Nazaruddin’s deadly & poisonous game

Muhammad Nazaruddin has been – and always been – the pivotal theme on the news on almost all TV stations in Indonesia, largely defeating other more international-scale headlines like Norwegian shooting spree administered by a right-wing anti-Muslim extremist, Libyan political tumult, Syrian military’s invasion against civilians loudly demanding for democratization, and the ongoing Somalian humanitarian crisis. If you live – or to a lesser extent, stay – in this country, and do master well Indonesian language, most of the main headlines on the morning shows or the newspapers might be about this ex-treasurer of Democrat Party.

In the minds of the party’s functionaries, particularly those engaged in the sphere of power and influence, Nazaruddin has been, metaphorically, their very own Pandora’s box who knows much about others besides himself in terms of demanding ‘shares’ from government-funded projects. He accused the current chief of Democrat Party, Anas Urbaningrum, of rewarding 3,000 US$ for each district-level branch office in the party who voted him, which if summed up, would be worth more than 3 million US$. Where did the funds come from? Based on Nazaruddin’s conversation with Metro TV’s news anchors, while his face expressed some kind of ‘fearlessness’, the money originated from the government budgets used to fund for the construction of a gargantuan sports-training facility in Bogor, whose budgets was reportedly worth more than ‘1 trillion rupiah’. He was free to spread the stupefaction among his then-‘bedfellows’, given that the conversation took place in the form of teleconference. He was abroad while all the conversations were occurring, whose location was ultimately discovered to be Colombia.

How did he slowly turn into their Pandora’s box? All the upheaval began on the end of May 2011 when Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) circumscribed the ex-secretary of Ministry of Youth & Sports, Wafiq Muharram, as suspect for accepting bribes regarding to 2011 Palembang SEA Games athlete housing project. It was later found out, after further examination, that he was not the only person who was involved in the ‘game’. Nazaruddin’s name began to rose, in no time. Only a few days after KPK announced him as another main suspect in the project, he subsequently ‘disappeared’ – as usual, something corruptors here would do once they are declared suspects – and his companions of the similar party informed the press that he was in Singapore for a week-long, intensive medical check-up. Almost everyone in the country – and the party as well – expected him to return in leaps and bounds. And it was delayed by a few days, by other few days, and by other few days, until he sent a Blackberry Messenger text to Metro TV, informing that ‘Anas was planning to impeach Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the currrent president of Indonesia’.

There was much resentment, and much despair, among the party’s functionaries by the message he sent to Metro TV. Even President, once in a state speech, criticized ‘mass media’ – without mentioning the name of the TV station – in relying too much on BBM texts to retrieve information without further analysis. Afterwards, the cantillation began. Nazaruddin leaked the names of Democrat Party’s functionaries who were involved in briberies and armageddon-scale corruption scandals. Other than 2011 Palembang SEA Games athlete-housing scandal, much of the mass media began to shift their attention towards Democrat Party, particularly, Anas. Nazaruddin, while in his get-away period, continuously accused Anas regarding to the Democrat Party’s chief election campaign. He also accused some of his friends, notably ex-Putri Indonesia Angelina Sondakh, of her crucial entanglement in Anas’ scandal, on which she would later gainsay and even attempted to gain public sympathy by showing off good deeds and do-good face.

Nazaruddin did not only draw a bead on Democrat Party; he also aimed at the institution which in the long run hauled him behind bars, that is KPK. He accused 2 main functionaries, Chandra M. Hamzah and M.Jasin, of receiving bribes, something that the former one, together with another functionary, Bibit Samad Rianto, was once also alleged by another convict, Anggodo Widjojo (later sentenced after being proven guilty of accepting bribes on a communication-device project aimed at his brother, Anggoro), of harassment. Furthermore, Constitutional Court (MK) became his next prey, in which he accused one of the court’s judges of receiving bribes worth more than 1 billion rupiah.

His deadly cantillation, in fact, did not stop here. As shown by the picture above – in which he was having the direct conversation with Metro TV’s news anchors, he continuously leaked all the dirty secrets held by his then-fellas. He also accused PLN, the only, state-owned authority that is in charge of electricity, on behalf of its current main director, Dahlan Iskan, of misusing the funds by 2 Chinese power-plant manufacturing companies over one large-scale power-plant project. He even showed the news anchors – and nearly the entirety who were eyeing on the show, his own flash disk which he claimed contains nearly unlimited sources of data about the ‘sins’ the government had done. Yet, before he could afford to play the game further, and before he could to ‘cantillate’ louder, he had been held captive by Colombian immigration authorities on charges of ‘illegal attempts to enter the country’.

His lineament all in a sudden changed as soon as he was detained by Colombian police. The Nazaruddin that we used to see in television – the one with the smiling face, fearless tone of speaking, and garrulous lips, all in a sudden became depressed, worried, and aghast. Especially when he stepped on the runway as soon as the chartered plane Indonesian government had spent 4 billion rupiah on it had landed, his expression reversed 180-degree-wise. His facial expressions indicated that he was under pressure, and perhaps, to a lesser extent, intimidation.

Here is the question: did all what Nazaruddin had uttered was entirely correct, or a mere tale-telling fabrication? Perhaps the only answer for sure is conjecture. As soon as he returned to Indonesia, his behavior had undergone total transformation, as if he were no longer being himself. Rumor has it that he has been brainwashed while held behind bars. Others told that he was having dramatization, after KPK released videos and pictures of himself having a nice tete-a-tete with KPK’s pick-up team while on the charter plane, therefore disbanding the opinion that ‘Nazaruddin had been under menace’. Others thought that someone who was displeased with him had threatened to ‘make no comfort’ against his wife and child – as shown by his personal letter to President SBY, demanding for maximum protection for the sake of his wife and his child’s safety, his willingness to be punished no matter how severe it would be, and lastly, his willingness not to shuffle others into his deadly ‘game’, anymore. His wife is also later declared a ‘suspect’ on the athlete-housing scandal, and to a further extent, an ‘international fugitive’ by Interpol.

Personally, I think that he must have been both threatened and brainwashed. I am not really sure that Nazaruddin is having dramatization. It seems like the video perhaps has been ‘prepared’ very well before it is released. That’s what my dad told me while we were having dinner and watching television at the same time. His mind must have been manipulated once he landed in the prison. There is one method in psychological warfare used to manipulate and hypnotize enemies’ minds that is implemented by military strategists, that is possibly must have been applied to Nazaruddin, as well. And what is the truth? The truth is void.

That is the consequence of committing political sins. I am pretty sure that it would be impossible that Nazaruddin committed all these, entirely by himself. There must be others who had participated together in his deadly and poisonous game, which if disclosed, might probably cause severe instability to this nation, as this must have involved many parties positioned in pivotal, determining roles in this country. Nazaruddin must have known it all. Whether it’s fact or merely pulp fiction, only he and all those involved cognize the truth. Now he is in prison, and he has lost the game. Politics would have been absolutely uneasy on his life. That’s what I admit.

Now I listen they speak Chinese

I did really regret that I put off my plan to attend the Shaolin African Kids conference held at my school on 4th August 2011. I meant it, really. The whole class was going to have History Exam at the same time these African kids came and gave a talk about their experiences. That’s why I and two of my friends canceled it away. I was really curious on these kids. I heard people say these African kids can speak Chinese as streamlined as the mainland Chinese do, something that most of the Chinese people in Medan could not afford.

Honestly speaking, I am also not the one who can afford to speak Chinese that facile. That’s true if I speak it at home with my family, but it’s not the kind of Chinese you would like to hear. It’s partially Chinese, with several Indonesian – and to a lesser extent, English – vocabulary, tucked inside. And not even half of the Chinese people in Medan speak broken Chinese; they occassionally use Hokkien dialect as either household or business language. To be more exact, broken Hokkien, as some Indonesian and English colloquial terms are used in our daily conversations as well.

Our class’ Math teacher, Mr.Sismanto, did attend the conference, and he shared his experience with us. All he did was just listening, at the same time he could not fathom what these children were talking about. And so did our school’s principal, Mr.Khoe Tjok Tjin – that name already sounds Chinese, doesn’t it? “He could only afford smiling while listening to these children sharing their stories. They speak Chinese like those in China do,” Mr.Sismanto told us. “I myself was so ashamed that I came out of the conference at the sly.”

It never took centuries like English to conquer the world as a must-have language in virtually every school in every country in this planet. Mandarin’s renown is heading towards its climax, as China’s economy has miraculously changed the world in the last decade. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 non-Chinese American families in United States begin to utilize Mandarin as their household language. Many state-owned schools throughout Indonesia had commenced utilizing Mandarin as one of the must-have foreign-language subjects, and so are some vocational high schools. My grandmother – from my paternal side, as both grandparents from my maternal side and my paternal grandfather had long passed away – always used to tell me that she was so impressed by the foreigners who could speak Chinese – more concisely, like that of Beijing accent, the most mellifluous among all the other accents used in Mainland China. Once she told me she saw a debating contest between South Korean and British university students held in Mandarin, and as a result, it was instead the British side who won it. “These South Koreans did speak coarse Chinese,” she said. “But the British replied in their melodious Beijing accent.”

Chinese language even gains more influence as more and more Chinese people migrate worldwide. According to PRC government statistics, there are at least 2 million citizens from the country moving out into the whole world every year. That’s just the data based on statistical figures, as it might be tip of an iceberg. Most of these migrants, in fact, only ascertain their own mother tongue, and possess very limited – or naught – knowledge on English. And that’s not the only thing that makes many foreigners need to master Mandarin in order to communicate well with these migrants (despite the fact that Chinese people are commonly willing to master the languages of the new countries they’ve moved in); affluence is another factor that plays a pivotal role. China currently possesses the largest amount of foreign exchange reserves in the world, worth approximately 3 trillion US$, that is 3 times that of Japan, the second largest. To a large degree, tens of thousands of Chinese companies are currently expanding their markets throughout the whole world, extending their economic influence through massive projects. They are building football stadiums, roads, dams and mines in resources-rich countries in Africa and Asia, providing more loans than World Bank to countries in need, and securing more deals to extract their natural resources. Unlike Western companies which are technology-oriented, Chinese companies are contrariwise more on manpower-oriented, implying that they would have to recruit many of their citizens to accomplish these projects. That’s why nowadays Mandarin tuition teachers prosper.

Actually, in terms of population, Chinese language is placed in the first rank – and has been for many decades. There are 2 persons speaking Chinese for every person speaking English in this planet as of the first decade of this century (that is, 1.5 billion versus 750 million). Nevertheless, more people use English than Mandarin when it comes to international use. While that’s true this happens in 21st century, I am myself not really sure on the upcoming century. Things might change beyond our expectation, and always be.

Back to the ‘African’ story. After I analyzed further on the Internet, these children originated from Malawi. They did not move to China in order to sharpen their shaolin skills or hamshackle the Chinese language; Amithofo Care Center had set up a branch office there to train these kids. Honestly, I’d forgotten the name of the shaolin master who trained these children.

Things are instantly changing nowadays, especially in the age of massive globalization, which has rendered more mobility for people around the world to migrate somewhere else. More Chinese are migrating to Africa, and vice versa. African diaspora in China is perhaps something that is unheard of, but in China itself, their presence has begun to be widely known. I have no idea about the future demography in China. But everybody must realize that more Africans will find their dream state other than United States. It’s been waning, and China has gradually replaced its position, bit by bit. The whole world is experiencing ‘Chinese effect’, right here right now.

And now you can listen them speak Chinese.