"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
.

The headquarters of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in 
Jakarta. (BeritaSatu Photo)
"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. …

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Sunday, September 30, 2007

State officials must reject bribes, VP says

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Vice President M Jusuf Kalla has asked state officials not to accept bribes because it would disadvantage themselves and the country.

"I ask state officials, government officials, no to accept bribes," the vice president said here on Friday at a gathering with the press at his office.

Kalla said it was time to find solutions so that officials would refuse bribes.

"If an official accepts a bribe and is later arrested, it`s normal. The important thing today is how to find ways so that they will refuse bribes," Kalla said.

The vice president made the statement commenting on the arrest of a member of the Judicial Commission, Irawady Joenoes, by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) for allegedly receiving a bribe in a land procurement deal recently.

Market launched to improve farmers' lives

JAKARTA (Jakarta Post): Don't know where to go on weekends other than the shopping malls?

You can perhaps pay a visit to Indonesia's first-of-its-kind farmer market, officially launched here Saturday by the Agriculture Ministry and due to run every weekend afterwards.

Located at the clean, neat National Monument (Monas)'s IRTI parking area on Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan, Central Jakarta, the market offers various kinds of farming products: fruits and vegetables, processed products, and ornamental plants.

And they are all fresh bought and sold by the traders themselves.

These farmers come from areas in Jakarta and the neighboring Banten and West Java provinces.

"We wish to bring the farmers to meet face-to-face with customers, so that they can earn more from their farming products," said Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyono at the launch.

He said that farmers had all these times been a marginalized group, as they could only earn a little from their farming products that were usually traded to customers via middlemen, who took the most benefit from the mediated trading system.

"Based on a research, farmers can earn an added value up to 23 percent of overall agribusiness activities with the direct marketing system," added Anton, taking as example the success of farmer markets in Malaysia, Britain and some other countries.

At the same occasion, the Agriculture Ministry's director general for processing and marketing of agricultural products, Djoko Said Damardjati, said that Jakarta was the first province in Indonesia organizing such a market.

"We'll have this farmer market in two or three provinces in total by the end of the year," said Djoko, adding that the other provinces might include Yogyakarta, Bandung in West Java, or Semarang in Central Java.

According to Djoko, the ministry has set aside a fund of around Rp 400 million (approximately US$43,716) for the program this year.

Overall, a total of 34 cities and municipalities in 17 provinces of Indonesia will host the farmer markets in the next few years.

The ministry will provide all farmer participants with kiosks for free.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

President: No body immune from law

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wants the bribery case involving Judicial Commission member Irawady Joenoes taken to court to give the signal that nobody in Indonesia is immune from the law, his spokesman said.

"President Yudhoyono has made it plain that whoever commits a crime must be prosecuted," presidential spokesman Andi Mallarangeng said at Halim Perdana Kusuma airport, east Jakarta, on Saturday, upon his arrival from New York, the United States, with the President.

According to Andi, when President Yudhoyono was in New York, he was aware of Irawadi`s arrest by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). The President then indicated that the important thing in the matter was enforcing the law through court proceeding.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested Judicial Commission (KY) member Irawady Joenoes on Wednesday for allegedly accepting a bribe in a land procurement deal.

Irawady was arrested after KPK discovered Rp600 million and US$30,000 in his bag. The land owner, Freddy Santoso, was also declared a suspect in the case.

President Yudhoyono visited New York, the US, from September 22 to 27, to attend the 62nd General Assembly of the United Nations.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Foreign Investors Buy Up SUN and SBI

Friday, 28 September, 2007 | 17:24 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The amount of foreign investors funds in the form of State Debt Securities (SUN) and Bank Indonesia Certificate (SBI) in the second quarter increased compared to the first quarter of this year. Now the amount of foreign funds in SUN reached Rp81.8 trillion, increasing from Rp63.6 trillion. The funds saved in SBI was Rp38 trillion, and went up from Rp19.4 trillion.

Director of Bank Indonesia’s Economic Statistics and Monetary Matters, Triyono Widodo, said that the foreign funds flow that entered long-term investment rose 42.8 percent compared to the previous period.

The increase of foreign funds, he said, does not influence foreign exchange reserves. This is because the funds entered through the secondary market. The increase of the foreign portion in SBI and SUN, he said, was because of the financial transactions in the public sector that increased significantly, from US$2 billion deficit to US$2.3 billion surplus in the second quarter of 2007.

The highest transaction increase is the non-oil and gas sector, 84.3 percent. The oil and gas sector rose 9.3 percent. These increases were pushed by the hike of company foreign capital profit which was reinvested (reinvested earnings).

Fauzi Ichsan, Standard Chartered Bank’s economist, said the rise of foreign funds was influenced by the decrease in the United States central bank’s interest rate (The Fed Reserve). The other factor is the strengthening of the Rupiah’s exchange rate against foreign currencies.

A different opinion was expressed by Citi Group’s economist, Anton Gunawan. He believes that the increase of SUN and SBI foreign funds was also due to the subprime mortgage that hit the United States. As a result, investors transferred their funds from the United States. “Earlier, there was in fact an increase of foreign funds ,” he said.

BI also listed the foreign exchange increase. In this quarter, the foreign exchange reserves reached US$50.9 billion, having risen US$3.7 billion from the previous quarter of US$47.2 billion.

Strong exports push Indonesia's balance of payments into surplus

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Strong commodity exports and an influx of foreign funds into the local capital markets pushed Indonesia's balance of payments during the second quarter to a surplus of US$3.63 billion, the central bank reported Thursday.

The surplus resulted from the current account -- the balance's component of goods and services trade and other transfers -- rising to $2.55 billion from $1.71 billion during the second quarter last year.

Indonesia's capital and financial account -- the component of investments -- also surged to $2.21 billion from only $25 million.

Adding to 2007's first quarter figures, the overall surplus until June reached some $8 billion, with Bank Indonesia expecting that figure to reach $11.49 billion by the end of the year.

Indonesia's foreign exchange reserves was at $50.92 billion and is expected to reach $54.36 billion by the end of the year. The latest figure, on Aug. 31, was $51.42 billion.

Triono Widodo, BI director for monetary statistics, said the current account surplus mostly came from non-oil and gas exports, which grew 20 percent on-year on strong global demand, and prices for Indonesia's commodities, which registered a $7 billion surplus.

Indonesia also saw gas exports at a $2.9 billion surplus, making the country a net energy exporter by offsetting an oil trade deficit of $1.6 billion. The deficit in services trade, meanwhile, rose to $2.8 billion and transfers saw a $3.1 billion deficit.

In the financial account, Triono said a rush of investors in a still liquid global market buying up Indonesian assets had increased the surplus in portfolio investments to $5.7 billion, from $700 million last year.

BI is however expecting a slight slowdown in both exports and portfolio investments in the second half due to the effects of the recent sub-prime mortgage crisis in the U.S. which is threatening the country's economic growth.

The surplus in direct fixed capital investment also rose to $1.3 billion in the second quarter from $1.1 billion last year, due to an improving business climate.

UN chief asks Yudhoyono to help ease tensions in Myanmar

New York (ANTARA News) - United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has called on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to help ease the tensions in Myanmar as the Indonesian president has good relations with the Myanmarese leader, General Than Shwe.

"In my meeting with the UN Secretary General, he privately asked me what I could do (in Myanmar`s case) recalling that I once visited Myanmar. And also what Indonesia and Myanmar could do)," President Yudhoyono told the press here on Thursday before returning to Indonesia.

He said there was still a chance he would have direct contact with General Than Shwe to discuss the latest situation in Myanmar but he had not yet decided on making the direct contact.

"Whether I will have direct communication in the present situation, I am still considering it .... And if its necessary and will bring benefit, of course, I as an ASEAN member and my Myanmarese friend, we could do it," he added.

In his meetings with General Than Shwe, namely when he visited Myanmar and when the Myanmarese leader visited Jakarta, the President said, he had always expressed the hope as an ASEAN leader that the democratization process in Myanmar would run well.

Yudhoyono at the time also told General Than about Indonesia`s change-over from authoritarianism to democracy, including putting the military into a proper position.

He added on many occasions, including at the meeting with UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon and US President George W Bush, he had always stressed that the international world should help the democratization process in Myanmar and strengthen the country`s unity and security.

"So they still believe that democratization will be good for Myanmar," he added.

Yudhoyono further told Ban Kii-Moon that he would communicate with Singapore, the current rotating ASEAN chairman.

He added he had talked with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday morning and they agreed on the need to issue an ASEAN joint statement on Myanmar.

Meanwhile, foreign ministers of the 10-member ASEAN held a meeting at the UN Headquarters, in New York to discuss the latest development in Myanmar.

They also expressed their shock about the use of automatic weapons against demonstrators, killing several people and asked the Myanmar`s military junta to stop the cruel actions.

They also urged the Myanmar power holders to restrain themselves, seek a political settlement and make national reconciliation efforts with all parties.

Myanmar was also asked to release all its political prisoners, including democracy figure Aung San Suu Kyi.

The ministers directly expressed their concern to Myanmar Foreign Minister Nyan Win and saw that the latest development in the country had led to a serious situation that would have an impact on the image and credibility of ASEAN.

A statement said Singapore`s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong would send a letter to the Myanmar leader to express ASEAN`s stance.

ASEAN ministers also supported the UN Secretary General`s decision to send his Special Envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, who has been dispatched to the region in response to the deteriorating situation in the country and welcomed the assurance given by Myanmar Foreign Minister Nyan Win that it would give visa for Gambari in Singapore.

Ban, in a statement released by his spokesperson, called on Myanmar`s authorities to engage in a constructive dialog with Gambari, who will begin his visit on 29 September, and to commit to a path of peaceful and inclusive national reconciliation."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Indonesia losing ground in corruption battle

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesia scored worse on the latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI), but the figure is still better than five years ago, an annual global survey by Transparency International revealed Wednesday.

Of the 180 countries in the survey, Indonesia placed 143 with a CPI of 2.3, a slight decline from 2.4 in the 2006 survey, which featured 163 countries.

The CPI, ranging from zero to 10, reflects public perception of a country's commitment to fight corruption involving government officials.

The index is defined as a perception by analysts andbusinesspeople about corruption levels in a country, especially in the public sector.

The survey is a compilation of results from 14 surveys by 12 independent agencies worldwide. (Desy Nurhayati)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

WB to stop giving concessional loans to RI

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - World Bank country director for Indonesia Joachim von Amsberg said the bank would no longer give concessional loans to Indonesia because it had become a middle-income country.

"Indonesia has undergone a change in terms of the loans it receives from the World Bank, namely from International Development Assistance (IDA) schemed loans such as subsidies and grants to IBRD schemed loans. This reflects the country`s success in managing its economy. Indonesia is now considered to be a mature middle-income country," he said.

He said, however, seeking World Bank loans was still more advantageous than issuing international bonds.

"There are a lot of advantages Indonesia can enjoy by seeking loans from the bank. We will always make the loans more favorable for Indonesia. The interest of our products is 50 basis points above Libor which always fluctuates but is still lower than market interests. If Indonesia seeks loans in the international market their interest is between 100 and 200 basis points above Libor. The World Bank also offers loans with longer grace periods," he said.

He said the World Bank is currently trying to make its products more attractive for its members including trying to lower their interest from the present level.

Indonesia`s outstanding debts to the bank from 1967 to 2006 reached US$7.424 billion under the IBRD scheme and US$1.323 billion under the IDA scheme..

Yudhoyono meets WB President on StAR Initiative

UN Headquarters (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at a meeting with World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick here on Tuesday agreed that World Bank and United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (UNDOC) personal will visit Indonesia to further develop technical assistance under the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative.

The meeting took place in the UN Headquarters on the sidelines of the United Nations` 62nd General Assembly, said a joint statement issued after the meeting.

However, the joint statement did not specifically mention former president Soeharto who was earlier reported to be one of 10 former leaders likely to be affected by the initiative.

Soeharto was on top of a list of former world leaders who allegedly stole huge amounts of state assets in the past few decades. The list was issued by the United Nations and the World Bank on September 17, together with the launching of the StAR Initiative.

In a table on "funds allegedly stolen from nine countries" that appeared in a guidebook on StAR, Soeharto was said to have stolen state funds amounting to US$15 billion - US$35 billion.

Yudhoyono and Zoellick said in their joint statement the StAR Initiative was a unique and innovative program.

According to the two, the program would enable both developing and developed nations to benefit from efforts to implement the United Nations Convention Against Corruption/UNCAC issued in 2003.

"Indonesia has expressed its wish to participate in the initiative to strengthen its capability in implementing the 5th Article of the UNCAC on asset recovery, particularly in tracing, freezing and returning the assets under its jurisdiction," the statement said.

Yudhoyono and Zoellick also urged developed nations to make all necessary efforts to ensure that the world`s financial centers would not become placed for keeping funds gained through corrupt practices in developing nations.

In the statement, Indonesia was acknowledged as having made significant efforts to fight corruption.

Indonesia, one of the signatories to the UNCAC 2003, will host the 2nd meeting of UNCAC in Bali on January 28 - February 1 next year.

RI`s rank in WB - IFC`s `easiness of doing business` index improves

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia's ranking in the International Finance Corporation's (IFC) 'easiness of doing business' index has improved, reflecting the government's progress in enacting regulatory reforms, the World Bank's investment arm said Wednesday.

In the IFC's Doing Business 2008 report, Indonesia ranked 123 out of 178 countries surveyed.

Last year, it placed 135 out of 175 countries surveyed and in 2005, the country ranked 115 out of 155 countries polled.

"Indonesia, the runner-up reformer in the region, simplified the process for getting construction permits, cutting delays from 49 days to 21," IFC was quoted by Thomson Financial as saying in a statement.

"It also expanded the coverage of loans by the public credit registry and strengthened investor protection by increasing disclosure requirements," it said.

The rankings are based on 10 indicators of business regulation that track the time and cost to meet government requirements in business start-up, operation, trade, taxation, and closure. They do not reflect such areas as macroeconomic policy, quality of infrastructure, currency volatility, investor perceptions, or crime rates.

IFC said the top reformer in the region and among the top 10 in the world is China after the country introduced far-reaching protection of private property rights and a new bankruptcy law.

Singapore, for the second year running, topped the aggregate rankings of 178 economies on the ease of doing business.

The number of days to start a business in Indonesia has extended to 105 days from 97 days, but still better than in 2005, when it took 151 days, according to the report.

The number of procedures to go through before obtaining a business license remained at 19, IFC said. However, the number of days to register property can now be done in only seven days, compared to 42 days previously.

Elsewhere, it takes just two days to start a business in Australia with two procedures, 35 days in China with 13 procedures, five days in Singapore with five procedures, 24 days in Malaysia with nine procedures and 50 days in Vietnam with 11 procedures.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Welfare program targets 40 regencies

The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA: State Minister for the Development of Disadvantaged Regions Muhammad Lukman Edy said Sunday his office was aiming to improve people's welfare in 40 disadvantaged regencies across the country.

"We aim to omit these regencies from our list of disadvantaged regencies by the end of the year," he said, as quoted by Detik.com.

Among the targeted 40 regencies are Pandeglang regency in Banten and Gunung Kidul regency in Yogyakarta.

According to the ministry's records, 199 regencies from some 400 regencies across the country are disadvantaged.

Edy said the ministry was tasked with improving infrastructure and human resources in the regencies so as they could compete with other regencies to improve their revenue.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

RI ready to enter ecolabeled furniture, handicraft product markets

Bogor, W Java (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Ecolabeling Agency (LEI) has set up cooperation with several other institutions to provide the furniture market with products and handicrafts made from wood taken from ecolabeled forests, a spokesman said.

Therefore, LEI as well as people`s forest management groups in Wonogiri district in Central Java and Gunungkidul district in Yogyakarta which already have ecolabel certificates along with the Indonesian Furniture and Handicraft Industry Association (Asmindo) had agreed to provide the furniture market with ecolabeled furniture and handicraft products, LEI`s communication manager Indra Setiawan said here Tuesday.

"Many furniture and handicraft industries keep on asking for products made from wood taken from forests which have obtained ecolabel certificates from LEI," he said.

"Products which already have ecolabel certificates will enter the furniture and handicraft markets in the near future. After the Idul Fitri festivity, a store in Jakarta will have and sell furniture and handicraft products which were made from wood taken from forests in Gunungkidul and Wonogiri," he said.

Realizing that Indonesian forests must be preserved, LEI began developing methods to manage forests in environment-friendly ways in 1994, he said.

"Ecolabel certificates will only be given to forest and forestry product management units which manage their forests through environment-friendly methods and allow local people to share the benefits of the forests," he said.

An American Sustainable Furniture Council executive told a workshop in Jakarta last week that the US furniture and interior products market was now focusing its attention on products made of wood taken from environment-friendly and sustainable forests. The US furniture and interior product market was recorded at $84.2 billion last year

Formerly, Indonesian Furniture Association chairperson Ambar Tjahyono said the cost of ecolabel certification amounting to Rp100 million was still considered as hindrance to the progress of the ecolabel certification program.

She said at least 40 percent of Indonesia`s furniture and handicraft exports was absorbed by the US, 45 percent by West Europe and 15 percent by East Europe and Australia.

Last year Indonesian furniture and handicraft exports reached a value of $2.4 billion, she said.

Ambar also said Indonesia`s furniture and handicraft industry needed about 10 million cubic meters of wood and was receiving a supply of 5.4 million cubic meters from state forestry firm PT Perhutani and 4.5 million cubic meters from public forests.

Indonesia, HK near deal on ill-gotten funds : report

Hong Kong (ANTARA News) - Hong Kong and Jakarta are close to signing an agreement that would allow Indonesia to pursue misappropriated money that was stashed in bank accounts in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post reported on Sunday.

The newspaper said Indonesia and Hong Kong will sign a mutual legal agreement (MLA) on criminal matters at a conference scheduled for November in Bali.

"There are many, many cases and we are waiting for the support of the MLA to pursue them," Yan Genmarengga of the Indonesian Attorney-General's Office, who is based in Hong Kong, was quoted in the newspaper as saying.

"We have some general cases involving hundreds of millions of (U.S.) dollars. The MLA will make it easier for Hong Kong and Indonesia to pursue the money," he was quoted as saying.

Yan could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice in Hong Kong told Reuters, "the agreement is still in process", but did not give a timetable.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has promised to clamp down on graft in a country that is regularly rated one of the world's most corrupt, and has been pursuing the recovery of illegally obtained funds.

The newspaper said a likely target would be an estimated US$800 million in funds in Hong Kong that were held by Hendra Rahardja, the late chief of now-defunct Bank Harapan Sentosa, who was convicted in 2002 and sentenced to life in a graft scandal involving the disbursement of an emergency loan by Indonesia's central bank.

Last week, the United Nations and the World Bank launched an initiative to make it easier for governments in developing countries to recover stolen assets stashed in overseas by corrupt leaders.

The World Bank estimates that the cross-border flow of global proceeds from criminal activities, corruption and tax evasion is between $1 trillion and $1.6 trillion.

SBY mediates BPK, MA dispute settlement

JAKARTA (JP): The financial audit dispute between the Supreme Court (MA) and the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) did not last long as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono took the initiative Saturday to summon the quarreling chairmen of both institutions and mediated for a settlement.

The meeting at the Presidential Office was chaired by the President and attended by Chief Justice Bagir Manan and BPK chairman Anwar Nasution, with Constitutional Court (MK) chairman Jimly Asshiddiqie and a number of Cabinet ministers and high-ranking officials as witnesses.

The meeting concluded that the court's administrative fees, which were disputed by both paramount institutions, were not categorized as tax revenues, but were subject to an audit.

"The government will soon issue regulations on the administrative fees, including its criteria and management. The Supreme Court will then issue an internal regulation and make (necessary bookkeeping) adjustment so that the Agency could audit the funds," Yudhoyono said.

"So, the audit for this year's administrative fees bookkeeping can be conducted early next year," the President added.

Yudhoyono said such conflict might appear during the ongoing reform in the country's justice system, especially regarding the restructuring in the state financial system in order to have a system which is transparent and accountable to the public.

"What's important is to find a systemic solution immediately, not a compromising one, so the government activities can continue to run," he said.

Legislator Gayus Lumbuun of the House of Representatives' legal commission, however, viewed the President's initiative to bring the two chairmen to the meeting as inappropriate, saying that the institutional dispute should have been brought to the Constitutional Court, instead.

"Yudhoyono's initiative can only heal the pain, but not the wound. Such an institutional conflict cannot be politically settled by the country's highest institution, including the President," Gayus said.

"Therefore, the conflict should be settled through a legal process (at the Constitutional Court).

BPK insists on auditing the Court's administrative funds

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

According to the law, all funds paid to the Supreme Court (MA) by members of the public should be audited, Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) chairman Anwar Nasution said.

"As stipulated in Indonesia's financial law, a country exists to produce public services. Some fees for services can be paid directly by those who use the services, and this is called state revenue," he said Friday at a gathering to break the fast at his office's mosque.

"In this case, the fees are generated by people who have used the court's services, so this is definitely state revenue, not entrusted funds as the court has claimed," said Anwar.

"All we ask is to be able to audit the court's administrative fees, that's all. No institutional conflicts or personal matters are involved here," he said.

He said most countries audited such fees, including the Dutch during their time in Indonesia.

"Only the Supreme Court in this country refuses to have its administrative fees audited," said Anwar.

He said in other regions, doctors, lecturers and nurses had been sent to prison because they did not hand over relevant fees to the state coffers.

"Indonesia is a country based on law, so everyone is equal in the eyes of the law. Therefore, I can't see why the court's chairman is not being arrested," Anwar said.

According to Indonesia's financial law, the refusal of a state institution to be audited is a criminal act, Anwar said.

"Because the refusal to be audited is a criminal act, it must be determined whether the police, prosecutors or the Corruption Eradication Commission will handle this case," Anwar said.

The Agency reported the court to the National Police last week on the basis that its refusal to have its annual administrative fees audited was a violation of the Public Finance Management Law.

Police are continuing to investigate the claims to determine whether to take criminal action.

"To solve this ... we may also go to the Constitutional Court for a judicial review," Anwar said.

Supreme Court representatives claim that according to the Civil Code, administrative fees are not state revenue, meaning an audit would not be necessary.

The court handled some 25,000 cases in 2005 and 2006. The fee for an individual appeal in a civil case is Rp 500,000 (approximately US$55), while a civil case review costs Rp 2.5 million.

Many have suggested the two parties meet bilaterally, or even involve a third party such as the President or a representative from the House of Representatives to discuss the issue.

"If mediation was offered, I don't know what kind of mediation it would be," Anwar said.

"We should keep the President out of this, because he already has other big issues on his plate. But if he is able to spare his time, I would be very grateful," he said.

Watchdog questions Indonesia's commitment to fighting corruption

Ridwan Max Sijabat, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

A corruption watchdog and House of Representatives legislators have questioned Indonesia's commitment to fighting rampant corruption, which they say has affected the majority of the population's economic livelihoods.

The Indonesian Corruption Watchdog (ICW) said Indonesia had yet to achieve significant progress in its hunt for individuals involved in corruption and stolen state assets, while no preventive measures had been taken to curb corruption.

"Major corruption cases, which allegedly involve former president Soeharto and others, are still unresolved and corruption trials have had little impact on public officials, who continue to abuse their power since no corruptors have been given a maximum punishment," ICW coordinator Teten Masduki told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

He said Indonesia should learn from China, which has imposed harsh penalties, including the death sentence, on those involved in major corruption cases.

Teten said Indonesia, which ratified the UN anticorruption convention last year, should enhance cooperation with the world body and the World Bank (WB) to recover stolen state assets.

He said the ICW had identified a significant number of major graft cases, worth hundreds of trillions of rupiah, which are still unresolved. He added if the stolen state assets were recovered, the amount would be enough to create job opportunities to eradicate poverty and to help cope with the unemployment problem.

He said it would be more effective for Indonesia to enhance cooperation with international institutions to recover the stolen assets rather than establish extradition treaties with other countries to bring home corruption fugitives.

"But it is more important to take preventive actions in order to eliminate corruption altogether," he said.

ICW also called on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the House of Representatives to reform the judicial system, particularly the Supreme Court, to phase out the impression that the country was a safe haven for those involved in corruption.

"The Supreme Court's rejection of an audit and its recent controversial verdict to punish Time magazine and pay Rp 1 trillion to Soeharto have amplified the impression that the (country's) judicial system is corrupt," Teten said.

Maruarar Sirait, a member of House Commission XI on finance and banking affairs, said his commission had recommended the government join the UN and the WB initiative to recover stolen state assets believed to have been transferred to certain foreign countries.

"If the government is truly committed to fighting corruption, it should start by joining the UN and the WB initiative to trace state assets stolen by Soeharto," he said.

Yasonna Hamonangan Laoly, a member of House Commission III on law, said his commission had recommended the government design a grand strategy to handle the number of big corruption cases, with clear job descriptions for the Anticorruption Commission (KPK), the Attorney General's Office and the National Police.

"So far, no policy has been introduced to indicate which corruption case should be entrusted to which of the three institutions," he said.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mideast investment in Indonesia meagre: ex-envoy

The Peninsula, 9/22/2007 0:17:28

Abdul Wahid Maktub

DOHA: Investment from the GCC and the rest of the Middle East in Indonesia, which is the world's most populous Muslim country, is quite low, rues a former Indonesian ambassador to Qatar.

Abdul Wahid Maktub, who left Doha early this year having served as Jakarta's envoy for a little more than three years, was here on a brief private visit.

He told this newspaper in a brief interview late last week: "There are misperceptions in the Middle East about the safety of investments back in our country. The misgivings need to be removed."

Having recovered from the financial crisis of the late 1990s, Indonesia is making rapid economic strides. The economic growth rate has been 6.5 per cent and expected to shortly climb to seven per cent.

Maktub, who is practising as a legal consultant in the Indonesian capital-Jakarta now, said that he was on a visit to the region to attract investments back home, especially in the booming real estate market. "I have been to Saudi Arabia and now I am here," he said.

One of the biggest achievements to his credit has been that Dubai's real estate giant, Emaar, has agreed to make an initial investment of $800m in a massive city project in Lombok island, which is close to Bali. "Emaar has recently set up an office in Jakarta," said Maktub.

Here, he said he met Sheikh Faisal bin Qassem Al Thani, Chairman of the Qatari Businessmen's Association, and urged him to pay a visit to Indonesia to explore avenues of investment. "He has accepted the invitation," said the former envoy.

"When I had met Emaar's chief, I had only requested him to visit Indonesia. When he visited Lombok, the first thing he did was pray and immediately after that he told me that he was going to develop a city on this virgin and breathtakingly beautiful island," said Maktub.

Saudi Arabia's Bin Laden Group, he said, has given sub-contract for a 60-storey building it is developing in Dubai, to an Indonesian construction company and is quite happy with its work.

A lot of western countries are investing in real estate projects in Indonesia, but a disappointing thing is that the investment inflow from the Gulf and the rest of the Middle East is nil or negligible. It is because businessmen here have misperceptions about the country. There is so much idle money here and a lot of business and investment opportunities in Indonesia.

"Ours is a huge country. It takes eight hours to fly from the easternmost point to the west. You can, thus, imagine how big the country is, and so are the possibilities of doing business and making investments," said Maktub.

"We are adopting a practical strategy. We want businessmen here to simply visit Indonesia and the rest would automatically follow."

Also with Maktub was Gunawa Witjaksono, one of the top real estate developers of Indonesia.

Friday, September 21, 2007

'Time' verdict threatens RI press freedom

Ridwan Max Sijabat, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The public and the media must work together to maintain the republic's press freedom and the current anti-corruption movement, a University of Indonesia communication expert said Thursday.

"All parties, including the press, should accept the Supreme Court's existence in respect of the 1945 Constitution and the rule of law," Effendi Gazali said.

"We must fight against a corrupt judiciary system and media workers have to prove in their (investigative reports) that the Court's ruling on Time magazine is against any sense of justice."

Effendi said the Supreme Court's recent finding in favor of former president Soeharto to the sum of US$106 million in his lawsuit against Time magazine was simply wrong.

Soeharto sued the U.S.-based magazine over its May 1999 article Suharto Inc.: The Family Firm, which alleged the former leader had stashed a massive amount of his wealth abroad.

Effendi said the inclusion of Soeharto by the United Nations and the World Bank in a the list of top world corrupters was a slap in the face for the Supreme Court and the country's corrupt judiciary.

"This means there is something wrong with the Supreme Court and the judiciary system.

"The court should ... reform its institution to repair its tarnished image and uphold justice," he said.

The Supreme Court should use rationality and wisdom in upholding justice and should consider whether its verdict was in line with the public's sense of justice, he said.

Jeffrey Massie and Effendi Choirie, both members of the House of Representatives' Commission I on information, defense and foreign affairs, separately said the court's ruling had discouraged the media and was a setback to press freedom.

They said the court's decision was against any sense of justice and the judiciary system had to be reformed.

The 1999 press law should be used in settling press disputes, instead of the Criminal Code, they said.

Jeffrey said, "Law enforcers should respect the journalistic profession and the journalists' code of ethics and treat them in accordance with Law No. 40/1999 on the media".

The Supreme Court has also come under fire for its move to extend Chief Justice Bagir Manan's term in office, as well as its proposed salary hike for its judges from Rp 15 million to Rp 100 million (US$10,889.6).

The court recently rejected an audit by the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK), which led the agency to file a request with the Constitutional Court to help settle the dispute.

Speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly Hidayat Nurwahid said he regretted the court's rejection.

He said the court should not position itself as an untouchable super body and it "should set a good example in its compliance with the law ... to ensure its accountability and credibility".

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

President asks local bureaucracy not to manipulate relief aid

Pesisir Selatan (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono warned the bureaucracy in quake-hit West Sumatra never to manipulate relief assistance for disaster victims as doing so was a serious crime, especially in the present difficult times.

The president was speaking in Painan, capital of Pesisir Selatan district, West Sumatra province, on Tuesday at a meeting with the West Sumatra governor and a number of district heads and mayors whose areas were hit by the recent earthquake and its aftershocks.

After visiting evacuees in Muko-Muko district, Bengkulu province, the president and First Lady Ani Yudhoyono spent Monday afternoon to Tuesday afternoon in Pesisir Selatan which was one of the regions hit the worst by last Wedensday`s powerful earthquake and its aftershocks.

The president said he was visiting the quake-stricken areas to ensure that the emergency response measures taken by the government in the earthquake`s aftermath were effective.

"Relief assistance for the victims must be distributed honestly. Don`t distribute Rp20 billion when the amount of aid received in RP40 billion because that is corruption and inflicts a loss on the state," the president said.

"So, help our brothers and sisters who are in distress due to the disaster and alleviate their suffering," he said.

The head of state cited as an example that every donor, even those who only contributed Rp5,000, was expecting his or her donation to reach victims intact.

The chief executive also called on officials of the regional administrations to distribute relief assistance correctly as it constituted a religious deed which would win rewards from Allah (God).

He likewise asked leaders in West Sumatra which is prone to earthquakes to be ready to face calamity, to closely observe victims in affected areas and to sincerely make sacrifices for them.

The regional leaders were also expected to keep their morale high despite criticism of the ways in which handled the distribution of relief assistance to the victims.

"Everybody must work under the fixed program on efforts to cope with natural disasters, and use a priority scale on emergency response," he said, adding that the first measure in handling disasters was to deal with the victims and evacuees before carrying out rehabilitation and reconstruction programs.

The president also asked the regional administrations to set up command posts with good management and West Sumatra was expected to be a model which could overcome disasters well.

On technological aid to minimize the number of victims, the president instructed Coordinating Minister for People`s Welfare Aburizal Bakrie to establish cooperation with other countries and international bodies.

Regent gets five years for corruption

JAKARTA (JP): The Anti-Corruption Court on Tuesday sentenced a non-active regent from Central Java to five years in prison for corruption.

Presiding judge Gus Rizal said Hendy Boedoro, the Kendal regent, was guilty of corruption that inflicted Rp 16.7 billion (US$1.8 million) in losses on the state.

He was also fined a total of Rp 3.6 billion.

Both the prosecutor and Hendy said they would appeal the verdict.

The prosecution had been seeking a 10-year sentence, while Hendy insisted he was innocent.

Nurdin Halid denies he was arrested

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Graft convict Nurdin Halid has denied he was arrested by public prosecutors` office personnel early on Tuesday.

"I was not arrested in Menteng (central Jakarta)," he said at Salemba Prison on Tuesday.

He said the truth was that he had an appointment with the public prosecutor`s office at Salemba Prison, so that the latter could carry out the Supreme Court`s verdict sentencing him to two years in prison.

Recounting the chronology of his case, he said it started with the issuance of a summons by the public prosecutor`s office to him on September 17.

After receiving the summons, he directly coordinated with the Jakarta High Prosecutor`s Office. He said he asked for a rescheduling of the time for him to come to the public prosecutor`s office until after he had received a copy of the Supreme Court`s verdict on him.

"Until now, I have not received a copy of or read the Supreme Court`s ruling," he said.

In the coordination with the High Prosecutor`s Office, he said, it was agreed that he and public prosecutors would meet at the Salemba Prison at 5 am on Tuesday.

Nurdin had previously said he was still out of town and would only meet the the public prosecutor`s office`s summons at the latest on September 20.

"Well, I was in Depok and that was out of town, was it not?" he said when asked what he meant by "out of town."

He eventually decided to meet the summons as soon as possible considering it was his duty as a law-abiding citizen.

Nurdin was sentenced to two years in prison by the Supreme Court last Thursday for misusing Rp167.9 billion in palm oil distribution funds in 1998. He also had to pay a fine of Rp30 million or remain in prison six more months.

The ruling was issued only one day after Nurdin was swore in as a member of the House of Representatives (DPR) to replace Andi Mattalatta who was appointed law minister.

At the begnning, a district court sentenced Nurdin to 20 years in prison. But he appealed the sentence with the high court which acquitted him. However, the prosecution then referred the case to the Supreme Court which found him guily and gave him two years in jail.

Govt's reform programs under fire

Ridwan Max Sijabat, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The House of Representatives' Commission II overseeing home affairs criticized Monday the government's 2008 programs to reform the bureaucracy, saying they were too ambitious, too late to fight corruption and too overdue to improve public services.

Ryaas Rasyid of the Nationhood Democratic Party (PDK) also said he considered the programs too lateral and not easily applied.

He said the programs required nine laws, several of which had yet to be deliberated and most of which were contrary to the decentralization program.

"The administrative reform programs do not need as many laws as the government has proposed ... it will take many years to deliberate nine laws," he said at a commission session with State Minister for Administrative Reforms Taufik Effendy.

"These programs (also) assume President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will be re-elected in the 2009 presidential election," he said.

The minister presented a series of main programs designed to create good governance in 2008, which would cost Rp 135.6 billion (US$14.45 million).

A public administration expert and former state minister of regional autonomy, Ryass said Taufik should design concrete programs in order to achieve concrete change.

Ryass said the bureaucracy had the next two years to convince the public it was serious in its fight against corrupt practice and was determined to improve public services.

Nursyahbani Katjasungkana of the National Awakening Party (PKB) faction said the programs showed the government had yet to identify the main problems in its bureaucracy -- problems that had contributed to the government's overall poor performance.

"There is an unequal distribution of civil servants ... most of them are still stationed at ministries, which is against the regional autonomy principle," she said.

"To be consistent with regional autonomy, the central government should also decentralize the bureaucracy to provinces, regencies and municipalities.

"The central government should move a bigger part of its human resources, particularly experts, to regional areas to support bureaucracy reform in regions."

Nursyahbani said many ministries that had decentralized a large part of their administration to regional areas were now overstaffed and inefficient.

She said the ministry should focus on changing its internal mindset, including the adoption of a good governance model and a productive, compliant human resources sector.

"The government should adjust the size of the bureaucracy in proportion with the public they must serve," she said.

Ferry Mursyidan Baldan of the Golkar Party said any bureaucracy reform should allow the central government and local administrations to become familiar with the public they have to serve.

"Ministries should identify with the society they have to serve and so do regional administrations," he said.

"But this could be done only if the population registration is conducted and well managed."

He said an accurate registration of the population with a single identity number -- as mandated by the 2006 law on population administration -- was needed to register eligible voters for the 2009 general election and local polls.

Monday, September 17, 2007

President to spend night in quake-hit place

Bengkulu (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said here Monday he would spend the night in a quake-affected place in Sumatra so as to show local community leaders what they should among other things do when there was a natural disaster in their jurisdiction.

Speaking during a visit to Bengkulu`s Provincial Natural Disaster Handling Center (Satkorlak), the president said he wanted to spend the night in a quake-hit place in order to make sure that government decisions, instructions and policy on mitigation of the disaster were right.

The president, who had just listened to a report on the impact of last Wednesday`s powerful earthquake from Bengkulu Governor Agusrin Maryono Najamudin, said he would sleep in a disaster-hit spot to set an example to district heads (who were responsible for disaster mitigation efforts in the field) on how they could make sure that their measures to deal with an emergency were right and effective.

"I will bave no tolerance for any regional chief who fails to do his or her job in an an emergency situation," Yudhoyono said.

The president said, a leader who avoided taking a risk, was not a good leader. Therefore, he called on district chiefs across the country to prepare themselves and, if necessary, take risks to help residents when there was a disaster.

Yudhoyono said when earthquakes hit Nabire in Papua, Nias and other areas, he did the same thing.

"I slept in a makeshift tent in Nabire while the area was being rocked by aftershocks," the head of state said.

On the occasion, the president also expressed his condolences to the families of earthquake victims in Bengkulu, and his gratitude to all the parties involved in emergency response efforts.

After his visit to Bengkulu`s Satkorlak, the President and his entourage boarded helicopters to visit quake-hit locations and victims in Muko Muko district and later proceeded to West Sumatra.

ADB raises Indonesia 2007-08 growth forecast to 6.2-6.4 pct

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Monday it had slightly upgraded its growth forecast for Indonesia for 2007-08 due to stronger than anticipated growth in private consumption and investment.

The ADB said it lifted its 2007 growth forecast to 6.2 percent from 6.0 percent previously and its 2008 forecast to 6.4 percent from 6.3 percent.

But the ADB's revised estimates were still lower than the government's own forecast of 6.3 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2007 and 6.8 percent growth for 2008.

Indonesia's economy, Southeast Asia's largest, expanded by 5.5 percent last year.

It expanded 6.1 percent in the first half of 2007, mainly driven by private consumption, a recovery in private investment and solid expansion in net exports.

"First-half private consumption and investment showed greater strength than expected, and this is likely to be maintained in the second half, leading to an upward revision in the full-year GDP growth forecast to 6.2 percent," the multilateral agency was quoted by AFP as saying in its latest Asian Development Outlook 2007.

It said GDP growth is projected to edge higher in 2008, driven mainly by domestic demand.

The reductions in domestic interest rates since May 2006 and an improving investment climate are set to push investment growth next year, while a recovery in consumer confidence will lead to an acceleration in private consumption expenditure, it said.

Bank Indonesia has trimmed its benchmark interest rate by a cumulative 450 basis points since May last year to 8.25 percent, but has refrained from cutting the rate at its last two meetings as inflation has picked up.

ADB said Indonesia's economic growth will be supported by higher rates of credit expansion to the private sector as bank and corporate balance sheets strengthen. Government infrastructure outlays are also expected to increase.

"These positive developments are likely to be partly offset by a smaller surplus in net exports as imports rise in response to stronger investment and consumption demand, and as exports moderate in line with a projected decline in global nonfuel commodity prices," it said.

It said the domestic risks to its forecasts are headed by inadequate effective action on structural reforms, insufficient investment in infrastructure and regional governments' inability to implement projects.

Earlier this year, it said Indonesia's regional governments were holding an estimated 2.5 percent of GDP in cash deposits, reflecting their weak capacity to carry out projects.

James Riady making quality education his business

Urip Hudiono, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

For some, the notion of a businessman running a company for profit and at the same time a school for charity might seem odd.

Not so for James Riady, chairman of the Lippo Group of companies and the Pelita Harapan Educational Foundation.

James has taken over from his father and group founder, Mocthar Riady, and now manages Lippo's sprawling business group, which covers everything from financial services to property and multimedia.

Though known as a businessman, he insists he is not in the field of education for the money.

Although Pelita Harapan is known for its prestigious campuses and high tuitions, James says the foundation will remain true to its social mission to better the country.

"Education is not a business for me. But we have to admit that quality education is expensive, and schools must be run in a business-like manner -- as an industry -- to maintain that quality."

"Education is the basis for nation-building. It can, through developing a nation's human resources, improve the nation's welfare, and this is how my family and I can contribute to that."

With the foundation's plan to establish a total of 10 prestigious schools, 100 schools for students from middle-income families and 1,000 schools for lower-income students throughout the country, James' words should be taken seriously.

The Pelita Harapan Foundation currently runs four schools -- in Pluit and in Lippo's three satellite cities surrounding Jakarta: Karawaci, Cikarang and Bukit Sentul -- as well as a university in Karawaci.

Having provided numerous scholarships through the foundation and its schools, James' efforts have already received public acclaim, and he was recently awarded an honorary doctorate from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, for his achievements as a businessman and in developing education in Indonesia.

Explaining further his vision of "quality education", James discussed the need to reestablish several values that have been undermined in today's education system.

"An education system should not just instruct and teach students how to work, do business and make money."

"What's needed now is an education system that focuses on the learning process, and one that enables every child to develop to their full potential."

James supports the government's vision to provide a quality education for all citizens, but says private sector participation is necessary because of the government's still limited ability to provide such an education for all its people.

He says many Indonesians still cannot afford a quality education, and notes that many teachers colleges in the country have become ordinary universities at a time when Indonesia needs qualified teachers.

The Pelita Harapan Foundation intends to set up several teachers colleges.

"We must, for this, first reach a consensus on how important a new system of values in education and human capital development is for the nation," James said.

"If we have reached this, then we will be willing to spend more for such a quality education, with everyone also chipping in to develop better education in the country."

James threw himself into philanthropy at a rather difficult time for him personally and for the Lippo Group.

"I was so absorbed by my work, that I become self-centered, forgetting my relationship with my wife, my family and the community," James said.

The Lippo Group was also struggling to get back on its feet after the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and James was dealing with a political donation scandal involving then U.S. president Bill Clinton.

"I was somewhat in ruins, I felt an emptiness, nothing else to look for. But then I started seeing things like never before. In particular, I saw Asia, including Indonesia, has such a huge potential to develop its welfare, but there is still such a disparity in terms of education and health."

That was when James ventured into education through the Pelita Harapan Foundation.

James, however, says he will remain active in running his family's business, particularly consolidating Lippo's group of companies.

But still, he says he gets more enjoyment now out of his involvement in education.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Govt to distribute maps on disaster-prone regions

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government will soon distribute maps on natural disaster-prone locations in the country nation-wide to facilitate the implementation of mitigation and rehabilitation programs in those places, Social Affairs Minister Bachtiar Chamsyah has said.

"Besides, the government will also issue various regulations on comprehensive disaster management. The National Coordination Agency for Surveys and Mapping (Bakorsurtanal) will make the maps," he said here Saturday.

He also said school students should be taught what to do in an emergency like an earthquake or fire.

Meanwhile, deputy for empowerment and science promotion to the Research and Technology Minister Idwan Suhardi stressed the need for efforts to educate the public about natural disasters.

The government should launch public training program on natural disasters so that people would become more aware of them and how to manage their impact, he said.

Fauzi said earthquake-prone areas in Indonesia were the western coast of Sumatra, the southern coast of Java, and the region stretching from East Nusatenggara (NTT) to North Sulawesi which shares a border with the Philippines.

Indonesia is situated on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" which is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activities.

An earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale in West Sumatra and Bengkulu provinces last Wednesday evening was the latest temblor that rattled Indonesia.