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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Gov furious over messy Monas


Triwik Kurniasari, THE JAKARTA POST, JAKARTA | Sat, 01/31/2009 8:36 AM  

Ani, 47, and Bayu, 49, sat on a metal park bench under the shade of trees in the National Monument (Monas) Park in Central Jakarta. 

The couple gazed at the capital’s landmark, feeling a soft breeze touch their faces. 

“We always come to Monas every week because it’s close to our home in Kebon Sayur [also in Central Jakarta],” Ani said on Friday. “I really enjoy hanging out in Monas to refresh my mind. I like sitting under the big trees, watching the green grass and breathing the fresh air. 

“The place is clean. It is much cleaner compared to 20 years ago when I first came to Jakarta. I notice there are many garbage men cleaning the area. That’s good,” she said. 

Ani’s husband, Bayu, shared similar thoughts. "The park is clean. I sometimes see falling leaves or branches scattered in the park, but I don’t mind as they are so natural.” 

“If there is a used plastic bottle thrown [by a visitor] in the open area, the garbage men will immediately pick it up,” he said, adding that he could easily find garbage bins there. 

Their comments were in contrast to those made by Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo the day before.

Fauzi was furious to find damaged park lights, dead trees, puddles of water and piles of garbage in some spots in the Monas park when jogging in the vicinity on Thursday at about 5:30 p.m. 

He claimed it was not the first time he had noticed the shabby condition of the park but said he preferred to keep silent and hope for an improvement. 

"But until today there is no such attempt [from Monas management] to improve this [messy] condition. I’m very disappointed,” Fauzi said, adding that there were too many institutions involved in the maintenance of Monas. 

Monas is managed by several city agencies, including the parks and sanitation agencies.

A garbageman, Atok, said he cleaned Monas Park seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. He said holidays were hard days for him, as he found lots of trash scattered around the park.    

“We try to do our best to keep the area clean. But visitors sometimes do not put their garbage, like used plastic bottles or Styrofoam food boxes, into the garbage bins. They just throw them anywhere,” he said. 

“This is very annoying but we can do nothing about it.” 

Earlier this month, Central Jakarta Mayor Sylviana Murni said she would ask the city administration to assign her municipality to take over management of Monas in order to better maintain the landmark. 

She promised her office would be able to directly control the maintenance of the complex. She said the new management was expected to be effective by the end of the month, pending a gubernatorial decree. 

During Thursday's impromptu visit, Fauzi directed Sylviana to make immediate improvements, saying he would be back in the next two weeks to examine it.

Balancing act


The Jakarta Post | Sat, 01/31/2009 9:30 AM 
 

 
A man tries to carry two bowls of soup through the fl ooded Mangga Dua train station in West Jakarta. Heavy rains, which are expected to peak early in February, have inundated many parts of the city. (JP/P.J. Leo)


Friday, January 30, 2009

Honda car sales in Indonesia up 31.2 Pct


Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Honda car sales in Indonesia increased 31.2 percent to 52,500 units in the January - December 2008 period compared to the same period in 2007 when sales stood at 40,000 units, the Japanese car maker`s affiliate said in a press statement on Friday. 

PT Honda Prospect Motor (HPM), the sole agent for Honda in Indonesia, said that sales of Honda cars in 2008 increased by 12,500 units from the figure in 2007. 

With the sales achievement, Honda controlled 8.6 percent of the market in Indonesia and ranked fifth in the car market in Indonesia after Toyota (34.8 percent), Mitsubishi (14.4 percent), Daihatsu (12.8 percent) and Suzuki (12 percent). 

HPN`s Marketing and After-Sales Service Director Jonfis Fandy said the achievement in the car sales which reached 52,500 units in 2008 exceeded the initial target of 51,000 units. 

"Honda retail sales in 2008 reached 52,251 units, which is the highest sale proceeds in its business operation history in Indonesia," he said. 

He said that his company would continue to carry out innovations and introduce quality, fuel-efficient and environment-friendly new products. The company will also give a priority to after-sales services and expand Honda`s dealer networks in Indonesia.

Disaster response still fragile in RI: Humanitarian report

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 01/30/2009 8:41 AM  

Disaster reponse by the government and humanitarian workers is still below the United Nations’ minimum standard, a report said. 

The 2008 Indonesia Humanitarian Forum report said the poor responses happened amid a sharp decrease in the number of fatalities from disasters during 2008.

“We found that disaster response management in Indonesia does not yet fully comply with the minimum standards set by the UN, which is called the Sphere,” Hening Parland, the Indonesia Humanitarian Forum executive director, said Thursday.

The forum conducted a study — based on media analysis from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2008 — and found that the government and humanitarian institutions only applied some of the Sphere standards.

The Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response was first launched in 1997 by humanitarian NGOs, the Red Cross and the Red Crescent movement.

Sphere is based on two core beliefs: first, all possible steps should be taken to alleviate human suffering arising from a disaster; second, those affected by a disaster have a right to live with dignity and a right to assistance.

“The lowest scores [for the Indonesian government and aid workers] were on evaluation, competency and humanitarian workers’ responsibility. Many of the workers are not even covered under an insurance scheme,” Hening said.

“Many humanitarian workers are not aware of their vulnerability to the disasters while working in the field.”

Hening said the activists’ poor competency on disaster management would also hamper the sustainability of humanitarian programs.

The study showed that many of the disaster responses were still regarded simply as a “relief initiative” rather than as a comprehensive implementation of rights, as stipulated in Act 2007 on disaster management which mandated security and protection as basic human rights.

Indonesia is prone to natural disasters — ranging from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunami — due to its location on the “Ring of Fire” volcanic belt.

Poor environmental management in most of the country’s 33 provinces, coupled with the impact of climate change, has made Indonesia more prone to floods and landslides. 



Data from the Indonesian Humanitarian Forum showed there were 236 cases of disasters last year, with floods at 130 cases, followed by tropical storms (43 cases) and landslides (35 cases). 

The Health Ministry said that a total of 7,618 people were killed during 2006 in 162 natural disasters nationwide. It also said that the number of disasters increased to 205 recorded events in 2007, killing 766 people.

The number of disasters increased last year with 408 cases. However, the number of fatalities decreased to 321 people.

“The decline in the death rate is due to the presence and the application of early warning systems, including those for floods and landslides. However, coordination among government offices and agencies to deal with the disasters remains poor,” Hening said.

The forum also criticized the effectiveness of regulations issued by the government and regional administrations regarding natural disaster mitigation.

“We have found there are 57 regulations related to disaster mitigation management. The effectiveness of these rules remains unclear,” Hening said.

The Humanitarian Forum, which consists of eight NGOs, including Muhammadiyah Disaster Management and Wahana Visi Indonesia, also plans to educate 1,000 humanitarian workers this year to help carry out missions in the field.

 

The Sphere’s eight standards:

  1. Public participation
  2. Preliminary study
  3. Response
  4. Determining targets
  5. Monitoring
  6. Evaluation
  7. Competency
  8. Humanitarian workers’ responsibility, supervision management and support to staff.

Police launch Quick Wins program fix image

The Jakarta Post | Fri, 01/30/2009 9:03 PM  

The National Police, which was recently dubbed the most corrupt state institution by Transparency International Indonesia, launched Friday an internal bureaucratic program aimed at improving its services and transparency. 

The program, called Quick Wins, is set to quicken police response time to calls from the public, as well as to boost transparency in criminal investigations and the application process for documents such as drivers licenses and vehicle ownership papers. 

The program also aims to make the recruitment process for new police officers, currently viewed as plagued by bribery and nepotism, more transparent. 

"I know it is not at all easy to implement this program, but I can say that we are committed to doing it," National Police Chief General Bambang Hendarso Danuri said in a speech during the launch of the program. 

He said Quick Wins was part of a series of National Police bureaucratic reform programs first established in 1999, which cover the evaluation of the institution's work performance, organizational structure reform, renumeration system management and work culture reform. 

After delivering the speech, Bambang signed a "bureaucratic reform performance contract" with chiefs of provincial police offices across the country, represented by the Police Chief of Jakarta and Banten. 

As part of the Quick Wins program, Bambang said police officers in Jakarta, Banten and West Java would be equipped with a total of 800 minivans for mobile service units, which would be sent to safeguard places known as being prone to crime. 

He said the Jakarta police office had received 200 minivans. 

In regards to transparency in criminal investigations, Bambang promised the police would allow the public to access information on the development of their cases either through letters or online media. 

Riau Airlines makes maiden flight to Jakarta

The Jakarta Post | Thu, 01/29/2009 10:12 PM  

Riau Airlines (RAL), owned by the Raiu provincial government will introduce Friday two Avro RJ100 aircraft to serve the Pekanbaru-Jakarta route, a Riau provincial officer said Thursday. 

"RAL will debut tomorrow," Riau provincial spokesman, Zulkarnain, said, as quoted by the Antara news agency. 

Zulkarnain added that Riau province governor Rusli Zainal would officiate the debut of the Pekanbaru-Jakarta-Pekanbaru route. 

He added that the British-made 100-seater planes would fly twice daily from Pekanbaru's Sultan Syarif Kasim Airport to Tangerang's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.(amr)

Indonesia says plans to subsidise biofuel in 2009

Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:42am GMT  

JAKARTA, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Indonesia's government is planning to pay a subsidy to biofuel producers starting this year to encourage them to remain in the business and promote widespread use of the alternative energy source, an energy ministry official said on Friday. 

The government wants to make the use of biofuel mandatory from this year to ensure the survival of the fledgling industry, an aim made more urgent since biofuel became more expensive than crude oil-based fuel after oil prices dived more than 70 percent from their peak in July last year. 

"We will only pay the subsidy if biofuel prices are higher than crude oil-based fuels," Evita Legowo, director general of oil and gas at the energy ministry told Reuters. 

Under the plan, if prices of biofuel products are higher than crude oil-based fuels, the government will pay subsidy of 1,000 rupiah ($0.08) per litre on average. 

"At the moment, palm-based biodiesel is more expensive than crude oil-based diesel, but prices of bioethanol are not," Legowo said. 

Bioethanol is made using both cassava and cane molasses. 

Palm biofuel and bioethanol compete with cheap domestic petrol diesel in Indonesia, one of the lowest priced in Asia because of generous government subsidies. 

Palm-based biodiesel prices were around 5,800 rupiah per litre on Friday, or about 1,500 rupiah higher than diesel, said Paulus Tjakrawan, secretary general of Indoesian Biofuel Producers Association. 

State run PT Pertamina, which sells subsidised fuel products, is estimated to blend 194,444 kilo litres of bioethanol and 580,025 kiloliters of palm-based biodiesel in 2009, a government document showed. 

Based on such an estimate, the government may have to allocate 774.5 billion rupiah in biofuel subsidies this year. 

A ministerial decree issued last November stated that for biodiesel used in transportation, there must use a blend of 1 percent palm-based biodiesel and 99 percent diesel oil, while industry and power plants should use a blend containing 2.5 percent and 0.25 percent palm-based biodiesel respectively. 

By 2010, the palm-biodiesel content will be increased to between 2.5-3 percent for transportation, 5 percent for industry, and 1 percent for power plants. 

For bioethanol, the use of a 1-5 percent blend of bioethanol and 99-95 percent of gasoline for transportation become mandatory this year. 

"Currently, the biodiesel blend for transportation has reached 5 percent," Legowo said. 

Indonesia, the world's top producer of palm oil, used in a wide range of products from soap to biodiesel, is estimated to turn out 20.25 million tonnes of palm oil in 2009, up from 18.8 million in 2008, the industry association has estimated. 

The increased use of palm oil for biodiesel is important to help ease the country's palm oil stocks, a key factor supporting palm prices despite the gloomy global demand outlook. (Reporting by Aloysius Bhui; Editing by Ben Tan) 

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Police to Launch Emergency Number 112

Thursday, 29 January, 2009 | 17:20 WIB 

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The Jakarta regional police of Metro Jaya are launching a program called 'Quick Response 112'. The number can be reached through a land line as well as CDMA and GSM phone systems. 

“It will be connected directly to the police,” Director for Traffic at Metro Jaya, Commissioner Condro Kirono, told reporters, Thursday (29/1). 

The police feel that by having this number, they can respond quickly to people's complaints over criminal action in their neighborhood. It is one way to improve police services. “The program is applicable throughout Indonesia,” said Condro. 

By dialing 112, police will come in around 15 minutes. “However, it depends on the traffic situation,” he said. The police will utilize CCTV cameras installed along the roads in Jakarta to reach the location. 

If you call 112 through a land line or a CDMA phone, it will be connected to the nearest police station while calling it with a GSM phone, will be connected to the Metro Jaya police station. 

The Metro Jaya police also has reactivated its official sites: www.reskrimum-polda.org and www.polri.go.id, so people can access information easily. 

The site will also show the update of a case. The public will know of the witness summoned by the police. It will also show information about suspects such as when they were arrested and will be released. 

Those whose vehicles are stolen can check the status on the site by entering their vehicle's number. “All information will be reported on the site,” said Condro. 

MUSTAFA SILALAHI

Lower Accidents Reported at Work Areas

Thursday, 29 January, 2009 | 19:28 WIB 

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The Manpower and Transmigration Department said that the number of accidents taking place at places of work is decreasing from year to year. According to Manpower and Transmigration minister Erman Soeparno, the number of cases went down by 55,82 percent from 2007 to 2008. 

In 2005, Erman said, there were 99.023 accidents, followed by 95.624 incidents in 2006 and down to 83.714 in 2008. Meanwhile, based on data as of November 2008, indicates there were 36.986 cases. "The government is committed to raise the awareness, participation and responsibility of all parties in areas of security and health at work places," Erman said yesterday. Enforcing regulations to prevent accidents at workplace, he said, was also running well. "Violators are not only fined, legal action may be taken against them." 

The Manpower and Transmigration Department has trained 900 people to provide training at companies. The local government, he said, also responded well to the effort. This year, around 1.500 trainers will be trained. "We hope to be able to train 2.000 people. This is close to the ideal number," Erman said. 

REH ATEMALEM SUSANTI | DIANING SARI 

Seen better days

The Jakarta Post   |  Thu, 01/29/2009 3:43 PM 
 

 
Two drivers look under the hood of their mobet at Poncol Market in Central Jakarta. Many residents still hire the motorized three-wheeled cabs, also known as motor becak or mobet, though their engines are decades old. (JP/P.J. Leo)

Fakta releases survey on governor's performance

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 01/29/2009 1:51 PM  

A survey on the city administration's performance in 2008 was released on Wednesday and showed illegal fees and dissatisfaction with public services still abounded. 

While state schools are free, 58.29 percent of respondents said they still had to pay extra fees for items such as shoes and uniforms and maintenance expenses for school buildings, according to a survey conducted by the NGO Jakarta Residents Forum (Fakta). 

At least 51.43 percent of respondents said they still had to pay illegal fees at subdistrict offices when applying for ID cards or other documents. 

Many also complained that some subdistrict heads were not available when they needed to see them. 

"I understand what Jakartans have said in this survey. I feel awful over the fact that 55 subdistrict heads in East Jakarta were reportedly not always available ," Governor Fauzi Bowo said. 

In the survey, Fakta also asked the residents to comment on several issues, including evictions, health services and transportation problems. 

"This survey is like a school report for me. I was nervous about the results, just like a school kid, but the difference here is I am graded by 10 million people," Fauzi said. 

Saiman, a street vendor in Jatinegara, East Jakarta, claimed that he had no complaints about education services as his grandchildren enjoyed free school thanks to the administration's subsidy. 

"However, *the administration's* treatment of street vendors has not improved," he said. 

On residential questions, 86 percent of residents in the survey said their kampungs were good places to live in, while 12 percent said they were not satisfied with their dwelling conditions and 1.14 percent did not know. 

Of all respondents, 67.71 percent lived in their own house, 22.9 percent in rented houses, and 10 percent of them did not own nor rent. 

Fakta also noted that eviction was among the issues the residents fear the most, especially those who live in off-limit areas such as beneath the overpass bridges and along riverbanks.

KNKT probes helicopter crash site in Pondok Cabe

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 01/29/2009 2:02 PM 

Crashed Chopper: Investigators examine the Super-Puma helicopter destroyed when it crashed at Pondok Cabe airfield in Tangerang, Banten, on Thursday. The crash early Thursday killed two technicians. The pilot and an on-board technician both survived. Antara/Prasetyo Utomo

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Commission (KNKT) have arrived at Pondok Cabe airfield in Tangerang to investigate the helicopter crash that killed two technicians earlier Thursday. 

The crash site, located in front of Pelita Air's service hangar, was cordoned off and under police guard. Journalists were not allowed to enter the area. 

The bodies of the victims, Ahmad Suparja (25) and Sri Setyobudi (42) were taken to Fatmawati Hospital in South Jakarta. The pilot of the twin engine Super-Puma helicopter, Rohman Hadi (50), and a technician who was inside the chopper, HM Hardi (52), survived, but were still suffering from shock. 

South Jakarta Police chief Sr. Comr. Chairul Anwar said at the crash site the police had yet to figure out the chronology of the incident. 

"What we know so far is they were doing a routine maintenance check. They started up the engine and the pilot began to lift the chopper when it suddenly collapsed," Chairul told journalists, as quoted by tempointeraktif.com. 

He said the helicopter's blades had sliced through the two technicians. "It's quite severe, they were cut in two," he said. (dre)

Airlines group says industry lost $5BN in 2008

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press, Geneva  | Thu, 01/29/2009 5:59 PM  

The airline industry lost $5 billion last year as passenger growth slowed and cargo shipments fell because of the global economic crisis, the International Air Transport Association said Thursday. 

Cargo shipments plunged in the last month of the year, putting the industry in "uncharted territory." 

Passenger traffic in 2008 grew by 1.6 percent, markedly down from the 7.4 percent rise in 2007, IATA said. 

Cargo traffic for the year dropped 4 percent compared with a 4.3 percent increase in 2007, the group said. 

"Airlines are struggling to match capacity with fast-falling demand," said IATA chief executive Giovanni Bisignani. "Until this comes into balance, even the sharp fall in fuel prices cannot save the industry from drowning in red ink." 

Average seat occupancy was down to 75.9 percent in 2008, compared with 77.3 percent the previous year, IATA said. 

Freight volumes in December showed a sharp decline of 22.6 percent with major drops in all regions, the group said. 

"2009 is shaping up to be one of the toughest years ever for international aviation," Bisignani said. 

"The 22.6 percent drop in international cargo traffic in December puts us in uncharted territory and the bottom is nowhere in sight," he said in a statement. "Keep your seat belts fastened and prepare for a bumpy ride and a hard landing." 

IATA, which represents 240 airline companies worldwide, said it forecast a $2.5 billion loss for the industry this year. The estimate was based on a fuel price of $60 per barrel, a 3 percent decline in passenger volumes and a 5 percent drop in cargo traffic, it said. 

Industry revenues are expected to decrease by $35billion in 2009, it said. 

Bisignani said the industry needs structural changes. 

"We don't want bailouts," he said, adding that instead regulation should be loosened to allow airlines to access the same sources of global capital as other industries.
 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Morning ride

The Jakarta Post, JAKARTA | Wed, 01/28/2009 10:15 AM 

An elementary school student rides on a garbage cart to reach his school in Muara Baru, North Jakarta, on Tuesday to avoid floods that inundated many parts of the city, following heavy rains early in the day. JP/P.J. Leo

Related Articles:

Flood inundates three schools in Makassar

Jakarta to revamp Manggarai sluice gates

Jakarta ‘most at risk’ of climate change


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hundreds in Pasar Baru lose homes to fire

The Jakarta Post, Tue, 01/27/2009 1:21 PM  

JAKARTA: Hundreds of residents lost their homes after a fire tore through a dense residential area in Pasar Baru, Central Jakarta, burning down 130 houses. 

The Central Jakarta Fire Agency sent 26 fire trucks to extinguish the inferno at Kelinci alleyway, Pasar Baru Timur Dalam. 

An official at the agency, Zainal Abidin, said it took three and a half hours to put the fire out. 

The fire agency received the report at 9:30 p.m. 

Central Jakarta Police do not know what caused the fire. 

The exact value of the losses sustained had not been determined, but residents estimated it to be hundreds of millions of rupiah. 

Last year, Central Jakarta saw 108 fires, down from 129 in 2007. 

However, the financial losses sustained in 2008 increased almost threefold, from Rp 24 billion in 2007 to Rp 61 billion. -JP


Jakarta to revamp Manggarai sluice gates

Triwik Kurniasari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 01/27/2009 1:27 PM  

The city administration plans to build one more gate at South Jakarta's Manggarai sluice gates to regulate the water flow better. 

"The new gate would be installed next to the existing ones, requiring the government to acquire some land plots," Pitoyo Subandrio, head of the Ciliwung-Cisadane Flood Bureau at the Public Works Ministry, said on Saturday. 

"The new gate will reduce flooding because the water will run more smoothly than before." 

Pitoyo said the space for the gates, which were built in the 1920s by the Dutch government, would be widened by a dozen meters. 

The width of a gate is about six meters, excluding the pillars. 

Included in the Manggarai revamp is the clearing of the areas along the Ciliwung River, from the Casablanca bridge to the Manggarai sluice gate. 

Flood management expert Jan Jaap Brinkman from the Netherlands Water Research Institute (Deltares) confirmed the urgency of an additional gate in Manggarai. 

"The Manggarai gates need to be improved because they are too small. At this moment it is two gates, but it needs to be three gates," Brinkman, who is also the team leader of Flood Hazarding Mapping 2 at the Public Works Ministry, said. 

Brinkman was speaking after the signing of an agreement between Indonesia and the Netherlands in the fields of meteorology, water management, climate change and early warning systems. 

The administration is currently running flood mitigation projects in anticipation of the rainy season. 

It is now dredging 12 waterways across the city, including in Pademangan River and Mati canal (in North Jakarta), Cakung River (East Jakarta) and Grogol in West Jakarta. 

The Rp 23 billion (US$2.04 million) project is set to dredge 243,322 cubic meters of garbage out of the canals. The canals range from 467 meters to 3,533 meters long. 

The administration is also working on the East Flood Canal project, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The canal will be the primary flood control mechanism for East and North Jakarta. 

The 23.5-kilometer East Flood Canal will stretch across 11 subdistricts in East Jakarta and two subdistricts in North Jakarta. 

PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol Tbk, developer of the Ancol recreational area, is building another five submersible water pumps at its site in anticipation of floods in February. 

"We are building three new water pumps in West Ancol and two more in East Ancol to add to the existing 62 pumps; we hope they will be finished by February," Nurvita Sari, the developer's manager of property maintenance, said. 

The new and existing pumps, each able to pump 30 cubic meters of water per minute, will drain water from households in Ancol to the Ancol River. 

"After the water reaches Ancol River, it's the city's public works agency's responsibility to channel the water to Pluit and Sunter dams," she said. 

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), said that in February the sea level would rise 1.2 meters above normal levels due to a high tide, with the possibility of heavy downpours. 

YJ Harwanto, the developer's general manager of its corporate plan, said they were also raising the wave breakers, adding night shifts to watch over the water level and setting up an information board about the sea level. (fmb)

Hundreds clean five Transjakarta shelters

The Jakarta Post, Tue, 01/27/2009 1:25 PM   

It was a quiet Sunday morning in the usually busy street of Jl. Jend. Sudirman. There were no cars, just Transjakarta buses and crowds of people in some of the bus shelters along Corridor 1. 

Many Jakartans, young and old, men and women alike, grasped cleaning equipment, coming together to clean some of the Transjakarta bus shelters. 

"It's fun because this is not something that happens every day and because people from different schools and communities are working together," Sasya, a student of Tarakanita High School, said on Sunday. 

The Transjakarta busway and the city administration in cooperation with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and sponsored by PT Coca-Cola Bottling Indonesia company held the "Cleaning the Transjakarta Bus Shelters together with Coca-Cola" event on Sunday. There were dozens of people cleaning each shelter. They cleaned the windows, swept the floor, collected trash, and pulled stickers off the walls. 

"I think there were more than 50 people to each shelter, far too many in fact, because I saw there were people doing nothing while others were working," Sasya said. 

There were hundreds of volunteers from the company, the Transjakarta employees, high school and college students, the marines, and various communities such as the Jakarta Green Monster and the Green Map, cleaning five of the total of 20 shelters along Corridor 1 from Blok M, South Jakarta to Kota, Central Jakarta. 

As of January, Transjakarta company operates 269 single buses and 13 articulated buses along 97.35 kilometers of exclusive bus lanes. 

It has 120 shelters along the routes. (JP/fmb)

Related Article:

Letting others pick up our garbage, leaving the city dirty


Monday, January 26, 2009

Bus plunges into ravine, killing 6

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 01/26/2009 8:53 AM  

An intercity bus bound for Wonogiri, Central Java, plunged into a ravine in Garut, West Java, early Monday morning, leaving six killed and dozens injured. 

According to Rahmat Saefullah, a Transportation Agency official at the scene, the Kramat Jati bus slipped into the 200-meter gorge as it attempted to round a curve. 

"This is the second accident to have occurred at this exact location. A similar incident happened two years ago, but with lesser casualties," he said, as quoted by tempointeraktif.com. 

Deceased passengers and victims were taken to Garut General Hospital and Bandung's Hasan Sadikin Hospital. 

The cause of the accident remains under investigation, however, according to Prianan police chief Anton Charliyan,  the driver had most likely fallen asleep at the wheel. (amr) 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Call to Accommodate Budget Airlines

The Jakarta Globe, Putri Prameshwari, January 23, 2009 

New aviation laws have created the opportunity for private investors to build and operate airports catering to budget or low-cost airlines, an aviation official said this week. 

“As long as the investor is fully committed to serving the public, they can build such an airport,” said Budhi Mulyawan Suyitno, the director general of civil aviation at the Ministry of Transportation. 

Currently, passengers of low-cost carriers share the same terminals with regular flights. 

Under a 2009 aviation law, the private sector can take part in building and managing airports in the country. Presently, airports in eastern Indonesia are managed by state-owned PT Angkasa Pura I, while those in western Indonesia are operated by PT Angkasa Pura II. 

Suharto Abdul Majid, the head of the air transportation forum of the Indonesian Transportation Society, said that there should be a clear difference between low-cost carriers and full-service airlines in the country. 

“One of the problems is that Indonesian cities don’t have secondary airports that are dedicated to serving passengers of low-cost carriers,” he said, adding that regular airports charged high rates for carriers to rent hangars and aerobridges. 

Suharto said that the boundaries between the two kinds of airlines still remained unclear. However, he said, safety should be the main priority, ahead of offering low-priced tickets. 

“The government should make a distinction between low-cost and full-service airlines,” he said, adding that the main difference between the two was that “low-cost carriers sell food and beverages.” 

Airports for low-cost carriers should still offer safety and comfort for passengers, Budhi said. 

“But they should be simpler than regular airports,” he said. “The real challenge is how to make them comfortable for the passengers.” 

Following the fall of President Suharto in 1998, the country’s airline industry has grown rapidly. The number of low-cost carriers has increased, but passenger safety and plane maintenance have often been overlooked. 

In February 2007, seven of Adam Air’s Boeing 737-300 jetliners were grounded by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation after a hard landing in Surabaya, East Java Province, damaged one of the planes. A month earlier, an Adam Air jetliner with 102 people on board disappeared while flying over the Strait of Makassar.


Passengers slightly up ahead of 'Imlek'

Nurni Sulaiman and Yuli Tri Suwarni, The Jakarta Post, Balikpapan, Bandung | Sat, 01/24/2009 10:35 AM 

A predicted mass exodus of vacationers began to materialize in some big cities in the country Friday, three days before Chinese New Year next Monday. 

A slight surge in traffic was reported at Sepinggan Airport in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, and at the railway station and Husein Sastranegara Airport in Bandung, West Java. 

However, traffic levels remained normal at airports in Medan, North Sumatra, and Semarang, Central Java. Abdullah Husin, a spokesman for state airport company Angkasa Pura I, which operates Seping gan airport, said that the slight surge in the number of passengers was largely due to an increase in tra velers to Surabaya, Jakarta and Yogyakarta. 

"On normal days, the average number of passengers departing and arriving at the airport is 10,000 people, but on Friday that rose to 12,000," Abdullah said. 

The volume of travelers was still far less than that during the Idul Fitri and Christmas holidays, he said, adding that no additional flights had been prepared to meet the increased activity. 

The Bandung office of state railway company PT Kereta Api added 10 executive coaches to its trains on the day to cope with an increase in passenger numbers. 

Bambang Setyo Prayitno, a spokesman for the company, said the number of executive passengers to and from Bandung was up 20 percent from the average of 2,200 passengers per day. 

The greatest increase on the day was in the number of passengers to Semarang, Yogyakarta, Solo and Surabaya. 

Husein Sastranegara airport reported that it was running at full capacity, compared to 60 to 70 percent of capacity on normal days. 

In Semarang, passenger numbers were also normal at the Tawang railway station and Ahmah Yani Airport. 

Rizal Harahap and Suherdjoko contributed to this article from Medan and Semarang.


Jakarta ‘most at risk’ of climate change

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 01/23/2009 9:33 AM  

Of all cities in Southeast Asia, Jakarta is the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, a study reveals.

The Singapore-based Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA) ranked Central, North and West Jakarta at the top of a list of administrative regions prone to climate change, followed by Mondol Kiri province in Cambodia and East Jakarta.


 

The report, prepared by economists Arief Anshory Yusuf and Herminia A. Francisco, reveals Jakarta is vulnerable to all types of climate-change related disasters except for tropical storms.

“It is frequently exposed to regular flooding but most importantly, it is highly sensitive because it is among the most densely-populated regions in Southeast Asia,” said the report released Wednesday.

Arief is an environmental economist at Padjadjaran University in Bandung.

The EEPSEA assessed Jakarta’s history of exposure to five types of natural disaster —floods, landslides, drought, sea-level change and tropical storms — in the period from 1980 to 2000, along with those of 530 other areas in Southeast Asia.

The results were drawn up by considering each area’s exposure to disasters and its ability to adapt to such threats, and comparing those findings with the vulnerability assessment framework of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Other vulnerable areas in Indonesia include West Sumatra and South Sumatra, the study says.

The study also reveals that all regions in the Philippines, Vietnam’s Mekong River Delta, Cambodia, North and East Laos and Bangkok are vulnerable.

“The Philippines, unlike other countries in Southeast Asia, is not only exposed to tropical cyclones, but also many other climate-related hazards; especially floods, landslides and droughts,” it said.

In Malaysia, the most vulnerable areas are the states of Kelantan and Sabah.

Thailand and Malaysia are the most capable of adapting to the impacts of climate change, according to the report.

“Overall, the areas with relatively high adaptive capacities are in Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam whereas areas with relatively low adaptive capacities are mostly in Cambodia and Laos,” the EEPSEA said. 

The EEPSEA was established in 1993 to support research and training in environmental and economics studies. It is supported by the International Development Research Center, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the Canadian International Development Agency.

A study by the State Ministry for the Environment revealed earlier that flooding, combined with a rise in the level of the sea could permanently inundate parts of Greater Jakarta, including Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

International activists have branded Indonesia the world’s third biggest polluter after the United States and China, mostly due to widespread forest fires.

Developing nations, including Indonesia, have repeatedly called on rich nations to provide financial assistance to enable them to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Trains collide in Bojonegoro, two died

The Jakarta Post | Fri, 01/23/2009 8:24 PM  

A passenger train traveling in high speed collided with a freight train at Kapas Station, Bojonegoro, on Friday afternoon, killing two crew men and injuring three. 

Those killed in the accident are freight train driver Sarjan and his assistant  Agus. The injured ones are passenger train driver Harjo Suwito and two other victims that have not been identified. 

The victims were later taken to Sosodoro Djatikoesoemo hospital. 

Investigators from the Bojonegoro police and officials at the train station suspected that the accident was caused by a failure in operating the interchanging railway track. However, they said that more time needed to proof the initial assumption. (and)

Council nods on 20% fare cut

Fri, 01/23/2009 4:03 PM, The Jakarta Post 

After a week of a debacle over the reduction of public transportation fares following the recent fuel price cuts, the City Council finally approved Thursday a cut of Rp 500 or 20 percent, for minivan and regular bus fares. 

Once the reduction is enacted, the fares will be the same as before the fuel price hikes in May last year. “Fares for limited-seat and economy-class buses will be reduced to Rp 2,000 [from current Rp 2,500], while fares for minivans will be axed to Rp 2,500 [from Rp 3,000],” council’s deputy speaker Dani Anwar said. 

Dani said the decision was final since it had been agreed upon by the council during the meeting of council leaders on Thursday. 

“The decision is also in line with the recommendation made by the City Transportation Council that represents relevant parties, including public transport operators and the administration,” he said.

The transportation council had earlier recommended a cut of Rp 500. 

According to Dani, the council would submit the decree to Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo, who is expected to immediately enact the new tariff. 

He said the public transport operators should comply with the new tariff because those operators had been involved in the discussion before the council made its decision.  

Governor Fauzi Bowo said that his administration would announce the cut on Friday. 

The cut, however, is higher than the administration’s proposal of 10,33 percent, or between Rp 200 and Rp 400. The Jakarta chapter of the Organization of Land Transportation Owners (Organda) said earlier that it would go along with the administration’s plan, but would oppose higher cuts, stating that public transport operators are coping with soaring expenses. 

Organda secretary TR Panjaitan said that his organization would reject the new tariff. 

“Should the governor impose the new fare cuts, we will go on strike,” he said. 

Separately, transportation experts from the Indonesian Transportation Society (MTI) called on the administration to draw up a standard formula to calculate all public transportation fares, in order to provide certainty to all parties and avoid unnecessary disputes. 

“There should be a standard mechanism to determine public transportation tariffs, so that the administration and the operators could easily adjust the tariff without getting involved in lengthy debates,” said MTI member Harya Setyaka. 

He urged the government to overhaul the land transportation system in the city for the sake of better services to passengers, saying that the current system of transportation was unmanageable. 

“Among the problems to address are inefficient bus routes, unaccountable ticketing systems and illegal fees”, he said.  

Citing the Transjakarta busway, Harya suggested the administration adapt a similar system for managing all the other regular bus services in the city.
 

Bali to establish disaster management board

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 01/23/2009 1:46 PM  

Bali will soon establish a special board to manage natural disasters, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said in Denpasar on Friday. 

He said that the board would work to minimize various social problems, including fatalities and material losses, which could be inflicted if a natural disaster struck the province. 

"The establishment of the Disaster Management Board is based on meticulous planning and study and it is expected to be effective by the middle of this year," the governor said, as quoted by Antara. 

He said that the board was of great importance for Bali, which is the most popular tourist destination in Indonesia. 

"The new board is expected to be able to map disaster-prone areas in the province and will study the possible risks of any disaster," Governor Pastika said. (dre)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

AirAsia launches Bangkok to Bali flights

Kuala Lumpur (ANTARA News) -- Malaysia`s low cost carrier AirAsia Tuesday launched its direct daily flights to Bali from Bangkok. 

In a statement here Tuesday, AirAsia said the route, which was opened for booking on Dec 17, 2008, would further strengthen its aggressive expansion plans. 

The airline was quoted by Bernama as saying Tuesday also marked the start of its maiden flight to Guangzhou, China from Bangkok. 

Both routes are operated by Thai AirAsia, an associate of the AirAsia group. 

"To commemorate this special occasion, the airline is offering special low Fares online for flights to Bali from Bangkok. 

"The flight is now on sale for 999 baht (100 baht = RM3.57) one way," it said.

2-wheeler sales hit 6.2 million

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 01/21/2009 12:57 PM  

Easier access to bank loans, coupled with worsening traffic congestion mainly in Greater Jakarta, boosted new motorcycle sales last year by 32 percent.

Motorcycle sales topped a record 6.21 million units last year as against 4.68 million units in 2007, according to PT Astra International and the Indonesian Motorcycle Industry Association (AISI) Tuesday. 

Last year’s sales defied high fuel prices and higher lending interest rates. 

The government increased fuel prices nearing the end of the first semester by 28.7 percent on average, pushing up inflation and interest rates to 9.5 percent until early December. 

Motorcycle sales are often used to gauge the purchasing power of middle to low-income consumers. 

According to AISI, the largest sales were recorded in August last year, when 612,032 new motorcycles hit the street.

Honda once again ruled last year’s market by selling 2.87 million units,  or 46 percent of the total market, up from 2.14 million in 2007 or 45 percent of two-wheelers sold. 

Closely trailing behind was Yamaha, selling 2.46 million units with a market share of 39 percent. In 2007, Yamaha sold 1.83 million units keeping the same market share. 

Four-stroke engine motorcycles with below 125 cylinder capacity are the country’s most popular type due to fuel efficiency, low maintenance costs and being easy to ride. 

They are designed to suit the Indonesian average body size and can weave in and out of traffic jams. 

Indonesia is the third largest market for motorcycles in the world, after China and India. 

The boom in motorcycle sales may end this year as AISI and several motorcycle financing companies have forecast a bleaker outlook given the deepening global economic downturn. 

Although Bank Indonesia’s benchmark interest rate is on a declining trend, with the latest cut putting the rate at 8.75 percent, weaker purchasing power could dent demand, which it is estimated may drop by up to 30 percent. 

Around 80 percent of motorcycle purchases are financed by loans. 

As reported earlier, the Indonesian Financing Company Association (APPI) forecasts its members will disburse a total of around Rp 100 trillion (US$9 billion) worth of loans this year, down from an estimated Rp 135 trillion last year. 

“From now on, the problem for us is on the demand side,” APPI chairman Wiwie Kurnia told The Jakarta Post Friday. 

Financing companies currently offer customers interest rates of between 18 and 20 percent, according to the association. 

Performance of financing companies normally trails closely behind demand for cars and motorcycles, which is expected to plunge as people’s purchasing power is eroded by the impact of the global economic downturn, which is hitting international trade activities. 

Last year, 42 percent of finance company loans went to motorcycle buyers, while another 42 percent went to automobiles and 16 percent to heavy machines. 

“Loan applications dropped significantly during the last quarter (of last year),” WOM Finance president director Suwandi Wiratno said. 

WOM is the financing arm of Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII), which is controlled by Malaysian-based Maybank. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Poor security and kite flying noted at Plumpang fuel depot

Alfian, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 01/20/2009 2:44 PM  

Despite being the country’s most vital distribution point  for fuel supply to the capital, the Plumpang depot run by state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina has been run for far too long with extremely lax levels of security.

While investigations into the cause of Sunday’s blast have not reached clear conclusions, top officials have commented on the weaknesses and vulnerability of lax depot security, as well as noting previous terrorist threats.

Located in a dense housing area of North Jakarta, the depot is only marked off by a thin wire fence, without any safety ditch or even modest barriers.

Empty spaces just outside the depot have often been used by the locals to fly kites, hovering low above the depot.

There are a growing numbers of thugs who have regularly extorted truck drivers on their way to the depot, stealing fuel left in trucks for sale on the nearby black market.

“The safety standard of all Pertamina depots will be reviewed. Not only for Plumpang,” said State Minister for State Enterprises Sofyan Djalil in response to the weak security at the Plumpang fuel depot.

It was not until the blast that he requested Pertamina to construct a 50 meter wide water-filled ditch. 

With 20 percent of national fuel distribution capacity in the depot, tank number 24 exploded late Sunday, with the loss of 3,000 kiloliters of subsidized Premium gasoline.

Plumpang is Pertamina’s largest depot for supplying fuel in Greater Jakarta, which needs around 9,420 kiloliters of Premium and 4,677 kiloliters of subsidized diesel per day. 

The depot’s installed storage capacity is actually bigger than the available area should hold, and the area should be expanded in view of the number of tanks. It has 24 storage tanks; seven for gasoline, five for diesel and the remaining for other fuels including liquefied petroleum gas and aviation fuel.

The depot’s Premium tanks have a total storage capacity of 85,348 kiloliters, with 91,456 kiloliters for diesel.  The Sunday inferno stopped depot operations for 18 hours. Although there was no massive shortage in Greater Jakarta, several gas stations ran out fuel Monday, said downstream oil and gas regulator BPHMigas head Tubagus Haryono. 

Pertamina claimed it had complied with security standards and safety procedures.

“The depot tanks passed a certified test before they were put into operation,” the embattled Pertamina president director, Ari H. Soemarno, said.

The police anti-terrorist squad found materials used for creating bombs in a house located in the neighborhood of the depot in October last year.

Ari admitted the depot was just too close to the surrounding neighborhood. “The land occupied by the residents is actually Pertamina’s and occupied illegally. This matter needs to be regulated in the future.”

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a retired three-star Army general, has frequently visited the depot on the occasion of fuel shortages in Greater Jakarta, but somehow missed seeing the extremely poor security of the depot in terms of fencing and safety ditches.

 

Plumpang depot profile

  • Located in Plumpang, North Jakarta
  • Built in 1972 and began operation in 1974
  • The depot has 24 storage tanks in total
  • Seven of the tanks are for Premium gasoline storage with a total capacity of 85,348 kiloliters. Five other tanks are for diesel with a total capacity of 91,456 kiloliters.
  • The remaining tanks are for other fuels.
  • Plumpang depot serves 645 fuel stations in Greater Jakarta. It distributes 9,420 kiloliters Premium gasoline and 4,677 kiloliters diesel per day. It supplies high octane Pertamax amounting to 531 kiloliters per day and Pertamax Plus amounting to 190 kiloliters.