Monday, September 28, 2009

Masuk Angin

I wrote this for Harvard's PROJAK newsletter in response to the theme: Describe a superstitious belief that you follow, or somehow affected your life.

In the West, when we have a runny nose, a cough, a headache, congested sinuses, a sore throat, frequent sneezing, a fever, general weakness or any combination of the above we say we have "a cold." Our persitent use of "cold" is a historical anachronism from the days before germ (and virus) theory of medicine where we thought that "colds" were caused by being generally cold and wet. They can be co-incident (e.g. being cold and wet can supress your immune system to the point where a cold virus can gain a solid foothold), but that does not necessarily mean there is a causal relationship (i.e. in the absence of a rhinovirus, you're not going to get a "cold").

In Indonesia, people refer to one with the abovementioned list of symptoms as having "masuk angin." Literally this means "wind has entered." In addition to the list of symptoms that accompany a "cold", Indonesian "masuk angin" sufferers can expect to burp and, less frequently, may even have an upset stomach, with all its concomitant symptoms. The burping and/or farting is key, as it symbolises the "wind" trying to escape.

You can catch "masuk angin" by being exposed to wind or any sort of fast moving air. Common ways that this can happen include being in the direct airstream of a fan or air-conditioning unit, having your window open in a moving car, sitting on a motorbike without a jacket, being outside on a windy day and so on. While some expatriates in Indonesia like to make fun of the locals for this superstition, of course, this is no more ridiculous than people warning "you'll catch your death of cold" in the West.

Good ways to get rid of wind include eating foods or drinking tonics that are "heating", ("heating" being foods defined thusly by Chinese medicine, such as ginger, etc.) and getting massaged. There are various massage techniques to draw out wind - the most notable of which, "kerok," involves rubbing the skin with a coin until you have big red lines all over your body - but during all of them you (and your masseur) are expected to burp profusely as the wind is drawn out of your body.

Now, being the sceptical sort of chap that I am, I try not to buy in to either superstition. But being used to the Western concept of "having a cold," the idea that you burped when you had acute viral rhinopharyngitis seemed odd to me. I expressed my scepticism to Indonesian friends who just shrugged the sort of shrug that says "I don't care if you don't believe me, it's true."

Sure enough, the next time I got a cold, I became very aware of my burping. "Do I always burp this much?" "Was that a 'masuk angin' burp or an 'I ate my food too fast' burp?"

Sceptical folk like me are often very quick to dismiss traditions that seem to be based on superstitions. We often mistake "all we currently know" for "all we can know." There is some bullshit behind the Western conception of "catching a cold," but there is some useful practical advice in there too: "Don't go out when it's cold. It depresses your immune system and makes you vulnerable to passing rhinoviruses." No doubt, there is some bullshit behind "masuk angin," but there may well be wisdom in it too.

And, hell, who am I to presume that I know how to sort out the pearls of wisdom from the bullshit? At least (as far as I know) the traditional healing methods haven't been conclusively proven as having no impact like Vitamin C, which is commonly sold in the West as a cold and flu cure-all...

Until then, bring on the awful tasting herbal medicines and burping masseurs...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Last post about cycling

Ok, I'm aware that this has become a cycling blog... Not to worry, this is the last one for a while. I have a bunch of posts on Timorese nationalism, the current furore over Australian/Timor-Leste/Indonesian relations, use of Indonesian in eastern Indonesia, how expensive university degrees are a forthcoming bubble, and so on milling around my head.

Anyway, there are a bunch of videos of the Tour de Timor that were quite good that I thought I should post.

The first, replete with uplifting, energising soundtrack further confirming my conviction that it's impossible to write a good song even peripherally about sport:

That aside, it's a pretty rocking video.

Finally, here's one of the crowds on the way into Dili. I've got to say, I don't even really remember the crowds at the end because I was busy trying to outmanoeuver Jesse and Joao...

Monday, September 21, 2009


I went for a bike ride this morning up Becora hill. I woke up a little late and by the time I got to the top, I figured it was too hot to do the whole Hera loop, so I turned around and started heading back down.

As I rounded the corner just as it starts to get steep I see a middle-aged Timorese guy walking down the side of the street. Not hearing anything, and - I guess - not expecting a quiet bicycle, he starts crossing the road without looking behind him. I'm still a good 30m away by this point, going about 40km/hr.

I yell out to him, "hey, look out!" and start to brake gently. He takes a second to react, and then turns around to see me coming. I start braking more heavily. He's bang in the middle of the road so there's no real obvious way for either of us to go. I start going left, he dodges left, I try to react and veer right at exactly the moment he reacts to my left-veering and dodges right.

I can't say for sure exactly how fast I was going when I hit him, but as my bike hit him I managed to sort-of leap over him and execute, what I must recognise as, a pretty impressive forward roll down the road ahead.

I've heard all sorts of horror stories about car-crashes in Timor. People quickly get surrounded by mobs that can turn violent (the story of the USAID guy who got hit in the head with a machete after his driver hit a guy in Metinaro, then jumped out of the car and ran off into the distance comes to mind). If you're lucky enough to extricate yourself from the mob, there are all sorts of payments demanded, no matter who was in the wrong.

Of course, before I even have a chance to worry about any of this, we've both popped up and both apologised and established that neither of us are too badly hurt. I have managed to come up with only small scratches on one knee and both elbows and a modest patch of road rash on my right hip. I can't talk definitively about his injuries, but he certainly had a cut on his hand and must have had some bruises in his back and side from where my bike crashed into him.

Sure enough, the guys who were sitting under a tree up the road start running down to see what's going on. By the time they get there I'm already helping the guy wash out his hand with some water I had with me. They seemed to be quite disappointed that no conflict had erupted and kept pointing out our respective scratches and wounds.

We both apologised, shook hands, introduced ourselves, expressed our desire to meet again sometime and went on our way.

I've only really had two proper crashes as an adult. One in New Zealand on a mountain bike track up above Golden Bay where I cracked a helmet in half and left a good chunk of skin on the road, and this one. Each time I've come away feeling thankful.

In this case, sure, I wouldn't have hit him if he hadn't walked out into the road without looking, but I probably should have been anticipating that and started braking earlier. People do it all the time here, and the concept of right-of-way doesn't really exist.

Each crash for me has a good lesson in your own mortality and fallibility for the price of a few square inches of skin. That's a bargain, as far as I'm concerned.

Respect the bike...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tour de Timor results

Before I decided to enter the Tour de Timor, I had only ever been a commuter cyclist. I could have counted the number of times I had "gone for a ride" for exercise or for pleasure on my fingers. But hey, I'm always up for a challenge and it's a beautiful way to see the country, so I signed up.

I didn't actually prepare that well. The only long rides I did were one to Baucau (130km, which just about killed me, there were multiple times I felt like I was going to cry), one to Manatuto (70km) and one to Gleno (30km, but most of it is up a big hill). Other than that I rode up to Dare (20km up and then down a big hill) a couple of times and to Cristo Rei (20km on the flat) a few times a week in the mornings. Other than that I did a bit of basketball, frisbee and yoga.

And, the verdict: easier than I expected... It was certainly tough, I don't want to undersell it. Spending over 23 hours on a bike in 5 days is no cakewalk, but it was certainly easier than a weekend frisbee tournament, or even a one day footy tournament. I suppose it's also a matter of knowing how to push yourself through the pain barrier. When I hit the barrier, I just slowed down...

Total timeStage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4Stage 5



Percentage off the pace62%54%72%40%89%65%


Avg speed19.521.21720.30921.27113.22822.365


Overall, I finished in the top half of the pack. I did better than I probably should have on the first day because so many really excellent cyclists were just dying in the heat and that was enough to keep me in the top half until the end. My fastest day by far was the fifth day, but I got two flat tyres halfway through and lost at least 20 minutes while I snapped my tyre iron and puzzled over why my brand new tube wasn't inflating (big hole in it right out of the box). The people I was riding with on that day ended up coming in the high-80s. Oh well, considering I hadn't had a single mechanical issue or crash the whole race, I was probably due for some karmic payback... My team-mate, who I had been riding with most days, broke a spoke on the fourth day, and other people had had run-ins with dogs, potholes and wash-outs, so I should count myself lucky.

Before anyone gets too dismissive of my average speeds, in my defence, the terrain was pretty rough, and some of it was actually proper mountain biking, crossing rivers and whatnot. The people in the top pack called the fourth day, where we climbed from sea level to 2000m and then back down to 1800m "the toughest climb I've ever done." Of course, they did it in just over half the time it took me, do that's not terribly surprising...

Health-wise, I felt really good the whole race too. My wrists and back were getting pretty sore by the last day, but my legs felt good the whole time. No digestive issues, other than getting really, really sick of all the sugar from the GUs, Gatorade and power-bars... I had a bit of a headache - most likely from the heat - after days 1 and 3, but I felt good at the end of the other days.

The organisers did an absolutely spectacular job. If I really want to think of something to complain about I could say that (i) there was a serious lack of vegetarian food, (ii) the food service was a little slow for one dinner, (iii) the speeches went a little long in Loihonu, and (iv) there weren't enough toilets at Maubisse. That's literally it... Not even counting how quickly they pulled this thing together it was mindblowingly well run. You arrive at the finish line, somebody greets you with a bottle of gatorade and a bottle of water. Your bag is right there, your camp-site is right there. Food, showers, water, physiotherapists, massage therapists and medics are all ready to go. We had a car with us to carry all our stuff and a lot of extra food, but we didn't need it at all. A friend who had been on the Trans-Alp race in Europe said that this was far better run.

And the crowd... The crowds were absolutely incredible... I felt like I was in the Tour de France. I was riding through Manatuto with two Timorese guys and the atmosphere was electric. People were going out of their minds cheering and seemed genuinely ecstatic that all of these international people would come to see their rai. I've got to say I got a little overcome with emotion feeling the love in the air.

So, will I be doing this more often? Well... It was fun and all, but I don't know that I'll be doing it as a regular hobby. It was a beautiful way to see the country and the racing side of it was interesting, but I think I'm more of a team sport guy. I think I'll go back to being a commuter cyclist and if individual races come along that look interesting, are close to me or are otherwise attractive (or all three as this one was) then I'll do a little half-arsed training and enter as I did with this one. I'll also keep cycling as a regular part of my weekly exercise routine, just because it's so different to everything else I do.

This race did certainly open my mind to the idea of cycle-touring. There are lots of places in the world that you can ride around. 100km on a good road is very doable in a day, even if you stop for lunch. This also opened my eyes to the possibility of much longer commutes in Australia, e.g. the 60km from Melbourne to my parents' place.

So, overall, I'll give it a solid 5 stars and highly recommend it to anyone for next year.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Spam poetry

I've always had great trouble writing lyrics. I get very self-conscious about trying to put words together in ways that aren't contrived. As a thought experiment I have periodically taken lyrics to some of my favourite songs and tried to imagine that I had wrote them to see if they'd get past my internal editor.

Ground control to Major Tom
Ground control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on

I hear the train a'comin
It's rollin' round the bend
and I ain't seen the sunshine since
I don't know when

Here come old flat top he come groovin' up slowly
he got joo joo eyeball he one holy roller
he got hair down to his knees
Got to be a joker he just do what he please

And so on and so on. All great songs, all great lyrics, but if I'd written them, they would never have seen the light of day. For me, the challenge is turning off my internal editor long enough to try and develop an idea completely and then deciding whether or not it's crap. Of course, given my entire recorded lyrical output consists of one song and one line from one chorus of another song, you can gain a little insight into how regularly this process is successful for me.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney regularly proclaimed that they had no special creative talent. They wrote most of their early songs sitting side-by-side at a piano or with guitars, ukuleles or whatever other instrument they had at hand and bashing away at them until they heard something they liked. They particularly enjoyed finding bizzare combinations of chords at random and then trying to find vocal melodies that worked for them. John particularly liked to compose at the piano specifically because he knew less about it than the guitar and thus was less likely to rely on the tropes that had served him well in previous songs.This is why so many of their songs have chord changes that are theoretically "wrong", but oh-so-right. Kind of like the idea of the proverbial thousand monkeys, they claimed you just needed to wait around long enough and you'd hear something good.

If you believe this theory of creativity, then a great artist is no more than a great editor of the cultural flux that passes through his brain. All art is found art. The artist just found it hanging around his brain at the moment when he had a guitar/paintbrush/pen/can of soup in his hand. If this is so, does it matter what the source of that flux is? If the artist is just an editor, then can he take anything, call it art and be its creator?

Following the thought a little further, you could argue that all consumption of art is a creative process because to consume the art, you are interpreting the stimuli in a way that it pleasing to you. So, in consuming art, you become the artist.

I first came across the idea of spam poetry years ago, but I received a spam email just now with, arguably, the finest specimen of its kind I've ever had the privilege of receiving.

I present to you,

Anus Embus Syren Bride Anon.
sudd pore corny dulse!
glean rait pore scat?
marry fled qualm spill?
doty inker.
dull col rake tardy.
psalm duff rein ado.
apace palpi.
shout mark tower clan.
apace glean helve scan.
delve col embus.
bud syren pore who?
catty sudd scan syren.
sally rein col betid?
nexus reedy shay guest?
palpi samp apace scull.
old pore reedy grass.
grass inker stoke sudd?
spill calve sue scat?
cong scull.
corny lotto who wrap!
samp pear wrap embus?
cong old cur pule.
tenth work psalm.
anus embus syren bride.

I guess I don't quite buy into that theory of creativity, otherwise I would have credited the poem to myself. Still an interesting idea though...

Friday, August 07, 2009

Bahasa Oke

I wrote a couple of articles on Wikibooks a while ago, but no one seems to have added to them... In hindsight, perhaps they work best as blog posts, thus, I reproduce them here. If you want to add to the Wikibook, the link is here.

Unbeknownst even to many native Indonesian speakers these days there is a subset of the Indonesian language derived from a peculiar form of a language game popular in the 1980s and often still used today.

The words you will learn in the following lesson are most definitely encompassed within what is known as Bahasa Prokem (itself a Bahasa Oke word as you will see below) and as such should probably not be used in polite company.

Language games and gibberish in Indonesian

Like English, Indonesian has its own Pig Latins and Ubbi-Dubbis, such as "Bahasa G." Simliarly, these language games are used code a message for specific parties in a crowd and are usually rarely used out of the schoolyard. A notable exception is "Bahasa Oke" and the words which have endured are the sorts of words that speakers would not want authority figures to understand.

How it works

To create a Bahasa Oke word the rules are by no means hard and fast, the rules are bent to create words which have more of a ring to them, but in general the following rules are applied. One takes the first syllable of a normal Indonesian word and replaces the vowel with oke, oka or oki. Usually the 'e', 'a' or 'i' is chosen to be the same vowel replaced but that is not always the case.
Now, let's get to the examples.

WordRoot WordMeaningComments
ProkemPremanCrook, thug n.Many people do not realise that Bahasa Prokem itself is actually a Bahasa Oke word. So literally, Bahasa Prokem is the language of the criminals and thugs. Good motivation for anyone to learn it.
GokilGilaCrazy adj.Used rather like the English 'cool', still in limited usage, but only really in Jakarta as a throwback to the 80s. Rather like the ironic usage of 'groovy', 'rad' and so on by English speakers these days.
BokerBerakShit v.Commonly used in major cities throughout Indonesia
TokaiTaiShit n.Often used as in the same manner as the English 'Bullshit', not particularly common these days.
NgokarNgerokokSmoke cigarettes v..Not particularly common these days.
CokinCinaChinese personThis is an offensive term for Indonesians of Chinese descent, that said, you still sometimes hear it on the streets of Jakarta. Interestingly, some people even feel that the linguistically correct term, Cina, has too much of a racist ring to it and you will often hear them referred to by the English word Chinese.
BokapBapakFather n.Extremely common, and although it doesn't really have a proper root, the term Nyokap is used just as commonly for Mother n. probably derived from Nyi, Nyonya or something like that as Bunda, Ibu, etc. don't really create words with much of ring to them. People often refer to their parents as 'Bonyok', short for 'Bokap, Nyokap'.
PembokatPembantuHelper, maid n.Not particularly common these days.
BokepBF c.f. Blue FilmsPornography n.The 'f' is changed to a 'p' as 'f' is not particularly commonly used in Indonesian. This has actually become the standard word for pornography in Indonesia and is now used to refer to all forms rather than just pornographic films. As noted above, many Indonesians are not even aware of its root.

This is far from a complete list of Bahasa Oke words but should help you on your way to gaining a more sophisticated understanding of the language of contemporary Jakarta.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Training - Week 1

The first week of Tour de Timor training went relatively well. I rode about 160km, not counting riding to and from work and basketball. Legs, delicate bits and cardiovascular system didn't have too much trouble at all; my wrists however are another matter entirely.

I rode to Manatuto on Saturday. It was 68km from our house and took 3 hours and 10 minutes (with 3 medium sized hills). My wrists felt a little numb afterwards, but I didn't realise anything was majorly wrong until I tried to chop some vegetables later that night and kept dropping the knife. At yoga yesterday I was trying to point my fingers and the little finger on my right hand was pointing off at 45 degrees. It doesn't hurt, exactly, it just feels kind of numb and won't really do what I tell it.

Curious... I suppose this is what nerve damage feels like.

I think I need some gloves...

Tour de Timor

Despite never having ridden further than about 30km in one sitting before, I plan to enter the Tour de Timor. I'm starting from a pretty low base, but hey, if Tour de France people can ride 3,500km over 3 weeks, surely I can handle a measly 350km in one week.

My dad used to be a keen amateur triathlete and he recently told me that you're not a real cyclist until you can finish an 80km time trial in 2 hours (note: apparently, he was never a real cyclist). My relatively fast cruising speed on my mountain bike is about 30km/hr so (with knobbly tires and running shoes without clips), on the way back from my first training ride last week I decided to try to sprint the last kilometre or two at 40km/hr to see how I went.

I turned on the gas once I hit the port. I start sprinting... I check my speedo: 34.5. I push harder... 36.4. Push again... 38.0... 38.0... 38.4... 39.8... 40.0 and then my foot slipped off the pedal...

I decided to finish the rest of the ride at my normal cruising pace of 30km/hr...

I think I still have a ways to go...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

On eating meat, generally (and dog, specifically)

I read this post by Matt and thought I'd add my own point of view on caninophagia.

I eat meat. Probably less than most developed world people, but probably more than most developing world people. For most of us rich people (and I define rich pretty broadly here as anyone who earns more than, say, $10 a day), eating meat is a lifestyle choice. We can get most of what we need from vegetables, so why do we eat meat? Because we like to. We feel, rightly or wrongly, that some combination of the taste, the sociocultural factors, the nutritional content, and a whole host of other factors present in meat justify the slaughter. In recognition of the fact that there is some "sin" (for lack of a better word) committed in the slaughter of an animal for my personal pleasure, I try to think about the slaughter whenever I do eat meat. If I'm going to have a part in the killing the thing, I at least owe it the dignity of recognising that it was once an animal and not just a hunk of tasty goodness that popped into being one day in my fridge.

I was talking to a guy over dinner a few months ago and he expressed the opinion that hunting was murder. We were eating steak at the time... This is very common in the developed world because we completely divorce the eating of meat to the slaughter of meat. We don't kill animals, we have poor people to do that for us. Calling someone who kills the animals a brute and then enjoying their handiwork is the worst kind of classist hypocrisy. It's outsourcing of the nasty moral issues to the poor bastards who have to work in the industrial slaughterhouses so that we can enjoy our tender cut of meat with a squeaky clean conscience. Eating meat is still killing, it's done by proxy, sure, but it wouldn't have been killed if your demand for it didn't exist.

Meat is murder. If you're not comfortable with that, don't eat it.

So, the way I try to justify my meat eating to myself is by asking myself: would I be happy to kill this animal myself, or - at the very least - be there while it is being killed and not look away? If the answer is no, then I shouldn't be eating it.

My set of criteria for deciding whether or not to eat meat is pretty hazy, but tends to depend on the following three factors:

  • the quality of life that the animal lived,
  • the manner in which it was killed, and
  • the sustainability of the raising and harvesting method.

To my mind, kangaroos are just about the perfect meat. They are often culled in Australia, saving them from a slow death from starvation. They live a pretty good life out in the wild and - as long as we're killing them anyway - we might as well put the calories that they have stored to good use. I try not to eat feedlot raised animals (or their products including eggs, milk, etc.) but I probably do on a semi-regular basis. Where I'm reasonably certain that hunting is not done sustainably (e.g. turtle in most places, fish caught using dynamite, non-dolphin safe tuna, etc.) I won't eat the products of it, but other than that I have no problem with hunting generally as long as the animal is killed quickly. The massive uproar in Australia every year about the JAPANESE KILLING OUR WHALES OMG!!!1!!1!1 leaves me quite bemused... I don't really see any difference between a whale and, say, a cow... As long as the populations are monitored and the fishing rate is sustainable then what's the big deal? Arguably, the battery hens that lay eggs that most of these outraged teenage girls eat for breakfast suffer more in their lifetimes than the whales being killed by the Japanese fishing vessels.

This brings me to dog. Specifically dog in Timor. Eating dog is a big thing in Timor. People love it. I was sitting around at a Timorese friend's house a while ago and he told me all about it. Apparently the best way to cook the dog is in what they call "RW" style, where it is basically steamed in a large dutch oven with a whole bunch of herbs and spices and (the secret ingredient) a can of "bir hitam" (stout). Dog is not the sort of thing that you whip up for an afternoon snack; it's a big community event. Even if you don't tell anyone you're cooking it, by the time you take off the lid of the steamer, you'll find yourself surrounded by dozens of new friends ready to share your bounty. Apparently even the Muslims turn up!

In principle, I have no problem with eating dog, as long as it fulfills the three criteria I stated above. As I understand it, pigs are just as intelligent and I eat them. From a public health standpoint, bats and freshwater fish in Jakarta are certainly more worrying, and I've eaten them (though the bat was awful, but not because I was grossed out, it just tasted foul. I'd try it again though). And the way in which the cooking of it brings communities together makes me want to try it sometime. They live pretty good lives on the streets of Dili. They basically eat garbage and turn it into calories that humans can use which is great from an environmental standpoint (though possibly not from a public health standpoint, but I digress). The issue I have is with the slaughter...

To get yourself a dog for your community feast is not as straightforward as buying a pig or a cut of beef (or more likely ox) at the market. People don't sell choice cuts of dog at the corner store. You need to go wandering from door-to-door asking people if they have one they want to sell. Apparently the going rate is about $20. So eventually, you find someone who is willing to part with their pet for this tidy sum, then call it over (often you need a piece of meat to call it, as Timorese dogs tend to be pretty wary of strangers - apparently with good reason) and stuff it in a sack for the trip home. Unsurprisingly, the dogs get pretty worked up while stuffed in the sack and can be tricky to extract to slaughter. To overcome this potential barrier, the Timorese folk have come up with an ingenious solution: a large stick. You make sure that the sack is still securely tied, then you take the stick then beat the dog to death.

Like I said, I have no in-principle objection to eating dog, in fact, I'd rather like to see the party that accompanies the cooking of it, but I feel like the method of slaughter is needlessly cruel.

I feel like it would be a shame to leave without eating dog though, so now I'm torn. I might ask some friends to let me know the next time they're cooking dog so that I can go with them and witness the whole process. Do I have to wield the stick myself to feel comfortable with eating it though? I don't feel necessarily like wielding a stick to beat a dog to death is something one needs to be particularly skilled to do so maybe I should. It's brutal, sure, but like I said, by eating it I'm proxy killing it anyway. If I want to enjoy the meat, I should be viscerally aware of where it comes from.

Maybe I can find a better way to kill them that might be more analagous to the slaughter of, say, a pig. Any tips?

Mr. John Blogs Bonus Feature!

For those who always wondered what RW stood for, the Indonesian Wikipedia article for Dog has the answer. Yes, we all knew it meant dog, I'd asked people all over Java, Bali, Timor, Flores and Papua what it stood for and no one could ever tell me. It turns out, that's because it's Bahasa Tombulu, one of the main languages spoken by the Manadonese people; notorious in Indonesia for eating anything that moves. It stands for Rintek Wuuk*, or "soft hair", being a euphemism for dog that they put on warungs so as not to offend the Muslims.

* Note the similarities between Wuuk and Fuuk (Tetum for "hair")**. I always enjoy tracing cognates across languages...

**Note that I could be completely wrong here, I know nothing about Bahasa Tombulu, it may well be that Rintek means hair... I doubt it though...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Abu Bakar Bashir - BS

Tetep aje ABB ngomong BS. Gua pengen banget debat ama dia...

Yang dia proposisi adalah setiap daerah mayoritas islam harus mengeluarkan perda untuk mewajibkan sholat, menutup aurat, dan kewajiban keagamaan yang lainnya. Mayoritas Kristen mengeluarkan perda yg mewajibkan kewajiban keagamaan mereka dalam daerah mereka. Sama juga untuk agama-agama dan daerah-daerah lainnya. Ini hanya akan berfungsi untuk meningkatkan ketegangan antar-agama, bisa sampai perang sipil. Orang Kristen dalam daerah yang dinyatakan Islam akan mengungsi ke daerah Kristen dan orang Islam di daerah Kristen sebaliknya.

Kekuatan Negara Indonesia berada dalam keanekaragamannya. Bhinneka Tunggal Ika. Pembangunan rintangan antara sesama warga bisa mengakibatkan penghancuran negara Indonesia... Terserah sih... Bukan negara saya, tapi sayang aja kalo bisa terjadi. Dan ini pasti terjadi kalau rekomendasinya ABB dilaksanakan.

ABB minta agar pemerintah lebih aktif dalam kehidupan religius sehari-hari. Departemen Agama sudah merupakan departemen terkorup di seluruh pemerintahan Indonesia... Setiap tahun orang bayar mahal buat naik haji/umroh, kok tiba di Makkah dijemput pake angkot? Seperti ABB sendiri bilang "kalo pemimpin, masih ada kemungkinan nyeleweng". Kasih pemerintah mengurus hal-hal pemerintahan seperti menyediakan jasa infrastruktur, pendidikan, dll - masalah ketuhanan diserahkan ke instansi agama masing2, jangan dicampur.

Tapi, menurut saya, idenya ABB yang paling tolol dalam video ini adalah bahwa pemerintah harus memaksa setiap orang yang beragama untuk melaksanakan semua hal yang diwajibkan oleh agamanya masing-masing. Yang mana yang lebih baik? 100 orang datang solat karena dipaksa oleh Undang-Undang yg ABB usulkan, atau 1 orang datang oleh karena keinginannya sendiri? 100 orang dengan hati sebel atau 1 orang dengan hati murni?

Walaupun saya bukan orang beragama, saya pasti bahwa tidak akan ada tuhan yang ingin melihat orang datang ke masjid/gereja/dll hanya karena dipaksa.

"When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man"

Terus terang gua masih bingung orang ginian bisa jadi ustad... Yang bener aje...