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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Tuesday Blooody Tuesday

©Mat Salo Images - Photo Time Stamp 18:19:15, May 1, 2007. Digital Ixus 850.

Labor Day Tuesday

When I began my day this morning my thoughts were drawn to my beloved homeland, Bolehsia. I was wondering what my two boys will be doing today, aside from hogging the PS2 and PC - while testing the patience of my eternally suffering wife - because today, May the 1st , is a public holiday.

And the boys will be at home.

Because it's Labors' Day holiday in Bolehsia.

And I'm on a swamp barge rig, on the eastern edge of swampy Borneo - and it's business as usual, of course.

But Indonesia doesn't recognize any form of Workers' Day, and so my thoughts were then drawn to a brave young woman called Marsinah, now dearly departed, who once walked the earth in a place called Sidoarjo in East Java.

Sidoarjo came into the news recently because of the huge ecological disaster allegedly caused by irresponsible drillng practices by a company called PT Lapindo Brantas, in pursuit of the Holy Black Gold. Overflowing hot mud caused 15,000 families to be displaced; some killed, flooded 600 hectares of land and submerged whole villages.

I'd like to think that the disaster was God's Wrath - a retribution for Marsinah.


Lagu Aku Untuk Marsinah (Dan Jua Sebuah Al-Fatihah)

In case you don't know who Marsinah was, here's an excerpt gleaned from an Amnesty International Report:

" . . . . Marsinah's body was found by a group of children in a shack at the edge of a rice field some 100 kilometres from her home. It was bloodied and covered in bruises. There were strangulation marks on her neck. A blunt instrument had been thrust into her vagina causing terrible injuries. A few days earlier she had been a lively 25-year-old leading a strike at the watch factory where she worked in Porong, Sidoarjo, East Java, in Indonesia. She was brutally murdered, almost certainly by the military, because she was a trade unionist who stood up for workers' rights . . . "

And all that she did in '93, this poor young woman, was to sit down with her employer to demand to be paid as was what was on their wage agreement. No more or no less. To demand what's rightfully hers and for her co-workers.

In '98, Ratna Sarumpaet, the famed Indonesian playwright, was thrown in jail in for daring to stage a play on Marsinah.

To this day, the ban on the play is still in effect.

While I leave you to enjoy Labors' Day holiday with your loved ones, O' my Bolehsian readers, spare a thought with this translated monologue from the play by Ratna - Marsinah Accuses.

Then I heard a door being opened right in front of me.
I don't know whether my head hit the wall
or whether I was hit on the brow with a club
I only know I fell headlong on the floor ...
When I tried to move, feet in heavy boots
quickly restrained me, standing on
my shins, my belly, my chest, my arms ...
I was abused with streams of filthy words

during every torture that followed,
I don't know how many times my body was lifted up,
then smashed down, hard.
Lifted up again, then smashed down again ...
Onto the floor ...
Onto the corner of a table ...
Onto a chair ...
Until at last I was truly helpless ...
Such brutality knows no satisfaction ...
I could no longer even move my fingertips
when they began to wildly grope my whole body...
Ratna Sarumpaet, excerpt from Marsinah Menggugat - A monologue from the banned play.

19 comments:

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

Mat Salo,

so sad. something to think about. hope to see you when u come home for vacation.

take care...

Anonymous said...

Dear Mat Salo,
Thank you for bringing back memories of Marsinah and the plight of workers in Indonesia. The tragedy of her murder became one of the rallying points of the Indonesian democrats, which later saw the overthrow of the regim Order Baru. May our Indonesian friends grow from strength to strength.
elizabethwong

Mat Salo said...

Yes, so sad Kak Ena. That's why her story needs to be kept alive...

And Eli, thanks for dropping by and I say...."Amen to that!"

Rocky's Bru said...

Bro, thank you for introducing Marsinah to me. Her story shall live on.

tokasid said...

Salam to matsalo.
Marsinah's story is very heartwrenching. And you don't even dream that kind of story to reach our shores(or our newspapers).Yes,there a lots of Marsinahs in Indon. I've known several Indon workers and one of the reasons of the exodus is poor pay over there.When they come here yes they do hard laborous work(macam kerbau) but the pay the got here is berbaloi according to them.

Most Indonesians are keras hati( the blue collars),They are like Korean workers who will die for their cause( kesatuan kerja di Malaysia berani ke macam tu??) and Marsinah is one of them. If you listen to Iwan Fals early works you'll find what the people who are suppressed felt and their hatred to the govt.If not for the Army(which is the govt during Pak Suharto's time), they would have a democratic govt long time ago.

My maid was shocked on what happen to Sidiardjo( the mud flood). We allowed her balik cuti last year and she said the situation was none the better.In fact when it rained the condition became worse. To go to Surabaya you have to detour and will take something like 24 hours to reach Surabaya.

Marsinah is one gal who had 'balls'.Al Fatihah to her.

On Steely Dan: that 2003 album is a brand new album bro. Will try itunes( ni kena tunggu anak aku balik ajaq aku la) Will also try to rip Yusuf Islam's An Other Cup too.
Semalam rip Heavy Weather's Weather Report( ada Birldland bro)

Mat Salo said...

Bro' Rocky...

For sure, her story will live on and on... thanks..

TA,

Dengar situasi dah reda sikit kat Sidoarjo tu... hang punya maid dari sana naa? Waduh! Dia tau tak saper Marsinah tu? Yes, she sure has "balls"..more than some of our kaum kerabat balaq kita..

Itune tu senang jer' bro. Plug 'n main. Itu laa baguih apple products. Ooo.. 2003 album tu aku dah dengaq. But xleh chelen Aja. Oldie is Goodie. Bro' TA, jangan jeles.. aku pernah tengok WR live in '82 dulu.. Ko tau kan camner Jaco mati kan? Itu pun citer sedih. Perhaps need to blog about it someday... Salaam.

Sheih said...

Bro, Surely missed you down here in KL.

tokasid said...

Matsalo:
Nanti aku tanya maid pasai marsinah.
Memang St 2003 tak kau sangat.Dah korang sengat or is it depa evolve musically and kita fans dok takok lama juga?hah3.
Yes ,do write something on WR and Jaco Pastorius( aku tak tau mana pi CD dia aku letak). Dulu ada member kata Patitucci of Chick Chorea nak ikut style Jaco.

Memang nak kena download iTunes la lagu tu.

Sg Buloh selalu juga kami pi ,tapi kalu nak borong kena la bawak pick=up atau truck baru boleh.Kalu takat bawak kereta dari Jebatville paih tu beli pokok 1-2 tak berbaloi.

Hang nak pi Utagha belah mana? Jgn lupa tunjuk MCKK kat anak hang. Betoi ka Kurt@Kasim@Rushdi masa hangpa di MCKK bawak lagu Sultan of swings(dire Straits) depan Sultan Derih dulu?

Anon. Fm Miri said...

Pok,
thanks for the email/tips about the trip to banjar. Me now always on the move and maybe bye2 to blog lah. But will always visit friends blog.

p/s After banjar maybe will stopover at Universitas Tanjungpura

acciaccatura said...

Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat keatas rohnya, Amin.

Kebetulan, I have a sister inlaw who was born on Labour day. And she is also Marsinah!

shanghaistephen said...

Dear Bro,
Very touching indeed..this sad story of Marsinah...guess it's people like her who gives the rest of us a reason to write about what a screwed-up world we live in !
Have a reflective Labour day bro....and you take care okay and Cheers !

Mat Salo said...

Bro' TA,

U R right there bro', Kurtak tak con hang dgn story tu. Masa F4, organize skool concert, but no money nak rent instrument kat Ipoh (masa tu GF Jean Todt F3 kat Konben). So me and guy went to see Derih, depa dlm studio. Band tengah main "Feel So Good" - siap ada flugelhorn lagi. Terbeliak beb. Dia pakai kain plekat and agreed to loan us... canggih Mamat tu...

Eh, in '87 hang takder kat Experimental Theatre UM ke? I was there, barely 50 feet away from John Pattitucci, Chick Corea and that explosive Dave Weckl! Betui, all jazz bassist semua wanna copy Jaco. Masa aku tengok dia live in Hamm Odeon '82, it was time to solo. He sat on a chair, expect audience to senyap. Semua in a frenzy, clapping, peewit n all - he got up, disgusted - kicked the chair pastu blah. Pastu dipujok Joe Zawinul baru join balik .... baru ngam "para-paap-para-paap/paaa..." .. nangih, intro to Birdland, Pete Erskine on Skiens....Aaah

Anon Clemfour... Bang..Pok, U got my number pls callme.. when u nyampei sini...

Sheih,

Miss you guys too man... NAsib aku belum kene penyakit 'Masin lagi.. Ha ha ha...

Bro' Shang,

We grew up in Perak, sama-sama one time roustabout summore... thanks for dropping by. Always gotta give people without A Voice, A Voice 'bro. No pun intended. If not you, then WHO? Bless you...

Raden Galoh said...

Mat Salo, Thank you visiting my blog and the kind words... It strengthens my gratitude for given the second chance...

So sad to know about Marsinah...my heart cries for her...Her story and spirit will surely live on...

tokasid said...

Matsalo:
Derih main Feels so good?Wow thats really something.And a kain pelikat to boot with. Tapi awat yg hangpa pilih Sultan of swing?Mujuq tak kena swing dgn derih.
'87 Chick Chorea Elektrik band I saw both days.First night dok balcont tapi 2nd nite dok 3rd row dari stage. Lepaih tu ramai2 pakat beli album tu.
Yg frust masa David Sanborn turun KL '94 and ?last year,tak dapat nak pi.

galadriel said...

When one dies for a cause, some how the person will be remembered. Thanks to you MS, her story is revived.

Blogging can do so much good. Information can change lives and move mountains someday.

The law of karma dictates that you reap what you sow. so do good, a lot of good.

Mat Salo said...

Galadriel,

I dunno 'bout Karma dear, my personal belief is if you don't stand up for the oppressed, voice against injustices..etc we WILL be QUESTIONED by the ONE on Judgement Day: SO, what DIDCHA do to alleviate Misery? Yes, I'm in agreement: What goes around COME around...

O' Raden, thanks for dropping by. I'm just doing my (small, very small) part that's all...

Bro' TA,

'94 aku tinggal kat daerah Anon FM. No chan laa. Pastu anytime ada apa2 - ALWAYS ateh kapai. Nak buat camner?

elviza said...

So long so silence... my rig man is busy

Mat Salo said...

Elviza dear, "your" Swamp Thing is busy - but never too busy to lend a ear...

Mat Salo said...

Accia! What a coincidence!