News in Brief – Week Ending 27/04/08

There are many ways to dispose of a body when you are dead. Burn it, inter it, embalm it or even put it in a luxury place. That’s the intention of Indonesia’s Lippo Group who plan to invest more than $1.1bn to develop a 500-hectare memorial park that, with a boating lake, swimming pool, hiking trails, family centre and Italian restaurant, might appear more country club than burial ground. How chic!. Can’t say much about the plots of land across the water as this week Mount Child of Krakatau in Sunda Straits erupted and spewed red-hot rocks from its southern crater. The status of the volcano was stepped up to the third-highest alert since Monday as the mount increased its activity. Must be all the excitement of the dead in luxury. And, back across the water we go to Jakarta where illegal waste dumping in hard-to-reach locations across the municipality and a shortage of garbage trucks are hampering the effectiveness of the East Jakarta sanitation agency. According to officials, the dumps were typically made on the sides of inner city toll roads, railways, river banks and densely populated residential areas. I think we can all agree on this one when I say there are some shit places in Jakarta.

It’s nothing unusual for the costs of living to rise in Indonesia but when it comes to raising the cost of the basic staple of all Indonesians then shit does hit the fan. On Tuesday the price of rice was raised from 4,000 rupiah to 4,300 rupiah per kilogram and unmild rice from 2,000 to 2,200 rupiah per kilogram. While it might seem very little to an outsider, it is a big money rise to those living below the poverty line, and that, constitutes just about most of the population. The rising of the prices is based on the inflationary rate, the rise of prices of the commodity in the international market and the affordability of the consumers. Enough said

Whilst we are on the bandwagon, let’s raise the price of fuel as well eh!. It appears that the longer the Indonesian government waits before deciding to bring domestic fuel prices closer to international market levels, the more devastating will be the impact on the long-term foundation of the economy.

And Folks, that’s the news that is the news from around the archipelago this week, or at least, that what is worth mentioning!.