Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bank CIMB Pula Di Serang Di Indonesia!


Jakarta. Recent anti-Malaysia sentiment took a criminal twist on Monday when an ultranationalist group stormed into two Malaysian-controlled banks in Makassar, South Sulawesi, and forced their early closure.

Dozens of members of the Red and White Troops (Laskar Merah Putih) broke into a branch of CIMB Niaga bank, which is majority-owned by CIMB, Malaysia’s second-largest financial service provider.

Police and security officers attempted to stop the mob, but were unable to because they were heavily outnumbered.

The demonstrators came on dozens of motorbikes and a pick-up truck to the bank branch located on Jalan Ahmad Yani, news portal reported.

The group forced the employees to “declare [their] love for Indonesia” and leave the bank.

Rahmat Haris, CIMB Niaga’s director for eastern Indonesia, represented the employees and conceded to the protesters’ demands, while the employees sat in the parking lot.

The mob then marched to a branch of Bank Internasional Indonesia — owned by Malaysia’s largest lender, Maybank — where they pulled a similar stunt without the police making any attempt to stop them.

Afterward, the group held a demonstration at the Malaysian Consulate in Makassar. There were no reported injuries or damage to property.

In response to these incidents, National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Iskandar Hasan said on Monday that they had “ordered all police stations to extend protection for all Malaysians, and not just the embassy.”

He declined to comment on remarks made by Malaysian officials that Indonesian authorities were being far too lenient with demonstrators from the People’s Democratic Defense (Bendera), who threw human feces at the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta last week.

None of the protesters were charged over the incident.

“It’s up to the Foreign [Affairs] Ministry to respond to those remarks,” Iskandar said. “All we can say is that the Jakarta Police have dealt with the incident at the Malaysian Embassy.”

Last Friday, Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said he hoped Indonesian authorities would act against those behind the “heinous act.” He said Malaysia’s cabinet was unanimous in wishing to see the incident resolved peacefully.

Mustar Bonaventura, head of Bendera, said earlier that the group would continue its anti-Malaysia protests, which broke out after three Indonesian maritime officers were detained by Malaysian authorities in disputed waters weeks ago.

“If Malaysia scolds us for throwing feces, what they have done to Indonesia is more than that: they abuse our migrant workers and step all over our integrity,” Bonaventura said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian students on Monday tried to defuse tensions by offering tokens of goodwill to Bendera and the Betawi Brotherhood Forum (FBR), through the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

More than 70 university students turned up at the embassy to hand over Ramadan hampers intended for the hard-line groups.

“Even though Bendera and FBR threw feces at the Malaysian Embassy, we’re still sending them Idul Fitri cards and hampers,” said Muhammad Zaki, president of the Malaysian Technology University student body.

He said they also planned to send hampers to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, Education Minister Muhammad Nuh and Indonesia’s ambassador to Malaysia, Da’i Bachtiar.

The gifts — traditionally handed out by Muslims during Idul Fitri, which marks the end of the Islamic fasting month — were accepted by Imran Hanafi, the Indonesian Embassy’s education attache, and Edi Sucipto, the maritime defense attache.

Imran thanked the students and invited them to an event to break the fast on Friday.

However, the Malaysian students also used the occasion to file a formal protest against those who hurled the feces.

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