There’s a hilarious scene in one of Jackie Chan’s Rush Hour series where he follows Chris Rock into a joint run by black brothers.
Chris, being black, goes something like “Wassup Nigga” and gets a friendly reply. Then Jackie, who plays the role of a cop from Hong Kong who knows little about American culture tries it on his black hosts – with disastrous results.
That scene of how its OK for a black to call another a Nigga while someone else of a different shade couldn’t, is, for me, emblematic about how Americans and much of the west approach color: with a hypersensitivity bordering on the ridiculous.
Color to us coloreds, or if you want to be politically correct about it, the pigmentally advantaged, is a fact of life. We talk about it all the time, joke about it, acknowledge it and the fact that darker hues are generally not that desirable even among huge swarthy of the swarthy.
But to whites, or shall we call them the pigmentally disadvantaged, and those who have drunk the liberal kool aid, all talk of color is somehow abhorrent and racist. It’s as if we are all expected to tiptoe around the room not acknowledging that there is a colored elephant in the room.
It is this mentality that has conditioned the shock and awe that greeted Meghan Markle’s revelation to Oprah Winfrey that someone from the Royal Family asked if her son might pigmentally gifted.
Why is it racist to wonder what shade the baby would come out, since the mother is partially Indian, is beyond the reasoning of many mixed couples and multiracial families.
The English language, does not different between racialism and racism. Perhaps it should. The former an acknowledgement that the world is not monochromatic and needs to be perceived in all its hues and shades; the latter a description of prejudice because of someone’s skin tone.
When I was working in Malaysia in The Star many decades ago, before the country descended into its racial stereotyping and tropes to what it is today, we all used to be totally aware of our race.
We’s rib each other mercilessly and tell racial jokes to each other, have good laugh about it and ed up in Rennie’s for a beer or eight. At the end of the day we were all racialists, in the sense that we were not color blind.
This did not shield us from the realization that beyond our racial stereotypes and traits we were all humans and friends. We could live with those difference and we did.
Even the usually mild-mannered Endy Bayuni was forced earlier this week to rant against the President and his team’s egregious handling of the Coronavirus outbreak in the usually tepid The Jakarta Post.
He counseled seeking professional help instead of relying on amateurs for something as serious and critical as the matter staring us in the face.
His advice, like so many well-meaning ones, seem to have fallen on deaf ears. Or has it? One wonders.
From the inaction and indecisiveness that Jokowi practices, to the gaffes that he makes when he finally acts or speaks (example: Lat Saturday Jokowi admitted to withholding information on COVID-19 because “we don’t want people to panic”) he must have been influenced by his advisors.
Anyone that has been in leadership positions are usually surrounded by advisers and courtiers. The quality of these people, who often become the eyes and ears of the ever-busy Leader, become crucial to how he perceives the world, what informs him and subsequently, the decisions he makes.
Who are they? Few of us have the inside-track on who he trusts apart from Luhut, but if you look at who Jokowi surrounds himself with you may get a good idea of the type of people they are.
They are usually smart professionals, seemingly liberal, connected in politics and business, influential on social media and above all loyal – some say fanatically loyal – to Jokowi.
The last quality is where the double-edged sword cuts. Their loyalty blinds them to the mistakes Jokowi is making and the merits of his rivals. This loyalty also makes them drink the Cool Aid when it comes to Jokowi’s reluctance or inability to act boldly, especially in holding others in positions of responsibility to account.
The result is groupthink is of the highest harm.
Groupthink, as some may recall, was the greatest bane of Kennedy’s administration. Although Camelot was staffed by the brightest people whose IQ was off the charts, they as a group had so little diversity in opinion and viewpoint that none of the inner circle held the view that the Bay of Pigs invasion was an exercise in folly and miscalculation. been.
Groupthink, one suspects, is at work overtime in Indonesia today. Whatever Jokowi does or doesn’t do over the Coronavirus outbreak is wise or excusable because of the political complications.
No one else can do better than Pakde. So when Anies took to TV and social media to announce the initiatives that Jakarta, was making, including the closure of schools, it was dismissed as yet another antic of Anies the Sweet Talker with No Substance.
In spite of his record of failure to deliver, Anies looked decisive, he looked open and he looked like a leader when compared to Jokowi’s fumbling doesn’t not occur to any member of the Groupthink.
Their instinct is to dismiss the fact that Anies did better than Jokowi in this instance. They’ll now take to social media to disparage and scorn him. This has not been lost to Indonesia’s netizens who are slowly but increasingly wising up to their antics. hence the backlash against Jokowi’s Buzzers in social media.
This is dangerous in the extreme for Jokowi who because of the Groupthink surrounding him, would have lost his ability to sense danger.
And danger there is. The public is getting more disillusioned by the day by the culture of impunity that Jokowi has allowed to grow in his administration. You have the Health Minister Terawan who failed miserably to handle the first stages of the Coronavirus outbreak in Indonesia who has not been sacked or even chided.
You also have imbecilic officers like Siti Hikmawaty, the Commissioner of the Commission for the Protection of Children saying stupid things like a woman can get pregnant if she swam in the same swimming pool as a man, yet has not been chided or removed from office. The list goes on but the message people get is that the bad guys do not get punished or removed but allowed to fester in the administration.
Jokowi’s abysmal handling of the Corona virus outbreak also poses a political danger to him. With the national Government seemingly paralyzed by inaction and indecisiveness, the regional leaders are beginning to assert themselves in this leadership vacuum.
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan’s announcement of school closures and his publishing a map of Coronavirus infections in the city con only be interpreted in this context.
The problem is that this Governor, who comes to power by allying himself to racist and religious extremist politicians, is starting to look like a leader.
The last thing most of us want is for Anies to come to power. It hurts all the more to realize that Anies’s gins are only possible because of the ineffectiveness of Jokowi’s leadership.
It is time that Jokowi does a reality check of what sort of advice he is getting from his advisors and whether he’s only living in an echo chamber build by Groupthink.
But here’s the irony: how will he ever know he would have to do this reappraisal, as none of his advisors will bring this up to him (and Unspun doubts that Jokowi reads this blog).
In sociology there is something called the Johari Window where one of its quadrants contains something that everyone else knows about you; butt it is something that you do not know yourself. It is the building block for Greek tragedies as heroes inexorably plunge to their fates inspite of all the signs warning them of danger.
Early this Police stopped 5 Jakarta City (DKI) ambulances on Jalan Gatot Subroto.
In at least one they found rocks and petrol. They suspected that the ambulances were being used to supply rocks for throwing at police and fireworks, said Kumparan. Other news outlets said there was also petrol for making Molotov cocktails.
The ambulances were impounded and police released a video of the interception on their twitter feed.
In the video, a policeman was heard saying that they were carrying rocks and fireworks.
The Twitter posts have been taken down.
Later today Polda Metro Jaya spokesman Argo Yuwono said that there was a misunderstanding. The ambulance (or ambulances – it is not clear) were not, as the Police initially suspected, ferrying rocks and Fireworks to rioters.
There was a misunderstanding, he said. He went on to clarify that the rocks and Fireworks got into one of the ambulances because a rioter had been cornered by police and he sought to hide in the ambulance that happened to be nearby.
Ergo, it was a random act by a single rioter.
This raises several questions:
1. How did the rioter get into the ambulance int he first place?
2. Rocks, especially when packed in a a cardboard box (seed for Aqua bottled) must be heavy. He was so strong he could run to evade the police and jump into the ambulance?
3. Ambulances have drivers and attendants. Were they oblivious to a super-strong rioter loaded with rocks and fireworks jumping onto the back of their ambulance?
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 together with the police on all levels the integrity of the country, that is made up of a pluralistic society, will be intact.
“When the military and Police are solid, compact and united we will be able to unite Indonesia, the different races, tribes and religions that embodies the aspirations of our nation and become a source of unity for our plurality,” he said.
Now why would he schedule a hurried meeting with the military and say something like that if he does not sniff some clear and present danger in the air?
Jakarta – Presiden Jokowi mendadak mengumpulkan 2.185 prajurit TNI dan memberikan arahan. Pengarahan ini tidak terdaftar di jadwal resmi Presiden Jokowi.
Pengarahan dilakukan di lapangan Markas Besar TNI AD, Jalan Veteran, Jakarta Pusat, Senin (7/11/2016). Apel dipimpin oleh Panglima TNI Jenderal Gatot Nurmantyo.
Presiden Jokowi (Foto: Bagus Prihantoro Nugroho/detikcom)
Jokowi tiba di lokasi sekitar pukul 12.30 WIB. Hadir pula Pangdam Jaya Mayjen Teddy Lhaksmana dan Kapolda Metro Jaya Irjen Iriawan.
“Pertama, saya ingin sampaikan terima kasih yang sebesar-besarnya atas kerja keras perwira dan jajaran prajurit TNI dalam amankan aksi unjuk rasa Jumat kemarin,” kata Jokowi dalam arahannya.
Presiden Jokowi (Foto: Bagus Prihantoro Nugroho/detikcom)
Menurut dia seluruh rakyat mengapresiasi soliditas TNI dalam mengawal penyampaian aspirasi tersebut. TNI dinilai kompak dalam melakukan langkah persuasif.
“Kedua, saya minta kekompakan TNI dan Polri yang ditunjukkan di ke lapangan terus dilanjutkan di semua tingkatan, kekompakan harus digalang dari atas sampai prajurit, ini penting, lakukan sinergi dalam jalankan tugas negara,” kata Jokowi.
Presiden Jokowi (Foto: Bagus Prihantoro Nugroho/detikcom)
Jokowi menyatakan, jika TNI dan Polri kompak maka keutuhan negara bisa dijaga. Terlebih Indonesia terdiri dari masyarakat yang majemuk.
“Ketika TNI dan Polri solid, kompak dan bersatu maka kita akan bisa mempersatukan Indonesia, ras yang beda, suku, agama yang beda, dalam wujudkan cita-cita bangsa kita, jadilah perekat kemajemukan,” pungkas Jokowi.
Setelah memberikan arahan, Jokowi kemudian menyalami barisan terdepan para prajurit TNI dari tiga matra tersebut. Jokowi mengucapkan terima kasih secara personal kepada mereka.
The video below that is well produced and catchy with a huge dose of humor is yet another reason why the incumbent Jakarta Mayor Fauzi Bowo is losing out big time in the popularity stakes to challenger Jokowi and his running mate Ahok.
Joakowi supporters and his camp are proving very adept at using social media to boost their popularity and to answer the allegations and slurs from the opposing camp in their Facebook account and the many support groups and pages surrounding them.
Is this the election that will change the way Indonesian politicians use social media? It all depends on whether the Jokowi-Ahok team can win at the gubernatorial runoff elections against the money and influence of the Golkar machine backing Foke.
If they do it may make the politicians sit up and realize that the old ways of politicking using traditional means of communications – such as billboards, newspaper ads, TV commercials – have had their day. It may also send the message that ad hominem attacks, smear campaigns and playing the bogeyman with race and religion are no longer effective.
It may or the politicians from the entrenched parties may be so pig headed that they persist in their ways. But a Jokowi-Ahok victory will point the way for others without the backing of huge money to follow.
A senior member of the Democratic Party defending Jakarta’s incumbent governor Fauzi Bowo said on Thursday that traffic jams in JakartaJakarta’s Traffic Jams Are ‘Inevitable:’ Democratic Party Official are something that cannot not be prevented.
Herman Khaeron, chairman of the Democrat’s regional board and deputy head of House Commission IV, said traffic jams are simply a consequence of the growing number of people using the streets.
“I can compare this condition with the condition abroad,” Herman said. “Traffic jams in capital cities are an inevitably.”
Fauzi has been widely and regularly blamed for his inability to solve two of Jakarta’s most endemic problems: Flooding, and traffic. While Sutiyoso, Jakarta’s previous governor, created the TransJakarta busway to ease traffic, Fauzi has been characterized as failing to adequately tackle the problem.
Traffic jams, or macet, occur regularly at peak hours, but congestion seems to be choking the streets with increasing vigor, especial on Fridays and during rain.
Herman made sure to say that Fauzi, Jakarta’s first governor from the Democratic Party, has successfully managed the city.
Regarding flooding, Herman said Fauzi has reduced problems with the east flood-canal, which has saved 2.5 million people from the agony of seasonal floods. Herman also said the city government has “normalized” river flows that pass through Jakarta.
“What I have found instead is the fact that Fauzi, as Jakarta’s governor, has worked well for his people,” Herman said.
In a court of law Democrat Party Chief Anas Urbaningrum’s argument that he should be presumed innocent until found guilty of corruption allegations makes sense. As he says he’s not even been indicted and as such there is no need for him to step down from helping the Democrats.
Then there is the court of public opinion in which Anas has been virtually tried, judged and convicted as guilty as sin when it comes to corruption. That this is so is seen in the fast deteriorating confidence that Indonesian voters have in the Democrat Party, as attested to by several political polls. It now looks that unless the Democrats have a house keeping they will continue to lose support just in time to be trounced in the 2014 general elections.
Sooner rather than later Anas will, because of his conviction in the Court of Public Opinion, become such an embarrassment that he would be forced to step down.
What’s funny here is that Anas and his supporters have only themselves to blame as they virtually pleaded no contest to all the charges leveled at them in the Court of Public Opinion. There was no attempt at all to plead his case before the public, to convince the public that he was unfairly accused and that he is innocent.
All this is indicative of the elite politics mindset that Indonesia’s politicians embrace. Theirs is a world where what matters are the intrigues of palace politics, political patronage and the backdrop deals. These practices have no place in a democracy where, sooner or later, public opinion will assert itself.
So. What are the Democrats going to do? Make lame noises about how Ana’s should go and then wring their hands in hopelessness and do nothing? Or take decisive steps and, if nothing else, suspend Ana’s from all positions and power until it all blows over. The former course is to court certain defeat at the upcoming polls. The latter at least gives them a chance to repair the damage before the polling starts.
Makassar – Ketua Umum DPP Partai Demokrat Anas Urbaningrum menanggapi sambil lalu desakan mundur dari internal Partai Demokrat seperti yang diserukan Ruhut Sitompul. Anas menegaskan dia tidak berstatus terdakwa atau tersangka.
“Anda semua tahu, ini obyektif sekali, saya bukan terdakwa, bukan tersangka, saksi saja tidak, statusnya jelas seperti itu,” ujar Anas saat ditanya detikcom soal desakan mundur dari internal partainya, usai melantik Pengurus DPC Demokrat Kabupaten Gowa, di Gedung Haji Bate, Sungguminasa, Sulsel, Rabu (8/2/2012).
Anas menambahkan, partainya memiliki mekanisme yang dijalankan berdasarkan AD/ART, etika dan peraturan organisasi. Terkait permintaan mundur, Anas menyerahkan semuanya pada mekanisme partainya.
“Menyangkut proses hukum, pendirian kami jelas, kami menghormati proses hukum, kami menyerahkan sepenuhnya pada aparat hukum untuk memproses secara adil dan obyektif, berdasarkan prinsip-prinsip penegakan hukum yang adil, bukan berdasarkan desakan-desakan atau tekanan opini,” pungkas Anas.
Sebelumnya, Ruhut Sitompul meminta Ketua Umum PD Anas Urbaningrum mundur demi masa depan PD yang lebih baik. Apalagi jika dikaitkan dengan pemilu 2014 mendatang. Kasus-kasus yang berkaitan pengurus PD, dimungkinkan membuat citra dan perolehan suara partai jeblok.
Forget Mafia Wars. This is infinitely more gripping. Besides it’s a real conflict involving the institutions that have the whole nation agog over the past few days and easily accessible through your Facebook account.
See how social media is being used — either in a concerted way by organizations or spontaneously by individuals — in the KPK-Police/Attorney General’s Office confrontation. This is an episode which is made all the more interesting because the Vice President of Indonesia @boediono has Twittered to ask who this Evan is. Go figure! (Why is the VP asking for information on Twitter when the intelligence services should be at his beck and call?)
The screen grab below is from the posting of a contact in Facebook. Apparently Evan is a Brimob member who had a posting in his Facebook page saying “Polri does not need society but society needs Polri…forward with the Indonesian Police, bury alive the small geckos…”
The response from one other Facebooker (below) was a posting with screen grabs of Evan’s Facebook with lots of contacts “tagged” with the following comment: “This is Evan Brimob who is arrogant and opposes the citizenry, degrading healthy thinking and contemptuous of the defense of the truth. Spread this photo and search Evan Brimob and send him a message that his arrogance will unleash the people’s antipathy toward the police who have already exposed their rottenness”.
How will this play out? Log into your Facebook account and find out…
MIGHT it just be that after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s sweeping re-election, the era of Indonesia’s grasping cronies is coming to an end?
These free-wheeling cronies have been a lawless cancer on the Indonesian economy for too long; the reason why so much of Indonesia doesn’t work properly — why its roads are pot-holed, why badly built bridges, buildings and dams collapse, why its technological backbone is dysfunctional, why consumers are abused, why its justice system is corrupt, why the oxygen-sustaining Borneo rainforests are logged to within an inch of their lives.
Cronies are to Indonesia what politically connected oligarchs are to Russia, except they’ve been around longer. Their fathers were to some extent commercial pioneers in the newly independent Indonesia, and there was then a role for them, because the new nation needed to be built, and built fast.
Their contracts and businesses were largely based on proximity to the military and the ruling family, which, save for the last decade of “reformasi”, has been largely the same thing, be it the Soehartos or the Soekarnos before them. Foreign investors quickly figured it out — joint-venture partners were chosen because they were well connected with the palace, not because they were great operators.
Too much was never enough for the cronies, who became some of Asia’s richest men, displaying almost obscene wealth in a country as poor as Indonesia. They should have been banished after the 1997-98 “Asian Contagion” crisis when the Indonesian economy collapsed and Soeharto was ousted. Some did — the Salim/Liem food-to-banking empire for one is a shadow of its former self — but the system was sufficiently politically malleable that many survived, and even prospered.
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.
Malaysia today used the Internal Security Act to arrest kickdefella or Syed Azidi Syed Abdul Aziz (photo) who made his name in the Malaysian blogosphere first by designing spoof movie posters of government leaders, then went on to become a blogger for the opposition PAS and then recently courted controversy by f
lying the Malaysian flag upside down.
Ironically, Shiekh, as he’s also known wrote just a few days ago that he actually supported the Internal
Since long ago, I have been very vocal about supporting the Internal Security Act. But I am always against the usage of it for political purposes. I respect the views of friends whom are against the so call draconian law. I share the sorrow of the families of those Malaysians who are
detained under ISA.
ISA is a good answer as a preventive measure. A person should be charge under ISA if he is deems dangerous and his action or idea can damage the society and the country. He is not a criminal. He has yet to commit a crime. Nevertheless, if he is allowed to continue to roam freely, terrible things can happen.
But, if a citizen had committed the crime, he or she should be charge under the correct law for the crime that he did. It is no more an issue about preventing him to commit the crime. If crime happened, the authority should be able to prove it and all the evidence should point to the suspect. He meanwhile is protect under the constitution and is innocent until proven guilty in the court of law.
My personal view about the latest happening is this is no more a preventive move but rather a defensive move by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
As Malaysian, we should stand for what best for the country, even if it means that the usage of ISA is seek upon.
Stand for what best for Malaysia, not for what best for Abdullah, his family and comrades.
Malaysia had last week arrested a blogger, Raja Petra Kamaruddin of Malaysia Today, an opposition Member of Parliament Theresa Kok and journalist Tan Hoon Cheng who reported on the racist remarks of Umno MP Ahmad Ismail. Tan was released within 20 hours and the government kept issuing contradicting statements as to why they arrested her and why they released her after so short a period.
This is against the backdrop of Anwar Ibrahim threatening to take power from the Government by getting 31 MPs to defect to his camp.
Anwar has so far been playing a cat and mouse game with Prime Minister Ahmad Badawi, saying he will release the names after he meets Badawi. of course Badawi is not meeting him and will not do so if he can help it.
The latest arrest adds to the general confusion and anxiety in Malaysia as the present government tries to find its way our of the rut it is in and try to regain the political control they have been losing since before the General Elections. It looks like the government is now on its last legs, tottering and drunk from confusion, reacting to things rather than having a plan. It is succumbing to chaos and therefore not being very rational at all.
What ar malaysians to do? Wait and chip away at the foundations till this tired government falls. Then they’d probably have to battle Anwar when he gets to power and show his true colors. Unspun thinks Malaysia is in for prolonged hard times.
My love for the Guardian Angel of Malaysia will remain.
It is easy to criticize, especially when you have a blog handy. But Unspun feels that it is also important to give credit when credit is due.
Prime Minister and Grand Poobah of Umno Abdullah Badawi has led the Umno supreme council in coming to a decision to suspend Ahmad Ismail’s membership for three years and strip him of all his party posts for making racially provocative remarks.
There are some critics who think that this is too little too late (see Kit’s blog) and or just a show. But Unspun thinks that for the soft person he is and the presures from the more garroulous elements within Umno, what ABB did took some courage. He did right and he should be commended for taking a decision that sends a message to other Umno trouble makers.
What now. Some in Malaysia are demanding their pound of flesh of Ahmad Ismail. Some say he needs to be charged under the ISA. Others say sedition. It would be interesting to examine the motives for those who all for such harsh punishments. Are they motivated by a sense of justice? If so how much of this justice resembles the Nietzscherean definantion of justice being the spirit of revenge. revenge for what? Perceptions of being racially slighted and targeted by the government apparatus, is what Unspun thinks.
There has been so much resentment and ill feeling building up among races in Malaysia that it is the natural inclination of many Malaysians to seize the opportunity to get even. Hence the call to savage Ahmad Ismail, or the inability to give credit where credit is due.
This type of outlook is counterproductive. If anything right minded Malaysians should praise and reinforce good behavior in their Prime Minister. That would embolden him to make more right decisions.
Putting the Ahmad Ismail issue aside as something solved would also be a productive move. The man has been rebuked and his career as a politician tarnished. there is no more need to hound the man and make him a martyr among the more extreme racialists. Perversely, there is no bigger insult or damage that can be done to Ahmad Ismail than to ignore him. People like him thrive on the reaction of others. The reaction gives him reknown, even it is in the form of notoriety. Ignore him and he will be shouting in the wilderness.