19 November 2009

House represents less than 50 percent of voting population

Kompas – November 13, 2009 Jakarta —

“The number of voters represented by the nine political parties that obtained seats in the national House of Representatives (DPR) following the 2009 legislative elections is less that who are not represented.”

This was revealed by former General Election Commission (KPU) Deputy Chair
Ramlan Surbakti during a discussion titled “Evaluating the Integrity of the 2009 Election Results” in Jakarta on Thursday November 12. The number of voters registered for legislative elections by the KPU in November 2009 was 171.27 million. However the number of votes represented by the nine political parties with seats in the DPR is only 85.05 million people or 49.66 percent.

The remainder, 86.22 million voters, is not represented by the 560
members of the DPR. The number of unrepresented voters is based on the 49.68 million registered voters who did not use their right to vote and the 17.49 million voters who did vote, but whose vote was declared invalid, plus 19.05 million voters who cast a valid vote but the parties they voted for did not obtain a seat because they failed to reach the electoral threshold (parliamentary threshold) to get into parliament.

11 November 2009

Indonesian leftist makes Australian speaking tour

By James Crafti

Direct Action
. As workers filed out from their shift at the Buana factory in western Jakarta, they were greeted by members of the Solidarity Alliance for Workers Struggle (GSPB) who handed them leaflets demanding wage rises and improvements to working conditions. Very few of Indonesia’s mostly women industrial workers are unionised. Active unionists like the members of the GSPB make new contacts outside the factory gates, and conduct trade union business in workers’ homes because bosses use anti-worker laws to stop union organisers from entering the factories.

This was just one of the images of Indonesia brought to life for Australian audiences in the recent Australian speaking tour of Indonesian political activist Vivi Widyawati. The national coordinator of the Jaringan Nasional Perempuan Mahardika (National Network for Women’s Liberation) and a leader of the radical left Committee of the Politics of the Poor–People’s Democratic Party (KPRM-PRD), Widyawati visited Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in September and October.

Asked of her impressions from the tour, Widyawati told Direct Action she was surprised that people in Australia were unaware of the popular struggles across Indonesia for economic and social justice. She told Direct Action that “most people and activists in Australia don’t know a lot about people’s struggle and the political situation in Indonesia. While I was in Melbourne there were a few solidarity efforts such as solidarity with Palestine, Latin America, Cuba and Venezuela, and perhaps others — but for Indonesia it hasn’t happened yet.”

Labour union launches national campaign for 50 percent wage increase

Detik.com - October 26, 2009

Baban Gandapurnama, Bandung -- Workers from the Preparatory Committee for the
Indonesian Labour Movement Union (KP-PPBI) are demanding a minimum wage increase across all regions in 2010 of as much as 50 percent.

According to KP-PPBI provisional coordinator Sulaeman, their demands are based on an assessment of workers' wages that are still not enough to survive on. "This 50 percent increase for workers will also stimulate an increase in purchasing power, and thereby stimulate Indonesia's stagnating economy," said Sulaeman during a KP-PPBI press conference at the Hotel Bandung Permai on Monday October 26.

Sulaeman also said that this demand should be viewed from the aspect of living conditions in Indonesia that are in a state of crisis, which can be seen from the huge jump in the price of goods and services.