Mariam’s Failed Directorship: We Told You So

Those of you who have been following the debate about TBI, you will realize that the official response of TBI to this blog was hot denial. They used their lawyer to demand that we close down this blog or be sued. They contacted Google and Yahoo and said that everything on here was defamatory. There was no substance to any of it. They contacted WordPress and tried to ‘spin’ things the same way. At the same time hundreds and hundreds of abusive emails and comments, many of them coming from TBI emails, found their way into our inbox. Some of them contained death threats against family members. They were as vicious and abusive in their private correspondence as they were innocent and guilt-free when communicating in public forums. The crux of their response was always the most common defense mechanism known to the human race- outright denial.

What About the Screen Dumps?

We responded to this denial by trying to provide ample documentary evidence for everything. We released screen dumps (photographs of computer screens) showing emails where Luke Preece (now often seen at TBI Bali) instructed all his subordinates to start hiring teachers as business consultants on VKU visas and lie to them that it was a legal option. We showed a spreadsheet which Preece had prepared which showed all the illegal teachers TBI was hiding from the Immigration Department. We showed a work email in which he referred to a female manager as a ‘cunt’. We showed documents in which Luke Preece had lavishly praised the work performance of people he fired just weeks later. We showed emails from teachers who had been threatened, abused and cheated out of their salaries by Binsar Simorangkir, a rogue manger at TBI Bekasi. There was a vast body of evidence showing illegal activity at multiple branches of TBI, all of it done under the supervision of Luke and Mariam. In response, all we got was a weak suggestion that maybe all these documents were frauds or forgeries, though not a scrap of evidence was ever provided to suggest they were.

Apart from that there were the school closures. TBI Malang closed for 8 months from 2012-2013 when TBI were kicked out of their own school by a furious joint venture partner. Then there was the sudden closure of TBI Semarang, who had been robbed by a school manager who was a family member of the Franchise Manager. Then there was the bankruptcy of TBI Cengkareng. If there was no problem with TBI, why did three schools go belly-up within a 12 month period?

The Truth: Mariam Was the Ultimate Liability

So now we come to 2015, and Mariam Kartikatresni has ”resigned” as TBI Director. She has now moved on to ”greener pastures”. After many false alarms, the gaffe-prone, narcissistic rager ‘Ibu Mariam’ is no longer charging Rp1.000.000 ;unches and Rp200.000 taxi rides to TBI while appearing at the office one or two hours per day. She is now working for a very obscure outfit called UTS:InSearch who do not even appear to have an actual office in Jakarta. (More on this soon).

So let’s logically examine what the departure of Mariam really tells us. Let’s say that Mariam really was a competent Director, why was she forced out?

The logical and true answer is that she was very bit as unethical and unprofessional as we said she was, and TBI authorities finally threw their biggest liability to the sharks. She was forced out by her hated rival Ibu Ning, who now wields wide control over TBI-USG again. That’s what happened. But of course Mariam, the Queen of Denial, will deny this. She will say she ‘resigned’ and it was ‘her choice’- this was the official story.

But how much sense does that make? Why would an ambitious woman such as Mariam, who had fought tooth and nail to retain her position as Director, suddenly decide to leave TBI? The only reason she would chose to do so was for a better job elsewhere. So does UTS:InSearch count as a better job? Not at all. A detailed search on the Internet showed that they do not even have an office in Jakarta. It also didn’t have a proper website based in Indonesia. The contact number was a mobile phone number! Whereas TBI has a few hundred employees, this new company is tiny. It is a huge step down in the world. Perhaps she is little more really than a glorified agent.

So basically, the deposing of Mariam validates our story. She was terrible. She was a liability. The visa scams, lies and unethical conduct which characterized her reign at TBI really were a disgrace. Finally, the reputational damage from having her around was so great that not even having a very wealthy and well-connected husband could save her. Not even having in-laws on the board was enough. Mariam had to go. She had damaged TBI almost beyond salvaging.

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