Saturday, 2 May 2009

Gen. Made Mangku Pastika, Bali’s chief hero or chief henchman?

Gen. Made Mangku Pastika, Bali’s chief hero or chief henchman?
By Bali BS News
Jul 27, 2005, 02:18

Made Pastika, Bali's chief of police is revered by many on the island, or so the media merchants claim, for his actions which ensured the capture of those responsible for the Bali bombings of October, 2002. He must be a hero, of course, because none other than Australian premier John Howard awarded him the Order of Australia in recognition of his help in tracking down the perpetrators of the terrorist act which killed so many Australian citizens. Made Pastika is even Balinese, so he must be the claimed hero, right?

But you need to look just a little deeper to perhaps see a different indication of what General Pastika is truly like.

First, he is a police officer, and a very senior one at that. Indonesia is well known to have one of the most corrupt and nepotistic police forces in the world. Born from the Suharto era’s need to have a virtual and total police state control over their citizens, the Indonesian police hardly enjoy a special relationship with the people of Bali. Most Balinese are fed up with having to pay police officers “instant fines” without receipts, especially when they have done nothing wrong. Hotel or tourist drivers regularly get pulled over and taken to one side, just out of the tourist passengers’ view to check their paperwork. Even when the paperwork is in order, when they have tourism operation licenses, etc. they still get asked for a “donation for a friend” as they have customers in their vehicle so “business must be good”. But this is just the lowest tier of police corruption in Bali. The upper tier involves extortion money for forgetting about alleged serious crimes such as drug offences and murder, often where these alleged crimes are constructed by the police in the first place.

It is a well known fact, to become an Indonesian police officer, particularly a senior police officer you must come from the right family, a police family, and pay a substantial joining “fee”. So why do people want to join the police force so badly? After all, the basic salaries are hardly worth writing home about by all accounts, especially if you had to pay a sizeable sum to get that poor salary in the first place. Perhaps it is the pension police officers get when they retire, as most professions do not provide pensions for their employees. Perhaps it is the uniform and sense of public duty that attracts them! We don’t believe so. We think it is the millions of dollars extorted by the police to line their own pockets every year. And Made Pastika is at the top of the pile.

You also get the feeling that Made Pastika is just another corrupt senior police officer because of the lack of information about any anti-corruption policies and activities he has. Just use a major search engine and search for “Made Pastika Corruption”. Although some web pages talk of General Pastika’s anti-corruption mandate from before he took the top job in Bali, there seems never to be any details of what these were. And there seems to be nothing about what he is doing to fight corruption since he took the top police job in Bali. Unfortunately, there are however, many reports about Made Pastika’s involvement into the investigation of two murdered US teachers in Papua in August 2002. It seems the Indonesian Special Forces are believed by many to be responsible and that Made Pastika, as an investigation officer into the murders, may well be involved in a cover up. At the very least, it shows Made Pastika is not the anti-terrorist co-operating (with western agencies) police officer many people make him out to be.

The name of a member of the “Free Papua Army”, one Antonius Wamang has been brokered as the chief suspect. But the problem with any credibility to this claim is another investigation officer, Adj. Sr. Comr. Sumardjiyo, stated that the murders were not carried out by the Free Papua Army. Also that the Indonesian Police say they can not arrest Antonius Wamang as there is not enough proof. Trouble is, with so much alleged police abuse in Indonesia, when did they ever need sufficient proof before one has to ask! You only have to look at how the Indonesian authorities dealt with the insurgents in Aceh to scratch your head over why they would not arrest Wamang. Perhaps a statement by the now former Deputy Police Chief of the Papua Police Department that he had evidence the Indonesian military were the perpetrators may shed some insight into why! And clearly, the US government felt the Indonesian military were responsible as they suspended the USA’s International Military Education and Training Program to Indonesia as a direct result of their suspicions.

In point of fact, the FBI still want to examine differences between their investigation and that headed by Made Pastika, hmmmm. However, the Balinese police chief does not feel there needs to be a “comparison” between his and the FBI’s investigation because "(his) investigation at that time was limited to the crime scene." When you consider what that means and can mean, it is incredible. It shows that General Pastika did not or says he did not investigate anything other than the area where these two teachers were murdered. Is that the way a dedicated capable police officer works? “I can find no suspects right here at the crime scene, so I will take it no further!” So he did not go away and question likely suspects, especially given the murders happened right under the noses of a nearby military base? But worse is what it probably means, a cover up by Pastika for the murders of innocent American teachers there to help Indonesia, committed by members of Indonesia’s own military. Co-operating with and letting foreign law agencies help him catch militant Islamic terrorists connected with the Bali bombing is one thing. Even just co-operating with those same agencies over a possible incident of state sponsored terrorism, just a few weeks before the Bali bombing, is another matter of course. But the proximity time wise of them both does raise another question; What exactly does Made Pastika actually do?!

So, what did General Made Pastika do to get himself Australia’s most prestigious metallic endorsement for his services regarding the Bali bombing? Why, it seems he did nothing more than follow orders from Jakarta to co-operate with the foreign law enforcement agencies and let them come in and do his job for him! Perhaps this is why many Australians feel their premier John Howard sold their country out when he awarded the Order of Australia to Made Pastika. Now you know the background perhaps you should ask yourself, is Made Pastika the hero or the blight of Bali? And would you feel comfortable about putting your liberty or even life in his or his subordinates’ hands?

Maybe we should all write to John Howard, tell him we do not feel capable of doing our job, ask him to send someone or, better still, some people to do our jobs for us, and then ask him to give us a nice shiny medal afterwards!

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