NYT Article on Indonesia and Chinese Investment

First, I love the photo on the cover of this New York Times story.  It reminds me of the kids WR3A interviewed in Indonesia, in the clip at bottom, where our refurbishing factory partner has an operation in the schools.

Second, it's a nice fresh breeze in the room.  Many of the factory owners in Indonesia are ethnic Chinese, a racial, ethnic, and linguistic minority in the largest muslim country in the world... one which is perceived to have a lot of wealth and to run all the businesses.

In 2006, the Indonesian CRT refurbishing factory we were visiting complained (when we asked if they had an import permit) that the government in Indonesia was constantly making unreasonable demands on their business, and said that there was hostility and resentment towards Chinese owned factories.  I read up about it and found there was a lot of tension, as is normal when an immigrant minority is a wealthy property owner in a poorer (but upwardly developing) country.

The article conveys the idea that Indonesia, the largest Muslim country, the third largest country in the world, is learning to get along with the largest country in the world.   It brings to mind an image of an Asian melting pot, where the religions and cultures and languages get along through trade and investment.

WR3A did not get any funding to translate or transcribe this film.  If someone wants to donate, we can probably get an MIT student to translate it.   There are over 100 of these clips.

From Big Secret Monitor Factories - Legitimate Reuse vs. "E-waste"
On the heels of WR3A's inspection of the Indonesian CRT refurbishing factory in Semarang, which was the subject of portrayal by NRDC as a "primitive backyard burning" operation, I was moved positively by the NY Times story, which was about how kids are willing to learn languages and to speak to each other.  I am hoping we can communicate more in the environmental community, and that my impatience with so-called environmental watchdogs has been misplaced.  I'm scared that if I provide film of the operations in Indonesia to a group like BAN, that they will write to the government and place demands which gets the factory closed.
Here is a much smaller refurbishing company, also in Indonesia (this one is a WR3A member).  

Hey, maybe if everyone boycotts them, and adapts a "no intact unit" policy, the poor people will get brand new computers, and the tech will be freed from this job and go on to earn a better living elsewhere.

No comments: