Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pasar Baru vendors refuse to make way for trade center

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Thursday, January 4, 2007

Hundreds of street vendors evicted from the outskirts of Pasar Baru market in Sawah Besar, Central Jakarta, have refused to move to an alternative marketplace in National Monument (Monas) park.

The vendors are insisting on running their businesses in Pasar Baru, even though their tables and tents have been taken away and a second eviction is inevitable.

"No one wants to go there (Monas). What are we going to sell in Monas? People go to Monas for sports and recreation, not to buy things. Besides, most people only go there on Sundays," the secretary of the street vendors' union, Irwan Monginsidi, said Tuesday.

He hoped the city administration would amend its decision, allowing the hawkers to continue trading in Pasar Baru, though that might require some adjustments to the placement of their kiosks.

On Monday, dozens of public order officers cleared the main entrance to Pasar Baru market and along Jl. Pasar Baru from the tables, tents and chairs used by the 244 street vendors.

Officials said the vendors had ignored the three notices that had been issued by the administration since late November.

"We are not seeking compensation, we know only too well we are only street vendors. If we are creating disorder, work out a way to get us in line, but don't isolate us in Monas," said Elhan who has been trading in the area for 15 years.

Suprihatin, the subdistrict head of Sawah Besar, said the presence of the vendors was the main obstacle for the city administration in its plan to make Pasar Baru an international trade center.

"The street vendors are uncontrollable. It's the old 'give them an inch and they'll take a mile' story. What of the traders who pay for spaces in Pasar Baru market but barely have room to move because of the street vendors?" Suprihatin said.

Azas Tigor Nainggolan, who chairs nonprofit group the Jakarta Residents Forum (Fakta), said the government's efforts to evict street vendors would never achieve lasting results.

The designated area in Monas park is also not a strategic one for the vendors.

"Many vendors who were previously evicted from around the city and forced to trade in Monas park have already gone bust. They couldn't make any money there, and rents are high," he said.

He added that the fence around the park made it "unfriendly" and would drive away prospective buyers.

"It is not like a public space, but more like the governor's private park. The very idea of moving the vendors there is ridiculous.

"This is only going to create more problems. Ironically, this is happening to people who have been able to solve their own problems. They have created their own jobs with their own money and have never relied on the government for anything. They also pay what they have to in taxes and fees. They are not part of the problem but the government makes them the problem," Azas said.

The city administration, he said, should first listen to the vendors' ideas. If they wanted to continue working in Pasar Baru, the officials and the vendors should come together to discuss possible options.

He said the street vendors were willing to cooperate with the city administration if clear guidelines were established to ensure effective localization.(02)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Josh dan Teknologi Masa Depan


Kompas cetak, 2 Januari 2007

DAHONO FITRIANTO

Sungguh menyenangkan berbincang-bincang dengan Josaphat Tetuko Sri Sumantyo PhD (35). Orangnya ramah, terbuka, rendah hati, dan setiap kata darinya bagaikan kisah fiksi sains: menakjubkan dan sulit dipercaya.

Pertama dia bercerita tentang antena tembus pandang yang bisa ditempel di kaca jendela rumah, kantor, mobil, hingga pesawat. Kemudian tentang antena satelit setebal 1,6 milimeter. Terakhir, tentang pencarian abu vulkanik sisa letusan Gunung Toba di Sumatera 78.000 tahun silam di Kutub Utara.

Hanya saja, itu bukan fiksi. Semua nyata, terbukti secara ilmiah, dan merupakan karya pria yang akrab dipanggil Josh. Dia berhasil menciptakan antena tembus pandang yang dibuat dari bahan dasar pasta tembaga pada 2004.

Tempelkan antena berbentuk lembaran film itu di kaca jendela rumah, mobil, atau gedung perkantoran, dan kita bebas menerima siaran televisi, berkoneksi internet, mengaktifkan perangkat GPS, dan melakukan panggilan telepon satelit dari dan ke seluruh tempat di dunia ini.

Karya Josh lainnya adalah antena microstrip untuk berkomunikasi langsung dengan satelit. Jika selama ini antena satelit berbentuk antena parabola berukuran besar, Josh merevolusinya dengan membuat antena berbentuk cakram berdiameter 12 sentimeter dan tebal 1,6 milimeter.

Dipatenkan

Antena berkemampuan dual band sehingga bisa berfungsi sebagai pemancar dan penerima ini telah dipatenkan secara internasional. "Antena hanya perangkat dasar. Pemakaiannya bermacam-macam, dari antena komunikasi biasa seperti pada telepon genggam hingga sistem radar militer," papar Kepala Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory di Universitas Chiba, Jepang, ini.

Antena bisa dipasang pada setiap laptop sehingga bisa langsung berkomunikasi dengan satelit atau diselipkan di balik atap mobil sehingga ke mana pun mobil itu pergi akan bisa berkomunikasi. Tiada lagi blank spot.

"Sebuah produsen mobil di Jepang sudah membayar hak paten untuk memproduksi antena itu sebagai perangkat komunikasi standar di setiap mobil buatannya," ujar Josh yang enggan menyebut nama produsen mobil itu.

Berangkat dari penemuan antena mikro ini, Josh mengembangkan sistem radar masa depan, circularly polarized synthetic aperture radar(CP-SAR). Seluruh sistem radar yang saat ini dipakai, termasuk yang tercanggih, masih menggunakan mode polarisasi linear yang kurang akurat.

"Dengan polarisasi circular, pembacaan radar akan lebih akurat karena tidak terganggu gerakan pesawat pembawa radar itu dan bentuknya juga lebih kecil," paparnya.

Di luar radar, bersama koleganya di Chiba, Josh sedang melakukan proyek ambisius memetakan penyebaran abu vulkanik gunung api seluruh dunia yang meletus sejak ribuan tahun lalu.

"Abu vulkanik dari gunung meletus, begitu mencapai stratosfer akan bergerak ke arah dua kutub bumi. Di kutub, abu tersebut menumpuk dan terawetkan. Dari situ, kita bisa memetakan periodisasi letusan gunung tertentu untuk mengantisipasi letusan berikutnya," kata ayah dari Johannes Pandhito Panji Herdento (7) ini.

Dari riset tersebut Josh mendapat bukti apa yang kita kenal sebagai Danau Toba di Sumatera saat ini dulunya adalah kawah gunung api raksasa. "Sewaktu-waktu bisa meletus kembali," tuturnya.

Tidak bisa membaca

Josh bukanlah anak ajaib yang jenius sejak lahir. "Sampai kelas III SD saya tak bisa membaca. Saya peringkat ke-23 dari 23 siswa. Saya dulu main terus, tidak pernah belajar," tutur pria kelahiran 25 Juni 1970.

"Saya terpukul melihat ibu menangis karena saya akan dikeluarkan. Sejak itu saya berjanji tak bermain lagi dan hanya belajar, belajar, dan belajar," kenang Josh. Sejak itu, Josh selalu meraih peringkat pertama.

Lulus dari SMA Negeri 1 Solo, Josh lolos seleksi program beasiswa Science and Technology Manpower Development Program yang digelar Kementerian Riset dan Teknologi. Ia kuliah S-1 dan S-2 di Fakultas Teknik Elektro dan Komputer Universitas Kanazawa, Jepang, sejak 1991.

Di Kanazawa itulah ia bertemu dengan Innes Indreswari Soekanto, seniman pematung yang kelak menjadi istrinya.

Ke-"gila"-an belajar Josh membuat dia menguasai berbagai cabang ilmu lain, mulai dari geologi, geografi, geodesi, sampai fisika material.

Tahun 1999, dengan biaya sendiri, putra kedua instruktur Pasukan Khas TNI AU ini menyelesaikan studi S-3 di Universitas Chiba. Hanya dalam waktu tiga tahun, gelar PhD ia raih. Kemampuannya dianggap istimewa dan tidak dimiliki orang Jepang sehingga ia ditawari posisi staf pengajar tetap di Universitas Chiba.

"Sesuatu yang sangat jarang terjadi karena saya masih warga negara Indonesia sampai hari ini," tuturnya.

Tahun 2004, saat usianya baru 34 tahun, universitas mengangkatnya menjadi associate professor atau setingkat di bawah profesor penuh. Sebuah loncatan langka, mengingat di Chiba seorang dosen baru diangkat menjadi associate professor pada usia rata-rata 45 tahun.

Dengan segala kesempatan, penghargaan, dan fasilitas yang diberikan Pemerintah Jepang kepada Josh (dia pernah bilang, gaji pokoknya setara dengan gaji presiden di negara berkembang), Josh tidak pernah lupa pada Tanah Airnya.

Selain untuk menengok istri dan anaknya yang tinggal di Bandung, Josh rutin pulang ke Indonesia 2-3 kali setahun untuk memberi kuliah di berbagai universitas dan mempresentasikan teknologi baru temuannya kepada Mabes TNI. Semua dilakukan dengan biaya sendiri.

Poor 'sold short' on day of sacrifice

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
January 2, 2007

Thousands of the city's poorest people left dissatisfied Monday after queuing since early morning for free meat at Istiqal Grand Mosque.

They were promised two kilograms of meat each, but received less than half a kg.

The majority of Muslims here celebrated Idul Adha on Sunday.

The distribution of meat to the poor traditionally follows Idul Adha prayers, but was delayed to allow for extra preparation time.

"We give coupon holders first priority. So far the distribution process is running smoothly," said mosque spokesman Didi Hadian as quoted by Detikcom.

Didi did not say why the packages of meat were smaller than expected.

The meat was distributed at counters, which served five people at a time.

"Forget the two kilograms. We didn't get any meat at all -- it's all bone," said Nur Effendi who had traveled from Cililitan in East Jakarta to the mosque in Central Jakarta.

Sutijah, a street vendor, was similarly displeased.

"Last year, I got two or three kilograms," she said.

In previous years, the mosque gave the task of slaughtering the cows and goats to traders and butchers, who also distributed the meat. This year, a team from the mosque handled the process.

Dozens of animals were sacrificed and the meat distributed among 5,000 people. (02)

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