August 15, 2018

Lombok Earthquake Relief: How you can help

Indonesia’s Lombok has been jolted by two major earthquakes and hundreds of aftershocks in the past week with a 6.4 on July 29 and an even more devastating 7.0 on August 5. The death toll of the 7.0-quake has been continuing to climb (it’s up to 98 at the moment), hundreds have been wounded, and thousands have been forced to evacuate their homes. Electricity has gone dead in parts of the island, clean drinking water has been difficult to access, and local residents have been afraid to go inside structures, fearful that they could collapse.

There is a handful of dedicated group of NGOs on the ground that have sprung into action with the relief effort, passing out supplies, helping make temporary shelters, and rebuilding. Here’s an index of NGOs and community members with active crowdfunding campaigns to help the victims of the Lombok earthquakes.


Lombok Forgotten Children: Endri Foundation

The foundation, which is based in Lombok and is dedicated to assisting the island’s sick, poor, disabled, and displaced has its hands full after the past two earthquakes. A fundraising campaign has been launched on GoFundMe to get support for the foundation’s relief effort, which needs fuel for its vans that are moving food and aid around (a lot of food is being donated by hotels, according to the organization), medical supplies, and plastic covers to build basic shelters.


Peduli Anak Foundation

The Mataram-based orphanage suffered major structural damage from the earthquake but is raising funds to rebuild their space, which consists of four dormitories for children, classrooms, a mosque, offices, and other supporting facilities. Kids, who are in the foundation’s care because they’ve been abused, exploited, or neglected, are currently camped out on the basketball fields and in need of shelter, according to a video posted by Peduli Anak’s crowdfunding page on


Project Karma & Yayasan Team Action Amed

This one is a cooperative effort between Project Karma, an Australian NGO, and Team Action Amed, which was actually born in response to Bali’s erupting Mount Agung last year. The team has been very hands on, focusing on collecting donated items and funds and distributing supplies to evacuees, like rice, cooking oil, dried beans, sugar, tea, as well as water filters.


Palang Merah Indonesia

The Indonesian Red Cross works directly with the government to assist evacuees and provide aid. They are accepting donations specifically for those in Lombok affected by the earthquakes at this time.


Earthquake Relief for Lombok: GoFundMe campaign

This is a GoFundMe that is working with some of the other aforementioned organizations, including Endri’s Foundation, Yayasan Team Action Amed, and Project Karma, as well as organizations in the Gilis-they’re waiting to give more specifics about things in the Gilis once power comes back on and proper funding channels are in place. [Coconuts Bali August 6, 2018] Editor’s note: Any of these organizations/websites can be Googled and donations made.


Flotilla of ships deployed between Lombok and Bali to evacuate tourists and locals escaping aftermath of August 5th 7.0 magnitude earthquake

Nusa Bali reports that some 1,500 domestic and foreign tourists have been evacuated from the Island of Lombok using a wide range of sea-transport following the Sunday, August 5, 2018, 7.0 magnitude earthquake that had an epicenter in North Lombok. Passengers were brought to Bali’s southernmost Port of Benoa using a flotilla of vessels starting from Monday evening through Tuesday afternoon. Among the ships deployed for the evacuation were KM Binaiya, MV Bounty Cruise, KM KPLP I, KM KPLP II, MV Patagonia, and MV Patagonia Xpress. The first ship carrying evacuees, KM Binaiya, berthed at the eastern pier in the Port of Benoa carrying 86 passengers at 10:30 pm on Monday. The manifest of the ship was dominated by foreign tourists bringing their personal belongings from Lombok. A second ship, the MV Bounty Cruise catamaran brought 541 tourists to their private jetty in Benoa at 1:15 am on Tuesday morning.

Throughout the rest of Tuesday, hundreds of tourists arrived in Bali from Lombok in a series of ship arrivals that had traveled the 54 nautical miles across the Lombok Straits. Coordinating the arrival of domestic and foreign tourists was the head of the Denpasar Police Precinct, Hadi Purnomo, who personally headed the large complement of police assigned to stand-by at the Port. Purnomo said his officers were coordinating with the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali) to support and assist the tourists fleeing the aftermath of the Lombok earthquake. That assistance took the form of busses and ambulances to carry passengers to medical centers, Bali’s Airport, and hotels on the Island of Bali. Separately, the spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, confirmed that up and until 8:00 pm on Monday the number of tourists and local residents evacuated from North Lombok, Gili Air, Gili Meno, and Gili Trawangan totaled 4,636 people who were transported to the Port of Benoa in Bali and the Port of Lembar in South Lombok.

The Director-General of Immigration confirmed that 7 foreign nationals suffered injuries as a result of Sunday’s earthquake in Lombok and were being treated at hospitals in Lombok. Through mid-day Tuesday, August 7th the death count linked to the earthquake stood at 105 people, a number expected to grow as rescue workers inspect structures destroyed by the disaster. The distribution of fatalities to date records 78 people killed in North Lombok, 16 in West Lombok, 4 in the City of Mataram, 3 in East Lombok, 2 in Central Lombok, and 2 in Bali. Hundreds were injured in the earthquake. [ August 8, 2018]


British woman who missed her flight slaps Bali immigration officer

It’s not easy being an immigration officer nowadays. An officer at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport got slapped in the face on July 28 by an enraged British woman who missed her flight to Singapore. Auj-e Taqaddas was barred from boarding a plane when immigration records showed that she overstayed in Indonesia for 160 days. Her month-long visa expired on Feb 18. After she was told that she had racked up a US$4,000 (S$5,500) fine for overstaying, the 42-year-old woman flew into a rage.

In a video clip that has gone viral online, Taqaddas can be seen cussing at immigration officer Ardyansyah, 28. “You aren’t paying for this f***ing flight,” she yelled. “You b*****ds told me to bring the money, why didn’t you b*****ds tell me anything else?” When she failed to snatch her passport from his hands, Taqaddas struck him on the cheek. She later noticed that Ardyansyah’s colleague was   filming the incident, and demanded that he show his face on camera. Immigration Chief Ngurah Rai Aris Amran said: “She slapped the officer, who is a respected guard. She touched immigration, which means touching representatives of the nation. So we reported it to the police.” The woman has since been detained by Bali police, according to media reports.[Asia One August 3, 2018]


Indonesia to hand over Jho Low’s yacht

Indonesia has agreed to hand over to Malaysia a US$250mil (RM1.02bil) luxury yacht linked to a corruption scandal at a Malaysian state fund that it impounded in Bali earlier this year, Indonesian authorities said. The Cayman Islands-flagged Equanimity was seized in February at the request of US authorities as part of a multi-billion dollar corruption investigation launched by the Depart-ment of Justice (DOJ) related to 1Malay–sia Development Berhad (1MDB). An Indonesian court ruling in April declared that the yacht was wrongfully impounded and should be released to its owners. Indonesian police seized the boat again in July following a formal req-uest for legal assistance from the US.

Indonesian police said they would hand the yacht over to Malaysia but did not specify when. “The yacht will be handed over at the border between Indonesian and Malaysian waters,” Daniel Silitonga, the deputy for economic and special crimes, said yesterday. “We have to maintain good relations between the two countries,” he said, adding that the yacht was currently in the waters close to the border of Singapore and the Indonesian island of Batam. A source also said on Friday that the decision to hand the yacht to Malaysia was reached following a personal request made by Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Dr Mahathir, 93, had visited Indonesia in June, his first official visit in the region after returning to power. The vessel is said to have an interior clad in marble and gold leaf, a spa and sauna, a 20m swimming pool on deck, a movie theatre, a lift and a helipad. [Reuters August 7, 2018]


SafeSearch on: Indonesia IT Ministry instructs all ISPs to restrict pornography from search engines by tomorrow

The Indonesian government is escalating their long-yet-ultimately-futile battle against internet pornography as they aim to target the enabler of the supposed problem: search engines. On Friday, Indonesia’s IT Ministry (Kominfo) announced that ISPs have until tomorrow (Aug 7) for local ISPs to restrict pornographic content that can appear in search engines. What this means is, essentially, search engines like Google will have their SafeSearch toggled on by default by the ISP, preventing any naughty videos and pictures to appear in any search. “We are at war with pornographic content on the internet, especially in search engines,” Kominfo Information Application Director General Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan told Detik.

As of this morning, multiple netizens have confirmed that, using one specific ISP, porn is no longer searchable on Google and SafeSearch can’t be switched off. We have also found this to be the case for said ISP, but that could quickly change by the end of today as other ISPs are expected to implement the porn search ban. However, it doesn’t seem like Kominfo’s search engine porn restriction is completely foolproof as netizens claim that workarounds that can bypass any of Kominfo’s previous internet porn restrictions still apply. If there’s one battle that’s impossible to win, it’s the battle to block every single instance of internet porn. But that is the battle the Indonesian government has been engaged in ever since internet pornography was officially made illegal in 2008. Since then, many major pornographic websites have been blocked while sites like Reddit and Tumblr, which contain a small portion of pornography, have also become unnecessary casualties. This year, Kominfo launched a US$14 million automatic porn censorship system that they say will be able to block 30 million websites containing negative content, which also include gambling, extremism and sexual education. The tech was seen by many as a waste of money as there always have been, and, theoretically, there always will be, workarounds to any internet censorship. [Coconuts Bali August 6, 2018]


French tourist dies at Gianyar, Bali swing-set attraction

Police and local authorities have installed police lines and temporarily closed a “Nature Swing” tourist attraction in Ceking, Tegallalang, Gianyar, Bali The decision to close the “swing set” that sent people soaring over a deep valley was taken following the death of a French tourist, Patrick Jean Pierre Bouchard (52), on July 25, 2018. Nusa Bali reports that four other swings in the area remain in operation with Gianyar Regency Officials reluctant to close all the swing sets operated by local citizens. The attraction that is basically a long swing that is pushed manually from its starting point while the occupant sweeps out over the deep valley stretching before them. The swings are not licensed attractions and, as such, undergo no licensing or safety checks. The death of the the French tourist took place when the man was trying to push one of his children on the slide, slipped, and fell 15 meters down the ravine on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. Bouchard died a short time later in an Ubud hospital. Police are continuing to investigate the case that they are treating as a misadventure. [ August 7, 2018]