Morning Drama, the tale of a Duel over the Boundary

This morning I was interrupted in my work on a proposal by a call from Dadap, our founder and production director. Somebody has cut down 6 durian trees. I am at the police station. I need back up.

So, I quickly called the Raja, who was supposed to be visiting the Chief of Police in Jakarta on another matter, but he turned out to be very ill. I dressed up in my finest Indonesian formal wear and strode my trusty Lexi motor to war.

At the police station, Dadap was busy issuing a statement and I was sat down with the police chief to discuss. Of course, I expressed huge sympathy for the miscreant vandal, who was undoubtably not well and had something wrong. I was firm that I didn’t want him jailed, because of his poor family and putting rice on the children’s table. Nevertheless, we needed reparations and it needed to be seen by others that we weren’t to be messed with. Needless to say, this all went down extremely well. I also took photographs to be sent to the Raja in Jakarta, quietly but it wasn’t missed that I was reporting their actions to Jakarta…

Dadap appeared, having completed his statement, which I duly photographed and sent to Jakarta. He explained that this was all a boundary dispute. He had, quite correctly, informed the neighbour that his trees were overhanging our garden and we were going to cut them back. As is our right. It seems that the neighbour took exception after the event, perhaps feeling the cutting was excessive even though it was nowhere near as extreme as the electricity company does without notice.
And he had retaliated by coming onto our property and pulling out grafts of avocado and chopping down durian trees. Grafts are Dadap’s particular enthusiasm. He is not happy.

I explained to the police that we don’t want him punished or jailed. We just want our damages covered and we would be delighted to work with him in the future. I enlarged on how we work with the community, insist on mutual working agreements to ensure landowners get a share in our success, and how we chose to work in Bali where we could become one with the Banjar, and this was selected over many other parts of Indonesia where it isn’t so safe. Working up on how wonderful Bali is for working with local people. I also mentioned that we could be helping to produce a film next year, and perhaps the police could be extras, using the magnificent police station as a location.

This all went down very well.
Except with Dadap who wants his pound of flesh.
Now, Dadap is demanding a signed agreement with the miscreant agreeing to damages and no objections to our exercising our rights to clear borders in the future, with the police acting as mediators.
We should get this, and I am delighted that we have improved our relations with the local constabulary. The Deputy Chief has already expressed his desire to become a landowner with us working his land and working with us on his retirement. Every little helps in securing our expensive crops in the future.

Rex Sumner


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