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#47509 - 15 Mar 07 02:03 Foreign Opinions of RI
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
I have often been told that, as a foreigner, I have no right to express a thought about the place in which I live, and the place in which I pay taxes... Below is a letter from an expat woman on this same subject, so I thought I'd share it with readers.

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The chief point of criticism by many Indonesians seems to be a general objection to foreigners who express opinions on Indonesian politics and other issues. Such objections seem to be based on an assumption that foreigners speak from a superficial knowledge of Indonesian society and politics based on news headlines and sound bites.

Some foreigners may draw broad conclusions about Indonesian politics based on superficial data, just as many of our local friends draw a broad conclusion about foreigners. But there are many non-Indonesian residents who try to become better informed by turning to Indonesian information sources beyond the news briefs and sound bites. Many of our local friends would, it appears, relegate us to a role of silence. Is this valid?

Must persons who live, pay taxes and conduct their lives somewhere other than the countries of their birth refrain from exercising their mental or moral faculties or their voices? Expatriates come to Indonesia for a variety of reasons: some are sent here by international companies; some make investments here; some come as travelers but loved the land and decided to stay and may have families here now. We are not Indonesian citizens, but we live here, sometimes for ten or fifteen years or longer. Indonesia becomes our adopted home.

When we come here, we arrive body and soul. We don't leave our intellect, our imagination, our energy, our ethical principles at home. If we do, dishonest silence in the face of blatant misconduct results in travesties of truth like the World Bank's long idealization of Soeharto's crimes.

Countries will host more and more expatriate residents in the coming years of globalization, and the issue of expatriate engagement in local issues may become more acute. Developing countries should be looking not for expatriate robots, but for thinking human beings. Yes, our status as non-citizens calls for some sensitivity. But silence? I don't believe so.
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Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#47510 - 15 Mar 07 02:08 Re: Foreign Opinions of RI [Re: riccardo]
chewwyUK Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 14 Sep 06
Posts: 2392
Loc: Jakarta
wow -- well put
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Edited by Piss Salon
Edit Reason: taste

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#47511 - 15 Mar 07 02:12 Re: Foreign Opinions of RI [Re: chewwyUK]
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
i am often asked: what rights does a foreigner have in indonesia?

the answer is short and simple: none.
_________________________
KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated

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#47560 - 15 Mar 07 07:24 Re: Foreign Opinions of RI [Re: KuKuKaChu]
JHVH1 Offline
Member+

Registered: 09 Mar 07
Posts: 115
Loc: Tegal
My experience is not as extensive as the OP's, but I do have some time in country, my wife (and hence half my family) is Indonesian and I have a number of friends there. Of course I am always careful in the way that I am critical and try to be constructive, but I do let my opinions be known from time to time. I have generally found that most people I talk to will engage the topic and only a handful of times have I heard the "you're a bule, you don't understand" defense used. Maybe my friends are being polite, who knows.

However, try being a foreigner in South Korea and criticizing anything. Raw patriotic emotion takes control 99% of the time and Korea's unique nature is invariably invoked, to the point where some of the most horrendous face-saving lies you will ever hear are dredged up by way of explanation. In fact, one can even be deported for activities deemed to be critical of the country here, it happened once already late last year in Busan.

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#47562 - 15 Mar 07 07:56 Re: Foreign Opinions of RI [Re: JHVH1]
Patung Offline
Member++

Registered: 11 Mar 06
Posts: 234
Loc: Indonesia
People often ask me my opinion of Indonesia and want me to compare it to Australia. But the original post is about politics, they don't want to hear about that I guess. I don't want to talk about it either.

After I got married we had to see the RW to arrange some paperwork, he said my wife was the head of the household and as far as he and the regulations were concerned I didn't exist, more or less.
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http://www.indonesiamatters.com/

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#47564 - 15 Mar 07 08:04 Re: Foreign Opinions of RI [Re: Patung]
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
Quoting: patung
People often ask me my opinion of Indonesia and want me to compare it to Australia. But the original post is about politics, they don't want to hear about that I guess. I don't want to talk about it either.

After I got married we had to see the RW to arrange some paperwork, he said my wife was the head of the household and as far as he and the regulations were concerned I didn't exist, more or less.

indeed. as a foreigner, you are a non-person, incapable of being the Kepala Keluarga, and thus incapable of holding a Kartu Keluarga.

one of the problems, apart from the indigenous xenophobia, is that there is no concept in indonesia of inward immigration; of foreigners coming to indonesia to live and reside permanently.

foreigners -- white ones in particular -- are always considered tourists, even if they've lived here almost all their life, and paid more taxes than millions of the poorest indonesians put together.

contrast this to immigrant societies -- australia, canada, the US -- where immigrants are rapidly accepted and (in most cases) integrated into the mainstream of society. citizenship in australia comes after a mere three years of residence. and non-citizen permanent residents can often be found working in the australian public service.

_________________________
KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated

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#47644 - 15 Mar 07 23:28 Re: Foreign Opinions of RI [Re: KuKuKaChu]
naga Offline
Member++

Registered: 18 Jan 07
Posts: 260
Loc: undisclosed location
"and non-citizen permanent residents can often be found working....."

....except the fucking Kiwis.....
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"Keep on rockin' in the free world"

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#47658 - 16 Mar 07 00:32 Re: Foreign Opinions of RI [Re: naga]
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
Quoting: naga
"and non-citizen permanent residents can often be found working....."

....except the fucking Kiwis.....

well, someone has to man the dole queues.
_________________________
KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated

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#47666 - 16 Mar 07 00:51 Re: Foreign Opinions of RI [Re: KuKuKaChu]
JHVH1 Offline
Member+

Registered: 09 Mar 07
Posts: 115
Loc: Tegal
Hoho. What's the difference between a Kiwi and an asshole? You'll never meet an asshole at a party acting like a Kiwi.

Boom boom.

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