Calming down the tourism craze, does enclosure serve its purpose?

If you look forward to spending summer in Southeast Asia, you might want to take Boracay and Maya Bay, two of the top-rated destinations in Thailand and the Philippines, off your list.

Thailand will officially make Maya Bay, which was featured in the 2000 movie The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio, inaccessible to tourists from June to September of this year. Meanwhile, even though technicalities are still being discussed, The Philippines interagency task force on Boracay recommend shutting down the island for six months beginning April 26. The Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte has supported this recommendation.

This is not the first time Thailand government has used an enclosure strategy to protect ecosystems. In 2016, the government shut down the Southern Similan Islands, a group of famous scenic islands in the Andaman Sea, to tourists from May to October. However, after the fifth month, one island, Koh Tachai, remained restricted indefinitely. The official announcement mentione…

Does Development in Singapore Jeopardizing Koh Kong, Cambodia?

Two environmental activists in the Kingdom of Cambodia pleaded guilty last month for filming illegal sand mining in the Mekong River. The same activists were also jailed last year for activism against the same illegal sand mining. ADHOC, the oldest Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association, claimed that activists were being imprisoned because the company is scared of exposure to their illegal sand mining. ADHOC also accused the corporation of bribery to the police. For the last several years, at least two activists from Mother Nature had been imprisoned, and two others have been under international refuge for standing against Mekong River illegal sand mining.

Mekong River is a trans-boundary river, runs from Tibet, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand. Most of the sand mined from these countries goes to Singapore, to help the country reclaim the land and adapt to climate change by creating a buffer zone. Meanwhile, the sand mining ruins mangrove forests in Ca…


My best friend's mum passed away two days ago, and I just knew it this morning when I was in a meeting with friends.

She was one of the strongest women I've ever know. She raised two kids by her own hand, while worked hard in the military. She went to meet my mum when my dad passed away and offered so much help to our family. She forever inspires me.

This is the third time I lost important people in my life since I moved to the US.

My high school best friend passed away in the first month when I arrived in Michigan. The maternal mortality rate is high in Indonesia. My friend passed away when she was delivering her third baby. I had not talked to her for a while, our last conversation was when she told me that when we were in the high school, I always wanted to be a journalist. But I never knew what she wanted to be. She was the smartest, she can be anything, but she was not sure.

By the end of last year, I lost a colleague, one of the most dedicated people I knew in human righ…

Indonesian Fossil Fuel Folly: How Miscalculation Take the Country Away from the Energy Revolution

The Indonesian government claims that an additional 75 Gigawatt of power stations are needed over the next ten years to meet the power needs of the country. In order to fulfill the need, the government estimates that they will need to build a power plant that can produce 35 gigawatt, over the next five years as the first step. The state owned enterprise on electricity, PLN, will build 15 gigawatt, or 43% of the plan, and the private sector will lead the development of the remaining.
The new power plant will largely rely on coal, an energy source of which Indonesia has vast reserves. It would stimulate coal demand, increase consumption, and help the country’s growing economy. The President Director of PLN also states that coal is considered the cheapest power plant investment in the country.
Last year, PwC responded to this assumption critically. Based on data on the Indonesian coal reserves and predictions of the coal consumption for the additional 20 gigawatt coal power plant, Indone…

top 10 ignorant white people have told me

This blog post is just another typical Rika's jokes. But if you ever said this to any 'exotic' looking human being, please don't do that anymore.

- You are pretty FOR ASIAN.
Sure, because post-colonialist, mainstream media beauty standard will not allow us, Asian, to be as pretty as blonde white women.

- You speak English so well, did you go to undergrad here in the US?
Yeah, they don't speak English in any other country, only in the US

- This is amazing that you grew up in a Muslim family, in the largest Muslim country in the world, but you are so open-minded.
Tell me again about your religious American family that is anti-LGBT, anti-immigration, and how you argue with them.

- But it's very stupid that people have to wear hijab in a hot and humid country like Indonesia. They must be oppressed.
Why people wear mid-drift and mini-skirt in the middle of a freezing winter night in Michigan? They must be oppressed.

- Have you ever see a skyscraper? Do you have tall buil…

Karena usia cuma deretan angka-angka!

Pekan lalu saya tepat menjadi 30 tahun. Sering saya dengar 30 adalah angka keramat, si dirty thirty. Jadilah 30 sering menjadi hal besar. Konon rezim perawatan kecantikan agar terlihat muda juga dimulai sejak usia 30.

Katanya, mulai 30 tahun, kulit kita kehilangan kolagen, sehingga tak kencang lagi. Kulit juga tak mulus lagi, dan mudah timbul bercak hitam. Selain itu, metabolisme perempuan juga menjadi semakin lambat, sehingga akan mudah sekali menambah berat badan. Kalau belum menikah, segeralah menikah, karena laki-laki tak tertarik pada perawan tua. Kalau belum punya anak, segeralah berusaha memberi momongan karena tubuh kita tak lagi perkasa untuk hamil dan melahirkan.

Banyak betul momok mengerikan tentang 30an.

Saya tidak tahu apakah kapitalisme atau patriarki yang menciptakan momok tersebut. Yang pasti, kapitalisme membonceng isu-isu tersebut, dan mengambil keuntungan sedalam-dalamnya, seluas-luasnya. Kapitalisme berusaha membuat perempuan 30an kehilangan kepercayaan diri, agar …

First Travel dan betapa seksisnya media kita

Sudah lihat foto bibir Annisa Hasibuan bertabur kristal Swarovski? Atau fotonya yang menggunakan jubah putih bulu-bulu di tengah salju? Atau mungkin Anniesa sedang berpose manjah di pepohonan musim gugur? Foto Anniesa bercadar? Juga bahkan foto Anniesa tanpa make up dalam bui? Sudah tahu apa merek tas dan harga busana yang dikenakan Anniesa? Berapa biaya perawatan wajahnya dan make up apa yang digunakannya?

Media kita memang sangat kreatif ketika harus mengelaborasi dan mengomentari kehidupan perempuan. Entah perempuan ini tersangka kriminal, atau seorang menteri sekalipun. Berita soal tato dan rambut baru Menteri Susi pada suatu kala melebihi berita tentang kebijakannya dan pencapaiannya dalam melindungi nelayan lokal. Pernah juga baca berita tentang jam tangan merah punya Menteri Sri Mulyani dan betapa sederhana baju batik yang dikenakannya? Atau cat rambut mantan Deputi Gubernur Bank Indonesia Miranda Goeltom?

Sementara itu, apa kita pernah tahu berapa harga batik Menteri Darmin N…