Mixed Responses on Minister's Plan to Raise the Pay of Aviation Officials
[caption id="attachment_389396" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan was previously the president director of state owned train operator Kereta Api Indonesia where he effected a pay raise for crucial staff.?
(BeritaSatu Photo/Danung Arifin)[/caption]
Jakarta. Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan?s calls for raising the pay of aviation officials, in particular plane inspectors, has met with mixed responses from industry insiders and observers.
Yayat Supriatna, a public transportation analyst from Trisakti University, said Jonan?s proposal was similar to moves by other ministries, such as the Finance Ministry, to raise pay standards in line with officials? importance and to lessen the motivation for them to take bribes.
?At the [Finance Ministry?s] tax office, the salary and remuneration is higher because they have to deal with higher pressures and bigger burdens,? Yayat said.
?It should work the same at the Transportation Ministry for officials with jobs that deal with public safety.?
He also called on the government to minimize the pay gap between officials working on the ground and those with desk jobs, given that the latter tend to receive higher remuneration despite not dealing directly with public safety.
Tulus Abadi, the chairman of the Indonesian Consumer Protection Foundation (YLKI), said he expected Jonan to make such a call, having enacted a similar policy while president director of state-owned railway operator Kereta Api Indonesia.
But Tulus said he understood the minister would likely face criticism, whereas during his time at the helm of KAI, he had the sole authority and autonomy to dictate employees? salaries.
Raising the salaries of Transportation Ministry officials, who are civil servants, will require a change in regulation that will have to be signed off by the president, Tulus pointed out.
The current government regulation stipulates a pilot inspector qualifies for a monthly salary of Rp 4 million ($306).
Pilot training and education is regarded as on par with a three-year diploma degree.
A pilot inspector doing the same role with the same qualification can earn up to Rp 80 million with a private airline.
[caption id="attachment_389400" align="alignright" width="493"] Airline operation inspectors in Indonesia are underpaid. (Source: Indonesia's transport ministry)[/caption]
?A pilot inspector flies with the airline they supervise. They also have to maintain flying hours? Jonan said on Wednesday, when he also spoke about a ?hole? in the prevailing supervision mechanism for aviation safety in Indonesia.
Uchok Sky Khadafi, director of the Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (Fitra), said he understood that remuneration is important for civil servants with high-pressure jobs, but warned there was also a need for strong supervision to ensure civil servants did not abuse their power.
?Supervision is as important [as the remuneration],? Uchok said.
Jonan is racing against time to improve the country?s air transportation safety, with the European Aviation Safety Agency scheduled to inspect Indonesian airlines in May.
GlobeAsia & Suara Pembaruan
BlackBerry Classic Hits Indonesia, a One-Time Stronghold
Jakarta. BlackBerry?s attempt to revive the company?s dying brand Indonesia ? perhaps the last stronghold of die-hard users outside of the US federal government ? faltered on Thursday when the launch of its newest model, counter-intuitively named the ?Classic,? met with decidedly mixed reviews.
Users slammed the Classic?s value proposition, saying its lackluster specifications hardly warranted the expensive price tag; others, however, cheered the good old days of the BlackBerry Bold are just what the business community needs.
The Canadian phone maker said in a statement on Thursday its ?Classic in Black? became be available in Indonesia on Thursday, through its authorized distributor Teletama Arta Mandiri. The phone
retails for Rp 5,599,000 ($430).
The new BlackBerry model is a lot like the old ones: It still has a Qwerty keyboard and a new operating system. This appeals, the company believes, to ?productive people thriving on speed and accuracy.?
The BlackBerry boasts its new model has ?three times faster browser, 60 percent more screen space and 50 percent longer battery life? than the Bold 9900.
The battery is not removable.
The BlackBerry Classic offers a 3.5-inch touch screen display, 294 dot per inch HD resolution and Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3.
Technology-wise, it has a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor, 2 Gigabytes (GB) RAM, 16GB of device storage (expandable by up to 128GB via uSD), and a 2MP front- and 8MP rear-camera.
BlackBerry has to compete with smartphone with that price range in Indonesia offering more sophisticated spec.
With a price at about Rp 5 million buyers at e-commerce site of Lazada.com can buy a new Android-based phone like Samsung C115 K-Zoom, that comes with Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex A7 & dual-core 1.7 GHz Cortex A15 and 20.7 MP rear-camera. With around Rp 6 million price, also at Lazada, users can also buy OPPO Find 7A, with the rear camera at 13 MP, and 5MP front camera with Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 processor.
Just a year ago, in May 2014, BlackBerry goes cheap to regain its marketshare in Indonesia. It introduced its low-cost, touchscreen Z3 smartphone and John S. Chen, the executive chairman and chief executive at the Canadian company came to the launching ceremony in Jakarta, marking the company?s serius attention to the market with 250 million population.
The BlackBerry Z3, Jakarta Edition ? built exclusively for the Indonesian market ? had hit shelves from May 15 with a price tag of Rp 2,199,000.
WeChat Makes E-Commerce Push to Serve Growing Users in Indonesia
Jakarta. The developers of the popular multi-platform messaging app WeChat have rolled out an e-commerce offering through the app to tap the boom in the number of Indonesians using smartphones and engaging in online transactions.
?We saw the opportunity since three years ago,? Benny Ho, the Hong Kong-based director of business development at Tencent, the Chinese Internet giant behind WeChat, said during a visit to the Globe-Asia offices in Jakarta on Thursday.
WeChat entered an already crowded market for so-called over-the-top messaging apps ? which rely on a smartphone?s Internet connection rather than mobile connectivity ? in 2012 and as of the third quarter of last year was used by 18 percent of Indonesian smartphone users, according to a GlobalWebIndex survey.
These users, Ho said, are largely young, have money and need entertainment.
Now we want to engage the users even more while promoting many brands,? he said.
To that end, the app WeChat now offers a new feature called Official Account, which provides digital marketing platforms for companies that makes it easy to promote information and services to customers through the application.
Through these features, Ho said, WeChat users can reserve a hotel room, order a take-out meal, sign up for a coupon program, or carry out a financial transaction. Ho said the possibilities were ?limitless,? depending on what service a company wanted to provide to its customers.
So far, a number of merchants including online retailers MNC Shop, Lazada, Elevenia, Zamora, Groupon and Belanja.com have adopted the new feature, Ho said.
?The business strategy and the business plan [this year] is to empower businesses [through WeChat],? he said.
He added that WeChat aimed to build an ecosystem that would allow merchants to offer value-added services to users.
Ho said WeChat would not limit its cooperation to only large companies, welcoming even small merchants to open an Official Accounts on the app.
WeChat?s marketing operations in Indonesia are carried out by MNC Tencent, a joint venture between the Chinese company and local conglomerate MNC.
There were 88.1 million Internet users in Indonesia last year, 85 percent of whom went online over their phones, according to the Indonesian Internet Service Providers Association, or APJI. Eleven percent of Indonesian Internet users carried out some kind of commercial transaction online last year, double the figure from 2013.
Ireland, UK Join Australia in Requiring Plain Packaging for Tobacco Products
Ireland and the United Kingdom have become the second and third countries, after Australia, to require that cigarettes and other tobacco products be sold in plain packaging, free of free of colorful logos and other branding that encourage tobacco use.
Ireland?s president signed that country?s law last week. Britain?s Parliament gave final approval to its legislation on Monday. These laws, which take effect in May 2016, will require that cigarettes be sold in plain, standardized packaging with large, graphic health warnings.
Pakistan to Introduce Large, Graphic Warnings on Tobacco Products
Pakistan has announced that it will require large, graphic health warnings on all tobacco products, better informing its citizens about the deadly consequences of tobacco use.
Effective March 30, tobacco products in Pakistan must bear warning labels covering 85 percent of tobacco packaging.
With this bold move for public health, Pakistan joins India, Nepal and Thailand as the fourth country to introduce warning labels of at least 85 percent, signaling a strong commitment to reducing the death and disease caused by tobacco use.
John Oliver Takes Down Big Tobacco
The big tobacco companies proclaim loudly and often that they have changed and are now responsible corporate citizens.
But it took just 18 minutes for political satirist John Oliver to rip those claims to shreds and show how Philip Morris International and other tobacco companies target kids around the world and bully countries that try to save lives.
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