11.23.08 A couple of days ago, I was blogwalking as usual and came across and entry in unspun’s blog about ‘Kompasiana’ and in that post, there was a link to another blog entry written by an Indonesian diplomat, Aris Heru Utomo. I have the honor to know Mr. Utomo in person as he was posted in Brussels not so long ago., and the entry he wrote that was linked by unspun was about blog diplomacy
I immediately clicked the link and read it thorougly. The post is in Indonesian and it is a very good post, not a surprise considering I have heard from his colleagues in other ASEAN Embassies that he was quite a promising diplomat (I’m sure he still is), and from what I gathered by reading his personal blog, a very good writer as well.
The post basically talks about blog diplomacy and how the US Ambassador for Indonesia is supporting the Indonesian Pesta Blogger 2008 (2008 Blogger Party) and how the US have also been using blogs and the blogger community in its diplomacy activities. He also pointed out that the use of blogs continues to develop in parallel to the people’s wish to get alternative information besides that of the mainstream media.
He mentioned that to respond to this development, aside from doing an integrated public diplomacy, the US Ministry of Foreign Affairs has initiated to use blogs for its diplomats. Through a blog named Diplomatic Note, the US MFA has given its diplomats a chance to share stories and discuss various diplomacy actitivites that they have done with the people of the great US of A.
This is done to give direct information and opinions from the diplomats, like a ‘behind the scenes’ story to allow the readers a different perspective about what they are doing besides from the usual news or opinion columns in mainstream medias and the official US MFA website.
I thought that it was a splendid idea, and I really think we should also have something like that. The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs should do something similar in order to let the taxpayers know whether they get their money’s worth from whatever activities its diplomats are doing to better the nation in foreign countries (and hopefully not use the taxpayers’ money just to better their living condition and fatten their bank accounts). Of course, that’s not going to happen, although I’m not about to tell you why.
Why won’t I tell you?
Well, when I went through the comment section, there was another reader who questioned about bloggers writing about ‘negative facts’ of future legislators, in order to let the people know further about the person they are supposed to vote for.
Me, being the loudmouth that I am sometimes, immediately responded that it is ill-advised to write about ‘negative facts’ about future legislators, or about diplomats and Ambassadors, unless the said blogger has a strong back up from someone ‘way up high’ in the government.
Mr. Utomo was kind enough to respond to my comment and said that it is definitely ill-advised to disclose any negative facts about anybody, especially when it is written as rumors. He also said that the writings should have hard facts behind it and that for future legislators it is better to write about the said future legislator’s accomplishments rather than his/her shortcomings.
I agree about having hard facts before writing about how Ambassador N likes to make up projects to benefit his own bank account of how he likes to make his household staff pay for everything while he pockets the money from the government intended for the purpose, or how a future legislator has a ‘deal’ with contractor X in a tender that will benefit both parties. But I wasn’t talking about that although rumors in the Indonesian government often tend to be true than not. So, considering what I have are rumors (although some of the information I have are through personal experiences and observation, but we all know that me, a kroco, an Indonesian term for cockroach/someone in a very low position with no power at all, will never be regarded as telling the truth, no matter how much proof I have against a ‘Big Fish’) I will not tell you why the Indonesian MFA is never gonna do something like what the US MFA has done.
Anyway, what I meant in my comment was not about writing rumors and hearsays, but more about the incompetencies and work ethos of officials we have entrusted with our lives, with the nation’s future and so forth. This should not be too much to ask.
For the longest time we have had many scumbags representing us in the House of Representatives or negotiating with other countries in the diplomacy world. People who should have no business sitting in the very comfotable position they are in, only to get paid a fuckload of money for not doing the things they should be doing. Now Americans are open enough to use blogs as an information and discussion medium for its people to question and discuss so many things their government offcials are doing, why shouldn’t we?
It’s about time we get rid of the ‘javanese’ ethos of not divulging ‘bad traits’ of a person just because it’s considered as impolite. If we keep on doing that the country is doomed to go down the shithole. We should start adapting a more realistic and tough stance especially when it comes to people that are supposed to run and better the country. I mean, they have so many financial and other benefits from the positions they will be in, why shouldn’t we question and dissect their abilities and character? Don’t we want our best on the job?
If we all shut our mouths, ears and eyes while we know that nincompoops are running the country, representing the country to the outside world all the while ruining the country, then we are really doomed to hell and have nobody to blame but ourselves.
We should uncover negative practices, corruption, bad work ethos, etc, of our government officials (future legislators, all departments and ministries) in order to further the nation.
Why? Because if we do not do so, we are no better than those people.
It really means that we have all lost respect for our founding fathers; We have lost respect for the foundation of our great nation; We have lost respect to the struggle and sacrifice of our ancestors in fighting for our independence.
It really means that all they did was for nothing and we are literally shitting all over their graves. Now, are we grave shitters with no ethics and respect to those we should respect, or are we good, solid, wholesome people?
source: Rima's blog http://rimafauzi.com/blogs/