Meutya Hafid

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Meutya Viada Hafid (born May 3, 1978 in Bandung, West Java) is a member of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia.[1] She currently holds a seat on the Commission I (Defense, Military, Intelligence, Information and Foreign Affairs), and is a part of the Golkar Party, for the 2009-2014 term. Previously she had worked as a journalist for Metro TV. During Hafid's tenure at Metro TV, she had presented the news on several occasions.

Hostage tragedy[edit]

On February 18, 2005, Hafid and her cameraman, Budiyanto, were kidnapped and held hostage by gunmen while they were on reporting in Iraq. The last contact made with Hafid was on February 15, three days earlier, by Metro TV. They were finally released on February 21, 2005. Prior to Iraq, Hafid had also covered the tsunami tragedy in Aceh.

On the 28th of September, 2007, Hafid published her book, entitled 168 Jam dalam Sandera: Memoar Seorang Jurnalis yang Disandera di Irak (168 Hours Taken as A Hostage: Memoirs of a Journalist in Iraq). President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wrote the introduction in the book. Besides the president, several other figures also contributed to the book, such as Don Bosco Selamun (Chief Editor of Metro TV 2004-2005) and Marty Natalegawa (Former Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

TV journalism career[edit]

On October 11, 2007, Hafid was selected as the winner of the Elizabeth O'Neill Journalism Award, rewarded by the government of Australia. The award is given annually to commemorate and honor former Australian Embassy Press Attache Elizabeth O'Neill, who died while working on a plane crash in Yogyakarta, on March 7, 2007. The award is given to one Australian journalist and one Indonesian journalist, assigned directly by the Australian Ambassador for Indonesia, Bill Farmer. ABC Radio Australia journalist Joanna McCarthy was elected as the Australian winner. Along with this award, Hafid underwent a 3-week program in Australia's rural areas to find and develop a better understanding and appreciation for contemporary issues between Australia and Indonesia. Farmer said Hafid, who was a leading reporter for Metro TV news and talk shows like Top Nine News, Today's Dialogue and Metro Today, is the "most appropriate winner" as she is a hardworking, professional and dedicated journalist with good experience. [1]

On February 19, 2008, Hafid was among the winners of the Australia Alumnus Award for the category of Journalism and Media, together with the owner of the Lippo Group Dr. Tjahaja James Riady (an alumnus of the University of Melbourne) who had also received the same award for the category of entrepreneurship. Hafid had studied at the University of New South Wales, before working as a Metro TV journalist. Other finalists in the same category were Avian Tumengkol (William Angliss Institute), a special vice presidential of foreign affairs, Wishnutama Kusubandio (Kooralbyn International School) a Director of Trans 7, Mohammad Sobary (Monash University) an Executive Director of Kemitraan; and Rahmad Nasution (University of Queensland), Jakarta chief bureau of Reuters. Hafid is one of 30,000 Indonesian university students in Australia in the last 50 years, this is a testament to the good achievements and valuable contributions that have been made to bring Indonesian closer to the social environment of Australia, and vice versa. The awards were handed over to her, in front of approximately 700 Australian alumni and some Indonesian diplomats in Australia. Ex-minister Hartarto and leading businessman Noke Kiroyan were also in attendance. [2]

On February 9, 2012, Hafid was among the five-top figures of The Most Aspiring Journalists in Indonesia, listed by Mizan Press, it is widely believed and considered that she is a major figure behind the development of Indonesian press. Hafid is the only woman who was listed in the Mizan Press's list, and as well is the youngest one. Hafid was chosen alongside with Tirto Adhi Soerjo. Tirto Adhi Soerjo, was the pioneer of the first newspaper in Indonesia through the "Medan Prijaji" on January 1, 1907 in Bandung. Besides Soerjo, there is also the notorious writer and founder of Tempo magazine Goenawan Mohamad, the legendary Indonesian press figure Rosihan Anwar, and Andy F. Noya who hosts the famous show Kick Andy on Metro TV. "We are also getting more aware that it does not only take intellect and insight to be a journalist, but also courage and tenacity. And, last but not least, Hafid also make us realize that journalism is not exclusively a male profession" Mizan said.

Political career[edit]

In 2010, Hafid was paired with H Dhani Meutya Setiawan Isma S.Sos as the candidate for Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Binjai for the period of 2010-2015, supported by the Golkar party, Partai Demokrat, Hanura, PAN, Patriot, P3I, PDS and 16 members of a non-party's faction of Binjai's parliament. The declaration of Meutya-Dhani candidacy, was strongly backed by the Golkar Party, for Mayor and Deputy Mayor held in the Patar Hall Building, Jalan Tengku Imam Bonjol, Binjai City, on February 17, 2010. The declaration ceremony was attended by thousands of supporters and required extra protection from the Binjai police. Unfortunately, Hafid had lost. At the time, there was an allegation of fraud that allegedly occurred during the vote recapitulation counting in the election offices of West Binjai, North Binjai, East Binjai, South Binjai, and Binjai City. There was also the strong notion that Dhani-Meutya’s ballots were intentionally cut by 200, from 22,287 to 22,087. Besides that, many Dhani-Meutya votes were canceled because of too many ballots punched up symmetrically in the back of the voting paper that caused them to automatically be void, plus many ballots were also pinned in the middle that benefited a certain candidate. Hafid filed a lawsuit to the Constitutional Court about the issue, and asked for the ballot boxes to be recounted, as well as seeking the truth about the in Binjai City election, of where the fraud was allegedly to have happened in some of the polling stations in the District of West Binjai. These suspicions were based on the findings of many witnesses' own accounts that were at each the polling stations. Finally, the Court judged to reject the petition due to the ‘insufficient evidence’ that was supplied. [4] [5]

In August 2010, Hafid was appointed an interim Member of Parliament for the Golkar Party, replacing Burhanudin Napitupulu after he died. [6]

On July 25, 2011, The Nasional Demokrat (Democratic National) political party was established. The founder of the then popular political organization, Surya Paloh, was known as a close friend of Hafid's (Paloh was Hafid's tutor while she worked at Metro TV). Hafid was among the Golkar cadres who left Nasdem. The Golkar Party General Secretary Idrus Marham said all members of the Golkar Party faction decided to withdraw from the Democratic National. The Democratic National party's resignation was announced on Thursday, August 11, 2011 which was the deadline for the Golkar cadres to choose between the banyan-symbolized-party and Nasdem. Other than Hafid, other notable Golkar cadres who had joined in Nasdem, and left afterwards, are Jeffrie Geovani and Ferry Mursyidan Baldan. On the very same day of the party's resignation, Hafid firmly stated on her Twitter account "it is not possible for me to become a member of another political party.”

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Meutya Hafid Pertanyakan Hasil Survei". Tempo. 5 March 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2012.