PRAKTEK CURANG SINAR MAS GROUP DI ITC, BSD, TANGGERANG: Menjadi Besar Dengan Menekan Usaha Kecil

PRAKTEK CURANG SINAR MAS GROUP DI ITC BSD TANGGERANG. MENEKAN USAHA KECIL UNTUK MENJADI BESAR

Bukan masalah uangnya, tetapi masalah jujur adilnya!

Saya, Neneng Tarigan adalah pemilik kios kecil di Upper Ground, Blok C8/5, ITC, BSD, Tanggerang, yang membeli cicil kios tersebut tahun 2004 dari Sinar Mas Group. Dalam perjanjian jual beli tersebut jelas tertulis bahwa lantai Upper Ground hanya dikhususkan untuk zona fashion, oleh karena itu saya membuka usaha fashion di tempat tersebut sejak tahun 2005.

Karena usaha saya yang sangat kecil, maka oleh Pengelola lama, saya diberikan keringanan/diskon pembayaran service charge mulai Rp 100.000,- s/d sekitar Rp 150.000,- perbulan. Keringanan tersebut juga mempertimbangkan keberatan saya sebagai pengusaha kecil dengan lokasi konter di badan gang yang sempit; serta pemakaian listrik dengan daya 1300 watt padahal yang saya butuhkan hanya 450 watt.Selain itu secara keras saya memprotes pengelola dengan adanya restoran siap saji AW di Upper Ground yang khusus untuk fashion; tempat pencucian foto, konter-konter penjualan seprei dan frame foto yang jelas melanggar kesepakatan pada waktu saya membeli kios di ITC, BSD!

Lebih kurang tiga bulan yang lalu, secara mengejutkan saya menerima surat dari Pengelola baru ITC, BSD, yang menagih dan menaikkan secara sepihak biaya service charge dan biaya parkir hampir 50% untuk semua tenant, tanpa ada musyawarah sebagaimana sebelumnya dengan para tenant sebagaimana selalu dilakukan oleh Pengelola yang lama. Saya juga tidak lagi mendapatkan keringanan service charge sebagaimana biasa.

Saya melakukan pendekatan resmi tertulis maupun melalui beberapa pertemuan agar tetap memperoleh keringanan tersebut apalagi mempertimbangkan bahwa pada waktu saya sempat bangkrut dan tutup pada tahun 2008 dan 2009 saya tetap membayar lunas service charge dan tagihan listrik kepada ITC BSD.

Bukannya mendapatkan keringanan, tetapi Pengelola melakukan intimidasi dan perbuatan tidak menyenangkan kepada saya dengan menyampaikan bahwa:

  1. Seyogyanya saya menyewakan saja kios tersebut, karena seorang birokrat (saya pensiunan PNS) tidak bisa/tidak pandai berdagang!

  2. Menagih service charge yang sudah saya bayarkan, dengan keji pertelpon serta tanpa bukti menuduh saya selama ini tidak pernah membayar service charge! Dan ketika saya meminta bukti tertulis mereka tidak dapat membuktikan.

  3. Hari Jumat tanggal 17 Mei 2013 pihak pengelola mengirim petugas security ke kios saya, padahal saya tidak pernah melakukan pelanggaran batas penggelaran barang sebagaimana banyak pedagang lainnya.

  4. Setelah mengetahui bahwa saya telah melunasi seluruh service charge dan listrik tepat waktu setiap bulan selama bertahun-tahun, Kepala Pengelola ITC yang baru, bukannya meminta maaf, tetapi saya malah menerima surat peringatan dari Bagian Keuangan ITC untuk membayar tagihan bulan April dan Mei 2013 dengan denda dan harga yang sudah dinaikkan, padahal saya sudah memperingatkan tertulis bahwa saya akan membayar, jika Pengelola menertibkan zona fashion di Upper Ground yang belakangan ini merajalela berubah menjadi tempat bermain mobilan dan seolah kebun binatang bagi anak-anak! Belum lagi meningkatnya konter/kios penjualan mainan anak-anak dan seprei yang tidak ada hubungannya dengan fashion sama sekali. Perparkiran yang semakin semrawut dls.

Saya menyampaikan bahwa akan membayar apabila pihak Pengelola juga segera menertibkan Upper Ground sesuai perjanjian tertulis antara saya dan Sinar Mas dalam surat perjanjian jual beli no 0649 tanggal 21 Mei 2004.

Sampai saat ini tidak ada tindak lanjut pihak Pengelola ITC tentang pelanggaran yang dilakukan yang menurut saya sama dengan penipuan terhadap perjanjian yang telah dibuat pada semua pemilik usaha fashion di Upper Ground ITC BSD.

Menjadi besar adalah keinginan bersama, tetapi menjadi besar dengan berbuat curang dan menekan usaha kecil adalah perbuatan memalukan yang seharusnya tidak dilakukan oleh Group besar seperti Sinar Mas! Semoga hal ini mendapat perhatian oleh pemilik Sinar Mas, karena Pengelola menyampaikan lisan bahwa seluruh tindakannya harus mendapat izin Pemilik Sinar Mas Group!

Saya sendiri sudah pernah menyampaikan keluhan ini melalui media Suara Pembaca pada www.detik.com tanggal 22 April 2013 dan juga menyampaikan pengaduan tertulis kepada KPPU (Komisi Pengawas Persaingan Usaha) melalui surat tercatat tertanggal 27 April 2013 dengan tembusan kepada Sinar Mas Group Pusat, tetapi sampai sekarang belum memperoleh tanggapan.

Kerugian yang saya alami bukan hanya kerugian saya pribadi, tetapi juga kerugian para pedagang fashion di Upper Ground, ITC BSD umumnya. Pada waktu yang lalu melalui koordinasi salah seorang pedagang fashion di ITC BSD, saya telah menandatangani surat keluhan bersama dengan sekitar 45 pedagang, tentang adanya taman bermain anak-anak yang sangat mengganggu tersebut. Tapi sampai sekarang saya tidak mengetahui keberadaan surat yang telah ditandatangani bersama tersebut dan tindak lanjutnya.

Saya memperoleh kesan bahwa Pengelola hendak menimba keuntungan sepihak dengan melakukan berbagai kecurangan. Saya bertanya didalam hati, apakah memang demikian cara-cara yang selama ini dilakukan Sinar Mas Group; yaitu menekan usaha kecil untuk menjadi besar? Jawabannya tentu ada pada benak mereka masing-masing!

ITC BSD, 14 Juni 2013. Neneng Tarigan

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NAGASAKI: A City With Thousand Hills, Thousand Bays and Thousands Histories

NAGASAKI: A City With Thousand Hills, Thousand Bays and Thousands Histories – (by: Neneng Tarigan, Indonesia)

Part 1: NAGASAKI: the City I loved.

I first visited this city about 32 years ago in February 1980 as fellow participant of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) in a program called: “Trade Promotion For ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Countries”;  the program aimed at helping junior officials of ASEAN countries to improve their knowledge on Trade Promotion.

It was almost the end of the whole program and Nagasaki was the last city for us to visit. We were landed on the beautiful airport of Nagasaki on the man made island about 50 kilometers from Nagasaki City. There, we were welcomed by the beautiful Cherry trees (Sakura) in the early Spring time,  and cherished by the beauty of the Cherry blossoms.

I was very much impressed by the beauty and the long history of Nagasaki. The city, was the first and the only gate for foreign visitors and international trade in Japan in 1543 until the Tokugawa era, as agreed by all of the Japanese Rulers in that period.

As the single gate,  Nagasaki was the only entrance for Christian missionaries and traders from Europe, most particularly from Portugal and the Netherlands, the two countries that were having an intense trade with Japan that time. Regretfully however, the entering of Christian missionaries, had created a big resentment from the majority of the Japanese Buddhist people there, and that had driven these people into the battle against Christianity. Regardless of the battle, we still can see and read the true story about the Hidden Christian in Sotome, Nagasaki Prefecture, if we visit the libraries and the museums in Japan or looking at the remains of the influence of Christianity as indicated by the existence of some churches around the Sotome area as well as around Nagasaki City, up to these days.

The Modernization of Japan during the Meiji Restoration era had opened up the other cities in Japan as the entrance to foreign trade, and the role of Nagasaki as the single entrance was fading away with it. The name of Nagasaki came into the spotlight again after the involvement of Japan into the World War II that brought the city as the Atomic Bombing target on 9 August 1945. Now the city is slowly developed, as a quiet yet most beautiful panoramic city in Japan because of its thousand hills, thousand bays, thousands slopes and thousands histories. I was unable to count, how many tunnels and bridges they have there to connect the whole hills, but besides of the long history, the infra structure and the panoramic beauty as well the Mitsubishi shipbuilding factory, all of those and the friendly people have made Nagasaki as one of the most beautiful place on earth that really is worth visit!

Needless to elaborate about the history of Nagasaki. You can read the more complete version in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagasaki or other sources, more comprehensive and accurate than what I have written here, or you can also see the pictures of Nagasaki by visiting my you tube at: http://www.youtube.com/user/NenengTarigan

Part 2: THE PAIN AND THE SHAME TO BEAR, AS THE COSTS OF THE WAR !

There, 32 years ago in Nagasaki, I met with four gentlemen from the Municipality Office. They are the Atomic Bomb survivors, they knew very well the pain the war has made and the costs that they have to bear along their entire lives.

Noboru Tasaki who lived about 5 km from the hypo center, was only 1 year old during the atomic bombing on Nagasaki 9 August 1945. Masanori Kawakami, who lived about 5 km from the hypo center was 2 years old; and Kazutoshi Yamashita as well as Yoichiro Yamaguchi who were living in separated areas about 3 km from the hypo center; respectively 5 and 14 years old of age at that time. Those 4 boys were terrified by the roaring sound of a big explosion. All of the windows’ glass and housewares in their houses were broken apart, they had no idea what was happening at about 11:00 am that day, they only saw the smoke and the sky became darker, they felt the heat, then run with their moms into the nearest sand bunkers and wait until everything subsided.

Actually, Nagasaki was not as a primary target of the A bombing that time. As I fully quoted from: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/bombing_of_nagasaki.htm

Nagasaki was not America’s primary target. This was Kokura. The three potential targets for a second bomb were Kokura, Kyoto and Niigata. Nagasaki was only added to a list of potential targets when Kyoto was withdrawn (it had been the secondary target for a second bomb) because of its religious associations. The third potential target was Niigata – but this was withdrawn from the list as the distance to it was considered to be too great. Therefore, the Americans were left with just two targets – Kokura and Nagasaki.

Nagasaki was a major shipbuilding city and a large military port. But it was not a favored target as it had been bombed five times in the previous twelve months and any damage caused by an atomic bomb would have been difficult to assess. Also, the way Nagasaki had grown as a port meant that the impact of a powerful bomb might be dissipated as the city had grown across hills and valleys. The city was also broken up with stretches of water. However, fate and the weather was to be Nagasaki’s undoing. “

About 40’000 people were killed by the A bombing on Nagasaki that day, most of them were children, women, elders and workers of Mitsubishi Shipyard, since most men were posted abroad, especially for the occupation of Japan in Indonesia.

I went to the Atomic bomb museum, watching the remains of the A bombing in my field study in 1980. Yes, the Atomic Bomb Museum is the only place to see the remains of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, since the Japanese government renovated and built the city soon after the bombing. The Samurai spirit; they admitted of being defeated, but with honor, that they can always rebuild!

Those four boys who became gentlemen then, were very kind to the participants of the Trade Promotion course, I was very much impressed by their friendly attitude and becoming their close friends and even as their families ever since. Here after 32 years, I visited them again, I visited Nagasaki, the city I loved.

“The four boys”, my four beloved brothers

‎”The four boys” and thousand others of the A bomb survivors have severely affected by the A bomb radiation until today. Few years ago, the eldest “boy” (Yamaguchi) had to pass an abdominal cancer operation, and the second eldest (Yamashita) had to endure 4 times cancer operations within his life, first in his rectum, secondly in his abdominal, thirdly in his malignant or chest and recently in his abdominal again; and that man, Yamashita, is a very devoted Christian! Many people in Nagasaki, who survived from the A bomb and lived nearby the hypo center that time, suffered by various kinds of cancer as they are growing older now. That is so sad to know about the consequences of the atomic bombing ········!!!!

In the next paragraph, I wanted to convince the world to say no to the use of the atomic bombing or all weapons of mass destruction, such as: chemical, missiles and nuclear! Beware, that, war would only advantage the greed leaders. The great leaders will say a “big no” to it!!!

Part 3: REMEMBERING THE ATOMIC BOMBING: Peace Messages from Nagasaki.

“The Boy Standing at the Crematory in Nagasaki 1945”
This picture tells us everything! The boy was biting his lower lip, to keep and hide all the pain he was bearing!!!
No more war please!!!!!!!
The picture and the words below, I quoted from Joe O’ Donell, a photographer of the American Military, 1945. From the collection of the Atomic Bomb Museum, NAGASAKI.

~ The boy about 10 years old, he was barefoot, he was carrying a baby slung on his back. The infant’s head was tipped back as if the baby was fast asleep; in fact, the baby was already dead. The boy came to the ground with serious purpose, to cremate his dead brother. ~
Nagasaki after the A bomb.

A school girl’s lunch box
The evident at the Atomic Bomb Museum, Nagasaki.
No more war in this world please ····
~ This is a memento of Satoko Tsutsumi (14 years old at the time of the bombing) who was exposed to the Atomic bomb explosion in Iwakawa-machi about 700 meters from the hypo center. The rice in the lunch box was charred by fires after the bombing. Satoko’s name and class number are written at the bottom of the lunch box~

Helmet with the remains of a skull.
No more war in this world please ….😦
These two persons are sill alive until today and they are very active in promoting peace through out the world.
Read also the biography “The Postman from Nagasaki”, written by: Peter Townsend.

Here, I and my sister K. Tasaki (Noboru’s wife), in front of the house of Madame Butterfly with a family from Hiroshima, whose grand dad was also an atomic bomb survivor of Hiroshima.

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A HIDDEN AGENDA?

A HIDDEN AGENDA?: The Questions of Domestic Oil Price Increase.
By: Neneng Tarigan.

The Indonesian government planned early of 2012 to increase the price of premium  oil, has received various reactions from number of political parties, students/activists and quite a number of people from all over Indonesia.
As usual, there is always pros and cons to every government policy. As an independent writer (note: I dare not call myself as an analyst) my opinion towards this policy is clear that I was not in favor of the policy, though the price of oil in international market that time was sky rocketing due to the political situation  in oil-producing country in Africa such as in Nigeria and most particularly in countries in the Middle East such as Libya, Iraq and Iran as the largest oil-producing countries in the world!
The rapid increase of international oil price is always inseparable with the interest of the developed countries like the United States of America and its allies towards the continues supply of oil. For the reason of getting and controlling a continued supply of oil, they sometimes put pressure among others by imposing the policy implementation on the “fight against terrorism”, “the ban on Weapon of Mass Destruction” and to “help develop of democracy” in various oil producing countries. The impact of the pressure is sometimes contra productive and just further create the insecurity in those target countries, and most likely would further increase the international oil price. The ones that suffered by the increase of international oil price, of course the developing nations especially the non oil producing ones!
Being an oil-producing country, and a country with Muslim majority that strategically located between two continents (Asia and Australia) and two oceans (Indian Ocean and the Pacific), have brought Indonesia under the microscope of the developed nations!
Actually Indonesia, might play an important role in the international forum by using its geopolitical advantages as a country with the largest Muslim population in the world and located between the two continents; but the capacity is not yet there. Indonesia has almost no power to influence the policy of international oil price, even from the international political side.
Therefore, the increase of international oil price would greatly affect the Indonesian government budget, because, although Indonesia is an oil producing country, Indonesia is also a net importer of refined oil. Beside of it, the subsidy to the price of oil and gas for the poor as tasked by the Indonesian Constitution 1945, is a big burden to the government budget!
Most unfortunately, if the price of oil in domestic market is too low, that would reduce the capability of the government to finance the development programs, and besides, that would also enlarge the opportunity for smuggling, especially if the price of oil in international market is higher.
In my point of view, there are many ways that the Indonesian government can take to revive the government budget despite of increasing the price of premium oil. Most probable policies among others are by: (1) reducing government spending, (2) postponing some unnecessary spending for example for the facilities of the members of the parliament and the government officials across the country, (3) introducing the use of non oil energy for vehicles and electricity, improve the use of energy conversion from oil and natural gas into the use of more environment friendly energy such as bio energy, hydro energy or solar energy, (4) increase the efficiency of all state owned companies most particularly those companies that involved in oil, gas and electricity business, and (5) increase law enforcement to fight the corruption, etc.
Nevertheless, everyone knows that the easiest way to revive the government budget, of course mainly by implementing the policy in increasing the price of oil; with hopes that it would also easily help recover the popularity of the ruling party (the Democratic Party/Partai Demokrat) which is now under the test because of the corruption cases that involved many of its members.
The majority of the ruling party members and its coalition parties’ members hoped that by increasing the price of domestic oils, that would allow a massive implementation of direct financial assistance up to the amount of IDR 25 trillion for 18 million Indonesian house holds who lives under poverty level. By increasing the price of oil it hopes that would help the poor a financial assistance of IDR 150,000.- per household per month or equal to USD 18.- per month  which is equal to 25 litter of premium oil/month, until 9 months long. As the result of this planned policy, it hopes that the ruling party may get back a full support from the people or at least from their former constituents.
The problem actually, every time when the discussion on the policy of increasing the price of oil and reducing the subsidy of oil appeared, that would trigger the increase of food prices and even become worse if the policy is taken because that would surely contributing to a multiplier effect to the price of electricity and transportation!
Subsidy is the most powerful issue and way in developing country like Indonesia to unstable the position of the government in power.
For the opposition, the subsidy issue is the most effective time to  organize a massive demonstration to stop the government from taking the unpopular policy which I also  believed will affect the cost of living of ordinary citizens in general!
The demonstrations against the increase of the price of oil, is always unstoppable and the tension between the government and the demonstrators might almost uncontrollable.
As always, students that stand in the very front line of the demonstrators have only one purpose; to protect the people interest with all consequences even with their own lives! A good reminder was the accident of 1998, where the most popular president of Indonesia (Suharto) with full backed-up of the arm forces and the parliament were unable to stop the demonstrators and was crippled by the people’s power!
I wish, history will not repeated and there will be mutual understanding between the policy makers and the people regarding the oil price policy.
People are tired living in poverty, but that does not allowed any policy makers to make use of people economic condition by pretending of helping them temporarily only to gain benefit to win the 2014 general election!
BSD City, 27 March 2012. By: Neneng Tarigan.
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POLITICS: Why the National Democratic Party Developed Rapidly

POLITICS: Why the National Democratic Party Developed Rapidly

The existence and rapid development of the National Democratic Party (Partai Nasional Demokrat/Partai Nasdem) that is established in the end of 2011 is inseparable with the involvement of two media moguls: Surya Paloh from Media Group and Hary Tanoesoedibjo from MNC (PT Media Nusantara Citra Tbk) group; The two groups that respectively run: Metro TV and RCTI (Rajawali Citra Televisi Indonesia)

These private sector TV stations are broadly known in Indonesia as the largest TV media, and also as a clean media that forbid their journalists to accept envelopes (bribe) from any individuals or institutions. By this policy, the two TV stations appeared as the most trust-able,  factual and balance information resources that public can rely on

Surya Paloh with his Media Group is always in the very front line in helping the poor either in endemics or during natural disasters. It was him and his group who among others that firstly arrived when the Tsunami occurred in Aceh, Sumatra in December 2004, or when the social unrest that killed many people occurred in Moluccas, or in many other parts of Indonesia that suffered by natural calamities.

The MNC group with RCTI is also always in the front line in organizing helps for people who are affected by various diseases besides of many other programs they hold for helping the poor.  The two tycoons (Surya Paloh and Hary) are the men with the golden heart who love and dedicate their wealth for their nation and the people.

I do not know them in person, but as a writer I watch them both very closely, their movement, their passions for the advancement of their nation  as well as their rhetoric idealism for the restoration of the nation which they think is nowadays lack of nationalism and full with corruption.

I am not a partisan, but with the lack of trust from people towards political parties today, no wonder if National Democratic Party was able to take over the popularity of the already existing political parties, which based on the survey made by LSI (Lembaga Survey Indonesia) they even able to sit at number 4 most popular party in Indonesia after Golkar (Golongan Karya) number 1, PDIP (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan) number 2 and Partai Demokrat (The ruling party) at number 3.

The National Democratic Party obtained their current achievements by hard works and continues dedication to the nation and the people. Many people especially the poor are benefiting from their works and their efforts to create clean environment in the law and justice in the country. They are against racism and they firmly committed to maintain equal right among religions, genders and tribe-ism and support the pluralism of Indonesia.

It is not easy for Indonesian people to trust any political parties anymore. It depends on the National Democratic Party itself. If they want to get trust, they should be like what they wanted to be as what they are now.

BSD City, 20 March 2012, Neneng Tarigan

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HAPPY VALENTINE 2012

HAPPY VALENTINE 2012:

Valentine is still about two weeks to come, yet the feeling is already around the corner, maybe that is simply because I always miss my late parents, the two persons that I love the most.

In order to remembering their loves and affections toward their children and grand kids, I made a simple commemoration of their presence in a Smile Box crypt, so that readers who wanted to make and send the same message to their love ones, would be able to copy it from this Smile Box slides for free at least for 7 (seven) days.

I also quoted a poem, to make my smile box slides to be more meaningful. Here is the slide and the poem, as I dedicate it to my whole family.

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An Entrapment

My love, I have tried with all my being
to grasp a form comparable to thine own,
but nothing seems worthy;

I know now why Shakespeare could not
compare his love to a summer’s day.
It would be a crime to denounce the beauty
of such a creature as thee,
to simply cast away the precision
God had placed in forging you.

Each facet of your being
whether it physical or spiritual
is an ensnarement
from which there is no release.
But I do not wish release.
I wish to stay entrapped forever.
With you for all eternity.
Our hearts, always as one.

– Anthony Kolos –

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BENANE FASHION BOOK ON LINE

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  • Please check about our fashion tips at http://fashiontradeco.blogspot.com and http://nenengrtarigan.blogspot.com
  • Besides Indonesian Rupiah, we accept U.S Dollar, Euro, Malaysian Ringgit, Yen and Singapore dollar for payment. Better exchange rate for your benefit will be applied.
  • Various designs are available at BENANE FASHION SHOPS.
  • Please visit us  at: (1) Upper Ground, Block C 8 #5, ITC, BSD, Tanggerang or (2) #7, Jl. Ciater Raya, Sector 1.6 Block B 1, BSD, Tanggerang or (3) Book on line at http://nenengtrgn.multiply.com
  • For our exclusive products, you can visit our shop by appointment at Second BENANE FASHION shop, #7, Jl. Ciater Raya, Sector 1.6 Blok B. I, BSD City. Tanggerang, Indonesia.
  • Order can also be made at our guest book at http://nenengtrgn.multiply.com. (Order juga dapat dilakukan melalui buku tamu kami pada http://nenengtrgn.multiply.com)
  • Please place your order directly with code number of the products and send it to nenengtarigan@ymail.com or text message to +628978810999 (Pesan langsung dengan nomor kode produk dan kirim ke nenengtarigan@ymail.com atau sms ke  +628978810999).
  • All prices not included insurance and transportation cost (Semua harga belum termasuk biaya asuransi dan transport).
  • Discount 5%, for purchase above IDR 500,000.- Price not included transportation cost. Free transportation cost for purchase above IDR 1,500,000.- (for all Indonesian area). Every Saturday and Sunday we give 30% discount for three first customer who booked on line. Diskon 5%, untuk pembelian diatas Rp 500.000,- Tidak termasuk ongkos kirim. Bebas ongkos kirim untuk pembelian diatas Rp 1.500.000,- (Untuk seluruh daerah di Indonesia). Setiap Sabtu dan Minggu kami memberikan diskon 30% bagi setiap 3 orang pembeli pertama.
  • For Christmas 2012 and New Year 2013, all items in our shops are subject to additional 5% discount.
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A HEAVENLY GARDEN ON EARTH: South Island New Zealand.

A HEAVENLY GARDEN ON EARTH: South Island New Zealand.

When the snowy mountains touches the sparkling beach

New Zealand is the 45th country that I had been to. The first time when I was about landed in the International airport of Christ Church New Zealand, a parade of beautiful snowy mountains under a shiny blue sky and a dazzling white cotton cloud welcomed all passengers on-board the air plane who for the first time or many times would still be amazed by the beauty of the heavenly scenery.

Kaikoura , New Zealand.

Observing down from the air plane, the mountains seemed stand so solid and quiet; the tranquility that brings peace to all hearts especially those who for the first time landed in this heavenly garden country.

From the airport to the center of Christ Church, I can see still the effects of the earthquakes. Major parts of the city have been badly affected; many roads, bridges, churches, houses, sky scrapers were cracked, twisted, leaned and even collapsed. The re-construction and repairing of the public facilities have been put in place including the rebuild of the city’s wastewater networks, roads, public building etc. According to my local tour guides, about 900 buildings included sky scrapers, hotels, churches and some public buildings such as sport stadium in the center of the city alone will be demolished. The long-term plan is, only 5 stories building can be enacted in the center of the city and 4 stories in the out skirt.

Buildings that are totally collapsed or leaned

An old church in the city center that totally damaged by the February Earthquake

A twisted bridge

The affected houses that had been surveyed by the insurance company are marked with red, orange, and green placard; the red meant the houses are no longer safe to live in and the people should be moved to the temporary houses built by the government, until their houses have been fully repaired or totally re-built. Orange meant there should be a greater repair taken place than the green one, but in both kind of houses people are still safe to live in.

Another scary view is when looking at the houses in the hillside, most specifically those that are located nearby the coastline. Many of them are in critical condition and some already fallen down from the hill. In order to secure the underneath roads from the landslide, the hillsides along the coast line were fenced by hundreds of containers, so that the stones and the houses on top of the hills would not fall on the passers cars or any vehicles that pass on the roads beneath the hill-side.

The damage houses in the hill side of Christ Church

A house that has marked with orange placard.

A house that has marked with red placard.

Workers from local as well as international contractors in their efforts to repair the waste water drainage, water pipe and the cracking road.

During the February earth quake, hundreds of big volcanic stones with weight up to more than 100 kg rolled down the hill and hit the houses and the cattle below. Luckily, because the earthquake occurred at 1 o clock in the afternoon, most of the people were able to run for their life, except unfortunately the Christ Church TV building in the center of the city that had vertically collapsed like a pan cake and taken more than 100 of its staff dead.

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Christ Church was hardly hit by the earthquake in September 2010, since then, hundreds more earthquakes occurred, the biggest as recorded was in February and the June 2011. The February earth quake was the worst and had ruined major part of the city center and many buildings in the hills side. Since I arrived in the beginning of Spring in Christ Church New Zealand on 20th September 2011 till I left on the 1 October 2011, I experienced several light tremors might be around 1 to 3 scale Richter magnitude earth quakes, however, coming from the islands country, Indonesia with the condition almost the same as New Zealand, that both countries are sitting on the Pacific Ring of Fire, it makes me a bit used to this kind of situation, so I just continue doing my activities, sleeping or traveling around the South Island even when the tremors occurred.

In spite of the earthquake, Christchurch is still the gateway to the South Island. As the second largest city in New Zealand after Auckland, this city still keeps its natural beauty as one of the most outstanding garden city in the world. The Citizen of Christ Church called their city as the “Munted “ city, which is correct, but it is not dangerous at all to live in Christ Church except in some parts of the city center.

I stayed in small accommodation nearby the North New Brighton beach; in a studio room that is fully equipped with a private kitchen and its utensils, shower, big flat TV, iron, hair dryer, freezer, heater, microwave which cost me about NZ$ 70.- per night. Foods (except fish) and clothes are expensive in South Island, these are reasonable because most of the consumer goods is imported, so do the vehicles and gasoline, and the lattest makes touring is quite expensive in this country. Another element that contributed to the higher price of consumer goods is the distance between places that is really huge. With  population only 4.5million of which around 450.000 lived in the second largest city, Christ Church; that makes this country seems inhibited.  However, public transportation such as bus and train are comfortably available in reasonably cheap fares and that makes my short stay in Christ Church was wonderful!

The only inconvenient I faced while in Christ Church was the fact that some tours that I had already booked and paid were unilaterally canceled by the local travel agent due to the lack of attendants. The earthquake had shrunk the tourism sector of Christ Church up to 90%. Nevertheless, I still had fun and enjoy my trips around; city touring, flying with a chopper looking for the whales in KaiKoura though we could not find one due to the breeding time of the whales, enjoying the panoramic view of Edoras where the Lord of the Ring was taken place for filming. 4X4 wheel driving off roading and jet boating in the Alpine and enjoying also traveled by the trans Alpine train. Overall, the tours were fantastic and the foods in Christ Church restaurants were all tasty.

In Christ Church I met with some tourists from USA, UK, Indonesia and Japan and we felt nothing but safe, peace and happy not only because New Zealand has no dangerous animals such as snakes, kangaroo, tigers or alike in its woods and the mountain, but also because of the breathtaking scenery of this heavenly garden country on earth!

Except for Air Asia bad service that the worst I had ever experience with international airlines, the rest of my trips around Christ Church was splendid! As a note I will never fly internationally with Air Asia again. Once is more than enough with this air line!

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