Repent or Reform

Jan 18th, 2007, in News, by

Disaster prone Indonesia is populated by people weak in faith, or weak in honesty, depending on your view.

The string of natural and man-made disasters that have plagued Indonesia since 2004, which are estimated to have claimed 200,000 lives, whether the Lapindo mud flow, the southern Java tsunami & earthquakes, the Yogyakarta earthquake, or the Adam Air crash, to name just a few, have caused many to wonder whether something is terribly wrong with the country or the people. But what exactly is wrong excites some debate and controversy.

Muslim political figures put at least some of the blame on the weakness of faith of Indonesians. Hamzah Haz of the PPP said on the 15th that all the disasters may be a warning from God, that God is telling His people to always keep Him in their thoughts and hearts and to obey all His commands and keep away from the things which He has made forbidden. republika

Hasyim Muzadi of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) advises the people to repent their sins and always ask for the help of God, given that all the human means at the country's disposal, the knowledge, money, the bureaucracy and the security forces, had proven lacking in being able to overcome all the problems. Therefore there was no other way but to plead to the Almighty.

Hasyim said that he had found a relevant passage in the Quran, An Nahl 112, that would be of assistance in the matter. According to his reading of the Quran there were two types of disaster: that caused by the will of God, and that caused by the failings of man, whether man's destructiveness (such as cutting down of forests leading to floods) or his immorality (like lying).

Hasyim said that the NU was recommending to its members that they fast (puasa sunnah "Tasu'a" and "Asyura") between 20th and 30th January 2007, the first ten days of the Islamic New Year. Additionally NU followers should repent their sins, be honest, increase their worship activities, do good works and help disaster victims, and also avoid frowned-on behaviour. antara

Tsunami Disaster in Indonesia
Tsunami Disaster in Indonesia, 2004.

A foreign observer, Andre Vltchek, author of Conversations With Pramoedya Ananta Toer, in a lengthy and worthwhile read, "Indonesia: Natural Disasters or Mass Murder?" japanfocus, puts the blame for all the deaths caused by disasters on:

non-existent efforts to prevent the loss of life and the lack of basic education.

The (unbridled) profit motive, combined with rampant corruption, "is a formula for disaster", he says.

Companies care only about their profits, while government inspectors are mainly interested in bribes.

Even the blame for earthquake deaths is laid at the foot of incompetent and corrupt businessmen and officials:

Earthquakes alone do not kill people. Poor construction of houses and buildings are the culprits, together with the lack of preventive measures and preventive education.

He asks:

When will Indonesian people say that enough is enough and when will they demand accountability and justice, exact statistics and a concrete blueprint for solutions?

The media covers each disaster story in great detail but does not question the real cause behind the high numbers of dead, or the high frequency of accidents. The Jakarta Post refused to publish his piece, he says.

When corruption reaches such a scale that it can be considered at least partly responsible for so many people dying then those at fault are, in a way perhaps, guilty of mass murder, he says.


33 Comments on “Repent or Reform”

  1. avatar Andrew says:

    When will Indonesian people say that enough is enough and when will they demand accountability and justice, exact statistics and a concrete blueprint for solutions?

    The concept of accountability is virtually non-existent in Indonesia. 2 countries issued warning to Indonesian officials 45 minutes BEFORE the Java Tsunami & Earthquakes, and did nothing. We lost 500+ lives. Something could have been done to bring the number of casualties down, but noone was held accountable for it.

    Can’t we learn from other countries?

  2. avatar Bin Camel says:

    Indonesia Muslim should repent soon to avoid more disasters, because they pray to JIN (Surat 72 Al Jin) at the same time to Allah, and the dumbest aceh never learn from their tsunami pusnishment.

  3. avatar Naga says:

    The problem is that the Indonesian nation is religiously indoctrinated, they put all their faith into mythology, into things and concepts that don’t exist..

    Man created all their problems and man can fix them too, at the end of the day you get what you deserve.

  4. avatar Ihaknt says:

    If it is something to do with faith, then why did it happen and most affect Aceh where there are many so-called religious people? Why not in, say, Jakarta, where apparently many sinners live. Geographically, yes fair enough that Jakarta is far enough from the water, but surely if God had wanted it then He could’ve easily made it happen. Right? Maybe Acehnese are just doomed for being too ignorant and self-interpreting the Islam teaching.

  5. avatar Naga says:

    Maybe because it had to do with science and nature and had nothing to do with mythology, and maybe the Acehnese people were just unlucky to live in the wrong place.

  6. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Friends,

    I think these comments are taking a dangerous tone. It’s not smart to mess with the almighty. If God did not trigger the natural disasters, then who did ? And if he did, why did he ?

    The answer, friends, is obvious: we have failed to build the Pancasila Economy and Society.

    It’s true we’re making a start with the spread of Sharia banking. I humbly beg to differ with my esteemed colleague Daryono (or perhaps I’ve misinterpreted him), I don’t think it’s blasphemous for us to incorporate other religions into our economy. As long as those religions don’t try to stir up riots and unrest.

    My suggestion is this: why don’t we repent and reform first, and see the effect on the natural disasters ? But overall, I call on you not to tempt the Almighty’s wrath with all this talks.

    Thanks, Friends,
    Increase Da Peace

  7. avatar Ihaknt says:

    If God did not trigger the natural disasters, then who did ?

    The Americans. According to you, the show 24 and Alias prove that there are conspiracies.

    The answer, friends, is obvious: we have failed to build the Pancasila Economy and Society.

    is it that obvious? get real! You are talking Pancasila and then mentioned Sharia nearly in the same breath. Pancasila is sekuler, to be tolerant, appreciate and celebrate variety. Shria is not.

  8. avatar 1ndra says:

    Earthquakes alone do not kill people. Poor construction of houses and buildings are the culprits, together with the lack of preventive measures and preventive education.

    Yeah, its true, mostly died because of the collapsed houses. And other died because of low faith.
    And mostly are old rotten houses. We examined the mix are mostly gypsum/chalk and no ‘iron bar’. Houses of the past.
    So when the quake occur the walls just like being push and pulled without any iron strengthening the corners are detached and the middle of the walls cutted out then collapsed and pulled the adjacent walls to the ground.
    But remember there’re people who live in below average those couldn’t afford better quake-resistance houses, like concrete. They live their already past built houses than reconstruct their houses that needed out of reach expenses.

  9. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Friend,

    As mentioned the CIA didn’t do everything. I don’t think they had a hand in the 2004 tsunami, 2006 earthquake in Yogja, although that might be naive.

    Sharia does not clash with the Pancasila; Christians and Muslims can exist side by side. As I said- the other religions are welcome if they do not stir up trouble, riots, and create think tanks which benefit the Konglomerat.

    I’m sorry to say this, ‘Ihaknt’, but one thing the CIA does do is make a disinformation. An easy way to do that is through the internet. You seem to question something which most Indonesians accept as a solid fact. I can’t rule out the possibility that you are working for the CIA. If you are a good Indonesian, then I am sorry. Because ‘slander is crueller than murder’ (fitnah lebih kejam daripada pembunuhan).

    Sava Da Flava
    Rock Da House

    Achmad

  10. avatar Hassan says:

    After reading the article from the above link (http://www.japanfocus.org/products/details/2324), I wondered why some people still thinks that the system we applied in our country (capitalism, secularism, etc) is the best for us.

    Perhaps the system itself isn’t that bad, but it seemed to be not compatible with the negative tendencies some of our elites possesses: corrupt, lazy, and manipulative.

    The system and the morality of our elites when combined will create the chemistry for disaster!!

  11. avatar Dimp says:

    As I said- the other religions are welcome if they do not stir up trouble, riots, and create think tanks which benefit the Konglomerat.

    What do you mean you welcome other religions, you do not have right to welcome anyone as you are not the owner of Indonesia. Other religions do not have to ask permissions to live in Indonesia, they exists before the formation of Indonesia and they form Indonesia.

    I’m sorry to say this, ‘Ihaknt’, but one thing the CIA does do is make a disinformation. An easy way to do that is through the internet. You seem to question something which most Indonesians accept as a solid fact. I can’t rule out the possibility that you are working for the CIA. If you are a good Indonesian, then I am sorry. Because ‘slander is crueller than murder’ (fitnah lebih kejam daripada pembunuhan).

    You seem to be using internet, you watch American “fiction” shows that you consider as real, so I think it is you who are misinformed. You state that “slander is crueller than murder” yet you slander CIA without any solid proof.

  12. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Sudarsono, I love you, you’re so funny. That’s what I do. I question things put in front of me. I dont get spoon-fed. I digest the information. Because I don’t just believe what I see, hear or read. I see things from different angles and digest it with common sense and intelligence. And of course now I learn from you and base it on TV shows.

    Oh no you blew my cover, yes I work for the CIA and you fone is tapped, there will be a knock on the door soon.

    Who is slandering who? The CIA is slandering against you. I get it, mmmm.

  13. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Friend,

    Dimp:

    Islam is the majority religion, but also the most tolerant one. The Prophet Muhammad S.A.W., said we must respect the Christians. So I respect them. But we are the majority one and they are still the kafir. I respect their right to follow the misguided way. But I still want to save them from the Jahanam. Therefore, I must preach the Al Quran.

    Ihaknt:

    If you are not working for the CIA why do you deny all these facts ? I can understand if you are try to be all Western and o-so-skeptical, but as an Indonesian, in your heart, you KNOW that I speak the truth. If you really are Indonesian. Maybe you are from the ‘farm’ in Langley, Virginia. Maybe that is what you are doing in Indonesia, friend.

    But Islam is the tolerant one, so I forgive you – in the afterlife. In the meantime, I’ll have to work on it.

    Sava Da Flava
    Rock Da House
    Ajeb-Ajeb-Ajeb !

    ________________

    Friends,

    I will ever defend my country that I love so much. I think that some people here may not be who they say they are. If I am wrong I am sorry. But friends, we must be ever vigilant along with our Muslim brothers and sisters for people who want to divide and destroy Indonesia to control our natural resources. Our Christian brothers and sisters may also participate – even if they are the kafir, the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. says we must respect them. I will do so, as I said, as long as they don’t assist the foreign imperialists.

    Thank, Friend.

    Achmad

    p.s. ‘Ihaknt’ I think it is better if you call Me ‘Pak Achmad Yth’ – in keeping with the polite Indonesian way.

  14. avatar Dimp says:

    Hi Achmad,

    For a guy that show no intelligence and no respects to others I don’t think you should ask someone to refer you as “yth”.

    Just wondering are you using a PC with Windows or Linux, or Mac…. oopps hang on, thesea are all products of America so you are also assisting these “foreign imparialists”. Indeed that some people may not be who they say they are……

    You make me laugh.

  15. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Dimp Yth,

    Friend,

    I ever respect all the peoples except for the Bule. I think it’s better if you also address me as ‘Bpk Achmad’, as your senior.

    If Indonesia hadn’t been colonized by Belanda for 350 years all the computers would be INDONESIAN and ASIAN designed at places like ITB. Belanda keeps us down because they just want us to be a Jongos Rumah, our house tea boy and bring them the Ristafel.

    Afterwards, Microsoft keeps all the technology and does a monopoly like Liem Lioe Liong. In the meantime, we have no choice. We have to use the technology of the American if we want to defeat him.

    Increase Da Peace
    Sava Da Flava
    And
    Maximum Respect

  16. avatar Ihaknt says:

    I think the chance of me calling Bapak Ahmad is as feasible as world peace. Which is never Sudarsono! Give one good reason I should respect you. and seriously those lines at the end of your posting is so not cute. And TV shows are not solid facts. Can’t you tell the difference between fact and fictitious?

  17. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Friend,

    It is the Indonesian way – and the Asian way – to show respect. One of the Butirs – points – of Pancasila is a ‘just and civilized society’. I am teaching you how to realise these values because it seems you are what we call a little “kebarat-baratan’, or over-Westernised, questioning this, questioning that all the time. Part of the reason Indonesia was great under Pak ‘Harto was we didn’t squabble all the time.

    Also you should respect me – as I respect you – as your comrade in the battle against Zionists, the Bules, the CIA, and others who seek to topple our beloved Republic. But it is better for you to show the respect of say, a new Mahasiswa to his senior, or even teacher.

    That goes for others on this Blog as well.

    Thanks, Friend.

    Check Yo’self befo Ya Wreck Yo’self !
    Check it ! Check it !
    Increase Da Peace.

  18. avatar Andrew says:

    Achmad Sudarsono,

    WHAT BATTLE against the Zionists, the Bules, and the CIA? you simply hate the Jewish and the White race, that’s all that I can see here. You’re a racist wearing a mask. You try to stir trouble and instill hatred among people.

    You hate the Dutch for making you jongos? our forefathers fought for it, they didn’t just complain. Now that they gave you independence, why dwell on the hatred?

    Indonesia, India, and China are in a level playing field – pretty much started as poor countries, but look at them now – they’re not perfect, but I can tell they’re in a much better shape than us. Why? because they learn from history and do not dwell on it.

    If Indonesia hadn’t been colonized by Belanda for 350 years all the computers would be INDONESIAN and ASIAN designed at places like ITB.

    There probably wouldn’t be any ITB if it weren’t because of the Dutch. Anyway, I don’t see the relation between the Dutch occupation that ended 60+ years ago and Indonesian ability to design computers. Again, another blame assigned to others for our incompetence.

    Finally, in this virtual world, respect is earned , not inherited.

  19. avatar Joy says:

    Ihaknt,
    I do not agree with naga at all. I think you are a strong woman that says what you have in mind. I might not agree with some of your comments but still I enjoy reading your piece of mind. Keep it up, sister. By the way, what is the story behind your name?

    For Bapak Achmad,
    You always end your posting with some powerful words. Increase the peace, maximum respect! But it does not seem to me that you don’t follow your own slogan.

    In your own words, you said :

    1. I ever respect all the peoples except for the Bule.
    (by bule do you mean all the white people in the world? maybe somebody that good with statistic can help me; what is the number of all the white people in the world. I bet it will be close to half of the population on earth. You might want to change your slogan to “maximum respect to all people (expect if you are white people than you are out of luck)”.

    2. Part of the reason Indonesia was great under Pak ‘Harto was we didn’t squabble all the time.
    (and yet you said : Check Yo’self befo Ya Wreck Yo’self !
    Check it ! Check it !)

    3. Islam is the majority religion, but also the most tolerant one. The Prophet Muhammad S.A.W., said we must respect the Christians. So I respect them. But we are the majority one and they are still the kafir. I respect their right to follow the misguided way. But I still want to save them from the Jahanam. Therefore, I must preach the Al Quran
    (Respect will work better if it go both ways. Can the Christian preach about the love of God to their Moslem brother and sisters?)

    Salam,

  20. avatar Tomaculum says:

    Bapak Achmad or who you are, may ask you: how old are you? Then we can talk about how we have to call you.

    Btw: as long as you just say that you do not respect white people (and not “bule”, or do you want to be named as “brownie”?) then it is Okay. It is your problem, so do not await to be respected by others. Asian way? Should I laugh or cry?

    You are really so funny.

    It is the Indonesian way – and the Asian way – to show respect. One of the Butirs – points – of Pancasila is a ‘just and civilized society’. I am teaching you how to realise these values because it seems you are what we call a little “kebarat-baratan’, or over-Westernised, questioning this, questioning that all the time.

    What boring platitudes!

    I teach you something Achmad Sudarsono: you should better try to know the white people and judge every person and not doom all of them because of their skin colour. How do we name such things? Oh, yes, racism, isn’t it?

    And Arabisation is better than westernisation?

    If Indonesia hadn’t been colonized by Belanda for 350 years all the computers would be INDONESIAN and ASIAN designed at places like ITB.

    If, if, if. what about bettering the situation in Indonesia?

    If the moon is smaller, I could surely playing football with it.

    Venceremos
    hurray, hurray
    kâlle, allaf!
    πŸ™‚

  21. avatar sgn says:

    When I was studying in ITB (wow, did I really study there?), students call “Mas” or “Mbak” to each others (juniors or seniors) and sometimes to their lecturer.

    Can we call you “Mas Sudarsono”, instead?

    πŸ˜‰

    /sgn

    __________

    Mas Dono,

    BTW, as far as I know”Β¦ Aceh had NOT been colonized by Belanda, but there is no “ITB” and no “computers” produced by Aceh.

    (Sorry, I mean no offence to Aceh people).

    Salam,
    Mas sgn.

  22. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Hi Joy, ohh you’re so nice. Thank you. I don’t mind being critisized/picked on, it just shows that one doesnt always know what to say, but says things anyway – asbun -, sometimes it can be fun, but for naga’s case, he normally posts smart comments, maybe he was mising his medication.

    ONO teams, please don’t call us your firends. I for one is not your friend. If you want us to start calling you with pak embel-embel, then maybe you should’ve put ‘pak Achmad Sudarsono’ as your nick. Besides, we are equal adults here, what makes you think you are more superior than us? Or if we are any younger than you. How would you know that we may be actually the same age as you?

    This is why Indonesia ga maju maju, too many people like you. Just because you’re old doesn’t guarantee you have all the world wisdom. If you want to be respected, then as per Joy, it goes both ways. You also need to learn from the young to keep you up to date. We, the youngs, also learn from the elders. And watching TV shows and then blurring it with reality is not cool. And UFO and Borobudur? Pah! I am just hoping that Borobudur will always be in Indonesia, looked after as part of our culture and heritage, and no one has a dangerous idea to bomb it just because they dont have the same belief.

    Seriously though, you just show us that age has nothing to do with getting wiser. A sad case.

  23. avatar Dimp says:

    Hi Achmad,

    ** it is hard for me to type while holding my laugh in **

    I still will not refer to you as Pak, or furthermore Yth. If you refer to someone as Yth, and not mean it, then you are just a plain hypocrite and a fraud. I am not.

    This shows that there are still a lot of Indonesian who prefers “kulit” than “isi”. How sad.

    Afterwards, Microsoft keeps all the technology and does a monopoly like Liem Lioe Liong. In the meantime, we have no choice. We have to use the technology of the American if we want to defeat him.

    No choice? That is loser talks, Microsoft do not monopolise the technology, you are more than welcome to develop your own operating system, now as you are my senior you are obviously live longer than me, or so you claim, have you in your long service of life in this world ever attempted to create / develop this? I don’t think so, so you are just another hypocrite.

  24. avatar Robert says:

    Achmad Sudarsono,

    If Indonesia hadn’t been colonized by Belanda for 350 years all the computers would be INDONESIAN and ASIAN designed at places like ITB. Belanda keeps us down because they just want us to be a Jongos Rumah, our house tea boy and bring them the Ristafel.

    This is quite an interesting perspective. I know the Dutch have robbed Indonesia for its oils, minerals and spices. But I didn’t know the Dutch prevented the Indonesians from developing computer and software technology. It is good you mention this, so the history books can be rewritten now…..

    The Dutch left Indonesia after the Independence war in 1950, now 57 years ago. I suppose that is plenty of time for developing all kinds of technologies, so what happened?

    Tell me, do you really believe the crap you write down? Or are you some kind of stand-up comedian who is just entertaining the forummembers?

  25. avatar Ihaknt says:

    The Dutch left Indonesia after the Independence war in 1950, now 57 years ago. I suppose that is plenty of time for developing all kinds of technologies, so what happened?

    Blaming misfortunes on other people, wallowing in sorrow, complaining, waiting to be spoon-fed.

    Rob, you must admit it has been entertaining right? πŸ˜€ Maybe not standing up, just sitting in front of the computer BS-ing.

  26. avatar Oigal says:

    Hi All,

    Just a quick point, ol Achmad is not really who he says he is and is been popping up all over the Indonesian Internet baiting people with silly comments, fishing if you will..

    Play or humour him as you would a small but naughty child but don’t take him serious as it would only encourage more silly and childish behaviour.

  27. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Dear Friends,

    Oigal and I are old friends. I asked him for a reference about my writing and debating ability, but he is still busy to do it.

    It’s disappointing he’d launch this personal effort to discredit me when we’re all trying to focus on the topic at hand: CIA involvement in spreading Bird Flu in Indonesia.

    I don’t think Oigal is a CIA agent; I am not a conspiracy theorist. I just think he has fallen victim to their disinformation campaign because I am working to uncover the U.F.O-Borobudur links.

    Thank,
    Increase Da Peace
    Maximum Respect All My Friend,
    Flicka ! Flicka !

  28. avatar Bas says:

    I think the Dutch and the CIA has done much more for Indonesia than any of your past and actual president. And I am not an american.

    If you had never been colonized there would be no Indonesia since Indonesia has been entirely created by the Dutch. There would be Sumatra, Jawa (barat/tengah/timur/blabblabla), Sulawesi and so on. And all these nice territory people would probably kill eachother and always be in War like in Africa.

    The only good infrastructures in this country have been made by the Dutch (and the French – the Daendels road from Jakarta to Surabaya for example). All that made Indonesian people proud comes from abroad (The discovery and reconstruction of Borobur, the irrigation system in Jawa, even the most famous Balinese dances are German made haha).

    Without the CIA and the USA Indonesia would have never been independant. At least not in 45. The myth of local rebels armed with bamboos winning over the Dutch army is just so funny. The only reason why Indonesia got independant is because the US forced the Dutch to leave the country. Wich was a very bad thing for Indonesia I think when I see the result.

    The “only” “illegal” things the CIA did in Indonesia are:

    – Diffusing pictures of a fake Soekarno in the act of sexual activities to discredite him. They shoot the pics in Bangkok. We knew that because the archives are now open. Unclassified. But come on, there was no anti pornografi law at that time and they failed since people get very proud of their president after seing the pics πŸ˜‰

    – Well, less funny, they also gave lists of pseudo communists to Soeharto. We all know the result. But hey.. I often see Indonesian guys in the street proudly wearing CIA T-shirts (FBI too). Many of them have a grand father or someone else from their family who have been killed because of these list and indirectly because of the CIA. So “funny” and tipically Indonesian. Try to help me and I’ll hate you. Kill my parents, ruin my country and I’ll love you.

    Beg the Dutch to come back or ask the US or the United nation to rule the country for 10 or 20 years. That’s the only way for Indonesia to become a civilized country.

  29. avatar Hassan says:

    Yeah, we probably should thank the Dutch for colonializing and robbing us of our resources for 350 years.

    And the CIA for changing our people elected regime back then and messing the internal affairs of sovereign nations across the globe all the time.

    We probably should thank the thieves who stole our electronics and Jewelry for making us less dependent on those things. πŸ˜‰

  30. avatar Robert says:

    Hassan,

    Indonesia has been robbed for 350 years under Dutch colonialism. One might expect now that the Indonesian people would never let this happen again. However reality shows that Indonesia is being robbed again from its resources, but now on a scale that the Dutch colonizers could only have imagined in their wildest dreams.

    This time it are not the Dutch but is it a combination of foreign and domestic companies (oil, mining, logging etc.) in conjunction with the Indonesian Government (civil and military authorities). It comes as no surprise that most of the profit is going abroad and the remaining profit will find its way to the wallets of government officials.

    The big surprise however is the reaction of the Indonesian people.
    The logical reaction would be, that all this robbing would enrage the people of Indonesia and that they would lay their vengeance upon those who are squandering Indonesia’s resources. However the opposite happens, the fighting spirit which characterized the revolution during the 1945-50 years, seems to have disappeared and the people accept the squander in a docile manner.

    My point is now, that mentioning the 350-year Dutch colonization is one thing, learning from the Dutch colonization is another. I am afraid that very few lessons have been learned from the colonial past when I see how Indonesia’s resources are being squandered.

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