Tue, 26 Aug 2003

State-owned companies are not milking cows

Indonesia's state-owned companies have been prohibited from extending contributions to the country's political parties.

Although this was only a verbal instruction made by State Minister for State Enterprises Laksamana Sukardi over the weekend, we can heave a sigh of relief.

It has been an open secret that state-owned companies have so far been made into milking cows by various parties, whenever the general election draws nigh.

Thus, the prohibition is even more important at present because the people are increasingly disgusted with rampant corruption from the highest to the lowest elements in the government.

The key to implementing the prohibition successfully is the courage of state-owned companies' general managers to reject any demand for contribution from political parties.

Law enforcement can also play an important role here because without it, Laksamana's instruction would be nothing more than mere pursuit of the wind. -- Bisnis Indonesia, Jakarta

Madness in the Middle East

So on Tuesday we were all reminded of the madness that dwells in the Middle East.

First some maniac drove his car to a hotel full of United Nations workers and set off a mammoth bomb that killed as many as 17 people including the head of the U.N. in Iraq, the beloved and respected Brazilian Sergio Vieira de Mello. ...

Then, later in the day, came the carnage in Jerusalem when another mindless, heartless person full of hatred bombed a city bus taking with him at least 20 people including some children, and wounding about 100. ...

So what else is there to say? Well, in terms of Iraq, not much except that a bunch of idiots won't keep the United States and the rest of the coalition forces from finishing the job that we so unwisely started. The worst, absolute worse thing we could do right now is disengage from Iraq. That, of course, would mean the worst kind of chaos, and that would mean a cozy place for terrorists that could really be a threat to us, unlike Saddam.

There is more the president could say, however. So far he seems to be feeding the American public what it wants to hear. ...

And Donald Rumsfeld should have more to say. Perhaps for once he could drop his combative style and shoot straight with the American people who have watched a slow trickle of body bags come back from the desert.....

-- The Anniston Star, Anniston, Alabama