Bepe: I want to win a title with Indonesia

Bambang Pamungkas, better known as ‘Bepe’ by almost three million followers on Twitter, is an Indonesian legend. His 37 goals and 83 appearances for his country are both national records and, as captain of the national side, he continues to be an inspiration for a younger generation of Indonesian footballers. It was almost very different for Bepe, who confessed football was not his first calling.

“At first it never crossed my mind to become a football player, my dream was to become a teacher,” he told “On my eighth birthday my father gave me a pair of football boots, and from there on I wanted to become a footballer.”

He impressed in early youth tournaments and signed professional terms with Persija Jakarta in 1999. His first season was a sensation, with Bepe grabbing 24 goals in 30 games in Indonesia’s top flight to see him finish top scorer. He reveals it was a combination of determination and the element of surprise that saw him succeed in his maiden year.

“At that time I was highly motivated to prove that I deserved to compete with the all of the top strikers in Indonesia,” he continued. “On the other hand, maybe the defenders had not got used to my style of playing, which made it a little difficult to play against me.”

Bepe’s goalscoring exploits attracted the interest of foreign clubs and, after training with German sides Borussia Monchengladbach and Cologne, he signed a deal with Dutch third division side EHD Norad. Even though his time in the Netherlands was short-lived, the striker still appreciates the experience.

“My time in Holland was one of the most important moments of my career,” he said. “I learned a lot about how to live as a professional footballer. Unfortunately at the time I was still young, far from family and friends as well as living in a different culture, which made me homesick. Another thing was the cold weather, which made it a little difficult to adapt. But, to be honest, the lessons I learnt during my time in Holland formed my character.”

He returned to Indonesia and won the league title with Persija Jakarta in his first season back. In 2005, Bepe received an offer to join Malaysian outfit Selangor, where he enjoyed another remarkable campaign. His first year in Malaysian football saw him win the domestic treble.

He said: “The 2005/06 season was my best season. I scored 41 goals in 43 matches in all competitions and won three trophies. The most important thing was to play in every match without receiving any yellow or red cards and without suffering any injuries. It was a fantastic year.”

Maybe I will be shouting instructions to my players from the sideline as a coach, or maybe in my room accompanied by a laptop and a cup of coffee as a writer. Or even busy working on a few orders in a kitchen, as a chef!

Bepe on what he wants to do when he retires from playing football

The frontman once again returned back to Persija in 2007, where he has remained ever since, in spite of a trial for New Zealand outfit Wellington Phoenix in 2010. Bepe remains open to a move away from Jakarta in the future, though.

“Once again, the cold weather in New Zealand made me think twice, as it would have been difficult for me and my family to live there. Maybe it would still be possible for me to play in south-east Asia.”

Bepe began his international career not long after he signed his first professional contract with Persija, scoring on his bow against Lithuania in 1999. He admits it was difficult to handle the pressure as an 18-year-old debutant.

“It was really hard,” he confessed. “People started to recognise me and talked about everything I did. This was an important point in my career, because if I could not control myself then I would become a big-headed person. I managed to keep my focus, because I thought this was just the beginning and I still had a very long journey ahead.”

Even though he holds the national records for both goals and appearances, the striker still retains an ambition to win silverware with his country.

“Those records are meaningless without a trophy that could be enjoyed by all Indonesian people,” he said. “An important trophy for Indonesia would be a sweet ending to my career. Winning a trophy before I retire is my main target.”

From the pitch to the kitchen
Having recently enjoyed his 32nd birthday, Bepe has a chance to reflect on his career, and attempt to act as a role model for the Indonesian youth of today. He cites his family as a strong influence in his career.

“Both of my parents are the ones who set my character as a person,” he said. “After I got married, my wife and three daughters became an important aspect in my life. What I am doing now, I am doing it for them, the ones that I love.”

Bepe also recalled the players that most influenced him in his early footballing years. “At the beginning of my career I was an attacking midfielder and in my opinion Paul Gascoigne was a genius in that era,” he opined. “When I was a teenager, Kurniawan Dwi Julianto was a superstar in Indonesia, almost all teens regarded him as an idol, including myself. In 2000, we played together in the national team and it was a dream come true.”

In his spare time, Bepe likes to update his personal website and message his followers on Twitter, but the Indonesian also likes spending time in the kitchen. “I love to eat,” he said, smiling. “Every person who loves to eat surely wants to learn how to cook. Jamie Oliver is my favourite chef – his cooking style is expressive and innovative.”

Asked what he would be doing ten years from now, Bepe seemed philosophical. “Honestly, I have not thought about that,” he said. “Maybe I will be shouting instructions to my players from the sideline as a coach, or maybe in my room accompanied by a laptop and a cup of coffee as a writer. Or even busy working on a few orders in a kitchen, as a chef!”

Bepe also had a message for the Indonesian youth of today: “Never stop dreaming. Right now I am the one who is playing for this country, but one day it could be all of you replacing me, so prepare yourself as best as you can.”


Lombok, Bali without the Crowds

By Michelle Jana Chan

“Crowds came to watch when this airport first opened,” one local businessman told me. “Families brought picnics and spent the whole day here. Some had not even seen a plane before. They cheered every time one landed.”

Locals here will have to get used to the phenomenon of jets touching down. Lombok’s new airport – relocated to the south and five times larger than the previous one – marks a serious attempt to raise the island’s game as a tourist destination. The build-it-and-they-will-come strategy aims to attract visitors who might otherwise have chosen neighbouring Bali or elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

Already the Indonesian carrier Garuda and SilkAir, an offshoot of Singapore Airlines, operate international flights here. Malaysia’s low-cost AirAsia says it is also planning to do so soon. During my stay the first chartered jet from Moscow landed, delivering a planeload of Russians to the tropical sunshine. There are already plans to extend the runway to accommodate the wider-bodied aircraft that operate on longer-haul routes.

For the indigenous Sasaks who live in this area life has already changed. In the past they made a living from growing rice and weaving textiles. Now a substantial stream of their income is from selling sarongs and other souvenirs. One village, Sukarara, a short drive from the airport, has converted almost all the ground floors of its homes into small souvenir shops with the women demonstrating how to use a loom. “In the past we used to have one or two groups come by,” explained the village’s resident guide, who enterprisingly has called himself ‘Uncle Sam’. “Now there are more than a hundred tourists a day. Business is great.”

Some may be disappointed by how swiftly the village has become so commercial; a stopover is more of a shopping tour than an insight into local culture. The challenge for Lombok is whether it can develop its tourism sector while keeping intact its cultural identity and unspoilt landscapes.

Above all else Lombok’s trump card is its wonderful coastline: wild surfing beaches in the south; sweeping bays and calm waters on the west coast and the Gili Islands in the northwest. It is also home to Mount Rinjani, a 3,726m-tall mountain that is arguably more spectacular and certainly less crowded than Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in Borneo and one of the most popular draws for trekkers in southeast Asia. For those aiming to reach Rinjani’s highest point, campsites are located on the rim of the caldera looking down at a blue-green crater lake fringed with bubbling hot springs.

I began my journey exploring Lombok’s southern beaches such as the horseshoe-shaped bay Tanjung Aan, which is popular with serious surfers. The infrastructure here is still limited: a few fishing villages, a handful of restaurants and souvenir shops, as well as one lonely hotel, the Novotel Lombok. Not for much longer: when the Indonesian President Yudhoyono opened the new airport in October last year he also announced plans for a new 1,250-hectare resort, the Mandalika, with five-star accommodation and convention facilities.

On the island’s north shore there are hopes of luxurious, less crowded tourism, pioneered by the likes of The Oberoi which opened more than a dozen years ago. West of here the town of Senggigi has also seen a swathe of openings of stylish new properties including Qunci Pool Villas, and restaurants like Square and Asmara. Beaches here are sheltered with a backdrop of mountain peaks, and sunset views across to the volcanoes of Bali.

From Senggigi it is a 30-minute boat ride to Lombok’s most popular destination, the Gili Islands, which are ringed by fine sand and coral reefs. Until recently these three islands were mainly visited by backpackers paying £10 a night for simple beach accommodation. Now the biggest island, Gili Trawangan, is going upmarket with the opening of villa resorts, eco- lodges and spa retreats.

Clive Riddington, a property developer who originally hails from Britain, says the market has shifted since he first moved here. “In the old days it was all about smoking spliffs and listening to Bob Marley and parties on the beach,” he told me. “But now the island is going the way of boutique hotels and villa properties. The cost of land has soared.”

Of the other two islands Gili Meno is the least developed and the more peaceful but its beaches have exposed coral at low tide. The most westerly island, Gili Air, has soft sandy beaches and is popular with families. There is still a bohemian feel across all three islands: instead of cars and motorcycles, local transport is by bicycle or horse-drawn carts called cidomos.

In the past few years fast boats began operating between Bali and the Gili Islands, traversing the Lombok Channel in less than two hours and making access here much more straightforward. But the new airport should further boost visitor numbers as international flights draw in tourists from afar. Millions of people visit Bali each year seeking a beach paradise, but they may do better looking about 30 miles east, to the lesser-known island of Lombok.

Volcano trekking
The Indonesian archipelago, a region susceptible to tectonic activity, is part of the so- called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’ and is made up of a chain of beautiful and dramatic islands with cone-shaped peaks and fertile green fields enriched by mineral deposits and interspersed by stretches of solidified lava flows. With this island topography volcanoes seem all the more monumental because they rise up almost from sea level. That makes for an even tougher climb up to the summit.

Lombok’s Mount Rinjani is one of Indonesia’s highest mountains and offers a spectacular but straightforward climb. There are two main routes and it is common for hikers to avoid backtracking and use one trail up and the other trail down, which is what I chose to do.

I began my trek from the village of Senaru where I met my friendly, talkative guide, Sujar. He pointed out the changing flora as we moved from farmland into more forested areas of teak and mahogany trees. Adi, our wiry young porter carried our heavy provisions across his shoulders at either end of a bamboo pole. He had strung a radio to the yoke which blasted out loud crackly Indonesian pop music. I was relieved when the batteries died.

That first day we ascended more than 2,000 metres. En route we met a handful of other trekkers including some friendly Singaporeans, a group of Germans working on an eco-project and four South Koreans complaining about sore knees. Adi cooked up hot meals which were tasty if a little repetitive: fried rice or fried noodles with a fried egg, or noodle soup with a boiled egg.

The first night’s camp was located at one of the lower points on the crater rim. As we rose up over the lip I peered down into the caldera at the blue-green mineral-rich lake. Rising up from the waters was a smouldering Mount Baru, a baby cone born out of the lake 50 years ago.

Sujar told me the story about when he was camping here in 2006. He had heard a deep rumble “like it was inside” his body. When he found enough courage to leave his tent he saw Mount Baru violently erupting. He rounded up his group and they hotfooted it down the mountain.

“And your clients?” I asked. “Were they scared?”
“That was the strange thing,” he replied. “They were so happy. They told me how lucky they were to see an eruption.”

Our night passed peacefully and the following day we headed down into the caldera to the banks of the lake. As we drew closer there was a whiff of sulphur in the air. Some climbers were already swimming in the bubbling hot springs. Others were fishing for carp. We broke for lunch before a heavy rainstorm hurried us on to base camp. Adi boiled up some hot sweet tea and fried up some rice. Monkeys loitered around the camp hoping for leftovers.

We turned in at dusk. Overnight the temperature fell to a few degrees above freezing. We awoke in the early hours and set off swiftly with the aim of reaching the summit before sunrise. There was a sliver of a moon, turned up into a smile. The Southern Cross constellation punctured the night sky. We put on our head-torches and began hiking up the steep final stretch towards the very highest point of the caldera rim. We arrived early and sheltered from the wind in the lee of a rock. As the sun cracked over the horizon I could see the shadow of Rinjani thrown against the frangipani- pink skies in the west. Beyond was the silhouette of Bali’s sacred volcano Agung. With the land shrouded in mist it looked as if the peak was floating. I sat there, upon layers of ash and cinder, in wonder at how the explosive ‘Ring of Fire’ could also give rise to such serene moments.


Negeri ini Bukan Hanya Jakarta

By : Ahmad Cholis Hamzah*

Tulisan Dato’ Sri Mustopa Mohammed, Menteri Perdagangan dan Industri Malaysia di Jawa Pos tanggal 5 Mei 2012 berjudul “Permata di Luar Jakarta” sangat menarik untuk di simak. Dalam tulisan itu secara umum beliau mengungkapkan pengalaman yang mengesankan ketika beliau berkunjung ke Surabaya. Beliau menceritakan kekaguman beliau tentang kota Surabaya itu sendiri, tentang pertumbuhan ekonomi Jawa Timur 7,2% lebih tinggi dari pertumbuhan ekonomi nasional yang hanya 6,5%, volume ekonomi Jawa Timur yang mencapai US$ 120 milyar (atau sekitar Rp 1,000 trilliun), tentang pertemuan beliau dengan redaksi Jawa Pos, dengan Kadin Jatim serta dengan sekitar 100 pengusaha terkemuka Surabaya/Jawa Timur.

Beliau menjelaskan dalam akhir tulisan beliau bahwa lawatan beliau 36 jam ke Surabaya mengingatkan beliau betapa pentingnya pengusaha Malaysia menggarap potensi perniagaan di seluruh Indonesia. Beliau mengatakan: “Tatkala lobi-lobi hotel di Jakarta di penuhi pelabut bersut (berjas) dan tali leher (berdasi) dari Cina, India dan Amerika Serikat, pelabur Malaysia seharusnya melihat kepersekitaran (sekeliling), karena sememangnya “permata” yang sebenar ada di wilayah-wilayah di luar Jakarta.

Tulisan itu mengingatkan kita akan persepsi umum yang salah, bahwa ke majuan ekonomi itu hanya ada di ibu kota. Para investor hanya fokus pada Jakarta dan sekitarnya-karena dianggap bahwa daerah – daerah diluar Jakarta “is not sophisticated yet” atau belum maju, masih tertinggal atau backward. Saya sering menyebut hal ini dengan istilah “Capital Disease”. Semua orang yang berada di Ibu kota suatu negara di dunia ini menganggap bahwa dia “lebih baik” dari orang di luar ibu kota.

Tapi sekarang Indonesia sudah berubah dengan cepat. Otonomi daerah yang memberi peluang daerah mengatur urusannya sendiri, mengakibatkan beberapa daerah itu mengalami kemajuan yang cepat seperti contoh Surabaya dan Jawa Timur tadi. Gubernur Jatim Soekarwo sering menjelaskan besaran trade atau perdagangan Surabaya/Jatim dengan propinsi-propinsi di wilayah timur Indonesia bisa mencapai lebih dari Rp 200 trilliun. Propinsi lain juga mempunyai kekayaan yang melimpah, dari pertanian, perikanan, tambang, turisme dsb. Kelompok-kelompok menengah sudah tidak di dominasi Jakarta lagi, karena mereka menyebar di Nusantara ini.

Para investor luar negeri akhirnya menyadari bahwa peluang itu sekarang tidak terpusat di ibu kota dan sekitarnya saja. Kalu mereka lambat mengambil manfaat dari kemajuan daerah, maka para pesaingnya dengan cepat mengambilnya. Tidak heran kalau beberapa negara ASEAN dan Eropa ingin membuka secara resmi kantor perwakilannya (Konsulat) di daerah – seperti di Surabaya. Kita juga bisa menyaksikan setiap hari fakta bahwa ribuan orang dari daerah satu pergi ke daerah propinsi lain untuk membuka lapangan usaha baru. Misalkan banyak orang dari Jawa Timur, Jawa Tengah, maupun Jawa Barat berbondong-bondong ke Palu, Makassar, Manado, Palembang, Riau, Balikpapan dan sebagainya untuk berbisnis dari usaha kecil, menengah sampai besar.

Memang ada baiknya para pengusaha dari dalam negeri sendiri terutama di luar negeri, harus mulai melihat potensi ekonomi yang menakjubkan di daerah-daerah. Karena Indonesia bukan hanya Jakarta.

*) Alumni University of London, Universitas Airlangga Surabaya, dan Dosen STIE Perbanas Surabaya

Sendratari Ramayana yg mendunia

Sendratari Ramayana Candi Prambanan meraih penghargaan internasional “PATA Gold Award 2012″ mengalahkan 180 kontestan dari 79 negara pada kategori “Heritage and Culture”.

Penghargaan tersebut  mendapat perhatian juri dari segi pelestariannya, pengembangan, popularitasnya di dalam dan luar negeri, dampak eksternalnya bagi masyarakat sekitar serta keunikan tariannya yang memadukan seni tradisional dan modern.

Penghargaan PATA Gold Award 2012 itu merupakan penghargaan PATA Award yang diterima pihaknya untuk ketiga kali, yang pertama di Selandia Baru pada 1994 dan kedua di Beijing, China, pada 2011.

Cerita Sendratari Ramayana merujuk pada relief Epos Ramayana yang terukir dalam bentuk tiga dimensi terpahat di batu candi Prambanan yang dibangun pada abad ke-9 dan telah diakui sebagai Unesco world culture heritage list Indonesia.

Pentas Sendratari Ramayana tersebut pertama kali dilaksanakan di panggung terbuka sebelah selatan Candi Prambanan atas gagasan Letjen TNI (purn) GPH Djati Kusumo untuk menjadi daya tarik wisatawan waktu itu.

Kini  sendratari Ramayana yang dipentaskan di panggung terbuka berlatar belakang Candi Prambanan tiap Selasa, Kamis, Sabtu, dan Minggu atau seminggu penuh di kala bulan purnama itu semakin banyak mendulang penonton.

Sepanjang 2011 sekitar 75 ribu pengunjung menonton sendratari ini, meningkat dibanding tahun-tahun sebelumnya yang sekitar 50 ribu, meski kebanyakan anak-anak sekolah domestik.

Jamu: Why Isn’t Indonesia’s Ancient System of Herbal Healing Better Known?

In 1990, Irish journalist Susan Jane-Beers noticed an herbal-medicine clinic in the corner of a hair salon in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, her adopted home. A victim of age-related chronic knee pain that conventional pharmaceuticals couldn’t numb, let alone heal, Jane-Beers decided to try jamu — traditional Indonesian medicine.

The results astounded her. After three days of taking only one-third of the prescribed dose of herbal pills, the pain had vanished, making her wonder if she’d found “the magic bullet of all time.”

Jane-Beers spent the next decade researching the origins, myths, tightly guarded recipes and commercial applications of herbal medicine in Java, where plants have been used for medicinal purposes since prehistory. Her 2001 opus Jamu: The Ancient Art of Herbal Healing remains the only definitive English guide on the subject. It’s also the most widely read outside Indonesia since Herbarium Amboinense, a catalog of plants completed by German botanist Georg Rumphius in 1690 — more than three centuries earlier.

A holistic therapy based on the notion that if disease comes from nature, then so must the cure, jamu uses a dazzling array of teas, tonics, pills, creams and powders to cure — or prevent — every ailment imaginable. The ingredients are by definition cheap, widely available and simple: nutmeg to treat insomnia, guava for diarrhea, lime to promote weight loss and basil to counter body odor.

Jamu has also been used to treat cancer. In her book, Jane-Beers writes of a traditional healer in the city of Jogjakarta who apparently cured what had been diagnosed as a terminal case of cervical cancer with a tea made of betel nut, Madagascar Periwinkle and mysterious benala leaves. By combining the tea with a strict soybean diet, the patient was said to have made a full recovery in 18 months.

Sound far-fetched? A 2011 study by Virginia Tech’s Department of Food Science and Technology on the soursop tree — whose leaves are used to relieve gout and arthritis in Indonesia — found evidence showing that extracts from soursop fruit inhibit the growth of human breast cancer. Vincristine, one of 70 useful alkaloids identified in Madagascar Periwinkle, radically ups the survival rate of children with leukemia, while turmeric is being looked at as a treatment for Alzheimer’s.

“Western medicine tries to destroy cancer, but at the same time it destroys elements of the body. Jamu helps the body produce its own antibodies to fight the cancer by itself,” says Bryan Hoare, manager at MesaStila, a wellness retreat in central Java that serves jamu shots with breakfast and employs a tabib, or indigenous healer, for private consultations. “Coming from the earth, jamu also makes you feel good. When you take it you experience a positive feeling.”

But if jamu is the magic bullet, why isn’t it better known in the West, where natural Asian medicines like India’s ayurvedic system and Chinese herbal healing have been growing in popularity for years?

The answer can be found on the streets of Indonesia, where jamu is consumed regularly by 49% of the population, according to the country’s Ministry of Health. Valued at $2.7 billion annually, the industry covers an incredibly wide gamut of products and regimens, including homemade tonics sold by street hawkers, slimming powders, cosmetics and jamu for babies and postnatal care. Yet the best sellers in terms of value are invariably the dodgiest: those claiming to boost sexual performance or suppress appetite.

“Indonesians may well have been amused when Viagra was released in 1998,” Jane-Beers says, noting the popularity of brands like Kuat Lekali (Strong Man), Kuku Bima (Nail of God) and Super Biul Erection Oil. “They have had their own remedies for years.”

Then there’s the association between jamu and white magic. Many indigenous healers insist on dispensing jamu on auspicious dates or in conjunction with animist spells that predate the arrival of Islam in the archipelago.

Mbah Ngatrulin, a Buddhist tabib I met in Ngadas, the highest village in Java, told me that spells are the key and that jamu may as well be “mineral water.” It’s the kind of comment that prevents many physicians across Southeast Asia from endorsing jamu lest patients take them for quacks.

According to Charles Saerang, head of the Indonesian Jamu Entrepreneurs Association, the primary impediment to a worldwide jamu craze is that locally produced jamu products don’t meet international manufacturing standards. That hasn’t stopped entrepreneurs from buying raw herbal materials in Indonesia, processing them in India and Malaysia and selling them in the U.K. — a market Indonesian-made jamu products can’t access. That’s a double whammy for Indonesia, which loses out on value added by third parties and the chance to promote the jamu brand name abroad.

It’s impossible to say when, or even if, jamu painkillers will be stocked at supermarkets and convenience stores in countries like the U.K. Yet inroads are already being made by small businesses like the Origin Spa in Melbourne. There, highly skilled practitioners apply massage techniques developed by 16th century Indonesian royalty — the founders of modern jamu— using creams and oils containing turmeric, betel leaves and crushed eggshells. There’s a minimum two-month waiting list for Origin’s five-day post-pregnancy treatment that is said to help women regain their figures quickly, improve lactation and dispel wind, dizziness and aches and pains.

“It’s surprisingly popular with the Asian mums throughout Australia,” says partner Jessica Koh. “But it’s still unfamiliar to most of the locals.”

— With reporting by Theo Manday / Ngadas

Read more:,8599,2107489,00.html#ixzz1rWR9XrLy

PTDI dan Pesawat Kepresidenan Indonesia

Kemaren, saya mendapat kehormatan menerima tweet dari tokoh favorit saya, bung Fadjroel Rachman. Isinya begini : “@fadjroel: CN-235 pesanan KorSel, SELAMAT IKUT BANGGA ya @GNFI tp Jenderal SBY tak mau pesawat kepres”. Tentu sebuah silaturahim yang hangat dan menghangatkan, karena negeri ini yang mengalami krisis kepercayaan diri cukup lama, mampu menjual pesawat berteknologi tinggi, kepada negara maju pula.

Namun ada yang perlu digarisbawahi memang bahwa (diluar saya setuju atau tidak tentang pembelian pesawat kepresidenan Boeing BBJ 2) saat ini PTDI (pembuat CN 235 MPA ) belum membuat pesawat bermesin jet. Meski secara kemampuan para insinyur kita mampu, tapi tentu membutuhkan waktu bertahun-tahun di sisi riset dan pengembangan, dan test ini itu, ini tentu menjadi masalah ketika kas negara tidak gemuk. Selain itu, perlu diingat bahwa pesawat jet apapun yang nanti dibuat PTDI, harus juga menguntungkan secara komersial.

Kita perlu melihat bahwa pesawat Boeing BBJ yang dipesan untuk pesawat kepresidenan, adalah seukuran Boeing 737-800 NG milik (spt pswat baru Garuda Indonesia). Dan PTDI tidak mungkin melakukan riset bertahun-tahun hanya untuk membuat 1 unit pesawat kepresidenan saja. Kalau PTDI berniat mengembangkan pesawat seukuran itu, tentu harus dipertimbangkan masak-masak mengenai pasar di dunia, yang saat ini dikuasai oleh Boeing (AS) dan Airbus (konsorsium Eropa). Sementara pesawat jet yang ukurannya lebih kecil, pasarnya sudah diperebutkan oleh dua perusahaan yakni Embraer (Brazil), dan Bombardier (Canada). Belum lagi para pemain baru seperti Sukhoi (Russia) yang meluncurkan SJ 100 dan juga COMAC (China) yang meluncurkan ARJ 21-700. Memang ada pasar dalam negeri, namun jaman sekarang, tentu mustahil kita mengharuskan maskapai-2 nasional HARUS memakai pesawat produksi dalam negeri.

Saya yakin, para insinyur2 Indonesia mampu membangun pesawat jet. Namun perlu dipikirkan secara menyeluruh mengenai,…what’s next. Pemasaran, branding, persaingan dengan para produsen di atas, dan lain lain. PTDI (dulu IPTN) pernah berencana membangun pswt jet seukuran ERJ 21-700 yang dinamai N-2130, namun rencana itu berhenti di tengah jalan karena kebentur krismon.

Diluar pendapat setuju atau tidaknya kita atas pembelian pesawat kepresidenan, tapi perlu dicatat bahwa memang untuk mengangkut presiden dan rombongan,  memang diperlukan pesawat jet berbadan sedang. Tentu lebih pada sisi efisiensi dan efektifitas. Ke depan, kalau memang kita mau PTDI membangun pesawat bermesin jet, mari kita lakukan bersama.

Animasi Kelas Dunia dari Batam

Indonesia memang menyimpan banyak kisah inspiratif yang tak banyak diketahui orang. kisah kali ini datang dari Batam, tepatnya di studio animasi milik PT KINEMA SYSTRANS MULTIMEDIA. perusahaan yang lebih dikenal dengan nama merek ‘INFINITE FRAMEWORKS’ ini merupakan studio animasi yang cukup populer di mancanegara karena telah memproduksi serial kartun seperti The Garfield Show, Lucky Luke, Leonard / Dr. Contraptus, dan Franklin & Friends.

Infinite Frameworks merupakan buah usaha gigih seorang warga Indonesia, Mike Wiluan. sekitar tahun 2005, lelaki ini menangkap perkembangan tren animasi di Asia Tenggara cukup pesat. Tak mau kehilangan kesempatan, Mike yang memiliki latar belakang sutradara lepas dan produser film di Inggris kemudian mengambil alih studio post produksi Singapura dan mendirikan studio sendiri di Batam. studio inilah yang kini dikenal dengan Infinite Frameworks.

Mike memilih Indonesia untuk mengembangkan studionya karena keberadaan sumber daya manusia yang melimpah di tanah air. benar saja, hingga sekarang, Mike berhasil mempekerjakan banyak animator Indonesia untuk membuat berbagai karya animasi yang terkenal di dunia. sebut saja Sing To The Dawn atau Meraih Mimpi, dan Tatsumi, film animasi berlatarbelakang kehidupan Jepang yang telah diputar dalam festival film Cannes dan meraih box office di Singapura.

sumber: Intisari Extra

ditulis ulang di Good News from Indonesia oleh Farah Fitriani ([email protected] / @farafit)

Erick Setiawan, Novelis Indonesia yang Mendunia

Kita tentu mengenal nama Andrea Hirata, penulis Indonesia yang terkenal dengan karyanya Laskar Pelangi. tapi, apakah kita mengenal nama Erick Setiawan?

Erick Setiawan adalah novelis asal Indonesia yang sejak tahun 1991 pindah ke Amerika dan menetap disana. ia terkenal karena novelnya yang fenomenal, Of Bees And Mist, yang terbit tahun 2009. Berbeda dengan Andrea Hirata yang sukses lebih dulu di negara sendiri, Erick Setiawan pertama meraih kesuksesannya di Amerika.

Penulis kelahiran Jakarta tahun 1975 yang pernah menuntut ilmu di Stanford University, Amerika Serikat dalam bidang psikologi dan komputer ini adalah seorang kutubuku dan suka menulis. Sebelum Of Bees and Mist, Erick telah menulis dua novel namun dua naskahnya tersebut mendapat ratusan penolakan dari para agen sastra, sehingga ia tidak pernah mendapat kesempatan untuk menerbitkan karyanya.

Penolakan tersebut untungnya tidak menyurutkan semangatnya dalam menulis. Erick lalu menulis of Bees and Mist yang diselesaikannya dalam waktu 4 tahun. berbeda dengan dua naskah novel terdahulunya, kali ini dalam waktu yang tidak terlalu lama ia memperoleh agen sastra hingga akhirnya pada tahun 2009 novelnya ini diterbitkan oleh penerbit kenamaan Simon & Schuster. Tak hanya itu saja, Of Bees and Mist mendapat sambutan yang positif dari pembaca dan kritikus sastra. Novel ini menjadi finalis QPB New Voices Award 2010 dan masuk dalam longlist penghargaan sastra bergengsi internasional IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2011.

Of Bees and Mist sendiri merupakan kisah epik cinta, drama keluarga, dan misteri yang berlangsung selama tiga puluh tahun. Tokoh sentralnya adalah seorang wanita bernama Meridia yang memiliki ‘konflik’ dengan ibu serta mertuanya.

Walau inti dari kisah dalam novel ini adalah perseteruan antara anak dan mertua namun Erick mengemasnya dengan begitu menarik sehingga novel ini menjadi tidak membosankan. Di novel ini ada begitu banyak konflik yang dikisahkan, selain perseteruan antara Meridia dan mertuanya, dikisahkan pula konflik antara kedua orang tuanya, Revena dan Gabriel, lalu ada juga kisah kedua adik iparnya, hingga Patinna, pembantu mertuanya yang ternyata memiliki kisah rahasia antara dirinya dengan Eva.

Yang membuat kisah ini semakin menarik adalah balutan misteri dan mistis yang membungkus kisah cinta dan drama dalam novel ini. Baik keluarga Meridia maupun keluarga mertuanya memiliki sisi kelam yang sedikit demi sedikit akan terungkap di sepanjang novel ini. tak heran novel setebal 416 halaman ini mendapat ulasan bagus dari banyak media di Amerika. (baca ulasannya disini)

Novel ini ditulis dalam Bahasa Inggris dan telah diterjemahkan ke dalam empat bahasa yaitu Spanyol, Belanda, Cina dan tentu saja, Indonesia. novel yang dipuji oleh Washington Post ‘Drama rumah tangga yang mengagumkan’ ini telah beredar di empat benua, Amerika, Asia, Eropa dan Australia. Novel ini juga bisa dibeli secara online melalui toko buku terkenal,Barnes and Noble, dan situs jual beli internasional lain seperti Powell’s, Indiebound serta Amazon.

sumber: official website of Of Bees and Mist

ditulis di Good News From Indonesia oleh Farah Fitriani (@farafit / [email protected])

Sunday Profile: Meeghan Henry, Miss Teen Asia USA

Teenager Meeghan Henry seems like a young woman in a hurry. A university student and accomplished singer, the Indonesian-born 17-year-old is also the current Miss Teen Asia USA. California-based Meeghan balances the work that comes with the title, an ambitious music career and her work load at the University of La Verne in California, where she is studying broadcast TV.

As an aspiring pop star, Meeghan has also released a full-length album titled “When I’m 18,” which includes 12 original tracks, mostly written by Meeghan.

As Miss Teen Asia USA, Meeghan said she is using the platform to push positive messages to young people about ending bullying, and staying away from alcohol and drugs. She is also promoting Indonesia to the world.

The Jakarta Globe interviewed Meeghan by email to find out more about her experience as Miss Teen Asia USA 2011, her Indonesian roots and her quest for stardom.

Tell us about your duties as Miss Teen Asia USA?

Once the crown was put on my head, the rest was up to me. Nothing is going to happen if I don’t take action. I can’t just wait for an opportunity to come along. I have to go find the opportunities myself. This reign only lasts for one year and it’s a once in a lifetime experience, so I’m willing to do whatever I need to do.

I travel a lot and I also get to visit different organizations and charities and spread my platform message. It’s such a fulfilling thing.

My platform focuses on the younger generation, and it’s all about living above the influence [of drugs]. I want to spread the message that you don’t have to succumb to society’s pressures to live a successful life.

As Miss Teen Asia USA, what can you contribute to Indonesia?

I think my job as Miss Teen Asia USA and as a native-born Indonesian is to promote my home country along with other Asian countries. Not a lot of people know about Indonesia, although we are the fourth most populous country in the entire world, the third largest democracy and we have more than 17,000 islands.

People usually know Indonesia, maybe, for the tsunami we had a few years back and possibly Bali, but those aren’t the only things the country offers. There are so many islands, there are so many different traditions and cultures and they’re all beautiful. I think if people find that, they would embrace the Indonesian culture. My job is to bring Indonesia to people’s attention.

How have you promoted Indonesia as Miss Teen Asia USA?

I actually just did the 123rd Annual Rose Parade! It was so much fun! I got to ride on the ‘Wonderful Indonesia’ float, which won the President’s Trophy, and I got to ride on it with Raul Rodriguez, who designed the float. The float was actually his 500th float, too, so it was a big deal.

Why did you decide to enter Miss Teen Asia USA?

I’ve always thought that it would be a good thing to dip my fingers into as many different things as possible while I’m still young to get some experiences under my belt, and pageants were always something I loved to watch. The girls were huge role models to me, so I thought to myself, ‘I want to be like them one day.’ Why not start now?

So I entered the pageant, and it was an amazing experience. I learned so many things, from etiquette skills to keeping my poise to self confidence. I also learned about other Asian cultures along with my own, and I gained lots of friends, two of which I consider among my best friends now.

What do you enjoy about being Miss Teen Asia USA?

I love everything about being Miss Teen Asia USA. Of course, I love going to red carpet events and all the perks that come with the title, but I also love meeting kids and hearing them tell me that they want to be like me when they grow up. It’s the best feeling in the world because I always thought the same thing about people like Miss America and Miss Universe. Now, I’m one of them, and I’m glad I can help make an impact with my title as well.

What were some of the biggest challenge of the competition?

For me, the biggest challenge was accepting myself. I was always comparing myself to other girls to see how I compared to them in the competition when I should’ve been focusing on myself. It was really hard not to let myself think about that kind of stuff because it was a competition, but towards the end, I realized that I was beautiful no matter what.

You are also an aspiring singer. What do you like about singing?

Singing is my form of expression. It’s even better when I sing songs that I wrote myself because I completely relate to the song. When I sing, I’m completely vulnerable, and it’s hard to feel that way. But when you have people who tell you that you’re a great singer or have people who just like the music you make, it makes it all worthwhile.

What was your inspiration for the song ‘When I’m 18’?

When I wrote ‘When I’m 18,’ I was in a dream state. I was just super happy that day and I was thinking about the future, and that’s how I came up with the song.

Where have you performed?

I’ve performed my songs at so many places. I was on a school tour last year so I performed at a ton of schools in Southern California, but I’ve also been called on to perform at places such as the Asian American Expo. I sang at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills for my CD release and Colby O’Donis also sang with me. I’ve sung at the House of Blues and Whisky A Go Go, among many other places.

You live in California, what do you miss most about Indonesia?

I miss the food. I love ayam goreng kalasan , mie goreng and sate ayam. However, I visit Indonesia a lot. Probably every other year, if not every year.

What are some of your hobbies?

I love movie editing. I also like photography. In fact, I’m taking a photography class at school right now, and it’s really fun.

What are your plans for the future? Any upcoming projects?

I’m just focusing on my school, singing and being Miss Teen Asia USA. Between all of that, I have to find time for myself and hanging out with friends and being a regular teenager, but I do have a lot of goals for myself in the future. I’m hoping my music career will progress and I want to be a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.

But I’m living life one day at a time.

Source: The Jakarta Globe

365Indonesia Day 51 – Derawan Island, East Kalimantan

Another photo from Derawan Island.

That is a place for tourists to stay when they visit Derawan Island, home stay that ran by local people. Enjoy yourself at Derawan island.



Check my travel blog Mad Alkatiri for more cool places and follow me @madalkatiri