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How does anyone hold the ABC to account?

The ABC's Expert on Indonesian Immigration matters, Living with Dreams

UPDATE -  for the avoidance of doubt - Tantowi YAHYA is a prominent member of Golkar, the ruling party in Indonesia from 1966 to 1999 when Soeharto ran the show.   Golkar ruled then for a little while longer while President Habibi held the reins of state but it has not ruled Indonesia in its own right since then.

President Yudhoyono is a member of the Indonesian Demokrat party.   Golkar is part of a coalition with the Demokrat Party, but President Yudhoyono runs the show.

When Julia Gillard was criticised last year by Tantowi Yahya, the ABC introduced him as you hear in the Audioboo below, with Matt Brown referring to his role on the Who Wants to Be A Millionaire show and his populist background.   Now Mr Yahya is criticising a conservative government.........

Last night Tony Jones from the ABC's Lateline show interviewed him and the ABC introduced the segment like this:

Tantowi Yahya from the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Commission discusses the government's policy on turning back boats asylum seekers, 'Operation Sovereign Borders' saying, Indonesia find the policy of turning back the boats offensive and won't accept it. He says the two countries need to co-operate and work together in order to find a solution.

It looked like Tony Jones was speaking with someone who was authorised to speak on behalf of Indonesia.   The ABC intro said it, Tantowi Yahya says "Indonesia finds the policy of turning back the boats offensive and won't accept it".

Here's the link.

Tony jones abc

It couldn't have taken much for the ABC to find its own records of Matt Brown speaking with Bapak Yahya last June.

Here is the former host of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.   He's not a Minister of the Republic, he's not a diplomatic spokesman, he's a popular entertainment figure with a very good eye for a Western Sucker and how things play in downtown Jakarta Mall.

There's one born every minute. 


Thanks to reader Token and the many others who sent me emails.

When I worked in Jakarta I was very familiar with the Yahya family.

Fifi Yahya worked in the business I ran, she was also a newsreader on Indonesian television.

Fifi yahya

Here's a news story about Fifi and her children from last year in Bintang  (Star) Online.

Fifi and her children

I'll see if Fifi can chat with us.   Here she is reading the news.