Rescuing dying dogs from Indonesian puppy mills

An intrepid group of animal defenders in Jakarta has gone on a mission to confiscate dogs from abusive dog breeders. Tipped off by neighbours, they locate hidden puppy mills, where pedigree dogs are made to breed excessively in highly unsanitary conditions. Then, they make their move. Read more...

Why are Nazi symbols suddenly popular in Indonesia?

First there was the reopening, with big fanfare, of the “Soldiers’ café”, a gloomy place in the city of Bandung where you can drink coffee dressed in an SS uniform. Now there is an election video in which an Indonesian singer rocks outwearing Heinrich Himmler’s uniform. Why are these Nazi-era references suddenly popping up in Indonesia? We asked our Observers in Jakarta…

Indonesia’s political rallies 'too erotic' for children

Children are a common sight at political rallies in Indonesia. Political parties use them to fill out the crowd – sometimes even paying them to attend - and have them distribute promotional gear. This has drawn outrage from many Indonesians who point out the dangers of overcrowding and the heat, but also because the rallies feature very lascivious dances by ‘dangdut’ singers. This election season, the performers have even taken to twerking, the dance move made famous by US pop star Miley Cyrus. Read more...

A better life for Jakarta’s dancing monkeys

Little monkeys, wearing masks and dancing… Sound cute? At first glance, maybe. But Indonesia’s dancing monkeys, which are used for begging, are often treated horribly. After several years of campaigning, Jakarta animal rights activists have succeeded in getting the local authorities to listen up and rescue the monkeys from the capital’s streets. Read more…


“Why I wanted to be ‘Miss Muslim’”

The third annual “Miss World Muslimah” beauty pageant for Muslim women, which garnered international media attention, was recently held in Jakarta. One of its contestants, a young woman living in Iran, tells us why she decided to participate.

Caught on tape: Indonesian journalist assaulted by army officer

On October 16, several Indonesian photojournalists were beaten up by army officers while they were taking pictures at the scene of a military plane crash. TV journalists at the scene filmed the incident, and the footage clearly shows a photographer for a local newspaper being attacked by a man in uniform. Here is his story.

Surfers rally behind Mentawai tsunami victims

The remoteness of the Mentawai islands has proven then main difficulty in getting aid to victims of the October 26 tsunami. Modern warning and rescue techniques are ill-adapted to the tiny fishing villages with no roads, electricity or cell-phone coverage. In the aftermath of the disaster, villagers are finding help from an unlikely source: surfers. Read more…

Survivor releases amateur video of Mentawai tsunami

Five days after a devastating Tsunami swept across the Indonesian archipelago of Mentawai a video shot by an Australian tourist who narrowly escaped the deadly wave has emerged on the Web. Read more and watch the video…


From crap to coffee

These clusters of dung, the product of a nocturnal mammal located in Indonesia, are one of the country's most precious products. They are the secret to making "kopi luwak", the most expensive coffee in the world. Read more...