An Indian expatriate is arrested for insulting the nation and sparking patriotic amok in Batam.
Police have questioned 46 people – 38 Indian expatriates and eight local workers – in connection with a riot at PT Drydocks World Graha shipyard in Batam, Riau Islands. One of them, an Indian expatriate, was named a suspect as he was considered to be the "mastermind" of the riot after berating an Indonesian worker, for saying
Indonesians are stupid
Indonesia is stupid
depending on which report/translation is to be trusted.
Isn't that more than a little odd? This guy is the "mastermind"? Is not a mastermind a kind of George Soros Machiavellian figure who plans and manipulates immense strategies and conspiracies? Or is he nowadays just some poor Indian bloke who tells it like it is? As a benevolent sort who would not tend to 'berate' workers, but most of you must, from time to time, have been exasperated by the indolence and irresponsibility you see every day.
Not a specially Indonesian flaw, admittedly, but it does seem to be tolerated here more than elsewhere, examples being the crass ignorant discourtesy of many people in all walks of life who think nothing of arriving late for appointments, or those many workers who regard it as acceptable to sleep on their desks when the immediate supply of work runs out, instead of going to find more things to do. I even went to visit a guy in hospital and found the ward closed so the staff could have a rest!
As I say, it's not unique to Indonesia, but there are enough idlers about to provoke a rebuke or even a 'berating' of those who don't do their stuff. Hardly makes the scolder a "mastermind"!
Riau Islands Police chief Brigadier General Pudji Hartanto Iskandar said that the police would uphold the law in connection with the riot. Swift and effective legal process is necessary to help maintain a conducive investment climate, he said, adding that police would
also process workers who were found to have destroyed facilities at the shipyard.
So arresting an Indian superviser for a possibly harsh telling-off will "help maintain a conducive investment climate"?
Given what he went on to say, I'd have thought it might rather have a counter-productive effect.
Another police officer, Sr. Comr. Leonidas Braksan, said the expatriate named suspect in the incident would be charged under article 154 and 156 of the Criminal Law on enmity toward, and humiliating remarks against, the unitary state of Indonesia. A charge that carries punishment of up to seven years imprisonment.
Seven years? For a rude comment? Enmity towards 'the unitary state of Indonesia? What planet is this guy living on? If you want to arrest people for enmity towards Indonesia, there are many more obvious candidates, not least the entire membership of Hizbut Tahrir, who want this country swallowed up in a fanatic-ruled Sharia caliphate, a mere part of a giant loony-tune empire along with Malaysia and much of the Philippines. That's treason, I'd say, but even if you take a milder view, it's still enmity towards the unitary state of Indonesia.
The Indian worker, it appears, was still being treated at hospital as of Friday afternoon for serious wounds sustained during the fray.
So the "mastermind" is in hospital, facing serious charges, and the amok-runners will probably not even get fired, from what I've been able to glean from other reports in the same newspaper, viz.
A later report, "Don’t dismiss workers involved in protest" from Tempo, tells us that Sr. Comr. Leonidas Braksan warned shipbuilder PT Drydock World Graha against dismissing Indonesian workers involved in the riot
The company must introspect following the incident.
So what the heck does that mean? Police side with rioters, as some kind of quid quo pro for the para-police's recent confrontation with other rioters, in Jakarta? Hopefully not, but it does seem a silly thing to say.
Wiser, surely, to tell the amokkers to cool down and stop being so bloody sensitive if they want to keep their jobs!