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Cablegate: Malang: East Java's University City and Epicenter of Human

VZCZCXRO7090
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJS #0033 2470725
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 040725Z SEP 07
FM AMCONSUL SURABAYA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0047
INFO RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0044
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 0049

UNCLAS SURABAYA 000033

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, EAP/GTIP, EAP/RSP, EAP/PD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON PHUM PGOV ELAB KWMN SMIG KPAO ID
SUBJECT: MALANG: EAST JAVA'S UNIVERSITY CITY AND EPICENTER OF HUMAN
TRAFFICKING


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED, PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY.

1. (SBU) During an August 30-31 visit to Malang, Principal
Officer spoke with educators and civil society leaders about the
duality of this East Javanese city: a city famous for both
education and growing poverty that has made Malang's citizens
easy targets for traffickers. Malang hosts two state
universities and dozens of private universities, with university
students accounting for 25% of Malang's 800,000 residents.
Malang also hosts one of Indonesia's best known pesantrens aimed
at university students: Pesantren Al-Hikam. Established in the
1990s by Kiai Hasyim Muzadi, the national chairman of NU,
Pesantren Al-Hikam aims to produce Muslim scholars with
knowledge of both Islamic teachings and science. All of the
pesantren's 200 students are also studying at Malang
universities. Muhammad Nafik, Kiai Hasyim Muzadi's
nephew-in-law who runs the pesantren, explained that the
pesantren's overarching objective was to produce men of
tolerance, understanding, and good moral character - men who
would enter the workforce as professionals and contribute to
society at all levels of government, business, civic society,
and education.

2. (SBU) Visits to two of Malang's largest universities offered
insights into the concerns of educators and students. At both
Muhammadiyah University and Brawijaya University, faculty
members asked pointed questions about opportunities for greater
cooperation with U.S. universities and increased access to U.S.
government exchange and speaker's programs to strengthen their
curriculum. Brawijaya's faculty complained that cooperation
with Louisiana State University on a cattle breeding program and
with the University of Kentucky on curriculum development had
been stalled by security concerns from the American partners and
the USG travel advisory for Indonesia. They also requested
assignment of an English Language Fellow to Brawijaya to improve
English language teaching. Muhammadiyah has benefited the most
from USG programs, hosting both an American Corner and an
English Language Fellow.

3. (SBU) In contrast to the optimistic, forward-looking
perspective provided at both the universities and the pesantren,
NGO contacts focused on local economic circumstances that had
turned Malang into a major source of East Java's trafficking
problems and increased corruption. Indeed, the number of NGOs
focused on trafficking and violence against women and children
exceeds the number of universities. The poverty rate stands at
30%, with the poorest areas located south of Malang. The impact
of the Sidoarjo mud flow on tourism and transportation is
putting increasing pressure on the local economy. According to
the NGOs, men are being enticed to work illegally in mines and
construction sites, while women and children are being lured
into the sex trade. The NGOs agreed that the Regent of the area
had been supportive of their efforts, while the Mayor of Malang
refused to admit that a problem exists.

4. (SBU) The activists are taking their message directly to
the villages and to legal authorities. Ibu Sutiah, director of
Lembaga Pengkajian Kemasyarakatan dan Pembangunan (Study Center
for Society and Development, LPKP), a Malanag NGO focused on the
protection of women and children, explained that LPKP was
working in 16 villages to educate families and village leaders
about trafficking. LPKP runs a small training center for women
and children to increase their job skills. Similarly, Ibu
Wahyu, a lecturer at the Brawijaya University School of Law and
an activist, explained her organization's efforts to educate
prosecutors, judges, and police about new laws against
trafficking. Each expressed guarded optimism that their actions
would see tangible results, encouraged by the receptiveness of
some civic leaders.

MCCLELLAND

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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