Why Don’t We Report Rumah Bahasa to the Authorities?

Yesterday we receieved an irate post from someone who can only be the owner of Rumah Bahasa, a notorious new school in Kelapa Gading which has earned terrible reviews from expat teachers unfortunate enough to work for Frendy Horas and his team. The post was 98% in Indonesian, which doesn’t bode well for a school that boasts of its ability to teach you English, Dutch, Mandarin or any other language you wish to learn! I was thinking of popping for some Zulu lessons myself in readiness for a planned jaunt to KwaZulu-Natal!

In this angry rant from Pak Frendy, he raised a few semi-coherent points, mixed with a lot of bluster and thinly veiled threats. One of his threats was an invitation to arrive at his school and settle the matter ‘secara jantan’. Reflecting the “cowboy” style of the school, this was an invitation to settle it like a man! Hmm. So presumably this means turning up at Rumah Bahasa where a known bully and thug has been lying to female staff, employing teachers on tourist visas (which, by the way, say WORK PROHIBITED in capital letters) and threatening to beat the living hell out of the teacher who turned whistle-blower on Dave’s ESL Cafe. Um, think I will pass. I already had enough death threats and threats to family members when I turned whistle-blower on TBI. I don’t trust a proven scammer, liar and criminal with a propensity for threatening violence. Funny that. He talks like a rich gangster, and if it walks like a duck….

That brings us to one of Pak Frendy’s more coherent points. He asked us why we don’t just go to Indonesian authorities if we believe Rumah Bahasa is so illegal. This question sounds serious but it is really deceptive in many ways. Frendy is pretending not to know that Indonesia is highly corrupt- especially North Jakarta, where venal officials seek rich pickings off Chinese-Indonesian businessmen. I managed a school in Kelapa Gading myself and heard the police ring up and ask the owner for a 1.5 million rupiah present in an ‘envelope’. I saw the school manager bribe Immigration 5 million rupiah when, as a teacher, I witnessed them raid TBI Kelapa Gading and catch one teacher working illegally.

Pak Horas, let’s not pretend Indonesia is a clean, fair society where officials impartially act in accordance with the law. Every traffic cop has got his hand out for a bribe, every major party has been struck by massive corruption cases and governors from twenty different provinces have faced corruption charges. You wouldn’t be in business without greasing the palms of corrupt officials. You have no compunction selling any White face as a teacher, so why would you have a problem slipping money to Immigration? The reason this blog and online forums is necessary is because Indonesian officials are not doing their jobs. Your pretence is unconvincing to say the least.

If you really want to prove your teachers are qualified, it’s easy. Just put up copies of your teachers’ degrees and KITASes on the wall. That would quickly discredit allegations your teachers aren’t qualified. But you can’t do it, can you? So instead you pay bribes and threaten whistle-blowers. Sadly for you, this is no way to build a brand name, Pak.

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