Sunday, July 30, 2006

Indonesians' Neutrality

I read, with interests, Fatih Syuhud's article regarding how Indonesians view and comment on international political issues. He's comparing Indonesians with Indians, which he claimed are more "neutral" and can see from many more different views in commenting on such issues.

As an example, with regards to the Israel's attacks to Lebanon, Fatih thinks that most Indonesians are more divided in their opinions with regards to the attack, and the division is interestingly based on the line of religion, whereby most Indonesian Muslims condemn and disagree with the attacks, while most Indonesian non-Muslims tend to think that Israel has the right to defend themselves by launching the attacks.

I'm not too sure, but I don't think that I see the same situation, especially within the Indonesian community here in Singapore. Here, quite a lot of my non-Muslim friends also disagree with Israel's attacks to Lebanon. We see it more as an attack to a sovereign country, causing a lot of civilians become victims of the attack. Regardless of what is the religion of the victims, such an attack is despicable.

I guess Fatih might have seen the "division" after reading Patung's comment on one of his posts, and based on the articles he has written, I can see that Patung's anti-Islam level is a bit high. However, kindly reminded that not all our non-Muslim friends are like him, and it's not fair to generalise and think that all our non-Muslim friends share the same views with him.

What I can see, most of Indonesians, both Muslims and non-Muslims, do not tolerate violence and terrorism. We can see that a lot (if not almost all) Muslims in Indonesia condemned all the terror attacks conducted by Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist group, and we also can see that a lot of non-Muslims in Indonesia disagree with the US's invasion to Iraq. So I don't think it's just a matter of in the line of religion.

We have to admit, there are some Muslims in Indonesia, who are too fanatic and dislike non-Muslims and religions other than Islam, and there are also some non-Muslims in Indonesia who are also too fanatic and dislike Muslims and Islam. Those are the people we have to worry, since they are the most definite danger to the racial and religious harmony in Indonesia.

[Indonesian version]

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Calling all Indonesian Cooks: Recipes in English Please

On my article about good Indonesian food in Singapore, I was mentioning about some weblogs containing Indonesian food recipes, such as Inong's Dapur Bunda and Nisi's Food Corner. One of the visitors from Germany, Angelica, added comments saying that it was too bad that those recipes are written in Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian language), instead of English. She and her husband really love Indonesian food, however it's quite difficult for them to find cookbooks or recipes of Indonesian food in English.

I also noticed that most (if not all) of other blogs containing Indonesian food recipes, which I subscribe through Bloglines, are in Bahasa Indonesia. Those include Dhonatneth's Kitchen (which now has been renamed to Dhonatneth's Apa Kabar) and Dapur Wati, on top of the two I have mentioned earlier (Dapur Bunda and Nisi's Food Corner).

So, Inong, Nisi, Dhona, Wati and many other Indonesian bloggers who are also great cooks, are you ready to take up this challenge? :) When will you write good Indonesian food recipes in English? :) :)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Rude Taxi Driver

Well, I don't say that all taxi drivers in Singapore are rude. However, I would say that about 60%-70% of those rude motorists I usually find on Singapore roads are taxi drivers. What I mean by rude here is that they have lack of consideration to other motorists while driving.

Some of such inconsiderate driving acts include reckless driving, sudden stop to pick up or drop off passengers, and cutting other car's lanes. They also tend to drive above the maximum speed limit on all types of road, be it expressways or normal roads. They always want to get to their destinations at the soonest time possible, since it seems that every second wasted on the roads means lesser income for them... not too sure whether it's true or not, perhaps anyone can clarify? :)

One example of such inconsiderate acts: On 14th of July 2006, about a week ago, at around 9:30am in the morning, I was driving to my office at Science Park. Along South Buona Vista Road, just after the Buona Vista flyover and before the junction to Science Park Drive, the first and second lane from the left are merging into one. As you might have known, the rule for merging line in Singapore is that cars on each line have the right of way on a round-robin fashion.

My car was on the second lane from the left, and on the most left lane, there was another car and a TransCab taxi tailgating it. Based on the current position of all the three vehicles, whereby my car is in between the two vehicle even though it's on the other merging lane, I should have the right of way right after the other car, before the taxi. But guess what... the taxi kept on tailgating the car in front of it, and the driver never had any intention to give way even though I had the right of way at that time. So no choice, I had to slow down and give way, since I don't want to risk my car to be involved in an accident. No wonder why most of all accidents in Singapore usually involves taxis...

That's not the only incident I have experienced involving taxi drivers while driving here. Well, I really hope that the taxi companies will be more selective in hiring their drivers.

Monday, July 17, 2006


ZingDo restaurant is one of only a few halal Korean restaurants in Singapore. This chain of restaurants is managed by Zingrill, together with Seoul Garden and Breeks Cafe. Usually the ZingDo restaurant we visit regularly is the one at Ngee Ann City, which is on the same roof as the Breeks Cafe there, which is on the 5th floor, just opposite Seoul Garden. Now, ZingDo has opened a new outlet at Jurong Entertainment Centre, just opposite Jurong East MRT station, and it's not quite far from where we live here in Singapore. So, last week, 11th of July 2006, exactly, I and my wife went there for lunch.

The restaurant is located on the first floor of the building, which also houses the Jurong Cineplex. The outlet here adopts the fast food style of food ordering, so we need to order the food at the counter and make the payment first. Then, we look for an empty table and wait for the food to be served there.

I ordered the beef bulgogi set (left picture), the Korean-style minced beef steak, which is my favourite. My wife ordered the chicken bulgogi set (right below picture), similar steak but made of minced chicken. Both foods are served on hot plates, and when the food came, the meat was served raw. So we need to cook the meat, as well as the vegetables, on the hot plate, mix them with the sauce paste provided on the table, before we eat them.

How's the taste? Amazing! Very delicious. The meat absorbs the sauce quite well, and it's delicious up until the last bite. I also tried my wife's chicken bulgogi and it's just as nice! The bulgogi set is served with a bowl of rice, and a bowl of kimchi soup, which is also delicious. Just be careful, the soup is full of chilli seeds, so it's a bit hot.

The price is also reasonable for Singapore standard. The chicken bulgogi set will cost you about $7.90, while the beef bulgogi set is only $1 more expensive. Other than that, they also serve Korean Rib-Eye Steak at $15.90 per set meal. You can browse through the menu and the price here.

[Indonesian version]

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Civilians Become Victims of Israel's Brutal Attacks to Lebanon

Quoted from Channel NewsAsia:

"Twenty-eight Lebanese civilians, including 10 children, were killed in dozens of Israeli air strikes across the country on Thursday after Hezbollah militants seized two soldiers and killed eight."

On the same report, it mentioned:

"A Shiite Muslim sheikh, his wife and eight children were killed when an Israeli missile struck their home in the village of Dweir, near the main central town of Nabatiyeh, police said.


"Another family of seven, including a 10-month-old baby, was killed in the village of Baflay, near the coastal city of Tyre, police said."

I still don't understand, why Israel has to kill a lot of innocent civilians, including children, only because they want to save two of their soldiers which are being captured by Hezbollah militants. Why they have to bomb the Beirut international airport? Why they have to sacrifice the life of a lot of Lebanese civilians, including children?

Why all countries around the world did not immediately condemn the attack? When North Korea did a "show-off" with its missiles, most of all countries around the world immediately condemned the move. When terrorists strike Mumbai's rapid transportation with several blasts to its trains, all countries immediately condemned the attack. Why up to the moment, it's quite difficult for most countries around the world to condemn the Israel's attack? Why so far, only Indonesia condemned the attack, while the Philippines only issued Lebanon travel ban for its citizens? And why the UN Security Council finds it difficult to come out with a resolution to condemn the attack?

I really hope that the international community can immediately look into this matter. This matter is obviously more serious than the North Korea issue. North Korea only performed a show-off, while in this case, a lot of civilians, including children, has been killed by the brutal attacks. I also really hope that the international community can do the necessary to stop Israel's attacks, so there's no further innocent people become victims.

[Indonesian version]

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Singapore: A Heaven for Indonesian Food Lovers

Since my wife joined the indosing-mums (ISM) mailing list, which belongs to the Indonesian female community in Singapore, she has made a lot of new friends here in Singapore. And not surprisingly, most of the members of the community are great cooks. Therefore, I would say it’s actually quite easy to find good Indonesian food here in Singapore.

There are two reasons. One, there are now numerous middle-class restaurants serving good Indonesian foods here in Singapore. Several years ago, we would need to fork out quite a lot of money to enjoy Indonesian food at those high-class restaurants, such as Sanur, Tambuah Mas, Desa Kartika or House of Sundanese Food. Now, there are plenty of middle-class restaurants serving Indonesian food, such as Es Teler 77, Ayam Penyet Ria, Kantin Aneka and Ayam Bakar Ojolali. Those restaurants also serve good Indonesian food such as ayam bakar (grilled chicken), ayam goreng (fried chicken), gado-gado, empek-empek, batagor and many other native Indonesian foods, at a friction of the cost of those high-class restaurants.

What’s the second reason? Well, there are quite a lot of our Indonesian friends, who are also great cooks. :) So it’s quite common to see my wife contacting some of her friends to order certain type of food, which might be difficult to find elsewhere in Singapore. Inong’s Dapur Bunda, is one example. Its close proximity to our house (only 10 minutes drive) makes it quite convenient for us to order some food from her and I just needed to go to the lobby of her apartment to pick up the food and make the payment. Some of the foods we’ve ordered from Dapur Bunda include the Strawberry Tiramisu Cake and the Chocolate and Cheese Martabak.

Yesterday, my wife also ordered chilli crab from Nisi, one of her friends, and I dare to say that this is the best chilli crab I have tasted so far. It’s much better compared to the usual chilli crab we usually bought from Al-Ameen Eating House. It’s also very convenient, my wife just needed to contact her through Yahoo! Messenger to order the crab, and then during lunch time, I dropped by to her place around West Coast to pick up the food and make the payment.

Other than that, fortunately, I also had the chance to taste Mela’s Tongseng Mela Kumis, and of course Hany’s Braddell Satay, which is reputably still the best Indonesian satay in town. If you notice, all of the cooks are my wife’s friends from the ISM community, so some words of advice to my fellow Indonesians men: if you are currently living in Singapore, and you’re married, ensure that your wife joins the ISM community!

And the best of all, sometimes we can enjoy the food for free. Really! Sometimes when the ISM community gathers, like this one, for example, we would be spoiled with lots of variety of food during the gathering. Sometimes, my wife and I would also got some invitations from some of her friends (which sometimes turn out to be some of my blogger friends as well) to visit their home and try their specialties.

So, who said that living in Singapore is boring? :)

[Indonesian version]

Monday, July 10, 2006

Great News from Switzerland

What a great news I received from Switzerland, my fellow blogger friends who lived there: Tata and Wati have just been blessed with the birth of their newborn girl: Nadia Aulia Yusuf. She was born on the 3rd of July, 2006, 21:03hrs CET, at the La Tour Hospital, Meyrin, Geneva.

On behalf of my family, I would like to congratulate Tata and Wati for the birth of their second daughter. Best regards and congratulations also from Inka and Irza to Kakak Annisa for having a younger sister now.

More information can be found here.

[Indonesian version]

Friday, July 07, 2006

FeedWordPress and Recent Comments

Planet Indra Migration to FeedWordPress

After I tried to install FeedWordPress for Planet Singapura and satisfied with its features and flexibility, I decided to also migrate Planet Indra to use FeedWordPress as well. I am still keeping the old Planet Indra, which uses Gregarius, on another URL:, while the new Planet Indra, which uses FeedWordPress, will use the current Planet Indra URL:

For me, there are more advantages of using FeedWordPress compared to using Gregarius, however the most advantages are:
  • FeedWordPress provides RSS feed for the aggregate blog, while Gregarius doesn't provide it. So now, Planet Indra has its own RSS feed, which is located at
  • Since FeedWordPress is still running on a Wordpress blog, we can use our favourite Wordpress themes for the aggregate blog. As for Gregarius, the choice of themes is limited.
Unfortunately, the Blue Horizon theme which I'm using for Planet Indra still have its own limitation. I might want to change it to another theme later if I have the time.

"Recent Comments" Feature for Minda Indra and Rumah Indra

I also have recently added the "Recent Comments" feature for Minda Indra, my Wordpress-based blog. This feature is being added on the right sidebar and is showing all the recent comments of all the articles on the blog.

This feature uses a Wordpress plugin called Simple Recent Comments, written by Raoul. The installation is quite easy and straightforward, I only need to download the plugin, which is actually a single .php file which was zipped. And then, I need to unzip the file and copy the unzipped .php file to the wp-contents/plugins directory of our Wordpress. I then activated the plugin on my Dashboard > Plugins and put the template tag into my sidebar, which is the sidebar.php file. And voila, the "Recent Comments" feature will then show up on the sidebar. Very practical.

I also added the same feature on Rumah Indra. Since it's a Blogger-based blog, I followed this instruction to add the feature. Different from the Wordpress plugin, which is quite easy to install, this method requires some modification to the Blogger template which is quite troublesome and need to be done carefully. And the result can be found on the right sidebar of Rumah Indra. Over time, I might also install the same feature on this blog (Info) and The Journey of Inka and Irza as well.

Unfortunately, I can see that the order of the comments is not right, so the latest or recent comments might not appear on top, which is supposed to be the case. Until now, I still do not know how to fix this problem. Anyone knows? :)

[Indonesian version]