Still remember SEMAR? SEMAR car is a concept car made by UGM students that promoted the nation in SHELL ECO Marathon 2011 competition in Sepang Malaysia last July. Ironically, SEMAR PROTO that has won the best technical innovation and SEMAR URBAN that has won the third place for gasoline grade have been held for nearly 2.5 months in Jakarta Customs.
As a result, the SEMAR team was required to pay about 35 million rupiah for the warehouse and container renting cost. UGM team who jointly rented two containers with the ITS(Surabaya Institute of Technology) and UI (University of Indonesia) should pay about 120 million due to the slow process at Customs. In the end, the rent have to be borne by the students. "Imagine if there are 5 universities (UGM, ITS, UI, ITB, and POLNEP) whose car was detained, how much money should be spent by students who actually have been promoting Indonesia abroad? With the addition of warehouse and container renting costs by 35 million, the SEMAR team has to pay 110 million just for the delivery of 2 SEMAR cars,” said Alfian Fisa, SEMAR Team Leader, in a release on Wednesday (12/10).
SEMAR car actually has been in Indonesia since end of July 2011, but because the process at Customs has been slow, especially during the fasting month and Eid, the documents have not been processed. As a result, over the time, the rental cost of container and warehouse inflated. "I don’t know why the process at Customs is complicated. Maybe SEMAR was considered a commercial and luxury goods,“ Alfian added.
Meanwhile, the SEMAR team supervisor, Dr. Jayan Sentanuhady, said SEMAR cars are part of the thesis research of the UGM Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering students. Due to the car being held, some students have their graduation delayed due to their research materials that are still detained by the Customs. "There are 4 students under my guidance whose thesis relates to the SEMAR car engine, hence their graduation is delayed. In fact, two of these students had already got a job at companies," said Jayan.
Furthermore, Jayan expressed his desire that Customs will not keep the SEMAR car for too long and do not charge high fees, which is not the fault of the students. He asserted that although SEMAR car is loaded with the latest innovations, the SEMAR car is a student competition car, not a luxury sports car imported from Italy.
Jayan explained this case is actually not the first time. In 2010, the SEMAR team has to spend extra money around 30 million to spend to release SEMAR cars off Customs. In addition, of the data obtained from SHELL, almost all universities that participate in the Shell Eco Marathon 2011 in Sepang, Malaysia, have received their cars back in mid-August 2011. In Indonesia it became a business commodity, instead. "How could this country progress, if even an object of student competition is held for months?" Jayan concluded.