Indonesia’s worsening gang wars




Question: how much have we been oblivious on our predecessors’ Sumpah Pemuda after reading this article?

Read this exclusively ‘humiliating’ report on Al Jazeera.




“I never used acid when I was fighting. But people are using it because of the police sweeps,” Jambrong, a 19-year-old alumnus of Muhammidiyah High School (SMA), central Jakarta, said.

“With a samurai sword or a machete – you need a big bag and the police will find it. But you can get acid easily. You can buy it in building supply stores or technical stores. No one will ask you what it’s for. You can even get it from the school lab.

“It’s hard to look for acid. You can just keep it in a plastic bottle – it’s small and it looks anonymous.”

But Jambrong said the most popular weapon in student brawls is a motor gear tied to the end of a karate belt. “You get someone in the head with that and it’ll rip it up pretty bad. There are no rules to tawuran, there’s no code. You just have to have the guts. If you dare to kill, then kill, if not you will be scarred. I got hurt a couple of times.”

‘The government said it’s luck…for us, there’s no benefit’

South Sudan, currently the world’s youngest independent state, is a mere stone’s throw away from its first anniversary, but the country  maintains myriads of seemingly insurmountable problems, which pose a concern that the ruptured state has its own time bomb currently ticking for secession into many more fragile, smaller states, and in a Hudibrastic state, the bulk surrounding the problems is actually what that’s supposed to have enriched the state better than the Northern counterparts: oil. Production may have surpassed 500,000 barrels a day, but miserably, most of the profits often go to – as the locals complain – foreign oil companies, in which the accusation is aimed to CNPC (China’s state-owned oil enterprise), Petronas (enterprise of the similar kind with the former, based in Malaysia), and Sudapet (pertaining to government of Sudan).

This video describes how the oil, indirectly, is threatening the lives of people in a small town of Paloich, in South Sudan. It was taken in early January 2011 by Al Jazeera English correspondents, half a year before the country’s independence.