Investigation uncovers evidence of contaminated air and water from one of Indonesia’s largest nickel mines, The Guardian
In a six month long investigation, I and my team in investigative and environmental desks in The Guardian investigated Chinese companies operating in Congo and Indonesia. My investigation in Indonesia has found evidence that a source of drinking water close to one of Chinese owned nickel mines is contaminated with unsafe levels of hexavalent chromium (Cr6), the cancer-causing chemical more widely known for its role in the Erin Brockovich story and film. The investigation also found evidence suggesting elevated levels of lung infections among people living close to the mine. Read the full report here.
Palm Oil Expansion, Child Labour, and Malnutrition in West Papua, Gecko Project
In a year-long investigation with The Gecko Project, the Korean Center for Investigative Journalism-Newstapa and Al Jazeera, Mongabay traced a $22 million “consultancy” payment connected to a major land deal in Indonesia’s Papua province. It took us from South Korea and Singapore to the heart of the largest rainforest left in Asia, to find out what role the payment played in making the Korindo Group one of the largest oil palm producers in the region. Korindo controls more land in Papua than any other conglomerate, and it has assumed many of the functions of the state in one of Indonesia’s most neglected and militarised areas. Since the turn of the century, it had exported products worth $320 million using timber harvested as it cleared the rainforest for plantations in the province. But indigenous Papuans we interviewed said Korindo had failed to keep its promise to improve their lives through jobs and development. The team found infants suffering from malnutrition, while palm oil worth tens of millions of dollars is exported from their land each year. This project funded by Journalism Fund EU. Read the full report here.
I went to Mentawai Island and stayed with the indigenous people for a week. Mentawai Tribe is among the oldest tribes in Indonesia. The people who are long the victims of disastrous government policies that attempted to "modernize" the islands, have survived decades of forced relocations, military crackdowns, and religious persecution. Today, the indigenous people of Mentawai have been pushed into the coastal as their customary forest have been seized by the state and either turned into a national park or sold off to renewable energy and timber companies. The article won SOPA (Society of Publishers in Asia) Awards for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment; the judge mentioned that the report as "Vigorous and detailed look at a major environmental problem." Read the full report here.
Poverty and Death in Indonesia's Land of Gold, TIME
I investigated the torture and silent killing of children in highland of West Papua by Indonesian military. On Dec. 7, 2014, two Indonesian soldiers, who were drunk, chased a group of 11 children who were outside just singing Christmas carols in front of a bonfire in Enarotali, the capital city of Paniai. The soldiers also beat and fired the group with their rifle butts. The next day, About 1,000 young Papuan men, women and children gathered on a soccer field in front of the local police station and military command center to demand justice. They carried ceremonial hunting bows and performed the Waita dance — running in circles and simulating birdsong — of Papua’s Mee Pago tribe. Some protesters started hurling stones at police and military posts. As tempers grew more heated, an order was sent to the soldiers to shoot dead the protester. Five children killed, many injured. I obtained an exclusive military investigation documents that confirmed the death. Read the full report here.
I investigated the Jakarta attack in 2016 by ISIS. I flew to Solo to meet the messenger of Bahrun Naim, the ISIS member who believed to be the mastermind behind the bombing, through jihadist networking. Aside from managing to obtain the exclusive tape record and the passport of Naim, I also tracked the ISIS's cashflow from Syria, Australia to Indonesia. In 2017, I was assigned by TIME to interview ISIS's first female brigade from Indonesia, Dian Yuli, in prison. I published the details of the interview in New Naratif as well. Read the full report in Rappler here, New Naratif here, and TIME here.
Immigrants come by the thousands, from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Iran. Some enter Indonesia—their first transit point—legally, mostly by air, landing at the country’s many international airports. Quite a few sneak in from Malaysia, through small ports at the edge of Batam Island, or across border posts in Kalimantan. They all aim towards one final destination: Australia. Some succeed, but many are shipwrecked on the last leg of their journey to seek refuge or a better life. In April 2012, a ship carrying 50 of these refugees sank in the waters off Sumbawa in West Nusa Tenggara province. Little is known, much less reported, on syndicates that exploit the desperate attempts of today’s boat people to escape their countries of origin. They operate secretly, through a complex and extensive network. Their agents can be found in small towns, from the Pakistan-Afghan border to remote Rote Island, East Nusa Tenggara province, charging thousands of US dollars to organize the boat trip they hope would take them to Australia. I and Tempo's investigative department team followed the trail of people smugglers from beyond South Asia to the shores of Indonesia. Download the article here.