I posted this in the Maverick blog today: Deliberate misunderstandings and righteous piety seems to be the order of the day in Indonesia’s poisoned and acrimonious political settingThe latest flap involves a call to boycott travel site Traveloka and uninstall their mobile app following a walkout by detractors when newly installed Governor Anies... Continue Reading →
Alexis: right decision for the wrong reasons
Alexis almost certainly has prostitution as one of its services and Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan is right to close it down if morality is his kind of thing. But shutting it down based on press reports rather than on hard evidence is worrying, as it sets a bad precedence of executive action based on suspicion.... Continue Reading →
Did Jokowi also call for Pribumi privileges?
This is what I wrote in the Maverick blog today Did Jokowi say the P word as reported by CNN? These are sensitive times. Since newly installed Jakarta Governor made his Protect Pribumis speech at his inauguration the P word has gained new political impetus. One thing about the internet is that what is old... Continue Reading →
Pribumis, Bumiputras and the politics of race
Let's be honest: when the word Pribumi is used, it is code for anti-Chinese. This is the same in Malaysia where the word Bumiputra is used to mean anti-Chinese. The parallels do not stop there. The champions of the the racial ideology - Anies Baswedan in the case of the Pribumis and Mahathir Mohamad in... Continue Reading →
What do pribumi Indonesians think about their Chinese counterparts?
Not much that is good. That's what the Singapore-based ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute found in a survey titled Chinese Indonesians in the Eyes of the Pribumi Public, If the survey is accurate it suggests that after decades of living cheek by jowl with the pribumis, they still harbor stereotyped perceptions about the Indonesian Chinese. Among the most... Continue Reading →
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... Continue Reading →
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... Continue Reading →
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... Continue Reading →
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... Continue Reading →
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... Continue Reading →
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... Continue Reading →
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... Continue Reading →