those intent on controlling spouses or cheating others out of their possessions.

"We must differentiate between bomohs who use the words of the Koran and try to help heal people using these holy verses and phrases, compared to those who try to seek the help of jinns and ghosts to gain favour," he says.

"There has been a shift as many realise through education that these bomohs using spirits are evil compared to those using the Koran to help heal and do good things."

One example is Haron Din, a senior figure in the conservative Islamic party PAS, who is one of Malaysia's best-known bomohs and yet still part of the country's religious establishment.

Three decades ago he opened a clinic outside Kuala Lumpur where he and a group of faith healers exorcise demons and spirits using Koranic verses, and hundreds still flock there every day.

Mohammad Tamyes wants the government to introduce laws against black magic practitioners who use their skills for "evil purposes".

"Islam is against these practitioners who try to invoke the help of such beings in carrying out spells and attacks on people, this cannot be condoned," he tells AFP.

"Laws are needed to stop the practice of such black magic, but of course it is not easy to legislate against what you can't see."

MSN News

Free Hit Counter