Tone deaf, in a very black and white way

Comments that in most societies would leave the audience aghast get a laugh and applause in Indonesia. Even when a member of the audience is the President of Indonesia himself.

PDIP Matriach Megawati, when addressing her party’s convention first took issue with Tukang Bakso (meatball vendors). She said she told her daughter Puan not to end up with a Tukang Bakso and the audience – including Jokowi – laughed. Puan tittered.

The comment that takes the cake, however, was when Megawati was talking about the Papuans. She said they were black but lately it was better because many of them were beginning to be fairer (because of mixed marriages with non Papuans) …”they have begun blending and becoming very Indonesian”.

As if you can’t be “very Indonesian”because of the color of your skin is black. As if a Tukang Bakso has no dignity and ability to care and love someone.

Such elitist, racist tone deafness. And the President laughed as all these remarks are made. A few days after his love-fest pawn to Megawati on how beautiful and charismatic she was. CRINGE.

Prolonging the death throes of a party

This in The Jakarta Globe online today:

Taufik Kiemas, chief of the PDI-P’s consultative board, right, talking to Prabowo Subianto as chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri looks on at the party’s national meeting. (Antara Photo)

Taufik Kiemas, chief of the PDI-P’s consultative board, right, talking to Prabowo Subianto as chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri looks on at the party’s national meeting. (Antara Photo)

Megawati Gets PDI-P Green Light

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle gave its chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri full power during its national leadership meeting in Jakarta on Wednesday to decide whether or not to accept the results of the presidential election.

PDI-P secretary general Pramono Anung on Wednesday said that the meeting resulted in six recommendations that effectively gave the former president complete power over the party, also known as the PDI-P.

“The national meeting decided to give up all decisions to our chairwoman, who was also our presidential candidate, to take strategic steps in dealing with any political situations and our party’s policies in the future,” Pramono said.

Question: And if Megawati decides not to accept the election results, what can she do? What strategic steps can she take? Is this a question of the blind asking to be led by the blind?

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Mega xenophobia/hypocrisy?

This, coming from a party that embraces Twittering and Facebooking?

Which part of Indonesian culture do such social media practices crawl out from?

(assuming, of course, that the Jakarta Post is accurate in its reporting)

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Indonesian too open to foreign culture: Mega – Pro

The Jakarta Post ,  Jakarta   |  Sun, 05/24/2009 4:24 PM  |  Election 2009

Culture and art experts applauded Megawati Soekarnoputri and Prabowo Subianto on Sunday after the two pledged to tackle the foreign culture invasion, which they considered the main reason for Indonesians’ poor awareness of local culture and heritage.
“Our elites now are too ‘polite’ to foreigners; they are too welcome. Without realization, foreigners have slowly occupied Indonesians,” Prabowo of the Greater Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party said on a talk show “Cultures and Presidency” held at The Jakarta Playhouse (Gedung Kesenian Jakarta).
“This nation has been too naive, accepting every country and believing that they always have good intentions,” he added.
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How to tell voters you don’t have your act together

Unspun supposes we all have to blame Oprah Winfrey. When she started Twittering, then it must be good for the masses and everyone should somehow Tweet as well.

Perhaps it is for this reason, but maybe also because some young entrepreneurs saw a chance to milk the Indonesian Presidential candidates for some easy money, the candidates had taken to Twittering.

Over the weekend many Indonesian Twitterers were surprised to receive a “follow” from Megawati and Prabowo. Many readers reacted with surprise that the Dynamic Duo was following them. Some were flattered, others were vehement in shooing them away. The rest felt in between where sentiments were concerned.Megapro twits

Unspun, even though he can’t vote, received a follow too and, ever polite person that he is, returned the courtesy. Then his innate curiousity drove him to the Twitter home page of Megapro. There he encountered a strange message:


Ever obedient Unspun went to Megabowo and saw:

megabowoWanting to know more, Unspun then clicked on the link to the Web page of the account holder and goess what he found?

Prabowo’s Facebook page.

So what does this all say about the communications efforts of the Megapro/bowo team?

1. That they don’t have their act together

2. That Prabowo or his team is behind the New Media efforts and mega is still probably struggling with how to send a SMS. Notice that the photo in both the Twitter accounts are of Prabowo’s face, not Mega and Prabowo’s, not much of an assurance of unity here. Someone also said that initially Prabowo’s backdrop was of the PDIP red-white color but today its been changed to Gerindra red.

3. That Prabowo seems to be in the driver’s seat so if by a long shot the duo are elected into office, we’ll know who wears the pants in that relationship. Hint: its below XXXL.

4. That Prabowo’s team was hasty and impulsive. Otherwise why go with Megapro and then change it to Megabowo in a matter of hours. If they can’t think through the name thay want to use as a handle for their partnership, what other things can’t they think through?

Seriously though, why would anyone vote for this team, given that they can’t even get their act together even on Twitter, let alone the more important affairs of state?

Vote against political elitism

If Unspun could vote, he’d certainly be casting his ballot for SBY and Boediono in the upcoming presidential elections.

SBY’s weaknesses in the past were based on perceptions that he is slow to decide if he comes to a decision at all; that he is weak when it comes to making tough decisions; and that he lacks charisma; that he is more of a bureaucrat rather than a politician.


Photo from the Jakarta Globe
Photo from the Jakarta Globe

In the past few days, at least to Unspun, he’s managed to change these perceptions somewhat with the appointment of Biediono as his running mate in the presidential elections. Someone who is weak would not have stayed the course in keeping to the choice of Boediono as Vice President candidate when the Muslim Wallahs in his political coalition mounted a protest. SBY was steadfast and the Muslim wallahs backed down (and how do they expect people to respect them after their vocal objections against Boediono being unfit to be vice president because — of all things – Boediono was not enough of  a good Muslim for them “even though he prays every Friday at the mosque?” (There is very defective and sick reasoning going on here).


More important is that by choosing Boediono, SBY has shown great political astuteness and original thinking that will bode well for Indonesia if he wins a second term. In choosing Boediono SBY departed from conventional thought that you needed the leader of a coalition partner to win the election. It is obvious, yet it escapes the realization of most of the Indonesian politicians, that he alone is enough to win the presidential elections. The other parties have no credibility left.

Golkar is finished when Jusuf Kalla foolishly accepted Surya Paloh’s poison pill to put his name up for the presidential elections. Since then the cracks that were already existing in Golkar have widened even more and unless the party conducts major surgery  they are a spent political force in indonesia. How Wiranto would help them get more votes is amystery.

PDIP is also running on empty. Megawati and her husband Taufik cling on to a power base that supports them through bovine force of habit or tradition. Prabowo looked good for a moment before the legislative elections because of the perceived deep pockets Gerindra had. His other strength was that he was perceived as a “strongman,” capable of making tough but necessary decisions. Now that he’s agreed to be under the Fat Lady, that macho image must be under quite a lot of pressure.

SBY’s choice of Biediono, however, sends all the right signals. Most of us know that he and Kalla did not get along during the first term and that Kalla and his merry men, including Aburizal Bakrie, were running rings round the president to frustrate and undermine him for their own interests.In choosing Boediono SBY is sending a message to Indonesians that he is capable of making tough decisions and then sticking to them; he’s also saying that with Kalla and Co out of the way there is a huge possibility that his second terms administration will be more decisive and effective. He is also sending out a message that the anti-corruption moves will prevail.

All good messages but the most interesting one of all is the message that he is sending to the political elites who have been lording over the rest of us: your time is up. Change or face obscurity. Already I don’t need your support to in the Presidency. Your parties are useless – they will not win the votes.

This is certainly great news for Indonesia. It will force the parties to examine their selves, hopefully foment a rebellion or two within the established parties and result in political parties that realize that the only way to win support is by working for the interests of the people. So get your ass out on voting day and cast your ballot for SBY Berbudi.

Foxy Obama-style New media campaign for SBY

What’s with the name Fox and politicians? When Malaysian politicians wanted some help with their communications they turned to a company called Fox Communications (that was set up by some ex-journalists under the patronage of other ex-journalists).

Now, with the Indonesian Presidential elections around the corner, SBY has turned to Fox Indonesia. The mission of this Fox is to wage an Obama style campaign on the Net for SBY.

Like the Malaysian Fox, thie Indonesian variety is also closely related to politicians. Fox is run by Choel Mallarangeng, brother of Andi, the presidential spokesman.

Let’ hope the Indonesian Fox would outlast the Malaysian one since, Unspun hears, the latter hasn’t been doing quite well since its patron got booted of the power elite after Badawi stepped down as Malaysian premier.

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Mantan Redaktur Vivanews Perkuat Fox Indonesia

May 7, 2009 – This post is filed under Comings & Goings in the Media, Indonesian, Journalists, Social Media
Oleh: Hanny

nenden_novianti1Per 1 Mei 2009 ini, Nenden Novianti, redaktur junior untuk kanal dunia (international issues) di Vivanews, hijrah untuk bergabung dengan tim kampanye digital Partai Demokrat dan SBY di  Fox IndonesiaBaru-baru ini, konsultan komunikasi politik tersebut meluncurkan situs—yang dinilai sangat mirip dengan situs kampanye Obama.

“Memang situs tersebut terinspirasi dari situs kampanye digital Obama,” kata Nenden. “Saya sendiri memang tidak terlibat dari segi desainnya; karena baru bergabung ketika situs tersebut sudah jadi. Saya baru bergabung ketika sudah mulai pembuatan konten.”

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Kamikaze Politics

You could say Vice President Jusuf Kalla’s goose was cooked when he first foolishly accepted Golkar officials’ suggestion a few months ago that he should nominate himself as a presidential candidate.

Once he swallowed this poison pill, some say administered by Surya Paloh, he was doomed, unless Golkar did so well at the polls that the showing would carry him to the presidential post by itself.

Well, it now looks like Golkar will get only about 14 percent of the votes in the elections, down from its 20+ percent the last time. There is no way that JK can be come president.

But having declared himself presidential candidate he now cannot accept a step down, which is to be the running mate of SBY in the upcoming presidential elections.

So his faction in Golkar has today rammed home the silly proposition that he would be the party’s presidential candidate. He will lose and will drag Golkar further down with him.

The wonder of it all is why the rank and file at Golkar hasn’t rebelled and called for his head. It is patent that JK and his cronies have run Golkar to the ground and they have lost support for the party. In another other place he would have been unceremoniously sacked but in Indonesia he gets to ride on the party ticket to the president’s office. Is there a better example of a group of people acting against their own self interest? Luar biasa.

Megawati Facebook Page taken down, but for how long?

Would anyone like to take bets how long it would take the Netizens to put up another “Say No to Megawati” Faeffect. cebook page that has been taken down yesterday?

Read also about the Streisand effect in Maverick Network. It’s equivalent to shooting your own foot on the Net.

justified rap on knuckles or a threat on Press Freedom?

Update: has carried a story with a screen grab of the original Jakarta Globe story. It also questions why Okezone had retracted its story and issued an apology to SBY and his son when the story was balanced because Democrat party and presidential spokesperson Andi Mallarangeng had been asked about it and he had given their side of the story. The story was therefore balanced, he said.

It now appears that what The Powers that Be were chagrined about was more the headline of the Jakarta Globe story rather than the text. Perhaps this is why the Jakarta Globe’s website has still retained the story, but changed the headline from “SBY’s son accused of vote buying” (see screengrab in to this (still visible early this morning):


A much tamer headline. So does this mean that the Powers that Be were unhappy with the headline but have no objections to the text? So who is this Power that Be that called in Lin and Wim? And presumeably Okezone? Was it done with SBY’s knowledge or was it a personal rogue initiative?

Earlier Unspun had written:

Short post because my IM2 is sucking big time.

Okezone has apologized to President SBY and his son Edhie for lifting a story from the Jakarta Globe alleging that Edhie and the son of a lawmaker had engaged in vote buying.

The news portal said there was no truth to the report and apologized to the President and his son.

Earlier, Twitters and Facebookers were busy spreading the news that Globe chief editor Lin Neuman had been summoned to the Istana over the story.

An editor at the Globe would only say that Lin was not summoned to the Istana, but would not comment on whether he had been summoned by any government official.

Unspun’s sources said that not only Lin but editor in chief Wim Tangkilisan had been summoned to the meeting with a government official.

Earlier Facebookers had commented that this was a case of infringement on the press freedoms that Indonesia enjoys. Increasingly however it looks like a justified rap on the knuckles for the Globe in carrying a story of such gravity about so prominent person without the proper facts to back up the allegation solidly. (Hmmm. Unspun‘s conclusion here may not be quite correct. See update above.)

Losing Face

Beware of horny women

Update: PDI-P has reported the Say No to mega Facebook Page to the police. Check out the link here. All this is going to drive a lot of traffic to the Facebook page…. Forgive them Father Sukarno…they know what they do. ROFL

Now let’s see how the new media strategists of our revered political leaders deal with dissent and protest on the Net.

Will they be part of the Conversation or will they remain clueless of the Web’s potential to help or harm, probably not for this round of elections but almost certainly for the next.

Megawati, Prabowo suffer setbacks at Facebook

The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Mon, 04/06/2009 10:09 AM | Election 2009

As the campaigning period enters a cooling off, presidential hopefuls Megawati Soekarnoputri and Prabowo Subianto suffer from a black campaign through the internet, via social networking site reported that one account at Facebook titled “Say ‘No!!!’ to Megawati” has attracted 64,188 supporters as of Monday morning.

“Just want to express my aspiration that she is the former president that I don’t want to lead this beloved Indonesia once more,” said the creator of the account. “Forgive me if there are people who feel offended. Peace.”

Similar account is also created to stop Prabowo, titled “Say No To Prabowo.” Nevertheless, it has only 751 supporters.

On the other hand, one Facebook account supports incumbent Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, titled “Say Yes to SBY”, with 5,185 supporters.

“I don’t say that SBY is the most perfect, but among the existing presidential candidates, and also considering SBY’s performance thus far, SBY is the most acceptable,” said the creator of the account.

via Megawati, Prabowo suffer setbacks at Facebook | The Jakarta Post.

The Prabowo thing

Tree can be pretty incisive, entertaining and a pretty good read when he focuses his attention on the more “serious” things in life rather than his Adrian Mole rantings and monologues about his life, dog and multifarious girlfriends present and exes.

Good to see the Tree getting back to stride and lending an intelligent voice to what shapes Indonesian politics.

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I went to a Prabowo thing the other day – not sure exactly what to call them events where a candidate is comfortably planted in a comfortable environment to practice his preach. For the Indonesia challenged, Mr. Prabowo Soebianto is the hottest name on the ticket. If the man were a football team, he would’ve been Chelsea, drenched in Red.
This is not the first time I met the Mr. Prabowo, indeed, I have quite the experience of having known the man for a number of years. He was still a proper general when he came to my wedding, just before the whole court martial thing. These days he put on weight and looked more the billionaire that he is than the general that he was. He lost his stars just as he had attained them in the first place: very quickly. A rising star among the elites, Prabowo came from a line of reputable pedigree and huge expectations.
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Prabowo on why he’s engaging bloggers

Whatever you may think of the man’s politics, human rights record or temperament, Presidential Candidate and Gerindra boss Prabowo seems to have taken his online initiatives seriously. His Facebook page, for instance, has more than 16,000 fans and he has a plethora of sites listed on it:

He’d got a team on Facebook and has asked bloggers for a meet up tomorrow. Through his e-minders Prabowo speaks to Maverick Network on his party’s internet strategy, budgetary allocations for online campaign efforts (2% but how large is the pie for this seemingly well-funded political party) and why he’s engaging bloggers.

Hmmm. Perhaps Prabowo could give a few pointers to incoming Malaysian Premier Najib Abdul Razak on how to engage bloggers etc on the net. They would get on like a house on fire. Both men love military stuff, weapons, explosives….

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March 30, 2009

Prabowo Alokasikan 2% Dana Kampanye untuk Ranah Online

by: Hanny
Seorang kawan (yang dalam kesempatan ini memilih untuk tidak mengungkapkan identitasnya di depan publik), menginformasikan kepada kami bahwa ia tengah bekerja bersama tim kampanye online capres dari Partai Gerindra, Prabowo Subianto.
Selain menangani segala hal yang berhubungan dengan Facebook Page resmi Prabowo, tim ini juga mengorganisasi pertemuan antara Prabowo dan blogger besok malam, sekitar pukul 8, di Amigos, Belagio, Kuningan. Pertemuan ini sendiri dinamakan “Ngariung Blogger dan Sahabat FbPS (Facebook Prabowo Subianto) bersama Prabowo Subianto”.… Read more…

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