Free Laptops

Mar 28th, 2007, in News, Opinion, by

Parvita on free computer laptops for members of the DPR.

Laptops will be provided for the DPR. The cost of each laptop is 21,000,000 rupiah. I read the former Miss Indonesia Angelina Sondakh agree with this.

It is important to have the representatives up to date with technology.

more or less, she said. PDI-P, on the contrary, told their members to not accept the laptop. By refusing, they can save the country 2.3 billion rupiah. Some other parties also object to this laptop idea.

Let's think about it. Theoretically, if the representatives have laptops, they can work more efficiently. The consequences of having a free laptop, like other people, is that they are expected to work more. To write and send reports in a timely manner. Less time wasted.

The access to the internet will permit them to do comparative studies from all around the country so there will be some travelling budget cost saved. Unfortunately, most of the sites on the web are in English. What is their English like? As an extension of Angelina Sondakh's comment, having laptop may also make their English skill better.

Having a laptop means more work. And more chance to have teleconferences. I don't know how effective it will be, but there will be a cut on the budget for 'uang rapat' (meeting money). Hook them up with skype and they are all set for meeting. Cut the budget for coffee and cookies. I don't know how effective it would be, but there is an option.

Having a laptop means that they have to be computer literate. Again, extending Ms. Sondakh's comment, it will educate the representatives. More budget for training (and the older you get, the slower your brain is).

Having a free laptop means that you have access to the internet, including porn sites and non work related sites. The laptop should be 'audited' to know who is abusing the use of laptop. Of course, you can delete the history, but it means more manpower for the laptop auditor. As we already know, some DPR members are non professional pornstars already (see Yahya Zaini Sex Scandal) so the abuse of laptop will not be something new.

Having a laptop means more IT work. It opens up work of the IT people, which will be paid by tax payers. Imagine 500 laptops to be taken care of, serviced if they get corrupted, caught virus, etc. More maintenance. And of course you want to install the original antivirus, original software, instead of those pirated ones. More money for software.

What will they use the laptop mostly for? Word processing. Excel. Powerpoint. Checking emails (that will be another thing: they should be set up with their own DPR email address). Maybe some advanced program to calculate economics, balances, etc.

On the other hand, where did the amount of 21 million rupiah for a laptop come from? I read in newspapers that a decent laptop can be bought "only" for 15 million. And, "it is owned by the country, so the next person in DPR can use it". As you all know, technology moves fast, and what will happen is that in the next 4 years there will be a new product and the present free laptops will be out of date.

The argument, "It has been budgeted so might as well use it" is lame. How will the country benefit from the representatives having laptops? If there will be no more travelling allowance, meeting allowance, coffee and cookies expenditure for every meeting, and the cost for that is equal to what the expenditure for the laptop cost, that should be no problem. If problems will be solved faster by them having laptops, as a tax payer, I won't complain.

But if it is meant for their education in technology and a tool to improve their English, I am not responsible for that. Why not elect somebody smarter in the DPR at the first place?

Thinking negatively, who will benefit from this huge mass supply for laptop? There must be a sneaky lucky guy(s) in DPR that get(s) percentage for entering all this laptop to the DPR.

Why not use PDA instead? It is cheaper, you can get a sophisticated one for 8 million rupiah. Dopod, HP, O2, name it. It is handy, you can still browse with it, there is Windows Mobile attached to it, so even if it is a bit small, it may still serve the purpose.

Now, what is the real purpose of them having free laptops in the first place? I haven't seen any argument, a real urgent need for laptops, voiced from the House of Representatives that justifies that laptops are crucial for their work. And do all of them need a laptop? In my company, only those required to work like dogs are provided with laptops and PDAs. For snobs, having a laptop and PDA means 24 hours of work, no life, not luxury. I sometimes want to throw away my PDA. It means work on the long flights, hotel rooms, home.

So, as Tukul Arwana says, "Kembali ke Laptop", what was the purpose of them having laptops again?


21 Comments on “Free Laptops”

  1. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Parvita I guess this may mean we will see more of those amateur videos of more DPR people behaving badly. Woohoo!

    But if it is meant for their education in technology and a tool to improve their English, I am not responsible for that. Why not elect somebody smarter in the DPR at the first place?

    is this possible? I thought being stupid is the requirement to sit there.

  2. avatar Tomaculum says:

    Surely with free access (fla rate) payed by the government, hmm?
    So they can watch everything via internet? 🙂
    Yeah, they have to enlarge their knowledge, in every direction and area.
    Will there be a control body to check the misuses of the laptops and the internet access?

  3. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Hey Tom, no worries there. Just bribe those officials to say that the laptop is ‘clean’. Great now there is a chance we are paying these people to watch porn. Gotta love Indo governement huh, they have so much credibility, hehehe.

  4. avatar Dimp says:

    Hang on, maybe they need to check are all DPR member can actually use the technology? I bet you some of them can’t even turn on a laptop. I think they should all be equipped with good-ol’ typewriters, or better yet a notepad and a pencil.

    Regardless, the last news that I heard is that the government is scrapping the idea because it is too controversial, well d’uh. When 40% of the people are still below the poverty line it is wise to spend the money for the people not to accomodate the DPR member so they can surf the web searching for p*rn.

  5. avatar pj_bali says:

    Just get’em an etch-a-sketch; that way when they “corrupt the filesystem” they can just shake it over their heads to reboot. I’m sure they won’t know the difference.

    Cheers

  6. avatar El Grancombo Puertorico says:

    Guys, guys, relax. It’s nothing compared to this: Xbox for your gun?.

    How did they come up with such an idea? What made them think that criminals would be willing to give up their gun (essential in their job) with, ehem, XBox (you can’t kill anybody with XBox, can you?). It’s just beyond me. 😀

    Wow. Can we do something similar to those fanatic lunatic terrorists wandering in Indonesia?

  7. God, not again! Those people are greedy or what? Free laptops, are you kidding me?!

    I agree that DPR members should have laptops to improve their performance and it would be just fine if there was a strict rule forcing each member to have a laptop, BUT from their own money. Look, they’re paid more than enough just to sit there and do nothing. It would be such a shameful matter if they actually received free laptops.

    And damn right the budget is too much! What, 21 million rupiah for each laptop? What, are they DPR members or web designers? They definitely don’t need 21-million-rupiah laptops, they would do just fine with 10-million ones. C’mon, what would they do with the laptops anyway? Type some work with microsoft office or probably just surf the internet.

    This is madness! Those DPR members are ridiculous. Free laptops?

    Next time they would ask for free Ipod!

  8. avatar Bas says:

    I am a profesional programmer and web designer and I just bought a laptop for 10 million rupiah wich provides more power than I’ll ever need. 8-10 million laptops would have been more than enough for what they will do with them (if they ever use them).

    But talking about price is non-sense since deputies could and should buy their laptop with their own money. Just like everybody else.

    The truth is the guys who use laptops already have one and those who don’t will just never use it.

    These guys really have no shame, and they say foreigners are sucking the nation wealth. This country only need on thing: Revolution. Not fake reforms as we see now. Shame on the deputies, shame on the students who are just good enough to be manipulated and don’t have the balls to do the job than has to be done. And shame on the population who just accept all this s**t and do nothing as usual.

    Indonesians really have the politicians they deserve.

  9. avatar Andrew says:

    They definitely don’t need 21-million-rupiah laptops, they would do just fine with 10-million ones.

    guebukanmonyet, the actual cost is 10 million, the 11 million is the mark-up. 😀

  10. avatar Anonymous says:

    El Grancombo Puertorico,
    you see, in Mexico, firearms are more affordable than video-game consoles.
    If you put yourself in their position, you would think that it’s better to get a gun to ease the boredom, and also to protect yourself from other bored people with guns.

    Similar approach can also be applied in Indonesia.
    Trade knives, swords, and any other FPI-type weapons of choice, with video-game console. There’s a possibility that the crime rate would decrease significantly?

  11. avatar Dimp says:

    C’mon, what would they do with the laptops anyway?

    I bet you the most applications that they will use is “Solitaire”, the government should just issue all DPR member with a deck of card.

  12. avatar Ihaknt says:

    I hope they’d have Indomatters in their favorites so they know how much we love our DPR people! That of course assuming they’d understand engrish.

  13. avatar Dimp says:

    They probably just ignore any criticism that they read. They have been doing this for years.

  14. avatar Janma says:

    The funny thing is that they only have two more years in office, and for sure they will be more busy manourering themselves into favorable positions than actually doing their jobs, they haven’t exactly had a great working record so far.

    They seem to have a ginormous amount of money at their disposal, the refugees all over Indonesia must be sakit hati benar!

  15. avatar Dimp says:

    I think they must be desperate that they know they only have 2 more years to reap as much cash as possible for their own pockets, so they start to issue stupider and stupider rule to benefit themselves. It won’t be long until they decide that every member of DPR can claim expenses for every consumable things.

  16. avatar TomZee says:

    Guys, soon there will be a lot of cheap “new” used laptops (at most 550 pieces).

  17. avatar Susi says:

    To be fair:

    Since many member already have their own laptops, why not make a “laptop allowance” for those who don’t have one. Cut their salaries in that amount, (around 21 juta), give them a good laptop, and let them use it for whateve they please (browing porno sites is perhaps useful keyboarding practise after all), then contribute 21 juta for a good, local tukang komputer to train them on how to utilize it constructively.

    And give bonuses to the members who already own and use their own laptops. In the amount of . . . 10.5 juta . . . or 42 juta . . . .

    Go figure. Which is most constructive, actually?

    Otherwise, I foresee a flooded market in Jakarta for “new, still in the box” laptop computers.

    Cheers,

    Susi

  18. avatar Ebowan says:

    BTW, are these people able to read english? Is the software they are using a genuine?

    Do they do the right thing at the right time at the right place?

    I don’t know.

    We all do know, that these gentlemen are able to do some nice things and not so nice things.

  19. avatar mafford zachronni says:

    My name ZACH from Indonesia, please can you help me, cause I ain’t not enough to buying computer.
    i need it that can help me to writing my script. immediatelly, i have stop my study.
    Please may you can help me to give me a laptop that laptop may can help me to make my dream come true and for looking a job as typist.
    It’s Ok that new or used laptop. You know Indonesia have many problem its hard to looking a job.
    Thanks a lot.

  20. avatar D Barker says:

    I have no opinion one way or the other in this case & don’t know the specifics, but the ability of laptops to improve productivity & bring society & businesses forward is really interesting. 1 laptop 1 child is the benchmark of course. It’s been interesting at work to see how quickly laptops are growing compared to desktop pcs & you’re right, ‘laptop’ generally does mean ‘more work’.

  21. avatar Rob says:

    Did they get them and were they priced at IDR 21 million?

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