Oxford University about to shoot itself on the foot with Kalla invite?

Unspun watched with incredulity and horror a segment from the documentary The Act of Killing in which Yusuf calla addressed a group of Pancasila Youth, who were known to be the secular equivalent of a FPI in their heyday.   He told the group that this country needed preman (thugs) because they got things done. Unlike the apparat (bureaucrats) who would…

Where/who should the anger over Ahok’s conviction be directed at?

Many Indonesians and friends of Indonesia are understandably angry at the sentencing of Ahok to two years jail for blasphemy. But to where or whom should this anger be directed at? At Bu Yani whose mistranslation started the whole blasphemy charges? He was only an inconsequential pawn in the game. At the Islamic radicals who have…

Where is Jokowi in our hour of need?

Today most Indonesians who pride themselves as progressive would have felt let down by the news that Ahok has been sentenced to 2 years jail for blasphemy. They view Ahok as innocent and a victim of bigots, Muslim hardliners and vested interests in politics. On the other side are those who feel a sense of…

Is Trump the best thing to happen to America, and the World?

This idea, like Trump himself, seems preposterous. Here is a man who violates all form of political correctness, a racist, a misogynist, a racist, a pussy grabber….and the lost of deplorables goes on. As a result most people around the world, let alone Americans, woke up with the shit!-was-I-so-wasted-I-went-to-bed-with-THAT! expression the morning after the November 8…

Jokowi rallying troops, but for what?

This is an interesting development if you subscribe to the theory that the November 4 demonstration has upped the ante for Jokowi versus the Dark Forces. On short notice Jokowi meets with 2,185 soldiers to thank them for the military’s role in keeping the peace during the November elections. He then tells them that if they can work…

Did Jokowi set a trap by allowing Nov 4 protests?

All of a sudden, politics has once again got more interesting in Indonesia. To understand why this is so we need a little context and a term, let’s call it the Dark Forces. The context Jokowi came into office with great expectations from Indonesians. They saw him as a reformer and expected sweeping changes. When…

Takeouts from the November 4 demonstration

Here’s an attempt to make sense of last night’s demonstration and disturbances First the facts as I understand them: The protesters Tens of thousands of people, ostensibly from Muslim groups throughout the country, converged on the area around the Presidential Palace and Monas yesterday to demand that Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Purnama be prosecuted by…

More than just business

We read the news every day but how much do we know about the editors behind the news? What informs their thinking and decisions? At Maverick we decided to find out about this important group of people the good old-fashioned way, by actually talking to them. Here, published in Maverick’s blog, we talk to Arif…

So who’s behind #NoWitchHuntKarHut?

Update August 28: One of the buzzers involved in the campaign has admitted to being asked to Tweet, the client remains a mystery, and he has apologised for taking on the assignment here.  Unspun thinks it takes a big man to admit that they were wrong and to ask for forgiveness. Perhaps the Netizens should cut…

Warren the Welch to Trump’s McCarthyism?

American politics is fascinating to watch. It can be depressing but it can also be so uplifting. Depressing is when we see Donald Trump bluster his way to become the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, making him a very possible next president of the most powerful country in the world. Depressing is when you…

The Trump Ogoh-ogoh

The ogoh-ogoh are effigies built for the Ngrupuk parade on the eve of Nyepi that took place yesterday. Ogoh-ogoh usually are fashioned after mythological beings or demons and they represent the Balinese people’s spiritual or temporal aims. Often they also serve as social  or political commentary. Hence this year they had an effigy    of…

Jonan the Jonah of Transportation

Common sense is not common and nowhere is it more uncommon than in the mind of the Transport Minister Ignatius Jonan. His latest feat of uncommon sense is in banning – and this is not very clear from statements his Ministry has made: online applications for commuter transport or anything less than three-wheeled modes of…