Friday, 1 May 2009

Boycott Indonesian Products For Clear Consciences

Bali BS believes decent people should boycott all Indonesian products / made items and companies, plus most if not all foreign companies / partnerships which operate within Indonesia (especially those businesses connected with the Suharto family).

Why boycott everything Indonesian?

We believe that for any company to even so much as trade in Indonesia they must be involved in corruption; because every aspect of dealing with government officials generally requires bribe money to be paid to them. We do not believe it is possible for a foreign company to operate in Indonesia without directly contributing to and being a part of corruption. Corruption robs the poor people of Indonesia of billions of dollars (plus their human and civil rights) and goes into the pockets of people who commit civil and human rights abuses. Buying Indonesian products and / or services puts money into the pockets of some of the nastiest people in the world.

Just look at the case of Alvis PLC of Britain to see how corrupt and nasty anything and everything connected with Indonesia really is. Alvis is a British arms manufacturer who it seems clear had the direct support of the then British Governments (first Conservative John Major and then Labour’s Tony Blair) in selling light tanks to Indonesia which experts knew Indonesia had no military need for and were actually to be and were used against (killing) civilians. The sales process of the tanks was equally odious as it involved using agents who were actually family members of the Indonesian Government and Military, while payment for the tanks was made through the president’s daughter’s offshore company who took 10% commission. Under current English law such practices it has been published Alvis and probably British Government members used to secure the orders and payments are now unlawful. If Alvis with the likely backing and help of the British Government gets involved in corruption and to such an extent, you know everyone else who is involved in Indonesia has to get involved too.

Pity the poor Indonesian workforce!

Although Indonesia mandates a minimum wage for full time workers, companies often simply get around this by employing workers on a “part time” basis. Political change is needed in Indonesia to stop the huge imbalance of wealth between the mega-wealthy Suharto circle upper class, and the everyday people of Indonesia who have next to or even literally nothing. Buying any products / services from foreign companies who have manufacturing facilities in Indonesia, irrespective of whether the product or service you are buying is Indonesian or not, is almost certainly supporting businessmen who care nothing about fellow human beings. If you are considering doing business with any company with offices in Indonesia, at the very least ask them to detail their employment and corruption payment policies for Indonesia.

Boycott hotel groups involved in Indonesia!

It is clear many International hotel groups who had and / or still have a presence in Jakarta, Bali, etc. did deals with Suharto; in fact, many hotels which operate under well know International names are actually partnerships with those International companies and Jakarta based “front” companies often for the Suharto family (see: Bali Hotels).

Because Indonesia favors only the wealthy and corrupt, the terms being synonymous in Indonesia, it has no real labor protection laws. Indonesian hotels frequently send workers home without pay during quiet periods. When you look at hotel room prices and local costs including staff salaries (they typically earn less than US$50 a month), understand Indonesian hotels generally care nothing about or for their staff, just profit. As many of the hotels in Indonesia are western brand names (normally 49% owned by that overseas hotel group and 51% by the Suharto’s or their friends), you will also understand that there is even less justification for sending someone home in a country with no welfare system just because guest levels dip below a certain level. Also understand many hotels keep the service charge element their staff are meant to receive for themselves and actually cheat on the taxes which are meant to pay for the Indonesia’s impoverished struggling health and education services. This cheating by hotels even has a term;“The Twin Book System” (one set of accounts for the tax man, the real ones for the management). Understand how little of your money ends up in the pockets of the staff, how much of what you pay is stolen from both them and poor Indonesians generally, and then understand why you should boycott these hotels; because without affirmative action, nothing will change.

Indonesian businesses are nasty because the whole country is based on hate and corruption. Indonesia is an occupying power and a former WW2 Axis power (Japanese ally) and a very nasty one (read our report: Free West PapuaPapuan Independence). When you buy Indonesian goods or services and even good and services from companies with offices in Indonesia, you are very likely putting money into the pockets of people who wholesale rob from the poor and routinely commit acts against humanity. Please, boycott anything and everything to do with Indonesia until such a time as the crooks are out of power and behind bars.

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