Gary Dean - Posts


Indonesia 2020: Consolidate, and Respond
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Gary Dean |

Indonesia 2020: Consolidate, and Respond

 – An open letter to my friends and clients in Indonesia.

The global economy has taken a blow, with volatility in exchange rates and commodity prices and mass unemployment. National monetary authorities have adjusted their predictions for economic growth in 2020-2021, with negative growth expected in 2020 and 2021. Many governments are implementing exceptionally large stimulus packages. As the international response continues to develop, we know that small and medium sized businesses in particular are facing significant challenges, to which they need to respond appropriately. No business in Indonesia will escape completely unscathed as a result of the pandemic. Businesspeople are planning and taking defensive actions in order to protect their customers, clients, employees, and themselves. Economic stimulus measures being implemented by the Indonesian government are targeting the economically weakest in the population, and this shou

Where is my compassion?
essay
Gary Dean |

Where is my compassion?

 – Reflections 14 years after the Asian Tsunami

In 2004 and 2005, in addition to running my consultancy firm, I also moonlighted -- quite literally -- as a copy editor at The Jakarta Post. This meant my work day averaged 16 hours at that time. I totally didn't need this additional workload, but it was an opportunity to learn more about Indonesia by being at the centre of Indonesia's only English-language media outlet. Being affiliated with Indonesia's largest newspaper, Kompas, meant that great volumes of news and information flowed constantly through the newsrooms, with unending discussion and banter about what was going on at any moment. This included a lot of information that could never be published for various reasons. On the 26th of December 2004 -- 14 years ago today -- a massive earthquake hit western Indonesia. I was asked to come into the newsroom before my scheduled time because it was surmised that there were go

Beringharjo Traditional Market, Yogyakarta
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Gary Dean |

Beringharjo Traditional Market, Yogyakarta

 – a way of trading that will soon disappear

A walk through the Beringharjo traditional market on Jalan Malioboro in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, using a chest height POV camera.

Circumcision Celebration for Rama Dean
video
Gary Dean |

Circumcision Celebration for Rama Dean

This is a video of a circumcision celebration for my son Rama Dean, which took place on 19 December 2014 at Graha Okusi, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Meet Gary Dean
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Gary Dean |

Meet Gary Dean

 – A Jakarta Expat interview with Gary Dean

Parts of this interview were published in Jakarta Expat, March 2013 Jakarta Expat: So Gary, where do you come from, where did you grow up? Gary Dean: I was born in Perth, Western Australia in the pre-Sputnik era. I grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth. JE: How long have you been living in Indonesia and what brought you here in the first place? GD: I've lived in Indonesia continuously since 1996. Why did I come to Indonesia? Firstly and principally, because it was not Australia. Psychologically, Australia was choking me; it is an orderly, over-regulated, self-satisfied country that is in love with its own image. I desperately needed some disorder in my life; and Indonesia delivers this in truckloads! In Indonesia, absolutely nothing can be taken for granted. JE: So how did you get from studying Animal Husbandry to becoming the director and senior consultant for Ok

Indonesian Land Law and Foreign Ownership of Land
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Gary Dean |

Indonesian Land Law and Foreign Ownership of Land

Indonesian Land Law is quite different indeed to the laws that apply in most Western or developed countries. Foreigners wishing to use or purchase land for whatever purpose need to be aware of these differences and not assume that legal conventions that apply in their home countries necessarily apply in Indonesia. Legal certainty in Indonesia has always been rather precarious, not least in the realm of land ownership. However, secure land title for foreigners is possible if correct procedures are observed. Background There are two important "phases" when discussing Indonesian land law, that is, the phase before September 1960, and the phase after this date. Before September 1960 Indonesian land law comprised a mind-boggling cacophony of traditional adat law, Dutch colonial laws, Western civil law, and laws enacted by the Indonesian government from the time of indepen

An Ungrateful Australian
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Gary Dean |

An Ungrateful Australian

On Tuesday, 17 December 2002 BM wrote: I think, on balance, that if I am to be ruled, I would much rather be ruled by complete fucking moron civilians than by clever army generals, or religious fanatics for that matter. A friend, who had been a lifelong marxist until the collapse of the Soviet Union, in a moment of possibly alcohol-induced candour, said to me once that to him a slightly corrupt, partially inept 'liberal democracy' is far preferable to a ruthlessly efficient and thoroughly honest socialist dictatorship. Oh shit, I think I feel a polemic coming on ... Or maybe it's that dodgy rendang I ate for lunch ... I quite agree, living under a liberal democracy is probably preferable to living under a socialist dictatorship. However your statements are loaded with some highly contentious and suspect presumptions concerning the alleged relative super

dikotomi
music
Gary Dean |

dikotomi

 – digital music experiments from 2002

dikotomi is a collection of atmospheric midi music, best experienced whilst sailing through the open air in a solar-powered airship, at moderate altitude, under a clear, high sky, and with no particular destination. synthesized over a period of months a long, long time ago, these are essentially my experimentation with fully computerised and notated compositions. absolute uncertainty Your browser does not support the audio element. sky cruising

Doing Business in Indonesia
article
Gary Dean |

Doing Business in Indonesia

 – From a Western Perspective

This is a modified version of a report commissioned by the East Asia Analytical Unit of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in July 2000, as part of a book entitled Indonesia: Facing the Challenge published in December, 2000. Views contained within this report are entirely my own and do not necessarily reflect views of EAAU, DFAT or any of its officers, past or present. Indonesia is not the easiest place in the world in which to do business. The 'World Competitiveness Scoreboard' currently ranks Indonesia at 45, only two places ahead of Russia (47), and in stark contrast to countries such as Australia (13), Singapore (2) and the US (1). Clearly, in terms of the measures used by the producers of this scoreboard, Indonesia at the moment is found severely wanting, with its potent brew of traditional cultures, bureaucracy, legal uncertainty and social instabi

Culture Matters in Indonesia
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Gary Dean |

Culture Matters in Indonesia

 – An email exchange with Dennis De Tray, Indonesia country director, World Bank 1997-1999

The views contained within this article are entirely my own and do not necessarily reflect past or present opinions or policies of any other person or organisation. Culture really matters when doing business, especially in Indonesia. An understanding of the cultures, outlooks, perceptions of the people with whom we do business, as well as an understanding of our own cultures and values, has enormous real practical application and value. What follows is an email reply I sent to Mr. Dennis De Tray, the former country director of the World Bank in Indonesia at the time of the economic crisis. It briefly discusses why "culture matters". ----- Original Message ----- From: "Gary Dean" <xxxxxxxx@xxxxx.xxx> To: "de Tray, Dennis" <xxxxxxx@xxx.xxx> Subject: RE: Your "Analysing the end of Suharto's Indonesia" Date: Wed, 1

Ethno-Religious Conflict in Maluku
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Gary Dean |

Ethno-Religious Conflict in Maluku

 – A manufactured war

"Tragically again, of the approximately 20 Christians who were killed [by Muslims] in the village of Benteng Karang, 15 of them were them were burnt alive.  One of them was Mrs Rina Serpiela, a six-month pregnant woman who was killed by having her belly ripped open and the foetus pulled out and burnt alongside her.  This event was witnessed by her husband, Yopy Serpiela.  Meanwhile her two-year old child was kidnapped and used as a shield by the attackers from the rocks thrown by the defending Christians." [1] In the absence of any other facts, the above passage would -- for most normal people -- inflame the emotions to the point of hatred towards the perpetrators of this violence.  In this case, the perpetrators are called "Muslims". It has been said that the first casualty of war is the truth. This is no less true for the int

The Myth of the Jakarta Lobby
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Gary Dean |

The Myth of the Jakarta Lobby

Brian Toohey's article, "Time to rout the Jakarta Lobby", was published in The West Australian on 27 September 1999, just four weeks after the East Timorese autonomy plebiscite.  During this period East Timor was in the process of being laid waste by vicious anti-independence militias backed by the Indonesian military. In this article Toohey rampages against a perceived "Jakarta lobby" that allegedly directs Australian foreign policy towards Indonesia.  He accuses it, among many other things, of siding with anti-democratic forces in Indonesia and of being apologists for heinous crimes committed by the Indonesian military against East Timorese. Toohey, in fact, has a long history of hostility towards Indonesia, and towards any policy approach that attempts to view the region through anything else but the eyes of the jaundiced and parochial Australia n

The New Order State and the Tempo Affair
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Gary Dean |

The New Order State and the Tempo Affair

 – A conflict of values

The sun began to set upon Indonesia's corporatist 'New Order' state starting in the early 1990's. Speculation about the presidential succession was rife, mainly due to President Soeharto's increasing age and frailty, and such speculation was especially destabilising and damaging given Indonesia's historical propensity to rather messy changes in leadership.  Added to this was the ever-increasing seething discontent within the intellectual elite and some sections of Indonesia's small middle class.  Despite all this, the New Order state itself remained formidable, or at least gave an excellent impression of being so. The banning of three weekly news magazines in 1994 marked the end of a short period of relative openness in the media in Indonesia.  One magazine in particular, Tempo, wielded great influence amongst a section of the urban elite, representing

East Asia and the Roots of the Economic Crisis
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Gary Dean |

East Asia and the Roots of the Economic Crisis

 – From a Western perspective

The past two decades or so has witnessed the increasing dominance of neoliberal perspectives within international political, social and economic thinking. This has particularly been the case since the end of the Cold War, which seems to have triggered a decline of alternative social and economic perspectives. The fall of the Soviet Union was viewed as the triumph of individualist market systems over collectivist state-managed systems of economic organisation, at the same time sweeping away all alternative perspectives which may have lain somewhere in between these polarities. An equally triumphalist neoliberal tenor was also to be heard at the outset of the East Asian economic crisis. Once again, the superiority of individualism and 'free markets' were proclaimed over the perceived deficiencies of Asian cultural collectivism and state-assisted economic development. Sta

Indonesia's Economic Development
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Gary Dean |

Indonesia's Economic Development

 – in comparison to South Korea and Taiwan

The rapid pace of economic development in East Asia over the past few decades has awed the world.  This is particularly so for the so-called Newly Industrialising Countries (NICs) which include South Korea and Taiwan, together with the city-states of Singapore and Hongkong.  Since the 1980's, these states have experienced very rapid growth rates, especially South Korea and Taiwan, which have recorded annual GDP growth of 9.7% and 8.3% respectively during the period 1980 to 1990.  By comparison, Indonesia during this same period recorded 5.4% annual GDP growth, which whilst still a fast rate of economic growth, comes nowhere near that of South Korea and Taiwan.[1] This paper shall focus on the recent economic development in Indonesia, and attempt to contrast it with that of Korea and

Javanese Santri Islam
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Gary Dean |

Javanese Santri Islam

 – Same, but very different

.ss { vertical-align: super; font-size: 75%; } The Western aversion and distrust towards Islam runs deep, in contrast to how 'friendlier' religions such as Buddhism, Confucianism and Hinduism are often considered.[1]  Even Westerners better informed about Islam can have their concerns, so it is probably not simply a case of a 'misunderstood' religion.  Many see Islam as an inherently undemocratic religion, placing restrictions on, for example, women's rights or freedom of religion.[2]  To assert that understanding leads to tolerance is not necessarily true.  Islam confronts many of the foundations of Western liberal-democratic culture, and by its very nature does not lend itself to being co-opted into the pluralistic, 'tolerant' frameworks of liberal Western societies. Islam in Java is extremely diverse in the manner of its expression, and highly variabl

Joint Venture, or 100% Foreign-Owned?
article
Gary Dean |

Joint Venture, or 100% Foreign-Owned?

[First published in OzIndo Vol 5 No 1, magazine of the Australia-Indonesia Business Council] Joint ventures (JVs) have long been the working foundation upon which foreign investment has entered many developing countries. In fact, in many countries JVs are the only way that foreign capital can be invested. A foreign company is therefore compelled to 'match up' with an appropriate local partner in order to smooth entry into that business environment. The thinking behind JVs is of course one of mutual benefit; benefit to the foreign company in terms of market access and access to the local conditions which make the country attractive to investment, and benefit also to the local participant, who is able to scale up their operation to world standards and gain tangible benefits such as profits, technology and international business experience. Until very recently JVs were

Rumahku Yogyakarta 1998
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Gary Dean |

Rumahku Yogyakarta 1998

 – My house in Yogyakarta in 1998.

my merc 8-} oh, there's the merc again the back of my house in yogyakarta my laundry and water tanks and well wife. wife. again. there she is again. my tiger-proof house the road into my house. nother boring picture of my house, showing tiger-proof southern wall. The inside of my modest palace, showing wife walking towards the tiger-proof southern wall.

Analysing the end of Suharto's Indonesia
essay
Gary Dean |

Analysing the end of Suharto's Indonesia

 – The role of culture in Indonesian politics

The incantations and vocabulary of the new era are rapidly taking hold in Indonesia since the fall of Suharto and his New Order regime. KKN, reformasi and transparansi have replaced UUD'45, Pancasila and pembangunan as catch phrases of the emerging order. As the heavy New Order fog lifts, new possibilities for Indonesian society are being discussed, dampened however by severe economic conditions. It is commonly recognised that ways of seeing and interpreting events are often coloured by the outlook and prejudices of the observer, irrespective of the efforts of that observer to remain `objective'. As a broad example, journalists and political scientists will often interpret political events in Indonesia very differently from, say, the sociologist or anthropologist. Why is this so? Suharto resigned on the 21st of May, 1998, the culmination of months of i

A few notes on my life in Yogyakarta, March-May 1998
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Gary Dean |

A few notes on my life in Yogyakarta, March-May 1998

 – Reformasi and the Fall of Soeharto

The period March to May 1998 was an interesting time in Indonesian history. This journal reflects some of the things that happened in my life over this period. Some of it is perhaps rather too personal, but that was the nature of my encounter with Indonesian culture over that time. It is by no means comprehensive; a great many important events -- both personal and public -- I chose not to write about. Some names have been changed to protect peoples privacy. Like most journals, it starts strangely and ends abruptly. 12 Mar 98 I called Yuni tonight. My lack of a religion is causing her great problems. For some reason she doesn’t want to talk to anyone else about this problem, which is to say, the problem of my religion, or more precisely, my lack of one. This is Indonesia, after all. Not having a religion means you’re a communist. Simple really. 13 Mar 98 Yuni

Globalisasi, Kedaulatan Nasional dan Konflik Masa Depan
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Gary Dean |

Globalisasi, Kedaulatan Nasional dan Konflik Masa Depan

Gary Dean (Universitas Gadjah Mada, NIM 96/111909/EK/13500) Yogyakarta, Desember 1997 Selama dasawarsa belakangan ini kata 'globalisasi' secara berangsur-angsur masuk ke dalam bahasa sehari-hari di negara-negara di seluruh dunia. Tetapi, apa sebenarnya artinya kata 'globalisasi' ini? Seperti banyak kata-kata baru lain yang secara tiba-tiba masuk ke dalam sebuah bahasa, arti sesungguhnya bisa dihilangkan atau dikaburkan di antara konsep-konsep baru yang kedengaran lebih enak dan merangsang, yang berkaitan dengannya; misalnya Internet, Perdagangan Bebas (Free Trade), Dunia tanpa batas (Borderless World), Jalan Raya Informasi (Information Superhighway), dan sebagainya. Thomas Freidman -- seorang penganjur awal gagasan globalisasi -- mendefinisikan globalisasi sebagai "integrasi perdagangan, keuangan, dan informasi yang sedang menciptakan satu pasar global dan kebudayaan tunggal".

Siapa yang pantas menjadi Presiden Indonesia Tahun Depan?
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Gary Dean |

Siapa yang pantas menjadi Presiden Indonesia Tahun Depan?

 – Satu Pandangan

Negara Indonesia adalah suatu negara besar kalau dilihat dari segi jumlah penduduknya. Catatan sejarah telah menunjukkan bahwa karena kekayaan alamnya yang besar telah menarik keinginan banyak bangsa asing untuk menguasai negara ini. Setelah 350 tahun di bawah penjajahan Belanda, 52 tahun yang lalu negara ini secara resmi memproklamirkan kemerdekaannya. Hakiki dari kemerdekaan itu sendiri bagi rakyat Indonesia adalah suatu kemerdekaan akan kebebasan dari kemiskinan, dan belenggu kebodohan dan kekuasaan yang secara tersirat termuat dalam pembukaan UUD 1945. Pada dasarnya hal ini telah menunjukkan esensi bangsa Indonesia akan pentingnya realisasi prinsip-prinsip demokrasi dalam tatanan kehidupan berbangsa dan bernegara. Sehingga secara tegas dinyatakan bahwa negara Indonesia adalah negara Republik dan demokrasi; yang mengandung arti bahwa kekuasaan pemerintahan adalah

Madu Tri
article
Gary Dean |

Madu Tri

 – suatu kisah asmara

Alkisah beberapa masa yang lalu hiduplah seorang laki-laki dan seorang perempuan.  Nama dari si laki-laki itu adalah Ari. Pada waktu cerita ini mulai dia merupakan seorang pemimpin dari suatu perusahaan yang sangat berhasil di suatu kota di bagian selatan di suatu negara.  Namun demikian, Ari tidak begitu puas dengan pekerjaannya itu. Dan dibalik keberhasilan dan harta kekayaannya, dia tidaklah bahagia. Nama perempuan itu adalah Tri. Sesungguhnya, Tri membenci nama ini. Hal ini membuat dia merasa sebagai orang awam yang kurang gengsi. Dalam kenyataannya, setiap orang yang mengenal Tri memanggilnya Madu Tri. Dia juga sungguh-sungguh tidak menyukai nama ini, tetapi paling tidak nama ini bukanlah nama kebanyakan. Selama hidupnya, Madu Tri suka sekali minum madu. Tanpa madu, hidup tidaklah punya arti baginya. Madu adalah hakikat dari eksistensinya. Suatu hal yang tidak bisa d

Hukum Agraria Indonesia
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Gary Dean |

Hukum Agraria Indonesia

 – (Indonesian Land Law)

Gary Robert Dean (Universitas Gadjah Mada NIM 96/111909/EK/13500) Dalam pembahasan tentang sejarah Hukum Agraria Indonesia ada dua fase penting yang harus dipertimbangkan, yaitu fase sebelum September 1960, dan fase sesudah tanggal itu. Dalam fase sebelum September 1960 Hukum Agraria Indonesia terdiri atas bagian-bagian dari Hukum Perdata Barat, Hukum Adat orang Indonesia asli, Hukum Antar Golongan dan hukum sesudah proklamasi merupakan pengaruh dari Hukum Tata Negara. Dari semua hal di atas yang paling penting dijadikan landasan Hukum Agraria Indonesia pada zaman penjajahan Belanda adalah Pasal 51 I.S. tahun 1870, juga dikenal dengan nama bahasa Belanda Agrarische Wet. Sebagai pelaksanaan daripada Agrarische Wet adalah Penyataan Domein (Domein Verklaring) yang berbunyi bahwa: "Semua tanah yang orang lain tidak dapat membuktikan, bahwa itu eigendomnya adalah tanah d

Haruskah Indonesia menggunakan Tenaga Nuklir?
article
Gary Dean |

Haruskah Indonesia menggunakan Tenaga Nuklir?

Keinginan Indonesia untuk membangun Pembangkit Listrik Tenaga Nuklir (PLTN) menimbulkan kegelisahan di seluruh kawasan Asia Tenggara dan Australia. Pemerintah Indonesia sudah memesan beberapa studi kelayakan untuk pembangunan PLTN berkapasitas 1.800 MW yang mungkin akan dibangun di desa Ujungwatu di Semenanjung Muria. Menurut laporan Kompas 31 Januari 1996, Pembangunan PLTN di sana akan dimulai tahun 1998 dan diharapkan mulai berproduksi tahun 2003. Kepulauan Indonesia — terutama pulau Jawa — dikenal mempunyai ketidakmantapan geotektonik. Oleh karena ini banyak orang di negara-negara tetangga Indonesia prihatin akan akibat-akibat yang mungkin timbul kalau ada kecelakaan yang disebabkan oleh gempa bumi atau letusan gunung berapi. Kecelakaan PLTN Chernobyl beberapa tahun lalu membuktikan bahwa debu radioaktip dari suatu kecelakaan PLTN bisa menyebar hingga beribu-ribu

Gary Dean
article
Gary Dean |

Gary Dean

 – Who am I? And how exactly did I get here?

I am a hominid male, born in Perth, Australia, in the pre-Sputnik era. My recent racial origins are British Isles/Northern Europe. Ultimately, of course, we are all from Africa. I have lived most of my life in South East Asia, and migrated to Indonesia in 1996, which is where I now live. I am an Indonesian citizen. Personality wise, I am, it seems, a Gemini, a Rooster, and an INFJ. Oh, and why not, while we're at it, here, download my genome. I have a many attachments to children, grand-children, wives, companies, and felines. One of the cats is named