In this part we look at the real power politics, the endless turf war between Ning Anhar and Mariam Kartikatresni.
I was once asked by a part-time teacher about the conflict between Martika Kartikatresni and Ning Anhar. How well-known is it in your experience?
Was the teacher Indonesian?
Yes she was. Why?
In my experience Indonesians in TBI understand a lot more about what is really going on than the expats. I think Luke tries to keep both Ning Anhar and Mariam Kartikatresni away from the teachers.
Would you say that the conflict between Ning Anhar and Mariam Kartikatresni is well-known in TBI?
It is very well-known amongst Indonesians. Whether the expat teachers know much about it, I doubt.
Give us a general overview of their relationship.
Mariam and Ning are enemies; they absolutely hate each other. They have been caught in a struggle for control of TBI and USG for many years. Mind you, on the surface they pretend to be friends and be professional but they aren’t fooling anyone. Everyone in the know can you tell you they are locked in a bitter power struggle.
Can you give The Truth Regulator and our other readers some examples of this bitter feud?
The first example that comes to mind is Pak Yoni. In mid-2011 Ning got rid of Mariam briefly as Director of TBI. I was introduced to Pak Yoni as the new TBI Director, but then Mariam came back from the dead like Jason in Friday the 13th Part II. It was Ning who had plotted to being the TBI Director down, but Mariam relied on her cash and connections to get herself reinstated. I’ve also heard that Yoni’s ideas of reforming TBI were unpopular with the crooks, so he only lasted 2 weeks! There are a multitude of factors at play. It is said that Mariam was accused of unethical conduct, but really, coming from these people that is the norm. Mariam’s demotion was mostly due to power politics.
Whose side is Luke Preece on?
He always told me how much he hated Mariam, but hating is hardly the point. He probably does loathe her, but she is his boss and he is her right-hand man. People in a mafia don’t actually like each other. They conspire together. Luke’s whole career in TBI is based upon the support and protection of Mariam.
But that’s not what he says, is it? When Mariam Kartikatresni was deposed as Director he rang a few different school managers and told them how happy he is.
Me included. I believed him that he wanted to make TBI more professional and was glad that Mariam’s ‘Reign of Error’ was at an end. But later after I knew he was a pathological liar, I needed to review everything he ever told me. I think he was actually worried when she was deposed. He had been too close to her and Yoni didn’t want much to do with him. He was trying to distance himself from Mariam once it looked like she was history. If Mariam ever goes, Luke won’t last very long without her protection.
How else have Mariam and Ning clashed swords over the years? What impact has it had on TBI?
I think it is absolutely devastating for TBI. They produce so little in terms of marketing or materials because they are so focused on these internal squabbles. From everything I’ve heard, USG is divided down the middle into pro-Mariam and pro-Ning camps. I know of many competent Indonesian staff who have left the company because they tired of the endless bickering and power politics. Before anyone goes to work for Mariam they are given warnings. A normal person can’t stand much of all the back-stabbing and bitchiness which goes on. There is an endless flow of staff out of Head Office. The low productivity and poor market performance of TBI is at least partly due to the childish bickering which Ning and Mariam engage in.
Who is winning the war?
Look, the insiders are Ashley and Luke. They are ‘in the loop’ of TBI corruption. I was in a meeting once in 5 years with Ning. She does no real management work. So I only heard stuff now and then and what I am saying here is surely just the tip of the iceberg. But I have heard quite a bit about this war from various sources. As of late 2011, Mariam seemed to be getting the upper hand. Luke had driven Wati out of the company, and she was Ning’s crony. Mariam had defeated Pak Yoni and Mariam was back in charge to continue her Reign of Error. Also, as of late 2011, Ning had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Luke had told me how happy he was to hear this a couple of months before he drove me out. That was when I really began to suspect he was evil. He saw the expression on my face and tried to back-pedal. He said something like, “Oh I don’t hope she dies. I just hope she gets really, really sick so she stops interfering in TBI.” In a way that sounded even more evil and twisted than just saying he was glad she had breast cancer. I really thought there must be something wrong with him.