“Dalam hidup kita, cuma satu yang kita punya, yaitu keberanian. Kalau tidak punya itu, lantas apa harga hidup kita ini?”
Pramoedya Toer (Indonesian novelist and philosopher)
With this post we would simply like to celebrate the bravery of Ratna, the former manager of TBI Jalan Riau, in standing up to the TBI Mafia. Just as Praemodya Toer said, what is life without bravery? She stood up against Luke when he installed Scott Martin as his stooge manager at Jalan Jawa without any qualifications or experience. She stood up against Scott when he started threatening expat teachers to go into government schools without a KITAS, and she earned the respect of expats and Indonesians alike for her professional handling of the school in an exceptionally hostile environment.
But she’s gone you say! Luke and Reza threw her to the wolves the moment they had the chance. Her struggle was for nothing. TBI is still controlled by the same corrupt preman who have been running it for years. To answer this false way of looking at things, allow me to quote Toer one more time.
“Kalau mati, dengan berani; kalau hidup, dengan berani. Kalau keberanian tidak ada, itulah sebabnya setiap bangsa asing bisa jajah kita.”
If TBI has allowed itself to be oppressed by a vindictive con-man like Preece, it is because not enough people inside TBI have stood up against him. Mariam and Reza allow this oppressive Australian con-man and his cronies to terrorize their organization because they are vulgar, selfish people who live “tanpa keberanian atau hormat“. He has advantages for them (he helps them steal money) and they allow him to pick on whoever he pleases to serve his sick appetites. It is a sick relationship between sick people.
But it is absolute nonsense to say Ratna or Mariezka failed. They lived “dengan keberanian” and have conducted themselves with a hundred times more honor than the likes of Jodi, Scott, Colm, Eny, Atika or Matthew who are now “budak Luke Preece tanpa keberanian“.
We should all thank Ratna for fighting the good fight and making Luke and Scott reveal themselves for the cowards and oppressors that they are.