Indonesia’s past sporting achievements are relatively meager for a country of its size of population and success, where it has occurred, has largely been in badmington and sad to relate, even in the field of the shuttlecock the Golden Days of Susi Susanto etc appear over.
Anxious to achieve success at something, anything really, the Indonesian diplomatic staff of the New York consulate, ably assisted by visiting bigwigs to the UN, has entered the New York Marathon – for parking fines.
After a full year of heroic efforts at finding fire hydrants to park in front of, yellow lines to obscure and a lot of just generally illegal parking outside the excellent restaurants and bars of New York, the Indonesian Consulate has managed to rack up an astonishing 6.5 Billion Rupiah in parking fines!!! That is 750,000 of the USA’s wobbly dollars and puts them in the Bronze Medal position; surely no disgrace coming behind Nigeria with $1,000,000 and Gold Medal winner, Egypt, with $1,900,000 – but ahead of 143 other participating Nations!!!
With the release of the figures, the Embassy immediately got into the usual round of denial, blaming others, general obfuscation and saying others are worse, before finally asking someone else to pay the bill.
All to no avail apparently as, if the Embassy does not cough up, then they will have NO diplomatic plates issued to them next year.
That of course is never going to happen as there is no way SBY will be using a Yellow Cab next time he has to address a plenary session of the United Nations.
The Republic of Indonesia’s Ambassador to the US, Dino Patti Djalal, a chap not averse to a bit of publicity as you will see if you visit his personal website, is according to a nice chap we came across in Crossroads the other evening, extremely pissed off at the development and warned that heads will roll if things don’t improve and refuses to accept the Consul’s alleged suggestion that it is entirely the fault of the Consulate’s drivers, most of whom are from Solo apparently.
The Ambassador’s major claim to fame hitherto is for writing a book, “Harus Bisa!” which sold bundles of his time as Presidential Adviser to SBY, extolling the latter’s qualities as a leader, something which rings somewhat hollow now given current received wisdom on the issue.
Reported sales figures of around 1.7 million for “Harus Bisa!” are somewhat misleading, given that many of them were then given away to every school and library in the country, the Military, Higher Education Institutions and Universities – all at taxpayer expense of course. “Harus Bayar” might be a good title for your next best seller, Pak!
Moral Note: 6.5 Billion Rupiah would feed more than half a million impoverished Indonesians for a day or, in more familiar terms, around 10 large, suitably optioned and equipped four-wheel drive SUVs fit for Members of the DPR.