Thursday, January 15, 2009

Judgement Day..Bali Bombers

The final curtains were pulled on (9.11.2008) on the Bali Bombers. I followed the initial trials and gave up after the long and tedious processes and the appeals for clemency. I followed because I worked in Indonesia and I love this country. I speak Indonesian Malay or Bahasa.

I am not able to understand the fanatic commitment to a religion. I am not able to understand the right to use religious's banner so that one can go out there and kill innocent people in the name of God. These are innocent lives, people's father, people's mother, people's children, and people’s husband etc. On what ground that these people deserve to die? Again on what ground that leniency should be given for such graved actions?

The Bombers said they hated USA, Australia and UK. Who actually are their targets? Can one go about killing American because the country fought terrorism? The country did it for the safety of their citizens. Is it not too extreme to demand the death of all who are British, Australian or American? It is the act of the Government...not the citizens. It is the responsibilities of the Government to act this way. If Indonesian is under attack, the Government will stand up and protect its citizens. I have no doubt about that.

I am not here to criticize any religion or question any God. God to me is Love. God to me is Compassion. God to me is forgiving. God is kindness and all encompassing. I am not ignorant that teachings can be misinterpreted and misguided.

I was in Bali one week after the bombing at Kuta area. I flew SIA and the whole plane had only 11 of us. Never have a chance to sit anywhere I like after take off, this is the only time. Upon arriving at the was an absolute 'minimum bodies' airport. Most of the airport staff were not there. We checked out of immigration at the shortest time. The driver met me and took me to a hotel at Sanur. There were not much traffic along the way and where are all the Balinese people?

Although Sanur is not near to Kuta but the drive is not far too. The hotel I stayed was Balinese in architectural. It gives me an eerie feeling. Probably so because there were no guests. The hotels occupancies in Bali plunged to zero. Sitting alone and eating in the restaurant was eerie because I was the only one. I have never had such experience.

The following day I went to Kuta. I had to because my Supplier was there. Along the way I saw blown apart houses, debris and there were people moving around clearing the place. The driver told me that they sometime find body parts of people blown apart. He had a friend who picked up a finger.

An unexpected turn of plans. A holiday and merry making turned into a funeral for more than 200 people. I got out of the car. As I walked, I smelled the rotting of human parts. The smell was something that I can never forget. Death smells terrible. It got into my nose and stayed there for the rest of my 7 days stay.

Barricades were laid along the road at some areas. Areas with blown apart houses were sealed off haphazardly by zinc plates (those that we used for kampong house roofs). The driver got down and walked with me. He told me that there were bodies unclaimed as the identifying job was still ongoing. The smell got worst at some areas. As I walked, I prayed. I prayed for all those who died unexpected death so tragically. There were foreigners laying reeves of flowers, some were crying and others looking for names. A memorial was built at this place so that the souls will rest in peace and family members have a place to grieve.

Kuta is one of the main town of Bali. I did my shopping the last time I was there. I stayed at a hotel in Kuta area. The Hard Rock Cafe Hotel and their F&B outlets were there. Kuta is also a beach area and it attracted lots of 'white' skin people to swim and sunbath. Along the streets of Kuta you will find pubs and it was an eating and clubbing paradise. The bombers picked this place because of the foreign crowd.

The bombing did not just killed people they believed worth killing. They killed Bali economy and the livelihood of the people of Bali. Many staff were laid off or asked to stop until the businesses picked up again. The economy was maimed by this merciless action. Bali was in the stage of shock!.

I went to see my Supplier with a heavy heart. The opening topic was still the bombing. She was an English lady married to a Balinese man. Her house and shop were near to Kuta. She heard the bomb went off. It shook the houses nearby too. Everything was chaotic. People crying, screaming and running. The second bomb went off. This time it was on the street and more crying and people were running blindly. No one knew what happened. Those staying nearby locked their doors and stayed inside with children. Adults went out to see what happened. Her husband went and helped to pull out bodies and injured tourists. He came back many hours later all covered in blood and she thought that he was hurt but he was not. He told her that there were bodies everywhere, some bodies without heads, limbs were here and there, and others were burnt. The whole of Bali held lighted candles nightly and prayed for the unfortunate ones.

I spent the rest of my stay visiting suppliers in Legian, Jimbaran, Ubud, Denpasar (the capital) and Nusa Dua. Everywhere I went, I felt sorry for the Balinese people. People were willing to sell their wears cheaply to make ends meet. For your information, Bali is the Hindu state of Indonesia. This place makes the most money in term of tourism.

What justify such pain inflicted on another human... innocent human? Someone you have not met, someone you do not know and these someone’s are not even your enemies? There were Muslim people killed in these bombing. They were the staff who worked in these pubs and restaurants. I worked in Indonesia and I know. My staff came from all parts of Indonesia. They left their parents and families to work. When such incidents happened, the families will not know that they are dead. I went back a few months later and the driver told me that there were unclaimed bodies.

The mastermind is at large. He could be your neighbor, an innocent looking man with a hidden intention to kill. Will this stop here? I believe not. There are people scheming for the next big actions and we do not know where, when and how it is going to happen.

I read some of the feedback and comments. One ang moh man said that by killing these bombers is like doing what these men have done. What is the different? Is taking revenge necessary? He must be a humanitarian. I supposed it is not revenge, it is giving justice back to the families of those who died. It helps them to close the Chapter and move on. I do not support the killing of anyone on both sides - those that died in Bali and the execution of the bombers.

Indonesia must have taken all aspect into consideration before they passed the final sentence. They know that Indonesian is homogeneous in religion. This action could jeopardize the state peace. The whole world is watching at how Indonesia handles this issue. Once again tourists are afraid to go to Indonesia for fear of the never ending revenge on the prosecutors and the government.

I felt sad that the bombers had to die so tragically themselves They faced the firing squads and bullets were shot through the hearts. It was a painful death. It was not instant dragged for several minutes. Is this necessary? It is pathetic and I know there are people out there chasing after a dream. They hope to make it big and make a name for themselves. They hope to change the world. As pain is inflicted on the families of the people who died now pain is inflicted on the families of their beloved one - who do you think is to be blamed?. They vowed revenge and the families of those killed continue to vow revenge - when will revenge ends? Who started this chain?

Jeopardizing a country peace and the livelihood of the nation who will continuously live in fear. All her people were shunned and being scrutinized when travelling overseas. They were treated like they may be one of them. It is unfair. Not all Indonesian are like that and not all Muslim are like that. These bombers could have live a life with their family and see their children grow up. Instead of Love, the children are taught Revenge. It is a mental torture for those alive. What sort of implications it had on the psychology of a child's growing years? The bombers could have lived freely in the country but they chose to be 'hunted', living their 'lives on the run'. . Is this what you think GOD wanted?

I pray that all these terrorism stop the name of GOD!


  1. Having holiday in Bali will make you fresh and get more experience on another cultural, meeting another new people and learning other tradition. Bali is one of the main tourist destination in Indonesia offering wide range of Bali hotels for either cheap Bali holidays to luxury private honeymoon package at private Bali Villas.

  2. Sure..I agree. Bali is a beautiful place. I line Bali too. Hope more people go back to Bali. Unless we are sure the terrorist will not attack again.

  3. This is a powerful post!

    I wish there were solutions for the hatred and killing that our world continues to see. Some say that it is the way it will always be ... because we are human with human egos. I hope they are wrong!

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

    Small Footprints