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. …

Monday, November 30, 2009

No emission stickers, no parking in our lots

The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Mon, 11/30/2009 11:39 AM

Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo said Sunday the city administration would only allow cars that have passed emission tests to use the city offices’ parking areas.

“We are moving forward on air quality improvement. Beginning Monday, two parking areas in the city hall will only allow cars that have emission test stickers to park inside,” Fauzi said during Car Free Day at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta.

This new arrangement will also be applied to sections of the parking area at the National Monument (Monas) park in Central Jakarta.

“This policy will also be applied in other city offices. This is our way of raising public awareness about the importance of emission testing,” he said.

Ridwan Panjaitan, head of the law enforcement unit at the Jakarta Environment Management Agency (BPLHD), said there were already five places that only provided parking areas for cars with emission stickers.

Cars without the stickers are not allowed to park inside PT Martina Berto and PT Dankos buildings in East Jakarta, Dharmais Hospital in West Jakarta, Sahid Jaya Hotel in Central Jakarta, and the BPLHD office in South Jakarta.

Ridwan said some sections of parking areas in Ciputra Mall and Trisakti University in West Jakarta, Senayan City in Central Jakarta, Indonesian Christian University in East Jakarta, Pondok Indah Mall in South Jakarta, Kelapa Gading Mall in North Jakarta, the five municipalities offices, and several other company buildings had also applied the policy.

“The companies, universities, and city administration that want to take this step are members of the Clean Emission Appreciation Movement. We are a group that aims to improve air quality,” he said.

“The movement has about 50 institutional members and I hope all of them will soon implement this policy,” Ridwan said.

Fauzi Bowo also officiated the city’s first air quality monitoring station on the same day.

The city spent Rp 5.5 billion to build the 6-square-meter station, which is equipped with various electronic tools that can measure air pollution in the area.

The station’s machines are directly connected to the BPLHD’s data center.

“This station helps us measure the city’s condition. By measuring the level of air pollution, we can really know how bad pollution is,” Fauzi said.

Though Fauzi said that his administration has been doing its best to improve the city’s air quality, he had not decided when the administration would begin the long planned mandatory testing.

“Someday, we will surely make the emission test mandatory, but everything must be prepared first,” said Fauzi.

Harry, a car user, said that he agreed with environmental policies such as mandatory emission tests.

“As long as these efforts are done continuously, I support them. The city administration just have to show they are serious,” he said. (mrs)

Compulsary for Jakarta Drivers to Have Emission Stickers


An emission test for buses, Monas, Central Jakarta(22/10/09).

JAKARTA, — Jakarta regional government, Monday, initiates the emission sticker zones for four-wheeled vehicles. The policy is one of the government's many attempts to improve the air quality.

The head of the Jakarta Environment Management Board (BPLHD), Peni Susanti said that, if the policy is set, then four-wheeled vehicles must pass the emission test and get the emission stickers to go through certain areas.

"One of the emission sticker areas is in Monas' IRTI (Indonesia Inter-recreation and tourism) parking space. The policy applies from Monday," Peni Susanti stated, Sunday, during the car free day on Thamrin and Sudirman streets.

Peni explained that to have clean and healthy air, the Jakarta government is currently preparing 25 areas to be emission sticker zones. Five of which are already enforced, such as around Dharmais Hospital, Sahid Hotel, PT Marina Berto, PT Dankos, and the office of Jakarta BPLHD.

As for the rest, they will be applied by stages on the next month. The other areas are around Ciputra Mall, Senayan City Mall, Jakarta City Hall, North Jakarta Mayor's Office, West Jakarta Mayor's Office, South Jakarta Mayor's Office, East Jakarta Mayor's Office, and Central Jakarta Mayor's Office, Trisakti University, UKI Hospital, Pondok Indah Mall I, Pondok Indah Mall II, Kelapa Gading Mall, PT Jiep, PT CMNP, PT Tri Dharma Wiesa, and PT Inti Ganda Persada.

"For four-wheeled vehicles without this sticker they are prohibited to pass through thouse areas," said Peni.

The Jakarta government has also provided emission testing devices for each of those zones. That way the cars can be tested on the spot. If the car is eligible then it can park in the emission sticker zone. If not, then it has to leave.

So far, the emission sticker applies only for four-wheeled vehicles. For for motor-bikes, the policy is coming in 2010. But the government will try to socialize this new policy first.

After the establishment of several policies the air quality in Jakarta has significantly improved. (SOE/C17-9)

Editor: jimbon

Source : Berita Jakarta

Sunday, November 29, 2009

City officiates first air quality monitoring station

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sun, 11/29/2009 1:38 PM

Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo officiated the first air quality monitoring station on Jl. Thamrin, Central Jakarta on Sunday.

“This is part of our way to raise the air quality. We will continue to keep on reducing the air pollution in the city,” said Fauzi.

The city spent Rp 5.5 billion (US$ 578,000) to buy the six-meter-square station. The station is equipped with various electronic tools which can measure the air pollution in the area.

“This tool helps us know the city's condition. By measuring the air pollution, we can be more encouraged to solve the problem,” he said.

Fauzi added that his administration was still trying to make preparation for mandatory emission tests.

“Everything must be prepared first," said Fauzi about the mandatory test which had been postponed several times. (mrs)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Haj managers must reveal accounts, says watchdog

The Jakarta Post
, Jakarta | Sat, 11/28/2009 1:07 PM

The Religious Affairs Ministry should improve transparency in its handling of funds paid for pilgrimages to Mecca, a watchdog said Friday.

Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) said the ministry had never provided the public with access to information on the disbursement of these funds.

"The House of Representative is the only institution that has dialogues with the ministry," ICW public service monitoring division coordinator Ade Irawan told The Jakarta Post.

The ministry also had overlapping roles, which had led the public to doubt its integrity, he said.

"The ministry is the regulator and administrator of pilgrimages, and is also the haj-performance evaluator," he said.

He recommended the government appoint an independent body as an administrator of the haj management, to prevent potential corruption.

"This independent body, through a website, should publicize data on the disbursement of these funds," he said.

"That's the cheapest way to make the information public."

The government could act as a regulator for the pilgrimage and an evaluator of the independent body.

"Haj management has fallen into the same pits, year after year," he said, pointing out that pilgrims suffered unnecessary hardships in terms of dormitories, transportation and food supplies.

Earlier, the House of Representatives' haj-monitoring team in Saudi Arabia reported that Indonesian pilgrims were subject to hardships they should not have had to endure.

The team noted problems with unsuitable accommodation. For instance, in some cases there was only one bathroom for 25 pilgrims.

"Not only that, we also found a number of shelters did not have sufficient water supplies," Muhammad Oheo Sinapoy from the Golkar Party said.

Indonesian pilgrims had departed late from Madinah to Mecca because transport had not run on time, the team reported, adding that most of the dormitories in Mecca were on the outer ring of the Masjid al-Haram grand mosque.

Just over one-third of the dormitories were within the inner ring of the grand mosque, they said.

The findings contradict a plan and regulations that stipulate that three-quarters of pilgrim dormitories must be near the grand mosque, the team said.

Contrary to statements made by lawmakers, the Religious Affairs Ministry director general for the Haj, Slamet Riyanto, said recently (via the ministry's website) he had established the Haj Media Center to inform the public of situations during the pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

The measure was an initiative undertaken by the ministry to improve transparency, he said. However, the website does not provide details on the disbursement of funds.

Ade said the only improvement the government had made was that was no increase this year to fees pilgrims paid for the pilgrimage. Pilgrims paid between US$3,240 and $3,575 this year, depending on which region they were from.

As of Thursday, 105 Indonesian pilgrims had died during the trip, mostly as a result of cardiac arrest or respiratory or circulation failures, reported.

Meanwhile, reported from Saudi Arabia that this year transportation arrangements were much improved, allowing better movement to perform the jumrah.

Related Article:

`Give haj management to private sector'

Report: 3 dead after cargo plane crashes in China

The Jakarta Post, (AP), Shanghai, China | Sat, 11/28/2009 10:52 AM

Police officers block traffic on a road near the crash site of a cargo plane at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China, Saturday. A Zimbabwe cargo plane crashed shortly after taking off Saturday from Shanghai's main international airport, killing three crew members, a government official said. AP

Chinese state media say three people have died after a Zimbabwe-registered cargo plane crashed at Shanghai's main international airport.

The official Xinhua News Agency earlier reported that all seven crew were alive, but now says three are dead.

Reports say the plane crashed shortly after takeoff Saturday when its tail struck the runway.

A Zimbabwe-registered cargo plane crashed shortly after taking off Saturday from a Shanghai airport with seven crew members aboard, state media and witnesses said.

The official news agency reported that four crew members, all foreigners, were injured.

China Central Television showed billowing thick black smoke at the scene, with police officers blocking closer access.

A reporter from Shanghai's Oriental Satellite Television told CCTV that the tail of the plane had broken in two or three parts, and hundreds of firefighters were spraying fire retardants on the plane.

The reporter said the four injured people were conscious.

Xinhua said the crash occurred at 7:40 a.m. (2340 GMT Friday).

In June 2006, a Chinese military plane crashed in eastern China's Anhui province, killing all 40 people aboard.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Malioboro to be Vehicle-Free on Weekends

Tempo Interactive, 26 November, 2009 | 15:15 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Yogyakarta: The Malioboro area will soon be transformed into a green area on weekends as the area will be vehicle-free on those days. “This will be implemented as soon as possible. If the mayor can issue the decree tomorrow, we will be able to draft the necessary regulation,” said Yogyakarta Traffic Police director, Comm. M. Ikhsan, when asked about the implementation date.

In order to realize green Malioboro, Ikhsan said he had coordinated with the Yogyakarta Transportation Office. Feasibility studies on the closing of this area have also been carried out. “Certainly we will arrange the system for the parking, street vendors, horse-drawn carts, rickshaws, and pedestrians,” he said.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Military Prepares Response Team For Possible Floodings in Jakarta

Tempo Interactive, Thursday, 26 November, 2009 | 15:31 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The armed forces said about 8,000 strong personnel consisting troops from its three divisions, the nasional search and rescue office is prepared to support relieve operations if severe floodings to occurred this year in the capital.

Head of the Public Communication of the Greater Jakarta Regional Military Command, Major Djaeni said, “Flooding is a routine annual occurance. Therefore we have prepared,” he said after a troop briefing on Thursday morning.

Maj Djaeni said the 8,000 emergency personnels consisted of troops from the army, navy, and airforce, and personnel from the National Search and Rescue and private rescue organization.

The military command said beside monitoring floods prone areas in the capital the emergency team will also monitor the suburbs of the capital which include Depok (West Java), Tangerang (Serang), and Bekasi (West Java).

The military said will deploy three of its amphibious vehicles to support evacuation process, beside other standard equipments like inflatable raft, inner tires, life jackets, generator set, excavator, tents, and emergency cooking set, and prepared its medical centers in diferent part of the capital to treat floods victims.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Toilet mystery on Cathay Pacific flights to Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific says its fleet of Airbus planes has been hit by a spate of mysterious toilet blockages.

One flight had to make an unscheduled landing in Mumbai

The problem has been so serious that one flight from Riyadh had to land in Mumbai when the crew discovered none of the plane's 10 toilets were working.

In other cases, the number of passengers boarding flights had to be restricted because of toilet problems.

Airbus engineers are now fitting new toilet pipes to the airline's fleet and carrying out deep cleaning.

Cathay spokeswoman Carolyn Leung said although the exact cause of the blockages was unclear, passengers themselves may be partly to blame.

"You would be amazed what we find in the pipes when we clean the system - not just face towels but medicine bottles, socks, items of clothing and even children's stuffed toys," she said.

The toilets use high-speed vacuum pipes to take waste at up to 110kph (68mph) into a holding tank, which is then emptied between flights.

Any blockage usually affects all the toilets on one side of an aircraft.

Governor Fauzi not all that keen on fixing busted roads

Niken Prathivi,
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 11/25/2009 2:13 PM

The old adage puts safety first, but Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo seems to think it can wait, as in the case of damaged roads.

The rainy season has traditionally been a time when motorists, and in particular motorcyclists, are warned to drive more carefully to avoid rainwater-deluged potholes.

But on Tuesday, Fauzi said his administration would not rush to repair them, adding it could wait until the advent of the dry season.

"We'll repair the damaged roads; we have the money for it," he said.

"However, we won't do it right away."

He said his administration had made its own assessments of the road conditions as well as traffic load for each road.

Fauzi also said should the administration insist on repairing the damaged roads during the rainy season, the work would be in vain.

Heavy rains coupled with increased loading only serve to hasten the damage, the governor pointed out.

However, Indonesian Consumer Protection Foundation (YLKI) director Tulus Abadi disagreed.

"The administration can be penalized *if it fails to promptly repair damaged roads*," he said as quoted by

Tulus cited Article 273 of the 2009 Traffic Law, which stipulates five-year prison sentences or Rp 120 million fines for the responsible officials or institutions who fail to repair damaged roads.

Voicing similar concern, city councillor Nurmansjah Lubis said Jakarta residents could sue the administration over the poor roads.

"Filing a lawsuit is an important move as the damaged roads can lead to fatal accidents, especially to motorcyclists," Nurmansjah said.

Data from the Jakarta Police's Traffic Management Center shows 20 people were killed in traffic accidents in the first three months of this year.

The TMC also notes at least 17 areas with damaged roads, including at the Jl. H. Nawi intersection near ITC Fatmawati, at the Senayan shooting range intersection in Central Jakarta, and on Jl. Simpruk Raya in West Jakarta.

Institute of Transportation Studies (Instran) director Darmaningtyas attributed the damaged roads to poor construction coupled with bad planning.

"The roads are easily damaged because they were poorly built," he pointed out.

"For instance, on a scale of one to 100 - where 100 means ideal materials mixing, asphalting and funding, what we have here is less than 50.

"*The contractors* often scale down the initial construction plan. So it's obvious why the results are far from satisfactory," Darmaningtyas added.

He said poor timing in carrying out the road repairs also played a part in the quality of the roads.

"Water is the main element in the asphalt," he said.

"But what we have here are constructors who mostly carry out the repairs during the rainy season."

The best time for road repairs in Jakarta is from May to October, during the dry season, he added.

To support a successful road renovation, Darmaningtyas said, the responsible agencies (including the public works agency) must reform its construction management.

Agency head Budi Widiantoro previously said the city had allocated a Rp 40 million budget for road maintenance for the first half of 2009, and another Rp 37 million for the second half.

"With this budget, we plan to revamp all the damaged roads this year," he said.

"However, if that's not possible, we'll continue the repairs based on the 2010 budget."


The Jakarta Post, Tue, 11/24/2009 8:51 PM

Sri Wahyuni (in pink) answers questions from journalists at Sekupang seaport of Batam on Tuesday. She and her baby Davi AL were the lucky passengers of the KM Dumai Express 10 who survived floating three hours in a lifeboat. (JP/Fadli)

Govt to impose guidelines on airport development

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 11/24/2009 9:47 PM

The Transportation Ministry will soon issue an “airport principle” containing guidelines for government agencies including regional administrations as well as airport operator companies in planning, constructing, and operating airports across Indonesia.

The ministry’s director of airports Bambang Tjahjono said that they aimed to impose the principle in January 2010, to follow up the newly-endorsed Law No. 1/2009 on Aviation that allowed private companies and regional administrations to build and operate airports.

“This guideline will give exact measures about airport development planning as well as criteria for local administrations that plan to construct a new airport in their territories,” Bambang told The Jakarta Post.

He criticized regional administrations that sometimes proposed to build new airports to the ministry without supporting comprehensive studies about the future plan of the airport.

“Sometimes regional leaders, governors and regents, are too ambitious to build airports but lack market study. As a result, new airports become deserted or even abandoned,” Bambang said.

He cited the failing Samarinda Baru airport in Samarinda, East Kalimantan, the unclear West Java International airport plan in Majalengka, West Java, and the deserted Notohadinegoro airport in Jember, East Java, as examples.

Data from the ministry recorded 196 airports nationwide, excluding those owned by private parties and military that were not used for public flights, Bambang said.

“The minister has recently approved the plans to develop 31 new airports.”

Of the new airports, only the West Java International Airports in Majalengka is planned to be a big airport.

The rest are small airports, mostly in eastern Indonesia, such as Aceh Singkil in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, Enggano in Bengkulu, Banyuwangi in East Java, Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi, Tual Baru in Maluku, Nabire Baru in Papua, and Halamahera Tengah in North Maluku.

“Most of those small airports will be funded by local budgets. The central government is only approving their proposals,” Tjahjono said. (bbs)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

`Give haj management to private sector'

The Jakarta Post
, Jakarta | Mon, 11/23/2009 1:36 PM

Observers said the government should hand over pilgrimage management to the private sector after failing to provide good services to Indonesian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia over many years.

Public administration expert from University of Indonesia, Eko Prasojo, said Sunday the government could still play a supervisory role if haj management was handed over to the private sector to ensure standards.

Eko said the government could hand over transportation, accommodation, or food supplies, which might not have been adequately managed by government officials.

Noted Islamic scholar, Ahmad Syafii Maarif, said this could result in a good solution resulting in optimum services for pilgrims.

The Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) member, Ahmad Ramadhan Siregar, said the government "should tender the business to ensure the best services were delivered to the pilgrims".

"It may take at least five years for the government to improve its administration system," he said.

The legislative team monitoring the haj in Saudi Arabia said Wednesday its observation showed that Indonesian pilgrims were subject to unnecessary hardships.

The team discovered that pilgrims suffered from bad accommodation, inefficient transport systems and overcrowded dormitories.

Team members cited only one bathroom for 25 pilgrims in each dormitory.

Eko said the government should assess the performance of Religious Affairs Ministry's officials.

"The government should modernize the bureaucracy at the Religious Affairs Ministry," he said.

As of Saturday, 89 Indonesian pilgrims had died ,mostly of cardiac arrest, respiratory and circulation failures. Those who died were between 40 and 59 years old. Meanwhile, 150 pilgrims are being treated at the Indonesian Pilgrims' Health Center.

Public policy and consumer protection observer Agus Pambagyo said many officials did not seem open to transparency and good governance.

"The government should acquire accurate data and information related to the haj in the past five years to identify any shortcomings in service delivery," he said.

Agus said this would help prevent corruption in the ministry.

However, Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Agung Laksono said Saturday that the haj arrangements were already transparent.

Agung had ordered the Haj Management Committee (PPIH) to facilitate transportation, health and food services during the pilgrimage.

Agus further urged the government to strictly supervise agencies sending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

"The government should issue strict regulations and set high standards required to be achieved by the private sector," he said. (nia)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Busway Services Deteriorate

, MONDAY, 23 NOVEMBER 2009 | 12:23 PM

Kompas / Osa Triyatna

JAKARTA, - The Transjakarta bus services, or dubbed busway, is bombarded by customers. The worn out air conditioning, dirty and littered shelters, and jammed automatic doors, among which are some of the complaints.

Aside from those complaints, the travel time and headway between busses are often unpredictable.

Security and convenience are also becoming issues, especially regarding the busses being congested with passengers during rush-hours. A customer of Transjakarta corridor III, Kalideres-Harmoni lane, said that the condition of busses and shelters are neglected, some are even littered.

"I realize that the Transjakarta bus services is a cheap means. But cheap doesn't excuse poor services," said Eviani, an employee of a private company on Hayam Wuruk street, Central Jakarta.

Two years ago, she said, the busway facility on corridor III was quite good. She wonders why now the condition has changed dramatically, and she noticed many flaws, among which are jammed shelter doors and gaps on the floor's metal panels.

"Jakartans can only construct but can't maintain. As far as I know, the operational cost for the busway is also taken from the Jakarta regional budget aside from bus fees. So the condition shouldn't remain like this," she said.

Ayunda (31), a loyal customer of busway's corridor VII (Kampung Rambutan - Kampung Melayu) and corridor V (Kampung Melayu-Ancol), said that the convenience and security aren't improving, but deteriorating instead.

"The buss' AC is not cold enough anymore. But the Lorena busses (the new armada) is still good," said the citizen from Tanjung Barat, Jagakarsa, South Jakarta, Sunday. She said that if the passengers were many, the AC didn't seem to work, so they had to fan themselves.

Aside from that, she said, sometimes the busses broke down on the way. "If the bus broke down then we get moved to another bus and must stop at the next shelter," said the employee of a private company in Senen, Central Jakarta.

According to Ayunda, in a month, the average for the bus she's on to break down is more than twice. Furthermore, the poor shelters are also inconvenient for waiting passengers.

As for security, she said, the Transjakarta is relatively safe compared to other city busses because there is an officer on-board. She claimed she has never been pick-pocketed on the busway, though she often heard stories of other passengers having had the experience.

Romi (25) concurs. As a regular on the Corridor VII, he said that the old busses should get better maintenance so they could be as good as the new ones.

"The AC isn't cold anymore. The sound system that gives information about the stops is rarely on. It's unfortunate for those who seldom take the busway," said the citizen of Pasar Rebo, East Jakarta, Sunday.

The poor shelters along that corridor are the one near Bogor mainstreet's fly-over and the one near Kramatjati central market. The automatic doors on the shelters along that lane are always open. While the shelters' glass panes and aluminum body are dirty, as if they're never cleaned.

Another busway facility that has been damaged is the street separator, as can be seen on the Harmoni-Lebak Bulus lane. The separator along that lane is heavily damaged, leaving nuts and bolts on the street that would endanger other vehicles. The nuts and bolts can be 7 cms tall. The damage is due to cars that run over the separator to move between the regular lane and the busway lane.

The Transjakarta shelter on Gatot Subroto street has been vandalized with spray paint on the glass panes and walls. The doodles have been there since several weeks ago and so far haven't been cleaned.

The Al-Azhar shelter is also suffering. The floor panels of the bridge are loose. And also, several lights on the bridge are off.

On the Cengkareng Drain shelter, Daan Mogot street, West Jakarta, the busway bridge has been used by motor-bikes, including bike-cabs, to cross the street. Not to mention a lot of beggars and peddlers on the bridge make the condition even worse. Some zinc panels on the bridge are peeling off too.

According to a Transjakarta officer, the major cleaning is only done once a week, but it doesn't include the shelters' external. "Usually just the inside is cleaned, such as the floors and window panes," said the officer who was reluctant to give his name.

Coordinator of the Joint Committee for Leaded Gasoline Phaseout (KPBB), Ahmad Safrudin, some time ago stated that many facilities and infrastructure of the busway are deteriorating because there are two corridors that aren't operational yet, Corridor IX (Pinangranti-Pluit) and Corridor X (Cililitan-Tanjung Priod).

"For almost three years the busway infrastructures on those corridors are idle," he said.

The gas fuel supply for the Transjakarta bus armada till now is still unsufficient, causing a disturbance in the bus operations. The consequence is that the passengers' waiting time, especially during rush-hours, is over 30 minutes longer than it should be.

But the head of Transjakarta's Public Service Institution (BLU), Daryati A. Fini, denies the deterioration of Transjakarta's service. She said that the service has improved since the number of passengers has increased by 10-15 percent, or from around 230,000 to 250,000 passengers increased to 270,000 everyday.

"Currently the complaints against services are lessening. This shows improving service," she said. (hertanto/C17-09)

Editor: jimbon

Stop extortion, harassment at airport: Migrants

The Jakarta Post
, Jakarta | Mon, 11/23/2009 1:37 PM

New Gateway: Passengers pass a security check at the newly opened Terminal 3 at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport which, for the time being, is only servicing two airlines – Air Asia and Mandala Airlines. JP/Multa Fidrus

Troubled migrant workers have cried out against rampant extortion and sexual harassment at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on their return to Indonesia.

Marwa Yati, a migrant worker who was employed in Syria, was stranded at the airport for weeks since she had no money left to buy a plane ticket to her home village in Central Sulawesi.

After her two-year working contract ended, Marwa arrived in Jakarta penniless. She said she had been a victim of fraud at the hands of her agent and received no pay for all her work.

Marwa had spent more than two weeks in Terminal 4 after her remaining Indonesian money was given to officers at the special terminal. The National Agency for Labor Placement and Protection (BNP2TKI) has given her three food coupons a day, each worth Rp 8,000 (less than US$1).

Marwa failed to convince BNP2TKI of her case and has nobody to help her get home.

"My child offered to send me money to buy a ticket, but I told to him it was too expensive at Rp 2 million for one-way ticket to Sulawesi, *unless you buy it outside*" she said.

Marwa had previously filed her complaint many times at a center in Pasar Rebo, East Jakarta, concerning abuse she endured during her placement, however, the center had apparently refused to believe her.

"I went to the center and they told me they could not deal with me. *So* I said I was going to the Manpower Ministry and I asked for a letter. They told me to wait and not to go the ministry and to take a nap instead. I told them they could not sit on my complaint. I was abused for four months there," she told Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar and his entourage when they made a snap inspection of the migrant worker terminal.

"They said it was my fault for staying there two years. But, for me, it is not my mistake but the fault of the labor export company that sponsored my departure," she said.

Marwa was one dozens of troubled migrant workers who filed complaints that day. The center receives at least 30 complaints every day, but most are unable to get quick responses either from employers or related authorities.

The center only responds once migrant worker activists learn of migrants' stories and troubles. Unlike Marwa, some migrant workers return with loads of money. Such people are sitting ducks in Terminal 4 and are often forced to exchange their real or dollars with rupiah at low exchange rates, said Elly Anita, a former migrant worker who is now an activist in Migrant Care, an NGO providing advocacy for troubled migrant workers.

"I saw a migrant worker from Bandung who tried to hide her money in her underwear. Several people had found out and forced her to exchange it with rupiah. She came to us and we went straight to the police to make a report, but she decided not to go through with the process because they were not sure if police would process the case," she said.

Migrant Care executive director Anis Hidayah, who was among the minister's entourage, said officers at the terminal were liars because the extortion was committed in a systemic manner.

"*The workers* do not voluntarily exchange their money, but are forced and intimidated to do so. With these workers having rupiah to spend on souvenirs and other stuff, businesses in the terminal is thriving. So they are a kind of business syndicate that systematically extorts *migrant workers*," she said.

Anis questioned why a money changer offering a low rate was positioned precisely behind the terminal's waiting room, when a state-onwed bank was a long way from the terminal.

More than 1,000 migrant workers return to Indonesia via the terminal every day. The complaints center receives around 100 complaints on a daily basis, ranging from sexual harassments and rape to unpaid salaries, abuse and other violence. However, the cases are often shelved once migrant workers get insurance claims and can afford flights home.

Muhaimin declined to allow workers to leave the airport via Terminal 2 (which is for general passengers) because the terminal was deemed prone to extortion. "It would be better to isolate the workers' problem," he said.

Muhaimin said he was considering posting supervisors at the terminal to ensure better service for returning workers and troubled ones.

Rieke Diyah Pitaloka, a member of House's Commission IX on labor and health affairs, said the terminal should be closed down to allow the public to scrutinize the safety of returning workers.

Related Article:

Issues: `I was extorted at Terminal 3'

Govt eyes finalization of key airport projects

The Jakarta Post
, Jakarta | Mon, 11/23/2009 9:14 AM

Airport development projects will be one of the priorities of the Transportation Ministry next year, including the finalization of ongoing expansion projects at three international airports, and constructing up to 31 smaller airports.

The three international airports being upgraded are Kuala Namu International Airport in Medan, North Sumatra, Lombok International Airport in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, and Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in Makassar, South Sulawesi — with a combined project value of more than Rp 5 trillion (US$509 million).

The ministry’s director of airports, Bambang Tjahjono, said over the weekend that the completion of these projects was urgent and would play vital roles in the economy, both in those regions and the nation as a whole.

“Lombok Airport, for example, will act as buffer for Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, which is already very busy,” Tjahjono said in an interview.

Lombok is a resort island situated around 70 kilometers east of the world-famous island of Bali.

With a 2,750-meter runway, Lombok Airport will be suitable for larger aircraft such as the Boeing 747, Tjahjono said.

The Lombok Airport complex is built on a 551-hectare plot of land, which is almost twice the size of Ngurah Rai. The project is estimated to cost Rp 802 billion, which is being jointly funded by state airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I and local provincial and regional administrations.

The project has been accelerated, with the government hoping to make it partly open for the public between December or January at the latest.

To the west, Medan’s Kuala Namu Airport is scheduled to be opened next year, following several delays triggered mostly by land acquisition problems.

“However, all the required land has been cleared. We are now stabilizing the land before beginning the construction of the 3,750-meter twin runways,” Tjahjono said.

With a 6.5-hectare passenger terminal, the airport will be the country’s second-largest airport after Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

The runway construction alone, funded by the state budget, is anticipated to cost up to Rp 1.2 trillion, with an overall cost of Rp 4.4 trillion.

“The passenger terminal and other facilities are the responsibility of PT Angkasa Pura II,” he said.

The construction of Kuala Namu began in 2006 and was targeted to replace Polonia International Airport that is situated near the center of Medan and has a difficult takeoff path because of its short runway.

Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport project in Makassar is now around 80 percent complete and is scheduled to be fully operational by 2010.

“Overall, the airport is 80 percent complete. We are now finalizing some minor infrastructure elements and facilities,” Tjahjono said. The 52,000-square-meter airport, the largest airbase in Sulawesi, can accommodate up to 8 million passengers per year.

In addition to the expansion of airports in those three cities, the government also plans to construct and develop 31 smaller airports across Indonesia.

“Most of the smaller airports will be funded by local administrations. The central government is only approving their proposals,” Tjahjono said. (bbs)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Reigning Champs Set Quick Pace for Tour d'Indonesia Field

The Jakarta Globe, Ami Afriatni

DKI Jakarta riders passing through the Semanggi area in Jakarta during the opening team trial on Sunday. DI Jogjakarta emerged as the fastest local team in the first stage, finishing fifth overall. (JG Photo/Safir Makki)

Defending Tour d’Indonesia champion Tabriz Petrochemical wasted little time setting itself apart from the rest of the field.

Averaging 48 kilometers per hour, the Iranian team blew away the field in the first stage in Jakarta on Sunday and won the opening team time trial in 15 minutes.

Another Iranian team, Azad University, finished second in 15:28.368, with the Japanese national team third with a time of 16:02.659. Plan B of Australia was fourth in 16:03.045, and DI Jogjakarta was the fastest Indonesian side after it took fifth in 16:14.757.

Tabriz’s riders are confident they can continue having success in the race, including the sprint events, despite one less mountain stage this year.

The Iranians dominated in the mountains in 2008, but organizers removed a steep climb from the fifth stage, from Purwokerto to Yogyakarta, because of safety concerns.

“We’re not really happy with the route because basically we’re all climbers,” 2008 individual champion Ghader Mizbani Iranagh said.

“But we’ll also try in the sprints. I hope we still can win the yellow jersey and I myself can defend my title.”

Mehdi Sohrabi of Tabriz, who claimed top spot in the Asian rankings this month, won the yellow jersey after posting the fastest time. Azad sprinter Amir Zargari took the green jersey for being the top sprinter.

Though there was no climb in the first stage, organizers awarded the polka-dot jersey to Kazuki Aoyanagi, who was the fastest on the third-place Japanese national team. Nugroho Kisnanto of DI Jogjakarta took the red and white jersey, which is awarded to the top Indonesian rider.

Nugroho, runner-up for the green jersey last year, said he has a chance to do one better after 2008 sprint champion Anuar Manan of Malaysia did not enter this year’s race.

“This is a good opportunity for me. I want to win the green jersey this year,” the 25-year-old said.

The 19 participating teams were transferred to Bandung following the time trial. Today’s second stage runs from Bandung to Tasikmalaya, West Java.

Sunday’s results

  1. Tabriz Petrochemical (15:00.068)
  2. Azad University (15:28.368)
  3. Japan National Team (16:02.659)
  4. Plan B Racing (16:03.045)
  5. DI Jogjakarta (16:14.757)
  6. Polygon Sweet Nice (16:21.158)
  7. United Bike Kencana Kota Malang (16:28.000)
  8. Putra Perjuangan Kota Bandung (16:33.327)
  9. Road Bike Phils-7 Eleven (16:34.331)
  10. Customs Cycling Club (16:35.017) Cycling

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One Reported Dead as Ferry Sinks off Indonesia's Sumatra Island; Rescue Underway

Ferry accidents are common in Indonesian waters. The 'Senopati Nusantara', above, sank off the coast of Java in late 2006 with some 500 people aboard. (Photo: EPA)

A ferry carrying 213 has sunk in rough seas near Indonesia's Riau islands, killing at least one person, police said.

Search teams are looking for survivors from the Dumai Express 10 which was sailing from Batam near Singapore to Dumai island in Riau when it ran into massive waves, Riau police chief Puji Hartanto told Metro TV.

The victim was a small child, according to

Survivors were spotted floating at sea, Hartanto said.

Separately, another ferry, the Dumai Express 15 with 278 people on board, ran aground after it was hit by large waves, said Riau police spokesman Yasin Kosasih.

All passengers and crew survived, he added. The ferry was travelling between Batam and Moro island.

Indonesia relies heavily on ferry services to connect the many islands in the sprawling archipelago, but accidents are common, largely due to years of under-investment in infrastructure and a tendency to overload ferries.

Reuters JG

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Indonesia passenger ferry sinks off Sumatra

Thursday, November 19, 2009

'Computer glitch' hits US flights

Delays are affecting Atlanta airport, one of the world's busiest

A computer glitch affecting aircraft flight plans is causing cancellations and delays across the eastern US.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a computer system in Atlanta, Georgia, which processes flight plans is not working properly.

As a result, controllers are being forced to enter flight plans manually, the FAA says.

Delays will occur until the problem is solved, it says, but the safety of planes in the air is not affected.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been worst affected, according to US media reports.

"We are investigating the cause of the problem," the FAA said in a statement. "We are processing flight plans manually and expect some delays."

"We have radar coverage and communications with planes," it added.

Last August a similar computer failure delayed hundreds of flights across the US.

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'Cosmic rays' may have caused Qantas jet's plunge