The Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia: Blunder Upon Blunder

By N. Mark Castro

For someone who has spent most of his career in the academe, who has benefited from his education and exposure to Western thought, incumbent Minister of Education & Culture of Indonesia Muhammad Nuh has continued to leave a trail of hasty decisions, controversial statements, and embarrassing missteps that have caused so much damage to the moderate image of the very country — and public — he so serves.

WHO IS NUH?

According to public information, Muhammad Nuh spent his time as a lecturer at the Electrical Engineering ITS, from where he received a scholarship to take masters at Universite Science et Technique du Languedoc (USTL) in France. While there, he and his wife Layly Rahmawati gave birth to their daughter.

He eventually returned to the Electronic Engineering Department of the Polytechnic Institute of Surabaya (PENS) ITS, where he was appointed as Director and, later on, was confirmed as its Rector. By the time he reached the age of 42, he was the youngest chancellor in the history of the ITS and during his tenure he wrote a book called “Strategy and Utilization Policy Direction Information and Communication Technology”.

Interestingly, Mohammad Nuh has also served as Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals (ICMI) East Java, Surabaya, as well as Chairman of the Education Foundation of Al Islah Surabaya, among others. He often give lectures at various mosques in Surabaya.

POLITICAL APPOINTMENT

During the 2nd Cabinet Reshuffle of President Susilo Bambang Yudyohono, Mohammad Nuh was appointed as the Minister of Communications and Information Technology.

There went the ballgame.

In 2008, Muhammad Nuh issued an order ‘dictating’ Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Indonesia to close access to sites that contained the film “Fitna”, including YouTube, Myspace, Metacafe, Rapidshare, Multiply, Liveleak, among others. This decision — reminiscent of laws during Suharto’s New Order — gave the government the right to control the content of communication on the Internet, affecting even global giants operating in Indonesia, like Google.

LATEST GAFFE

Several weeks ago, the Jakarta Globe reported that the Ministry of Education & Culture has made a decision to remove science from elementary public schools. After that, the Jakarta Post reported that the Ministry  has also decided to scrap English in the elementary level.

Recently, Muhammad Nuh was embroiled in yet another controversial statement he made during an official press conference held at his office, regarding a minor that was raped during an eyeball incident. Nuh said there was no reason to believe that the girl had really been raped.

“Sometimes it’s intentional, sometimes it’s consensual, yet later they claim they were raped,” he said.

This was the statement given by the Minister of Education & Culture Muhammad Nuh, in the heels of a controversial expulsion made by the local school regarding the 14 year old rape victim, saying:

“…could no longer accept a student that has tarnished the school’s image”.

If we are to follow news reports, Muhammad Nuh seems to have a propensity for “blaming rape victims“, even when he has not met any of them, and instead of providing solutions that could help young victims in reintegrating with their academic lives.

Social justice activists are clamoring for the resignation of the Ministry of Education & Culture Muhammad Nuh.

DIMANA?

In light of all these, the question begging to be asked is:

Aren’t Cabinet Ministers supposed to hold no personal views whatsoever other than the official position of President Susilo Bambang Yudyohono?

Because at the rate things are going, the president’s current cabinet ministries are either involved in irregularities or controversial statements, further tarnishing not only the image of the president but his political legacy as well.

It’s sad, really, when all the President has to say is: “ENOUGH!”

About Asmartrock

N. Mark Castro is the chief political communications strategist for PT AsiaLeads, a political and communications policy-making body based in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is also the Executive Director at the Southeast Asia Consulting Group, an investment advisory company assisting clients roll out their presence for the ASEAN Economic Integration in partnership with government. The views posted here are his own and do not in any way reflect the views of the companies he represents.

Posted on October 15, 2012, in General, Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. XZ don’t care about morality of secondary coordinators that is why teachers like Marjon Roche and his chinese girlfriend Hu Xiu Ying also secondary teacher no problem if they are into pre-marital sex. We see Marjon Roche chinese girlfriend Hu Xiu Ying buy contraceptive pills and she sleep in Marjon house. How come a chinese teacher can sleep in other house many times?

    XZ will give house to expatriate teachers to control where they go. If not, they can do what they desire like go to night clubs CC Pub and we see them there drinking beer and play with pub girls. Our group can report to authorities of Indonesia department of education and immigration embassy of Philippine and China. We will inform families in Philippine China and Jecky Right wife and family. We are serious and we have proofs.

    We are not proud our children school in XZ. Our relatives and friends get angry. Secondary teachers and coordinators have very poor professional discipline!!!! Other XZ Philippine teachers are also immoral because they okay Mayanna Mojica and Marjon Roche immoral. For Mayanna Mojica 100% they know what happened last year when we email. But they did not tell the truth! Today they also will not tell the truth about Marjon Roche. How bad!!!! XIN ZHONG IS A MESS!!!!! Poor children in XZ!!!

    Parents Action Group

    *Please kindly you can ask leaders Philippine group to action this mess.

    • jack ben, may i know your email please

    • Jack Ben (or whatever your name is) can you tell what really is going on in XZ. And how can I contact you?

    • I am a Xin Zhong student and i can assure you that none of this is real. All the teachers are professional and only show a tiny bit of affection towards each other in school. There is nothing wrong with the philippine teachers either, in fact they seem to be the funnest among all of the teachers. Also, please use proper grammar when sending a complaint.🙂

  2. CONFIDENTIAL
    sent email on 11 March 2014
    Subject: XINZHONG IMMORALITY ALERT 2!

    Already 1 year from IMORALITY ALERT 1.
    Our investigator continue search. XZ allow Mayanna Mojica relationship flirting with Rio Raw and Jecky Right. Mayanna Mojica is fired out in Merlion International School because she and Rio Raw sleep together in Merlion house. Merlion don’t give certify to Mayann Mojica but we know that Jecky Right called Merlion and he asked for it. Merlion don’t give. Another, we are surprise why Jecky Right work back in XZ. He relationship with chinese teacher before in XZ. How come ya! Why XZ don’t have expatriate as curriculum coordinator for cambridge international curriculum this same question we asked last PTA on saturday.
    XZ don’t care about morality of secondary coordinators that is why teachers like Marjon Roche and his chinese girlfriend Hu Xiu Ying also secondary teacher no problem if they are into pre-marital sex. We see Marjon Roche chinese girlfriend Hu Xiu Ying buy contraceptive pills and she sleep in Marjon house. How come a chinese teacher can sleep in other house many times? XZ will give house to expatriate teachers to control where they go. If not, they can do what they desire like go to night clubs CC Pub and we see them there drinking beer and play with pub girls. Our group can report to authorities of Indonesia department of education and immigration embassy of Philippine and China. We will inform families in Philippine China and Jecky Right wife and family. We are serious and we have proofs.

    We are not proud our children school in XZ. Our relatives and friends get angry. Secondary teachers and coordinators have very poor professional discipline!!!! Other XZ Philippine teachers are also immoral because they okay Mayanna Mojica and Marjon Roche immoral. For Mayanna Mojica 100% they know what happened last year when we email. But they did not tell the truth! Today they also will not tell the truth about Marjon Roche. How bad!!!! XIN ZHONG IS A MESS!!!!! Poor children in XZ!!!

    Parents Action Group

    *Please kindly you can ask leaders Philippine group to action this mess.

  3. Jonathan wilson

    @jack ben well fuck you

    • The comment above had no connection to a mr.jonathan wilson. He took no part of the comment above and therefor i deeply apologize for misuse of name and fraud.

  4. The comment by jonathan wilson was written by me, and i assure you that mr.jonathan had no talk in the previous comment. I deeply apologize and i therefor take full responsibility.

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