Mandala Ready To Fly Much Higher

Mandala Airlines has passed the 40-year mark for serving air transportation in Indonesia. Now, aided by its new fleet of Airbus A320 and Airbus 319, the carrier will further expand its wings as a modern-generation airline, with its chief focus being customer service. With as many as 30 additional aircraft expected by 2014, Mandala’s intention is to become the airline that Indonesia can call her own.

Indonesia is also expected to take part in the AFTA, or ASEAN Free Trade Area, by 2010. Mandala announced in Jakarta that after 40 years, Mandala is still as committed as ever to maintaining its excellent services and remain the customer’s top choice.

“Providing consistently excellent services is our main challenge in 2009. A customer service spirit should not only be preached, but also put into action by every employee – offering the best service to our passengers, as part of a culture that each employee shares. Naturally, this will not be easy.”

Source: Mandala Inflight Magazine

We Are Dangerously Beautiful

I was driving with my friends from Leicester to London when I found the coldness could no longer be tolerated, and we decided to stop by local coffee shop, A Tower1 coffee. A-GBP-6-cup of coffee finally helped us ease the extreme coldness, before I realized that there was a small yellow sticker on the cash machine, something I really recognized,”TRAVEL WARNING: INDONESIA -  DANGEROUSLY BEAUTIFUL

My boss, an English national, once told me like this, “Arry, I have been traveling to over 60 countries worldwide, and I find that Indonesians are the friendliest people on earth“.

When I tried to ask further about that, he continued, “I wanna spend my remaining years in Indonesia, would you mind find me a good place in Yogyakarta, or West Java, or Bali?” I then realized that it was no need to argue with him. I have been living among Indonesians for over 30 years, and I find that he was right. We are used to the culture of helping people, tolerating others’ stand, being respective and passionate.

These days, Indonesia sees a heighten tension with its neighbor Malaysia over several issues. GNFI agrees that some remaining issues should not be left unsolved, both countries should really sit together with the spirit of equality, understanding, and for the sake of long-term friendship. Both sides then should really adopt and follow what is decided during the talk, with no reserve.

GNFI would like to use this opportunity to ask you Indonesians to uphold the spirit of friendship and mutual need during any rally or demonstration. We should adopt a friendlier demonstration, instead of burning flag, blocking road, and sealing the embassy’s gate with our flag. Those kinda things will not resolve anything, instead, it damages our reputation as a “civilized” society.

I met some angry students of Indonesians visiting Phnom Penh few months back, over the repeated physical abuse of Indonesian migrant worker in Malaysia, which at that time happened to take Siti Hajar as the victim. In time like this, Indonesians have been continuously taught to let the heart heated, but keep the head cool. Some Javanese proverbs also told us to fight fire with water, not with fire.

Please I request you to stop any harsh action towards Malaysian, its people, and its interest anywhere, cause believe me, with a peaceful demonstration, your message will be more easily to be delivered and heard. I am so sure, the messages to the Malaysian government have been clearly read and thought. We have seen some good progress as part of the result of good effort to ease the tension. We have seen some Malaysian programs aired in our TVs, our drama actors and actress spends days to learn to speak Malay, and there have been a clear standing from our government over the tension.

So, let’s forgive, for forgiving is the attribute of the strong. And then resolve!

I love Indonesia probably more that some Indonesian do, I’d gladly sacrifice my life for the sake of Indonesia and its people, but I’d die in honor and dignity.

Back to the story in London, in that coffee shop I encouraged myself to talk with the cashier and ask her where they got the sticker. Amanda, her name, replied, “Oh, I just returned from Indonesia 2 weeks ago, and someone gave me the sticker for free“. I bombarded her with more question, “You agree with the remark?“. She replied, “Oh, absolutely! The people were really nice“.

Hey, I think you must remove the sticker, or else your boss will do“, I continued. She said and asked me, “Thank you, I am the boss. Hey, are you Indonesian?

I surely am, Amanda!

Anyone Watching Indonesia?

Somehow, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono seems to be doing a fine job in prompting Indonesians to get their acts together. The results are showing.

From a choking dictatorship that it once was, Susilo has led Indonesia on a robust pursuit for democracy, and many analysts think he is making rapid progress. Naturally, the positive sentiment has transformed into bullish numbers.

The country’s macroeconomic management has been widely praised, and despite weakened global economy and sharp falls in gross domestic product (GDP) growth in major economies, Indonesia has been growing steadily.

Not only is GDP growth anticipated to exceed 4.5 per cent for the year, the rupiah has also strengthened and inflation has been kept under control.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) recently raised its forecast on Indonesia’s economic growth.

The economic performance in the first quarter of 2009, when real GDP grew by 4.4 per cent year-on-year, was surprisingly strong, owing mainly to the resilience of private consumption, the EIU said.

The EIU now expects real GDP to expand by 2.4 per cent this year, compared with a contraction of 1.4 per cent in its previous forecast.

It expects growth to accelerate to 3.2 per cent in 2010, up from 0.5 per cent previously.

Like many other countries, Indonesia also launched an economic stimulus package to weather the current turbulence, and analysts say its gambit has shown results.

Many attributed the much improved private consumption, which accounts for about 60 per cent of Indonesia’s GDP, to the government’s US$6.9 billion (RM24.3 billion) stimulus package which, by and large, put more money in the hands of civil servants.

While doing so, it has kept a tight leash on prices and thus enable the injection of funds to translate into real increase in disposable income.

And they say good news travels fast. Foreign investors, aided by bullish reports by analysts covering the country, have brought back Indonesia into their radars.

Which means there is every likelihood of Indonesia becoming a competitive destination for foreign investment once again.

And which was why several captains of businesses I met this week said they were a bit concerned that we, in Malaysia, seems preoccupied with other extraneous issues, even when others around us are getting back on their feet.

The captains of business were concerned that lest we take note of successes of the likes of Susilo, we are running the great risk of having to play catch-up soon.

Source: Business Times Malaysia

World’s Most On-Time Airports

“This year’s most improved airport on the top ten, Soekarno-Hatta, jumped from last year’s sixth slot thanks to impressive 84.2% on-time arrivals and 89.2% on-time departures. An estimated 32 million passengers passed through this busy hub in 2008, but airport officials want more. Construction on a third terminal is underway. Once completed, CGK will be able to double its passenger traffic”

On-time performances are within 15 minutes spare tolerance from estimated time of departures and arrivals. Soekarno-Hatta Cengkareng stays at the 2nd world’s most on-time airport with 86.7% index of punctuality (84.2% for arrivals and 89.2% for departures), below the first place Haneda Airport, Tokyo – Japan and just above Narita International Airport, also in Tokyo – Japan. the 4th rank is Incheon – South Korea and the 5th is Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport – Thailand.

Indonesia Continues To Grow

Indonesia’s robust economy continues to grow

Indonesia has proved to be less exposed to the global recession than many of its neighbours, and its economy expanded by 4.2% year on year in the first half of 2009. As a result, the Economist Intelligence Unit has revised up its forecast for real GDP growth to 4.1% (from 2.6% in our previous forecast) in 2009 and 4.4% (from 3.4% previously) in 2010.

The government’s US$7.1bn stimulus package for 2009, which includes cash transfers and higher salaries for civil servants, is supporting household expenditure. So are lower prices for food and fuel, which have provided a boost to personal disposable income.

However, we forecast that fixed investment will expand by only 0.5% this year, as domestic firms will experience difficulty in obtaining capital. Before the onset of the global financial crisis, domestic non-financial corporations obtained almost 50% of their financing from abroad. The Western investors that provided much of this cash have since scrambled to sell assets to meet their own short-term liabilities, which have become difficult to roll over. As a result, many investment plans in Indonesia are being postponed or dropped. Moreover, weak overseas demand will continue to prompt companies in the export sector to reduce investment. Although firms have so far not moved to lay off employees in large numbers, possibly because of the high severance costs that they must pay to sacked workers, we expect the unemployment rate to rise in response to the contraction in investment.

Although exporters will struggle amid economic weakness in 2009, imports are also likely to decline significantly. We therefore expect the foreign balance to continue to make a positive contribution to growth. Indeed, this contribution, at 1.2 percentage points, will be double that in 2007 and 2008.

There are still downside risks to our forecast. The international financial crisis could deepen, with a more damaging impact on global economic growth and capital inflows to Indonesia than we currently expect. The rupiah’s exchange rate is also important to the health of the Indonesian economy. Although the currency has appreciated since mid-March, renewed weakness is possible, and the effect of a collapse in the value of the rupiah (not our central forecast) would be to lower the spending power of most Indonesians. A weaker rupiah would also make it more difficult for local corporations to meet their external debt obligations, raising the number of bankruptcies.

In addition, political risks exist: if deteriorating economic conditions spark social unrest, investment growth could be even more sluggish than currently forecast as investors lose confidence in the country. That said, the outlook remains broadly encouraging. The convincing re-election of the president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is likely to boost political stability and will give the new administration a strong mandate to pursue economic reforms—even though many of these will have to wait until the worst of the global economic downturn has passed. There are also signs that the rate of contraction in the global economy has slowed in recent months, while conditions in global financial markets have also improved. A stronger recovery in the global economy than we currently forecast would enable Indonesia’s economy to grow at a faster rate.

Source: The Economist

Chindonesia Getting Prepared For G-20 Summit


The global downturn failed to prevent China overtaking Germany as the world’s third-largest economy. In fact, China’s economy has shown signs of improvement recently, with the annual growth rates of both industrial output and retail sales rising in July.

But the downturn has had serious consequences for the country, both internally and externally. Chinese exports have been hit hard by falling world demand, with millions of rural migrants returning to their villages after the factories that employed them closed down. China’s waning appetite for raw materials has had a knock-on effect on other countries’ exports, crushing hopes that key emerging markets could compensate for the developed world’s slowdown.

Its banks have not felt the impact seen elsewhere, but ordinary people have – with migrant workers especially hard hit. While China’s growth remains relatively strong compared with other countries, it has launched a $587bn stimulus package and has underlined that it now has the largest deficit in 20 years.

And China has recently been talking about the possibility of a new world currency to replace the dollar, though it stopped short of calling for this when it met with Brazil, Russia and India at the first BRIC summit in June.


Indian government under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is well placed to embark on economic changes, having won a new term with a strong margin in May. In July’s budget, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the government’s “first challenge” would be to return to a growth rate of 9% a year “at the earliest”.

The Indian economy grew 6.7% in the year to the end of March 2009, but had grown by an average of 8.8% in the previous five years. Agriculture, which makes up about a fifth of the economy, was one of the sectors to see growth fall, while industrial firms such as Tata have been severely affected by the freeze in world credit markets and a general fall in global spending. In the budget, the government also increased spending on urban poor schemes and the jobs-for-work scheme to help the poor.

Although India’s economy has undoubtedly been affected by the global recession, Prime Minister Singh has said he has no intention of going to the IMF for help – an institution he partly blamed for the economic downturn, saying it had conducted “too little surveillance of the affairs of the developed countries”.

Mr Singh has also shared France and Germany’s concern for greater regulation of financial markets. He has said he is happy that his country has been admitted to two key standard-setting bodies. “India has now been made a fully-fledged member of the Financial Stability Forum [and] also the Basel Banking Committee. This from India’s point of view is a plus factor,” he said.


Globalisation has been a significant economic benefit for Indonesia in recent years. Thanks in no small part to a big growth in manufacturing facilities for major multinationals, its economy grew 6.1% in 2008. However, with Western firms cutting back production towards the end of the year, Indonesia’s exports dropped sharply in the final three months of the year. To help lift the economy, the government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has passed a $6bn (£4.3bn) fiscal stimulus.

Quoted from

Launching Indonesia Eximbank

The Export Financing Agency, more popularly known as Indonesia Eximbank, that the Indonesia’s government launched last week is the country’s first full-fledged credit agency for financing foreign trade, similar to its counterparts in developed economies, such as the Ex-Im Bank in the United States.

Indonesia Eximbank is not a conventional bank like. Even though Eximbank is still required to maintain strict risk management and good corporate governance like other commercial banks, it is mandated to provide financing services with different terms and conditions from ordinary loans and credit based on export transactions.

Operating with an initial equity capital of Rp 4 trillion (US$400 million), which will be replenished with another $200 million next year, Eximbank will be especially helpful to medium and small companies that cannot put up security for loans.

As a state-owned company with a high credit rating, Eximbank will be able to raise low-cost funds from the market to strengthen its lending resources. It is also authorized by the law to raise additional operational funds from multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, foreign governments, Bank Indonesia and domestic and foreign finance companies. It will thus be able to extend credit with lower interest rates than commercial banks.

Set up especially to finance export trade in its broadest sense, Eximbank is authorized to provide not only credit but also all other services needed by companies engaged in the production and exporting of goods. It can extend credit not only for financing exports but also for the procurement of raw materials for processing into products for exports.

Put another way, the new bank will be able to meet the different needs of exporters and assess their different business risks inherent in the different types of products they export.

It will not compete with commercial banks, but will provide financing services that fill gaps in trade financing, including working capital guarantee, export credit insurance, loan guarantees and consultancy. As a state company it is also authorized to assume credit and country risks that other commercial banks, which are subject to strict prudential rulings by the central bank, do not touch on.

In brief, Eximbank will enable companies, large and small, to tap export opportunities around the world, including new export markets, thereby contributing to strengthening the national economy.

The timing of the launch of Indonesia Eximbank couldn’t be better, as global trade is projected to contract by 12.2 percent this year, squeezed by the deep slump in developed and emerging economies and the credit crunch caused by the global financial turmoil. The government itself has forecast that Indonesian exports this year will most likely decline.

Certainly, as a specialized financial services company that must fund its operations with its own revenue, Eximbank should devote resources to assessing the risks associated with international trade based on the information and market intelligence it gathers from various markets and buyers overseas.

Esia Aiming Asia

It is undoubtedly obvious that Bakrie group has become the giant in Southeast Asia, especially its endurance during the wave of global financial crisis. BUMI Resources, Bakrie’s wing for coal mining, has been the backbone of Indonesia’s stock market for quite sometimes. Bakrieland is reportedly eyeing to aquire land for property business outside Indonesia. Bakrie has many companies running various businesses and industries from piping, mining, plantation, telecoms, and many many more, and in ceteris-paribus condition, it will soon become Southeast Asia’s largest conglomerate.

Just a quick share, that Bakrie’s telecommunication wing, Bakrie Telecom with its brand Esia has been selected as the best post-paid and pre-paid card, and awarded the Indonesia’s Customer Satisfaction Award. Esia is not the largest mobile operator in Indonesia, but indeed, it has developed many strategies and innovations to attract new customers and existing ones. I personally hope that it will expand its base beyond Indonesia border. Ready, Esia?

The Best Memory On Earth Is In Indonesia

Dominic Brain, a 12-year-old boy from Kuta in Badung district, has had his name entered into the Guinness Book of World Records after proving his ability to recollect a 76-digit figure in only 60 minutes. The son of Gidion Hindartho showed his extraordinary ability in a record-breaking test organized by Guinness World Records Asia at the Bali Zoo Park in Gianyar more recently. Alex Iskandar Liew, a representative of Guinness World Records Asia, said on the occasion, Dominic’s feat was particularly unique because of his young age.

In the days ahead, Alex said, there would no doubt be other people who would try to equal or break Dominic’s record but they had to go through a long learning process first. Meanwhile, Dominic’s father, Gidion Hindartho, said, before taking the test, his son had indeed been training the capacity of his memory but without setting a certain achievement target.

Source: Voice Of Indonesia

Thank you RI_54 for sharing this!

Nato, Its Soldiers, And Solo

What do you know about NATO? NATO is undoubtedly the strongest military alliance on this planet where world’s strongest armed forces allied in the post world war II to defend themselves from the communist bloc in eastern Europe and USSR. Until this very moment, NATO still exists and becomes the sole power which has the greatest capability.

But not many people know that 13 armed forces under NATO wear military uniforms made in Indonesia. Sritex, one of Indonesia’s biggest textile companies located in Solo, Central Java, had secured a contract to produce NATO military uniform for its 13 members.

The quote below is taken from Sritex’s client list on its website:

Sritex, one of the world’s most trusted uniform suppliers, has been certified as an official partner outside Europe to produce military uniform by NATO. With this credibility, Sritex currently supplies uniform and field equipments to more than 18 countries of the world…

After supplying assault rifles and military uniforms, what’s next from Indonesia to supply the world’s military? We are going to the path of becoming one of the military centers of the world.