Saturday, February 23, 2008

Freedom of Speech in Indonesia

Treespotter wrote:

Indonesia has one of the most liberal press law in the world (which not without problems in itself, but we’ll get there later). We’re no longer live in opaque Soehartoesque police state and people are free to write whatever they want. For any of you with any experience whatsoever of the press life 20 years ago, then you’d know that life is a whole world of difference these days where freedom of opinion is concerned.

Agree with him. Compared to Malaysia and Singapore, the Indonesian government is more relaxed in giving its press, be it mainstream press of citizenship journalism (e.g. bloggers), more freedom to express their views and opinions. The Pesta Blogger 2007 event, which is supported by the Indonesian government with its declaration of Indonesia's National Blogger Day, is a great example.

The onus is now with us to ensure that we make use of this "freedom" responsibly.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Singapore DUCKtours

This article is originally posted on ABN's Asia Travel Blog here.

Singapore DUCKtours is a combined city and harbour tour in Singapore, using a refurbished ex-military amphibious vehicle they call as "duck" which can travel on both land and water. The one-hour tour comprises of 40 minutes water tour around Singapore's Marina Bay area and 20 minutes land tour around Singapore's civic district. The water tour in the Marina Bay area will show you places around the Singapore Flyer, Benjamin Sheares bridge, the floating platform, Esplanade and the Merlion, while the land tour in the civic district area will show you places around City Hall and the Padang.

The tour departs from Suntec City on an hourly basis between 10am to 7pm, subject to weather conditions. The price is $33 for adult and $17 for child, quite expensive since it's catered more for tourists. To purchase the tickets, we can approach the ticketing counter, which is located at the Suntec City Mall, near the Convention Centre area. We can use major credit cards for payment.

We will board the duck on an open area just next to the ticketing counter. There is a tour guide who accompanies all the guests throughout the journey and give running commentaries with regards to all the tourist attractions along the way. The best photo stop would be the Merlion, where the duck boat will have a brief stop to allow all guests to take pictures of the Merlion from both sides of the boat.

Note: More pictures can be found here.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

J.Co Donuts & Coffee Opens in Singapore

J.Co Donuts & Coffee, a leading doughnut retailer chain in Indonesia, has opened its outlet in Singapore. Very popular among Indonesians, it's very common to see long queues in almost all J.Co outlets in Indonesia. This very first outlet in Singapore -- which I hope will not be the only one -- is situated on the basement floor of Raffles City shopping centre, which is located just above the City Hall MRT station.

I and my family was walking around the shopping mall yesterday (8/4) when we saw the new outlet, which was still closed at that time. We were very pleasantly surprised since we have never seen a J.Co outlet outside Indonesia. According to jeng Epha who visited the outlet earlier today, the outlet has just opened today (Saturday, 9 February 2008). I believe this should be a very good and pleasant news for Indonesians in Singapore, since this means that we don't have to go back to Jakarta or go to Batam to get J.Co donuts.

According to Devi while responding to Bonnie's question, J.Co has also opened two new outlets in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Specifically, those two outlets are located in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur at Bukit Bintang and Sunway Pyramid near Sunway Lagoon. So I believe this would be a great news for Indonesians currently living in Malaysia, especially Kuala Lumpur, as well. :)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Happy Lunar New Year

For those of you who celebrate Chinese New Year all around the world: Xīnnián kuàilè, Gōngxǐ fācái. Happy new year, and wishing everyone of you a very happy and prosperous new year ahead.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

RSI Interview at MediaCorp

Original article and pictures can be found here.

It was just a normal and usual day in the office couple of weeks ago when I received an e-mail from Renatha, one of my fellow moderators of the Indo-Sing mailing list, asked me to join a forum interview by Radio Singapore International (RSI), the Indonesian section, with topics related to Indonesians living in Singapore.

He said that Handoko, another of our fellow Indo-Sing moderator, was supposed to join but he couldn't make it, so he asked me to cover for him. Other people who were invited to join the forum were Sigit, an Indo-Sing mailing list user, Hany and Ellen, Indo-Sing mailing list users and IndoSing-Mums mailing list moderators, and another one which was not yet decided.

Earlier, Renatha asked Andre, Dedhi, dan Ikhsan, three of some active Indo-Sing mailing list users, to also join the forum, but they were not able to make it. Therefore, we decided to invite Judhi, one of the moderators for the IMAS mailing list, to also join the forum, and fortunately he's able to join. So there would be representatives from three Indonesian communities in Singapore, namely Indo-Sing, IndoSing-Mums and IMAS.

Efika Rosemarie (Fika) is the RSI's presenter who interviewed us. She said that it was supposed to be Rane's show, but now Rane is being posted in Indonesia for six months, as RSI's correspondent in Indonesia. We had a pre-interview meeting on 29 January 2007, located at Hany's residence in Braddell, Toa Payoh, for Fika to brief us on what the programme is all about, and how we were going to conduct the forum discussion.

During the briefing, we were also brainstorming on what topics we would be discussing on the interview forum. There were three topics being discussed during the interview, and each topic was being discussed in a 30-minute duration. Fika suggested "working in Singapore" and "mailing lists for Indonesian communities in Singapore" as the two topics that we would be discussing, and for the third discussion, the topic would be "how long we would continue to stay in Singapore and whether we would be back to Indonesia later". Quite interesting topics to discuss. :)

Unfortunately, Ellen's daughter was admitted to hospital, so Ellen was not able to join both the pre-interview meeting and the interview itself. So there were five of us: myself, Renatha, Sigit, Hany and Judhi attended the forum interview.

The interview itself was conducted on 31 January 2007 at MediaCorp's Caldecott Broadcast Centre on Andrew Road. This is not my first experience in attending interview by RSI, I have been there before to attend an interview session with Rane. However, this is my first experience of a forum interview session with my friends, discussing about familiar topics that we all know very well. It was really, really, really fun!!! :)

Furthermore, Fika allowed us to take pictures prior, after and even *during* the interview session, and being narcisst photographers, Judhi, Hany and myself took our pictures during the whole event. :) :)

Similar to my interviews last time, it was not a live programme. It's recorded and I will update again on the exact time when the programme will be aired so that all of you can hear us on the radio. :) Unfortunately, being an international radio in Singapore, the programme cannot be heard in Singapore using the normal radio, since it's being broadcasted through the short-wave (SW) frequency which can only be received outside Singapore. Listeners in Indonesia can also hear RSI programme through some local radio stations which list can be found here. For those in Singapore, you can still hear it via the Internet, either via streaming or podcast. I'll update you again when they become available.

Update on 4 February 2007, 6:15pm: Fika has updated us that the FORUM talk show will be broadcasted by RSI Indonesia every Monday night at 9:35pm Singapore time (or 8:35pm Western Indonesian Time), starting from 18 February 2008 until 14 April 2008.

There are three topics to be discussed and each topic will be divided into three time slots. Thus, the whole interview will be broadcasted in a span of 9 weeks. The broadcast can be listened through RSI Indonesia's live streaming as well as its podcast, which will be available during and after the broadcast.

Related links: