This translation is by Jennifer Clarke, who welcomes improvements on it.[1]

Gently spoken[2] Mr Whiskers

by Hidayat Tantan, Sulhan Syafi'i, dan Ida Farida
12 November 2001

The career of Police Brigadier Agus Saefuddin apparently will end tragically. The member of Lembang[3] Police Sector Readiness Unit,[4] Bandung,[5] aged 36, in the near future faces being dragged to military court on a quite serious criminal charge. 'The threat is being fired,' said the head of West Java Area Provincial Police, Inspector General Sudirman Ail, in the yard of the Bandung City District Police Station, Friday last week.

[The next para is a repeat of the first.]

For Sudirman, the consequences of his subordinate's [ie Saefuddin's] sin[6] are unforgiveable. He willingly deceived his superiors, for the sake of helping Abu Quassey smuggle illegal immigrants to Australia through Lampung. 'To his superiors he was given a day to visit his parents, ha! Suddenly instead [he's] escorting[7] illegal immigrants to Lampung,' said Sudirman, tense. At the time of escorting them, Agus deliberately wore civilian clothes.

Besides escorting, Agus also chartered four buses for the group of immigrants. For this service, says the Provincial Commander, Agus received Rp 24 million in return.[8] But the Commander's information is disputed strongly by Christine Kurniasih, Agus Saefuddin's special friend. 'That's slander,' says the 42 year old woman. 'We became the victims of softly-spoken[9] Jhon,' Christine added. Jhon is the familiar name of Abu Quassey. He's called that because his appearance resembles more a westerner than an Arab.

Christine says Agus has only known Jhon for four months. At that time, according to Christine, through a friend Jhon begged for help because his wife, Linda, was having a baby.[10] 'He borrowed Rp 300,000,'[11] she says. Because of [Agus?] not having [the money?],[12] that request was not granted. Since then, according to Christine, every time there is a problem, Jhon is always asking for Agus' help.

For example, last 16 October, Agus was asked to help look for four buses. It was said they were needed for a visit to a sacred place.[13] 'He absolutely didn't mention immigrant issues,' says Christine. She knows exactly the bus matter mentioned because she was asked by Agus to go along to help look for them.

They happened to find Bintang Permata Sari[14] tourist buses. The hire price per bus was Rp 6 million.[15] They were supplied by Jhon with Rp 5 million for the advance payment. 'What we paid was only Rp 3 million. [Our money was] finished, we hadn't yet eaten, and our petrol tank was also empty,' said Christine.

Because the advance was not enough, the buses were not released from the garage. He [ie, Agus] then contacted Jhon in order to receive an extra Rp 10 million. While they were waiting in the bus pool, the telephone rang. Agus was asked to follow to Padalarang.[16] Together with Edi, an employee of the bus company, Agus went along with this demand. When he returned, Edi was alone.

'He said Agus was taken by Mr Whiskers to head off to Bogor,' said Christine. 'Mr Whiskers' is another name of Jhon's, because his face is filled with hair. 'At that moment, Agus was not wearing uniform. After all,[17] his intention was also to eat,' Christine adds. In her opinion, if Agus had indeed intended to become an escort [of illegal immigrants], of course he would have been more likely to choose to wear a uniform. The following day, Agus returned.

That incident apparently had consequences. Both of them [ie, Agus and Christine] must deal with the police. They were arrested early last Sunday, 4 November. According to Christine, around 4.30 am, the telephone rang. It [the call] turned out [to be] from Agus. 'I am at the front door,' said the single[18] father of one. When the door was opened, said Christine, she was immediately intercepted by an official with weapon pointed at her.

Before going to Christine's house, the official indeed first of all arrested Agus at his parents' home in Sindangwangi Village, Lembang. The house in that agricultural area has become Agus' place of shelter since his transfer from Ciwidey Police Sector,[19] Bandung Regency,[20] a year ago.

Agus and Christine's houses were indeed not too far [apart], only a distance of about 4 kilometres. Both of them then were escorted to the Bandung County Police office, in Cibabat.[21] 'Even to comb [my hair], I wasn't allowed,' said Christine. The only thing I had time to do was write a message on the calendar for the children who still slept FOCIL:[22] gentle talk[23] 'Mama & Mr Agus left early'.[24]

That night, Christine was allowed to go home, but was obliged to report [to the police] every Monday and Thursday. It so happens that Agus' detention was shifted to the Regional Police office. 'We truly[24] became victims of Jhon,' said Christine, heatedly. She says that she has never received a cent from Abu Quassey.

1. I have not anglicised this translation completely - I have kept some of the Indonesian turns of phrase.
2. Literally 'sweet mouth' - this also seems to mean 'sweet talking': see the other examples in the text to notes 9, 23 and 24.
3. Lembang is in north-west Java, about 10 km north of Bandung: see the searchable Encarta atlas at or Saefuddin's Java posting raises interesting questions about who owned the Sumatran (Bandar Lampung) police hotel at which the passengers stayed - presumably not him?
4. A Sabhara (Police Readiness for Action Unit) patrols, guards, maintains security and is the first at the scene of a crime: Stevens and Schmidgall-Telling, A comprehensive Indonesian-English Dictionary 2004.
5. Also in north-west Java, see
6. Or crime: the phrase is 'dosa anak buahnya'.
7. 'Mengawal'.
8. ie, about $A4800 in 2001 terms (using the historical rate of about Rp 5000 = $A1 at for October 2001, see
9. See note 2 above.
10. The text here says 'mau melakhirkan' which could mean either 'about to give birth' or 'wanted to have a baby'.
11. About $A60 at 2001 rates.
12. The text here says 'Karena tak punya', 'Because didn't have'. It may refer to Jhon not having something else (since the previous sentence says he did borrow the money).
13. Or a pilgrimage (ziarah).
14. This is a company name.
15. ie, about $A1200.
16. An inland city in West Java, see
17. This seems the most plausible translation of 'wong'.
18. ie, divorced, widowed.
19. Ciwidey is south-west of Bandung, see
20. A regency is the next administrative division under the provincial level - it's like a municipality, under a 'bupati' (a kind of a mayor).
21. Not quite sure if this is Cibabat Dua ('Cibabat Two') near Bandung - see
22. I have no idea what this acronym means!
23. See note 2 above.
24. This could also mean 'Mama & Mr Agus have gone for a morning run' - ie 'mulut manis' may mean a 'white lie'.
25. Or 'seriously' or 'actually'


Mulut manis pak berewok

by Hidayat Tantan, Sulhan Syafi'i, dan Ida Farida
12 November 2001

KARIER Brigadir Polisi Satu Agus Saefuddin tampaknya akan berakhir tragis. Anggota Sabhara Kepolisian Sektor (Polsek) Lembang, Bandung, berusia 36 tahun itu, dalam waktu dekat, bakal diseret ke mahkamah militer dengan tuduhan pidana cukup serius. "Ancamannya dipecat," kata Kepala Kepolisian Daerah (Kapolda) Jawa Barat, Inspektur Jenderal Sudirman Ail, di halaman Markas Kepolisian Wil ayah Kota Besar Bandung, Jumat pekan lalu.

KARIER Brigadir Polisi Satu Agus Saefuddin tampaknya akan berakhir tragis. Anggota Sabhara Kepolisian Sektor (Polsek) Lembang, Bandung, berusia 36 tahun itu, dalam waktu dekat, bakal diseret ke mahkamah militer dengan tuduhan pidana cukup serius. "Ancamannya dipecat," kata Kepala Kepolisian Daerah (Kapolda) Jawa Barat, Inspektur Jenderal Sudirman Ail, di halaman Markas Kepolisian Wil ayah Kota Besar Bandung, Jumat pekan lalu.

Bagi Sudirman, dosa anak buahnya itu sudah tak terampunkan. Dia rela membohongi atasannya, demi membantu Abu Quassey menyelundupkan im- igran gelap ke Australia melalui Lampung. "Ke atasannya dia izin sehari untuk berkunjung ke orangtua, eh tahu-tahu malah mengawal im- igran gelap ke Lampung," kata Sudirman, geregetan. Saat mengawal, Agus sengaja berpakaian preman.

Selain mengawal, Agus juga mencarterkan empat bus untuk para imigran itu. Atas jasanya ini, kata Kapolda, Agus mendapat imbalan Rp 24 juta. Tapi, keterangan Kapolda itu dibantah keras oleh Christine Kurniasih, teman istimewa Agus Saefuddin. "Itu fitnah," kata wanita berusia 42 tahun itu. "Kami jadi korban mulut manis si Jhon," Chris- tine menambahkan. Si Jhon ini adalah panggilan akr ab Abu Quassey. Dipanggil begitu karena tongkrongan fisiknya lebih mirip orang Barat daripada seorang Arab.

Kata Christine, Agus baru empat bulan kenal dengan si Jhon. Ketika itu, menurut Christine, melalui seorang teman, si Jhon minta bantuan karena istrinya, Linda, mau melahirkan. "Dia pinjam duit Rp 300.000," katanya. Karena tak punya, permintaan itu tak dikabulkan. Sejak itu, menurut Christine, setiap ada masalah, si Jhon selalu minta bantuan Agus.

Misalnya, pada 16 Oktober lalu, Agus diminta tolong mencarikan empat bus. Katanya untuk keperluan ziarah. "Dia sama sekali tak ngomong soal imigran," tutur Christine. Ia tahu persis soal bus tersebut karena diminta Agus ikut membantu mencari.

Ketemulah bus pariwisata Bintang Permata Sari. Harga sewanya per bus Rp 6 juta. Mereka dibekali Jhon Rp 5 juta untuk uang muka. "Yang kami bayarkan hanya Rp 3 juta. Habis, kami belum makan, dan bensin juga kosong," kata Christine.

Karena uang muka tak cukup, bus tak dikeluarkan dari garasi. Dia kemudian mengontak Jhon agar dikirim uang tambahan Rp 10 juta. Saat menunggu di pool bus tersebut, teleponnya berdering. Agus diminta menyusul ke Padalarang. Bersama Edi, karyawan perusahaan bus itu, Agus memenuhi permintaan tersebut. Ketika kembali, Edi hanya sendiri.

"Dia bilang, Agus dibawa Pak Berewok berangkat ke Bogor," kata Christine. Pak Berewok itu adalah sebutan lain Jhon, karena wajahnya dipenuhi bulu. "Ketika itu, Agus tak pakai seragam. Wong, niatnya juga mau makan," Christine menambahkan. Dalam pikirannya, kalau Agus memang berniat jadi pengawal, tentunya lebih memilih pakai seragam. Keesokan harinya, baru Agus kembali.

Kejadian itu ternyata berbuntut. Keduanya harus berurusan dengan polisi. Mereka ditangkap pada Ahad dini hari, 4 November lalu. Kata Christine, sekitar pukul 04.30, teleponnya berdering. Ternyata dari Agus. "Saya di depan pintu," kata duda satu anak itu. Saat pintu dibuka, kata Christine, dia langsung dihadang petugas dengan todongan senjata.

Sebelum ke rumah Christine, petugas memang terlebih dulu menciduk Agus di rumah orangtuanya di Kampung Sindangwangi, Lembang. Rumah di kawasan pertanian itu menjadi tempat bernaung Agus sejak pindah tugas dari Polsek Ciwidey, Kabupaten Bandung, setahun lalu.

Rumah Agus dan Christine memang tidak terlampau jauh, hanya berjarak sekitar 4 kilometer. Keduanya kemudian digiring ke kantor Kepolisian Resor Bandung, di Cibabat. "Menyisir pun saya tidak boleh," kata Christine. Satu-satunya yang sempat dia lakukan adalah menulis pesan di atas kertas kalender untuk anak-anaknya yang masih tidur FOCIL : Mulut Manis "Mamah & Pak Agus lari pagi".

Malam harinya, Christine boleh pulang, tapi dikenai wajib lapor tiap Senin dan Kamis. Adapun penahanan Agus dialihkan ke kantor Polda. "Kami benar-benar jadi korban si Jhon," kata Christine, gemas. Dia menyatakan belum pernah menerima duit sepeser pun dari si Abu Quas- sey.

Hidayat Tantan, Sulhan Syafi'i, dan Ida Farida


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