More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal

More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal
Volkswagen has admitted it installed illegal software into 11 million 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter diesel engines worldwide (AFP Photo/Josh Edelson)

Volkswagen emissions scandal

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission
Analsyts say it is irresponsible to link the crash of a Ukraine International Airline Boeing 737-800 to the 737 MAX accidents (AFP Photo/INA FASSBENDER)

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 commercial jet.

QZ8501 (AirAsia)

Leaders see horror of French Alps crash as probe gathers pace

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Metromini opposes new competitor

Thu, 02/28/2008 11:29 AM, The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA: Dozens of Metromini bus drivers held a strike Wednesday against a new competitor operating from Blok M terminal, South Jakarta.

The drivers parking their orange minibuses outside the Jakarta Transportation Agency offices on Jl. Taman Jati Baru I, Central Jakarta. They demanded the administration stop a Patas bus service which runs run from Blok M to Kampung Rambutan terminal in East Jakarta and Blok M to Pondok Labu bus terminal in South Jakarta.

In three weeks since the new service became available Metromini operators saw their income plunged by 80 percent, they said.

"It's unfair," a driver, Marbun said, as quoted by

Having failed to meet any agency officials to deliver their protest, drivers left the venue at around 1:30 p.m.

The drivers said they would return March 1 in another strike

Two women beaten, robbed in taxi

JAKARTA (Jakarta Post): Two women, both foreign nationals, were robbed Saturday night in a taxi they hailed in Kemang.

At around 9 p.m., the two women entered a taxi on Jl. Kemang Raya in South Jakarta. After driving for several minutes on the same road, the driver slowed the taxi and two men jumped into the backseat of the vehicle, entering from both sides.

Without saying a word, the well-built and neatly dressed men struck the young women as the driver sped away. The women shouted for help, but none of the other drivers or pedestrians on the busy street came to their aid.

One of the women said several people on the street saw what was happening but chose not to help.

"I thought it was safe to use the taxi, especially since I took it from the crowded Jl. Kemang on a Saturday night," she told The Jakarta Post.

One of the women was able to jump into the front seat of the taxi and then escape through the passenger door of the moving vehicle, suffering cuts and bruises.

The other woman was driven around and robbed of all her belongings, including her passport, a cellular phone, cash and jewelry, before being left on Jl. Sudirman in Central Jakarta.

Another taxi stopped and the driver took the woman to the nearest police station, where officers took her statement before taking her back to Jl. Kemang and then checking on her friend, who had been taken to Global Doctor medical center.

Media reports revealed there were 13 cases of robberies targeting taxi passengers in 2007, while there have already been six reported cases this year. Most of the victims are women. (dre)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Papua regency enters venture with Merpati

JAYAPURA, Papua (The Jakarta Post) : The Tolikara regency administration has forged a joint venture with PT Merpati Airlines, investing Rp 7.4 billion (US$822,000) in a Fokker 27 plane to serve the Jayapura-Wamena route.

The initial phase of the cooperation, during which all profits will go to the administration, will last seven months.

"We have handed over the money to Merpati, and the plane will start operating today," said Tolikara Regent John Tabo in Jayapura on Tuesday.

The plane will fly the Jayapura-Wamena route three times daily with tickets costing Rp 550,000.

Tolikara is located in the Pegunungan Tengah region and Wamena acts as a transit city.

Tabo said the number of daily flights on the Jayapura-Wamena route remained limited and unable to cope with people's transportation needs.

Regencies in Pegunungan Tengah are enjoying sufficiently rapid growth in the current special autonomy era that limited air transportation is seen as a setback.

Mandala accelerates Boeing retirement

Agustina Wayansari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

PT Mandala Airlines retired four of its aging Boeing 737-200 planes earlier than planned Tuesday, expecting to replace them soon with four new planes from Airbus.

"With the fuel prices at US$100 it is time for Mandala to review the operation of the Boeings," Mandala CEO Warwick Brady told reporters.

Brady said from the retirement of the Boeings, which was initially planned for December, Mandala could save up to 43 percent per seat on fuel consumption.

"Not only do we want to operate modern planes to comply with safety and reliability issues, the Airbuses will also help us reduce (operational) costs up to 30 percent," Brady said.

Brady said the small engines used in the Boeings, which had been in operation for between 20 and 25 years, needed more fuel than the Airbus engines. They also had high maintenance costs as they needed up to three-month stays in the hangar for regular check-ups.

Ahead of the arrival of the new Airbuses, the airline company currently operates four Airbus A320s, two Airbus A319s and two Boeing 737-400s, which will also be put into retirement later this year.

Mandala has ordered 30 Airbuses worth US$1.8 billion to be delivered gradually through 2011, and expects to operate 44 Airbuses in 2012.

With the new planes coming this year, the company aims to increase its total passengers by 50 percent. An A320 can carry up to 180 passengers and the A319 can carry up to 144 passengers. The Boeing 737-200 has a capacity of 120 seats.

Mandala currently serves 24 routes to major cities in Indonesia, including the recently initiated destinations of Banjarmasin in South Kalimantan, Solo in Central Java and Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara, said Brady, adding that they were reviewing adding more routes.

Revenue management and networking director Ai Ling said Mandala would offer a special price starting from Rp 50,000 (around US$5.40) for domestic destinations following the launch of its new planes.

She also said the airline had cooperated with the Singapore Tourism Board to provide free ferry tickets from Batam to Singapore and vice versa for Mandala passengers, as well as to give a 50 percent discount for children during school holidays in June and July this year.

The airline said due to a restructuring plan it had improved on-time performance to over 85 percent of flights within 15 minutes of scheduled arrivals and 99 percent within one hour.

Bad roads slow Indonesian growth, hurt competitiveness

Novia D. Rulistia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The state of land transportation is not only poor but seems to be getting worse, a seminar revealed, citing a global survey that put Indonesia's ranking in a worse position this year than last year.

Bambang Susantono, deputy to the coordinating minister for the economy for infrastructure and regional development, said Tuesday that Indonesia was ranked 91 among 131 countries surveyed by the World Economic Forum in the transportation infrastructure area.

Indonesia was 89th last year.

Bambang said the infrastructure sector was eroding the country's economic competitiveness.

"From the aspect of competitiveness itself Indonesia ranks 54th out of 131 countries."

Bambang said problems often occurred such as bottleneck and delays in logistics deliveries along Java's northern coastal highway.

"Such conditions create logistical obstacles which are hampering the country's economic growth and diminishing our competitiveness index even further," he told the seminar on Indonesia's state of transportation.

Therefore, Bambang said, the government planned to speed up road infrastructure projects to help solve bottleneck problems in the country's main trading lanes by increasing the infrastructure budget.

"To help solve the problem, we will first focus on creating better access in certain areas which support the economy, like the eastern parts of Sumatra, Kalimantan and Java's northern coastal highways," he said.

Also, the government will focus on improvements in industrial areas, such as in Cikarang, West Java, and Jababeka, as well as the construction of toll roads from Cibitung to Tanjung Priok ports.

To do that, the government has increased budget allocations for infrastructure projects in the past several years, Bambang added.

In 2005, the government allocated Rp 20.9 trillion for infrastructure, of which Rp 8.9 trillion was set aside for transportation.

This year, the infrastructure budget allocation has reached Rp 61.9 trillion with Rp 33.8 trillion for transportation.

However the budget for roads management this year is only Rp 18.41 trillion, according to director general for highways at the Public Works Ministry, A. Hermanto Dardak. Only 45 percent of the budget is to be used for road expansion.

The remaining 55 percent, equal to Rp 10.19 trillion, will be used for the preservation of 33.78 kilometers of roads and 27,456 meters of bridges, as well as the improvement of road structures.

The road expansion projects will consist of the construction of 1,800 kilometers of bridges and roads.

"The increase in budget is simply not enough," Bambang said.

"In addition, the budget increase should be balanced by other efforts, like transportation regulations, improving the quality of human resources and the involvement of the private sector."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Govt to speed up construction of Cibitung-Tanjung Priok turnpike

The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA (Antara): Construction of the Cibitung-Tanjung Priok turnpike will be accelerated to overcome traffic jams from and to Jakarta's Tanjung Priok seaport, a government official said.

"The government will speed up construction of the turnpike from Cibitung to Tanjung Priok port," deputy for infrastructure and regional development to the coordinating minister for the economy, Bambang Susantono, said Tuesday on the sidelines of a seminar on the medium-term national development program in the transportation sector.

Bambang said the acceleration would be part of the government's efforts to resolve traffic problems around Tanjung Priok.

The government will also extend the turnpike to industrial areas in Cikarang and Cikarang Timur, he said.

The government has earmarked Rp 200 billion to clear land for the construction of the Cibitung-Tanjung Priok tollway, he said.

Yogyakarta hails new Trans Jogja busway

Slamet Susanto, The Jakarta Post, Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta has welcomed the newly launched Trans Jogja with hopes the system, similar to the TransJakarta busway, can provide affordable, comfortable public transportation.

Thousands of residents, including students, have used the new busway since its official opening early last week by Governor Sultan Hamengkubuwono X.

Mothers and children, students and workers have traveled to traditional markets, shopping malls and offices across the city with fares costing only Rp 1,000 (approximately nine U.S. cents) during the ongoing trial period.

One passenger, Himawan, said he was pleased with the new bus service.

"Now, it's easier for me to reach Adi Sucipto airport by taking the busway. Previously, people had difficulty getting to the airport due to a lack of transportation options," he said.

Amini, a resident of Wates, Bantul, went sightseeing Tuesday in Yogyakarta with her youngest daughter. They traveled around the city and reached the Jogja Kembali Museum in 10 minutes from their home.

"Traveling on the Trans Jogja is more comfortable, safer and cheaper than using existing public buses," she said.

"I hope this system will be maintained and developed in the future."

Local transportation office head Sigit Haryanto said the trial would continue through March. 1.

He acknowledged there were still faults in the service; for example many ticket cards could not be used and other vehicles still traveled in the busway lanes.

"We have assigned employees to order vehicles not to park in busway lanes, and will put up signs so vehicles do not park there anymore," Sigit said.

Employees and security guards have been stationed at all bus shelters to maintain security and make passengers feel safer, Trans Jogja shelter guard Akbar said Tuesday.

"We are paid to ensure security on the new service," he said.

A ticket attendant at the Condong Catur shelter, Aminah, said after the trial period ended, authorities would raise fares for students and the general public.

Aminah said passengers could buy single trip tickets at the shelters, while travel cards and student tickets would be made available at outlets and the local transportation office. Travel cards would have a minimum price of Rp 15,000 and could be re-charged to Rp 25,000, Rp 50,000 or Rp 100,000, she said.

"The public will be required to pay Rp 2,700 per trip, while students will pay only Rp 2,000," she said.

Trans Jogja driver Saptono said the buses had been designed to ensure passenger safety and comfort.

"We hope the Trans Jogja will serve Yogyakarta's need for good public transportation," Saptono said.

The Trans Jogja is operated by PT Jogja Tugu Trans, owned by a consortium consisting of the Sleman Youth, Kopata, Aspada and Puskopkar cooperatives and state-owned transportation company Perum Damri.

Trans Jogja buses travel on dedicated busway lanes across the province, 16 hours a day, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m..

The consortium operate 54 air-conditioned buses with 34 seats each. As many as 67 shelters have been constructed across Yogyakarta at a cost of Rp 70 million each.

Traffic stops yield 18,000 tickets in 10 day operation

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The city police recorded 18,164 traffic violations during a 10-day operation designed to improve motorist discipline, which ended Sunday.

Officers chose to issue only 2,948 tickets, verbally warning the other violators.

The number is a 300 percent increase in recorded violations compared to regular operations conducted in the 10 days preceding the operation, said Comr. Irvan Prawira, head of the effort.

The bulk of the violations included ignoring traffic lights, speeding, driving against traffic flow and motorcyclists without helmets.

He said the police did not ticket most violators because they preferred to take a "persuasive" approach.

"We want to make motorists show more discipline in a soft way," he said.

During an earlier operation, the police recorded 5,004 violations and issued 4,320 tickets.

There were more officers involved in this second operation, from 600 to 700 in the first operation to 1,500.

The operation was prompted by an increase in violations and accidents recorded by the police in 2007, in which there were 52,793 recorded violations and 453 accidents on average monthly, while this year there were 52,984 violations and 538 accidents in January alone.

The operation, Irvan said, was also designed to discipline police officers.

"Through this operation we wanted to change their attitude and bring them under control," he said.

Police in the city are notorious for their lack of integrity. Many officers, including those working on the streets, often accept bribes rather than issue warnings or punishment, leading motorists to take advantage by driving recklessly and ignoring traffic rules.

Irvan said during the operation police recorded 86 traffic accidents including 10 fatalities, a decrease from the 108 accidents and 19 fatalities recorded over the 10 days prior to the operation.

According to a recent university study, there are an average of 300 motorcycle-related accidents every month.

Irvan said the police also aimed to address traffic congestion during the 10-day operation.

"It was difficult to overcome the traffic jams despite there being more officers deployed over 97 spots around the city. There were many other factors like flooding, damaged streets and out-of-order traffic lights," he said.

Irvan said motorists frequently blamed the police for the out-of-order traffic lights and not the Jakarta Transportation Agency, whose responsibility they are.

"We will keep on cooperating with the agency and other institutions to deal with traffic," he added.

Irvan said he was satisfied with the operation results but did not know whether it would be held again in the future.

"We still have to evaluate it on Wednesday. Then we will see. If motorists prove more disciplined, we might continue with the operation. If things get worse, however, we may hold an 'Obedient Operation', in which strict action, such as issuing tickets, will be taken against all violators," he said. (trw)

Monday, February 25, 2008

No more free buses for students

JAKARTA (JP): Less than six months after it was launched, the city administration has opted to temporary stop the operation ofits free school bus service.

Head of Transportation Agency Nurachman said his office had to wait for budget disbursement to resume the service this year.

"I don't know how to pay the operational cost because the budget is not yet agreed on," he said Monday.

The city budget is still being reviewed at the Home Affairs Ministry.

Nurachman said his agency would open a tender to pick a new bus operator as soon as the budget disbursed.

Launched in July 2007, the bus system served junior and senior high school students.

The administration allocated around Rp 5 billion (US$555,555) to procure and run 34 air-conditioned school buses, each with a capacity of 20-40 passengers.

The lack of financing led the administration not to renew its contract with the bus operator when the term ended in December2007, leaving all 34 buses in the garage.

The city budget is currently being discussed by the City Council and the city administration.(tif)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Singapore Airshow sees 13.4 billion dollars in deals: organisers

Singapore (ANTARA News) - The Singapore Airshow saw more than 13.4 billion US dollars in sales of aircraft and related equipment this week, thanks to a booming aviation market, organisers have said.

Another 2.6 billion dollars was generated from contracts for facilities and other services, they said in a statement issued late Friday, at the inaugural event.

The small but wealthy city-state decided to host its own airshow after organisers of the Asian Aerospace fair moved the event to Hong Kong after a long presence here.

The biggest deal announced at the airshow was an order for 56 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft worth more than 4.4 billion dollars by Indonesian low-cost carrier Lion Air.

Indonesian flag-carrier Garuda ordered four Boeing 777-300ERs worth 1.0 billion dollars and business jet operator BJets signed a 600-million-dollar contract for 40 Cessna and Hawker jets.

US-based Boeing's European rival said it had secured orders for five A330-200F cargo planes from BOC Aviation, an aircraft leasing firm fully owned by Bank of China.

The deal is worth a total of 877 million dollars at catalogue prices.

Brazilian aircraft-maker Embraer said US aircraft leasing firm Jetscape Inc has ordered 10 E190 jets, with options for another 10 and purchase rights for 10 more.

The deal is worth 375 million US dollars at list price. It could be worth up to 1.1 billion dollars if all the options and purchase rights are confirmed, Embraer said at the airshow.

Embraer also said Australia's Virgin Blue has signed a contract to exercise four purchase rights for E190 jets worth 150 million US dollars. This takes the number of firm orders from Virgin Blue to 24, consisting of six E170s and 18 E190s.

"The new deals announced at the airshow demonstrate once again that Asia is the world's fastest-growing aerospace market," managing director of the event's organisers Jimmy Lau was quoted by AFP as saying.

He said 70 percent of the exhibitors have already confirmed bookings for the biennial event in 2010.

More than 30,000 accredited industry professionals visited the show during the four trade days. The show was opened to the public at the weekend.

Damaged roads worsening traffic

The Jakarta Post

Forget speeding. Even for motorists traversing the city outside peak times, potholes have slowed the journey just the same.

Despite several deaths and injuries and numerous accidents that have resulted from the damaged roads, the city is still waiting for much-needed repairs to begin.

WATER FEATURE: Motorcyclists avoid a large puddle Friday on Jl. Sudirman. Potholes and puddles pose added risks to road users. JP/Arief Suhardiman

Potholes continue to appear around the city, on 30 roads submerged after heavy rains, including major thoroughfares Jl. Sudirman and Jl. Gatot Subroto, Jakarta Police Traffic Management Center says.

Traffic accidents predominantly involving motorcyclists have also increased.

At least three motorcyclists have died, two others suffered major injuries and three have had minor injuries from accidents caused by damaged roads since January, East Jakarta Police traffic unit head Comr. Indra Jafar said as reported in Kompas daily on Friday.

Jakarta Police traffic division accident unit head Comr. Irvan Prawira said there were 33 accidents caused by potholes, 21 of which involved vehicles, between Feb. 14 and 21.

"The real figure may be twice as large. Those who didn't report to police usually have suffered only minor injuries," he said.

City Public Works Agency head Wisnu Subagya Yusuf said, however, the damaged roads accounted for less than 1 percent of the total 7,650 kilometers of Jakarta roads.

Wisnu said he had proposed Rp 52 billion in the 2008 city draft budget to repair the damaged roads but would only start work "when the money becomes available and the rainy season is over".

Busway fire puts heat on operator

Mustaqim Adamrah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo has ordered an investigation into the fire that destroyed a compressed natural gas-powered TransJakarta bus on Friday.

"I asked the city police chief to thoroughly investigate the cause of the incident," the governor said at City Hall.

According to the Jakarta Police's Traffic Management Center, the bus caught fire around 8:30 a.m. near the Tugu Tani (Farmer's Monument) in Central Jakarta.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

Officials initially said the fire started because of a short circuit in the bus engine.

The bus, owned by PT Trans Batavia, was traveling on Corridor 2 of the busway system from Harmoni in Central Jakarta to Pulo Gadung in East Jakarta, while carrying dozens of passengers.

Trans Batavia provides 55 buses fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) to serve the corridor.

Passengers later reported smelling gas inside the bus in Harmoni, reported.

They said the odor disappeared, but returned when they arrived at the traffic lights near the monument, where the fire started.

Quoting the police's preliminary investigation, Fauzi said the fire was likely started by a short circuit in the bus' dashboard, "not a CNG leak as previously alleged".

"So, I call on residents to ignore this. They should not panic over the incident," he said.

Busway operator TransJakarta's head of operations, Rene Nunumete, also said a short circuit was the cause of the blaze.

Fauzi said he ordered TransJakarta and the city transportation agency to perform safety checks on all the busway vehicles.

"I want them to obtain a certificate for each of the busway buses that guarantees the buses are safe and roadworthy."

He said TransJakarta and the transportation agency would have to cooperate with a surveyor agency, like state-owned PT Sucofindo, to obtain the certificates.

"In the meantime, the busway will remain operational to maintain public services," he said.

A similar incident occurred last May, involving a CNG-fueled TransJakarta bus being repaired at a busway pool in Pulo Gadung. That incident left four people with serious injuries.

Nurmansjah Lubis, the secretary of City Council Commission B for economic affairs, blamed the poor management of TransJakarta for the fire.

"This incident proves that TransJakarta is careless when it comes to safety. It does not carry out maximum supervision," he said.

"TransJakarta could have avoided this incident if it carried out periodic safety checks," he said.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Super-speed Internet satellite blasts off in Japan

(CNN) -- Japan launched a rocket Saturday carrying a satellite that will test new technology that promises to deliver "super high-speed Internet" service to homes and businesses around the world.

A rocket carrying a super-fast Internet satellite lifts off from its launch pad on the Japanese island of Tanagashima.

The rocket carrying the WINDS satellite -- a joint project of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries -- lifted off its pad at 5:55 p.m. (0855 GMT).

If the technology proves successful, subscribers with small dishes will connect to the internet at speeds many times faster than what is now available over residential cable or DSL services.

The Associated Press said the satellite would offer speeds of up to 1.2 gigabytes per second.

The service initially would focus on the Asia-Pacific region close to Japan, a JAXA news release said.

"Among other uses, this will make possible great advances in telemedicine, which will bring high-quality medical treatment to remote areas, and in distance education, connecting students and teachers separated by great distances," JAXA said.

The rocket was launched from Japan's Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the Tanegashima Space Center.

Toyota controls 33.2% of car market in Indonesia

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - PT Toyota Astra Motor (TAM) controlled 33.2 percent of car sales in Indonesia in January 2008 with a sale volume of 13,751 units, while two of its products -- Innova and Avanza -- were granted the top brand award.

President of TAM Johnny Darmawan said in Jakarta on Friday that TAM`s January 2008 sales increased by 44 pct compared to that in last year`s same period, along with an increase in the national car sales in Indonesia reaching 41,380 units.

"This year`s January car sales made us more optimistic that the automotive market in Indonesia will increase this year," he said.

Indonesia`s car sales in January 2008 increased by 54 percent compared to last year`s. This year`s car sales had been projected at 500,000 units.

He said further that early this year Innova cars managed to strengthen its position as the most popular family cars in Indonesia, with sales reaching 4,904 units in January 2008, while Avanza sales reached 5,459 units with a small multipurpose car market share of 48.6%.

The sale of other Toyota cars, he added, had also increased, like Yaris with 575 units, Rush 861 units, Fortuner (4x2) 509 units, and 4x4 type 79 units.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Indonesia enters reciprocal aviation agreement with Singapore

Jakarta (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - The Indonesian government will allow Singapore's Tiger Airways to fly to Indonesia on a reciprocal basis, Transport Minister Jusman Syafii said.

Syafii said Singapore's low cost carrier will be allowed to fly to Jakarta if Indonesia's Mandala Airlines is allowed to land at Singapore's Changi airport. He said the Indonesian government will stick to the reciprocal agreement in mplementing liberalization of aviation between the two countries.

Singapore has asked Indonesia to allow its low cost carrier to provide flights to the four largest cities in the country - Jakarta, Medan, Denpasar and Surabaya, Syafii added.

Need info about traffic? Ask TMC

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

It was around 1 p.m. on Thursday and the city police's Traffic Management Center had already received 653 text messages from drivers since 6 a.m.

"We usually receive many SMSs during busy hours, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m." TMC officer Saefuddin told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

"Most of the SMSs are from workers asking about information on traffic jams and alternative roads to avoid the jams," he said.

The center was established in 2005 to improve public services and information on traffic.

In addition to providing services to the public, the TMC also helps the police monitor officers more easily as patrol cars are now equipped with the global positioning system.

The TMC receives questions and complaints 24 hours a day via SMS 1717, a call center (021-5276001), the Internet (, Suara Metro police radio (91.1 FM), fax (5276005) and police reports. The center also cooperates with Elshinta and Sonora radio stations.

"We want to be more open to the public. People can also enter the TMC building to watch how we work," another officer, First Adj. Insp. Krisman Menon, told the Post in his office at the city police headquarters, on Jl. Gatot Subroto in South Jakarta.

To monitor traffic in the city, the TMC has installed 60 CCTV cameras around the capital. The views captured by the cameras are displayed on a big screen at the TMC office.

However, Krisman said only 60 of the cameras were currently in working order.

"Actually it affects our service but we can't repair them because we don't have enough money," he said.

To run the center, TMC officers work in three shifts of 17 people each.

So far this year, the center has received 94,642 SMSs, 17,843 phone calls, 1,615 emails, 476 questions and reports from radio stations and 87 faxes.

It received about 4,000 SMSs when floods hit Jakarta early this month and paralyzed the toll road to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Krisman said most of the people were seeking alternative routes to the airport.

The TMC also receives complaints about damaged roads around the city.

"Many people think that traffic police are in charge of damaged streets ... but it is the Public Works Ministry's responsibility," Krisman said.

"However, we keep accepting the complaints. Then we inform the ministry about the people's complaints so that they can repair the streets."

In addition to providing information and accommodating complaints from Jakartans, TMC also receives crime tips, including on illegal gambling dens and drug dealing spots, as well as bomb threats.

"Most information is useful for us. But we received some bomb hoaxes last year. In one case we were able to arrest the criminal by tracking him through his phone number," said Krisman.

Krisman suggested that people who want to ask for information or file complaints send an SMS instead of calling the center.

"Sending an SMS is more effective than the telephone. You might hear a busy tone when you use the phone because there are many people trying to call us," he said. (trw)

Busway riders off since mixed traffic policy

Mustaqim Adamrah and Tifa Asrianti, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Commuters have been steering clear of the city's busway system as delays and travel times continue to lengthen.

City transportation agency deputy head Udar Pristono said the number of commuters dropped from 210,000 a day last year to 180,000 a day now.

Deputy Governor Prijanto said he was looking into the situation.

"Perhaps the decreasing number of ticket sales has been triggered by the longer time passengers need to take for a bus to arrive and to travel on," he said at City Hall.

"I'm intrigued to find out whether our busway system would reach an ideal state and if the number of passengers would rebound if we added more buses to particular routes. For example, we could move buses operating in corridors 4 to 7 to corridors 1 to 3," he said.

Utar said the drop in passengers may have been caused by the city's "mixed traffic" policy, instituted by Governor Fauzi Bowo late last year, which allows motorists to use the busway lanes in certain areas and at certain times.

It was introduced after motorists mounted a series of protests over traffic jams caused by the construction of corridors 8 to 10.

"Ideally, commuters need only 40 to 50 minutes to travel from Ragunan (in South Jakarta) to Dukuh Atas (in Central Jakarta), but it can take 80 minutes in practice because of those other vehicles also using busway lanes," said Pristono.

He said motorists were not allowed to pass through corridors 1 to 7 but could use 8, 9 and 10 until they were completed.

Aimed at temporarily tackling congestion across Jakarta, the policy has since drawn praise from motorists and anger from bus passengers.

Busway operator TransJakarta's infrastructure manager Taufik Adiwianto said busway passenger numbers had dropped considerably since the policy was implemented last year.

"Corridor 6 is the hardest hit, with a 10 percent decrease. It now serves only 18,000 passengers per day, compared to 20,000 previously," Taufik told The Jakarta Post.

He said the decrease in other corridors also affected the number of passengers on Corridor 1.

Corridor 1, which used to serve more than 80,000 passengers per day, now only serves between 70,000 and 75,000, according to Taufik.

"I'm sure the passengers prefer to drive their own cars or motorcycles as there is no difference, whether they're taking the busway or not," he said.

"Hopefully, the administration will review the mixed traffic regulation. The lanes should be exclusively for the busway only during the peak hours, which last between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. and between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.," he said.

Corridor Route


  1. Kota (W. Jakarta) - Blok M (S. Jakarta)
  2. Pulo Gadung (E. Jakarta) - Harmoni (C. Jakarta)
  3. Kalideres (W. Jakarta) - Harmoni (C. Jakarta)
  4. Pulo Gadung (E. Jakarta) - Dukuh Atas (C. Jakarta)
  5. Ancol (N. Jakarta) - Kampung Melayu (E. Jakarta)
  6. Ragunan - Kuningan (both S. Jakarta)
  7. Kampung Rambutan - Kampung Melayu (both E. Jakarta)
  8. Lebak Bulus (S. Jakarta) - Harmoni (C. Jakarta)
  9. Pinang Ranti (E. Jakarta) - Pluit (N. Jakarta)
  10. Cililitan (E. Jakarta) - Tanjung Priok (N. Jakarta)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Indonesia warns of massive power crisis 2008-02-20 18:16:47

JAKARTA, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Indonesian government warned on Wednesday that a massive power crisis could hit the most crowded island of Java in the coming days due to disruption in fuel supplies at major generators.

"The government is likely to announce an emergency situation" unless the problem is solved immediately, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Purnomo Yusgiantoro said in an open hearing with legislators here.

Storms and high tides have caused delays in fuel and coal shipment to five major generators on Java, home to about 60 percent of the national population, resulting in a deficit of 1,000 megawatts of electricity supplies.

The government will announce a state of emergency in power supplies when the deficit grows to 1,500 megawatts, the minister said.

Earlier in the day, the state-run electricity company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) issued a call for residents to cut electricity consumption by up to 20 percent until supplies are back to normal.

The Cilacap power plant in Central Java could suspend operation as soon as Thursday, as could the Tanjung Jati plant on Friday due to fuel constraints, the company said.

Other major plants are operating at lower capacity, PLN said in a statement, quoted by leading news website Detikcom.

Airport scanner not functioning

TANGERANG (Jakata Post) : The body entry scanner belonging to the National Narcotics Agency and used to identify drug smugglers through their body temperature at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport is out of operation.

Eko Darmanto, the intelligence chief at the airport's Customs and Excise Office, said the device had run out of the chemical substance on which it runs.

"It's been six months since we could use the device. The chemical substance can only be purchased in the United States," Eko told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

He said the customs office had reported the problem to the drug agency, which is looking for a partner company to provide the chemical substance.

Eko said airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II planned to install more sophisticated body entry scanners at the airport.

"The body entry scanner we currently use can only work through body temperature, but the new device to be operated by the airport operator can transparently detect the insides of the human body," he said.

However, the airport's plans for the new device are opposed by a legislative councilor and an NGO in Tangerang.

"It's all right if the airport operator uses the device to anticipate possible crime, but will the device apply to all passengers without exemption? What about religious leaders, state officials? Will they be treated the same as others?" Toton Al Bukhori, a local religious leader, told the Post.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Boeing wins order for 10 777-300 jets from Garuda Indonesia

Singapore (ANTARA News) - US aircraft giant Boeing Co said Tuesday it won an order for 10 of its 777-300ER jets from Garuda Indonesia, worth more than 1 billion US dollars at list prices.

The Jakarta-based flag carrier ordered four 777-300ER aircraft and decided to convert a previous order for six 777-200ERs to-300ERs, Boeing was quoted by Thomson Financial as saying.

The Chicago-based manufacturer also said Garuda confirmed a previous unidentified order for seven 737-800 jets placed in 2007 and said it converted 18 of its existing 737-700s on order to 737-800s.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Indonesia`a Lion Air to establish subsidiary in Malaysia

Jakarta (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - Lion Air, Indonesia's largest private airline, said it will soon open an operations base in Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia in a bid to become a major regional airline.

Lion Air would establish a subsidiary, Lion Langkawi, in cooperation with a local partner, its President Rusdi Kirana said last weekend. Rusdi said Lion Langkawi would use Boeing 737-900ER aircraft to serve domestic routes in Malaysia or international services.

Lion Air has also reached an agreement with Australia's Sky Airworld to establish a joint venture airline to be named Lion Air Australia.

Searching for green space in a concrete jungle

Kim Balmanno, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

As the sun rises on a small suburb in Jakarta's south, the street vendors, children and dog-walkers make their way, along with the birds and lizards, to the local park. But this is where the romantic image ends.

In reality, Guntur's park, Taman Tangkuban Perahu, is, at the time of writing, piled high with polystyrene containers, plastic cups, straws, paper and indiscriminate objects, along with copious amounts of dog faeces.

Children play in the park of a Jakarta suburb, where a broken overhead light hangs precariously over a playing court. Open green areas are limited in the city, forcing many children to play in the streets. (JP/Kim Balmanno)

Children must stick to the paths and those that exercise remain in an upright position, choosing to keep only their feet on the ground. There is no one doing sit-ups or sprawling on the grass as expected in an inner city park.

Fathers with their children are squatting on slippery slides and mothers, nannies and children are confined to the seats. The rest of the "green" area is a squalid mess.

Ibu Amerah is the principal at Ampri kindergarten, across the road from the park, on Jl. Merapi.

"We do not let the children play in the park, because we are concerned for their health," Amerah said.

"We can do nothing, it's the responsibility of the lurah (sub-district head) ... and they can't do anything either."

Her small school has 30 children aged between 3 to 6 years. They all play in the grounds of the kindergarten and are left to look out at the park's open space.

An ojek motorcycle taxi driver throws his cigarette butt onto a pile of rubbish. As he does so, he tells me what a disgusting mess the park is. I point to the cigarette and he laughs. Catching hold of the irony, he shrugs.

The park is void of rubbish bins.

"This is so the cart merchants won't steal them," said local resident Lim Sean Hang.

Ten minutes down the road, and crossing the Ciliwung River, the environment transforms into a haven of respite. A water fountain bubbles gently offering tranquility from the constant din of traffic, horns and vendors.

There are roosters in cages and doves in lofts. Statues frame friends talking and people lounge on chairs. The grass looks healthy. There are six cleaners who work from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, emptying the dozens of bins placed strategically around the park; they sweep, rake and provide maintenance. This is Suropati Park in Menteng.

Back in Guntur, Lim rolls his eyes.

"There is VIP living in Menteng, that's why it's always clean there," he said.

A visit to an RT (head of a neighborhood unit) in the Guntur area, Mukti, shed little light on the problem.

"I complained many times to the lurah ... three days later they started cleaning ... but every two days they must clean the park," said Mukti.

At regular meetings between the chief, the RT and the lurah, the rubbish is discussed but words fall and decompose like leaves in the park.

Malisi, the lurah of Guntur, is quick to pass the buck and the bulk of the responsibility onto the parks department.

"It is because the chief of the parks department has for a long time not been active," Malisi said.

"The parks department are responsible for giving to orders to clean the park," he said.

The parks in Manggarai, although dilapidated, seem to provide some fun for children. The "volleyball park" is used as a soccer field and before the overhead light, which hangs precariously over the court, was broken, it was apparently used nightly by adults to play badminton.

"The light was broken by strong winds in December," said Warti, a food vendor at the park, adding the exposed wires could prove dangerous in the current wet season if not fixed.

A man squats in one corner of the "tennis park" in Manggarai, sifting through a pile of old, burnt out and new rubbish. He is collecting remnants of cardboard to sell.

There is graffiti surrounding the park, but the children are laughing and playing on the swings. Despite the rubbish they appear happy to have some green space.

There are 250 students aged between 6 and 12 years at the nearby Manggarai 03 Elementary School.

"I don't bring the students to the parks outside of school time unless there is a sports game between schools. It's a slum area ... the park is not good but at least the children can run and play football," said Principal Maryati.

Manggarai is densely populated with 34,170 people crammed into condensed housing. The parks are an important space to "socialize and exercise" said Sarwo Handhayani, head of the department of city parks.

She added her department was committed to building green areas in each of Jakarta's 265 kelurahan (sub districts).

Since 2000, the department has built 100 communal parks of around 500 to 1000-meters-squared, she said, and would like to build two parks in each area but still had a long way to go.

"It's hard to get the land at the government price. They want to sell it at the market price."

She said the Manggarai community were outraged when two "slum" residents were asked to sell their homes to make way for a green area.

"The residents demanded Rp 9 million. They fought back so the department left them. We have no power," said Rachmati Busuki, the wakil lurah (deputy sub-district head) of Manggarai.

Sarwo said the department planned to buy 10 houses in 2007, but four residents refused to sell and they only managed to convert 5 of the homes into green space.

There are more than 5,000 children, aged between 5 and 14, who live in Manggarai. Teenagers and children currently flock to Taman Situiembang in Menteng with its large pond and chained monkeys. It is a haven for leisure seekers and a well-known hangout for romantics. Locals even throw out a line to fish.

Six cleaners maintain the park from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. There are five workers every day in Surapati Park and, according to Didet Prihadiati from the South Jakarta administration, there are five workers servicing the Manggarai parks eight hours a day.

However, Warti, who has operated her warung for 15 years at the "volleyball" park, says six workers come once a month and clean all of the Manggarai parks in one day.

According to parks department data, the budget allocated in 2007 to maintain and clean the parks in Jakarta was Rp 160 billion.

Sarwo said the 2008 budget for the central area is Rp 20 billion, while Rp 50 to 100 million has been allocated to the newly built Taman Menteng, 40 to 50 million for Suropati Menteng, 15 million for Situiembang Menteng and 2 billion for Monas.

These figures are similar to those of Guntur and Manngarai, but the difference between the parks is immense.

Each of the five locations in Guntur receives Rp 40 million per year, while the 11 locations in Manngarai receive 100 million every three months. This gives each location close to 40 million rupiah each year -- a similar budget to Suropati Park in Menteng.

Despite this, both Rachmati and Sarwo believe the residents should contribute to the parks maintenance. They also say the lack of aesthetics is due to the local residents.

"They don't have enough space to dry their clothes so they put them on the park fence," Rachmati said.

It seems that while Jakarta's green spaces are buried in rubbish, government responsibility is buried in bureaucracy.

The money set aside for cleaning is either not being used or the cleaning contractors are neglecting their obligations. Either way, the children and residents are the ones being left with substandard green spaces.

Waste problems continue to cause headaches

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Jakarta administration is still trying to determine the best way to deal with the 26,945 cubic meters, or 6,000 tons, of waste the city's 10 million residents produce each day.

Currently most of the garbage produced by households and offices in Jakarta is transported to the Bantargebang dump site in Bekasi, sparking anger from local residents.

The administration believes building more dumps -- which would use sophisticated waste treatment methods -- may be the solution to the waste problem in Jakarta.

City Sanitation Agency head Eko Bharuna said the establishment of one waste-to-energy facility would cost the administration up to Rp 200 billion (US$15.96 million), but in return the electricity it produced could be worth as much as Rp 1 trillion.

To compliment one such facility that already exists in East Jakarta's Cakung area, the agency has planned three more facilities to be located in Duri Kosambi in West Jakarta, Marunda in North Jakarta and Pulogebang in East Jakarta.

In total, the four facilities could treat up to 4,000 tons of garbage per day, Eko said.

"We are still hoping investors will help develop these projects," he told The Jakarta Post recently.

Sanitation experts regularly warn of Jakarta's garbage crisis worsening in the absence of new dump sites.

Piles of garbage are often left scattered around the capital for days as the city regularly encounters a shortage of garbage trucks.

Currently the city sanitation agency operates 774 of its own garbage trucks and rents 100 others, while private companies operate 165 garbage trucks and city market operator PD Pasar Jaya owns 58 trucks.

When fully operational, each of the 1,097 garbage trucks operating in Jakarta can carry 20.9 cubic meters of waste at any one time. Therefore, the city would need at least 1,278 trucks to adequately deal with the waste produced in Jakarta on a daily basis.

To make matters worse, experts have predicted waste produced in the capital will amount to 6,337 tons per day in 2010 and 6,678 tons in 2015.

To illustrate the dire situation Jakarta faces, experts often say if the 110-hectare National Monument Park was transformed into a temporary dump site, it would be completely submerged with rubbish within 40 days.

Khalisah Khalid from the Indonesian Environment Forum (Walhi) in Jakarta said it was high time for a paradigm shift.

A waste treatment bill is currently under deliberation in the House of Representatives. If passed all regional administrations will be obliged to tap garbage for its economic value, while open dumping will be forbidden.

"The bill will also encourage the local administration to empower local communities to manage their own waste," Khalisah said.

However, she said the fact the administration tends to focus on capital-intensive waste management facilities may hamper this process.

"Waste problems in the city cannot be overcome with just the use and management of technology. Since the garbage problem is related to consumption and production in the city, there should be a change in people's lifestyles," Khalisah said.

At least 20 subdistricts in Jakarta and dozens of others in Greater Jakarta have implemented reduce, reuse and recycle programs to manage waste.

These communities are able to enjoy the economic value of compost and charcoal as well as plastic goods and souvenirs produced from household waste.

Eko said such community initiatives had helped reduce Jakarta's daily waste production volume by up to 10 percent.

"However ... to reduce the amount of garbage produced in the city by 20 percent in the next five years we will have to develop an industry to market the products.

"We are cooperating with the State Ministry for State Enterprises in our search to find big industries to support community-based waste management programs. But to make it happen will take time," Eko said.

Garbage finds its place in Jakarta

Tifa Asrianti, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

In response to the city's lack of a proper waste system, several community members have taken it upon themselves to manage and recycle garbage.

Using simple recycling methods, they turn the waste into useful products, to the benefit of themselves and the city.

Endang Wardiningsih, a chemistry teacher at SMU 34 Pondok Labu high school in South Jakarta, said her concern about the waste problem in Jakarta grew as she took her students to Kepulauan Seribu regency in the 1990s. She wanted to help save the environment, but did not know what to do.

"In 1996, I heard about a seminar on garbage and its effect on the environment and I immediately grabbed the chance," Endang told The Jakarta Post.

Supriyadi DS, a resident of Susukan subdistrict, East Jakarta, had another reason to start recycling.

"It all began when our neighborhood unit joined a green competition. We needed fertilizer for our trees and plants, so we sorted our garbage and made fertilizer from the organic waste," Supriyadi told the Post.

While most people look down on garbage as useless, a waste management company in Bekasi, West Java, begs to differ.

PT Mittran was established by Hidayat more than 15 year ago with just a few employees. It has now grown to employ around 50 workers.

At first, the company produced agricultural machines, garbage choppers and other garbage processing machines. In 2003, the company started processing the garbage in its neighborhood.

"We wanted to reduce the amount of garbage while changing the mind-set that garbage is useless," Roy Kuntjoro, Hidayat's partner, told the Post last month.

Though they took different paths to recycling activity, all these individuals and companies have empowered the community to reduce waste and garbage in their neighborhoods.

Endang said she involved her students in recycling through the school's extracurricular Youth Scientific Project (KIR), held every Saturday.

"I don't have to tell the students what to do with the garbage anymore. The senior students teach the younger ones. Some of the senior students are invited to events to explain our recycling activities. The knowledge has been recycled as well," Endang said.

Supriyadi also gets support from his neighborhood unit chief, subdistrict chief and all the prominent figures in the neighborhood.

"We now sort our garbage into three categories: wet, dry and hazardous garbage. The wet garbage will be processed into fertilizer, while the rest will be taken to the final dump or taken by scavengers," he said.

PT Mittran also gets full support from the neighborhood unit chiefs who use its services. Roy said the company dispersed information on the program to the unit chiefs.

At first, the chiefs were doubtful. But after seeing how the program worked, they felt the benefit as their neighborhoods became cleaner, he said.

Seeing the success, people in other neighborhood units were interested in joining the program. In just three months, the company covered seven neighborhood units and it keeps growing.

"Now we serve 3,000 families around this area. We pick up 1.5 tons of garbage every day using three pickup trucks. We have around 20 workers to collect and process the garbage," he said.

The garbage processing in the Susukan neighborhood unit and at the school is done mostly by hand, while Mittran uses choppers to slice garbage into small pieces.

Endang said the recycling work at the school included making souvenirs, fertilizer and recycled paper. The souvenirs, such are key chains and refrigerator magnets, are made of pulp formed by cake casts. The fertilizer is made of leaves from surrounding trees and leftovers from the school's cafeteria. The recycled paper is made from newspapers and other paper.

To process the garbage, Mittran employs elementary school drop-outs or vocational school graduates. Roy said some of the workers are former thugs or ex-convicts.

Roy said the company put garbage bins in residential areas and picked up the garbage every day, charging each customer Rp 30,000 a month.

He said one bin could be used for one family or more. He added that the company sent out 45 new bins every week.

"It is much easier using garbage bins than cement bins in front of houses. We can load the garbage into the trucks in one or two minutes," he said.

Roy said after the garbage was brought to the garbage processing site, it was chopped and sieved to separate it.

Some of it is made into fertilizer by mixing it with peat and cow dung, while the rest is packed into brick sizes and used as fuel for Indocement, a cement factory.

Mittran has a contract with Indocement to supply 10,000 tons of refused derived fuel (RDF) per month.

"The cement factory wants to reduce its charcoal usage by 5 percent. They wanted to try the RDF and so far they are satisfied with the product," he said.

He said Mittran had two other garbage processing sites beside the one in Bekasi. One is located in Citeureup and the other in Gunung Putri, both in Bogor and incorporated with Indocement.

Udin, a resident who lives near the company, said he had been using Mittran's service for one year. He shares a garbage bin with a neighbor.

"My neighborhood is now cleaner than others who don't use Mittran's service," he said.