Is Indonesia Going Backwards?

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars)
Many people believed that Jokowi would modernize Indonesia. They were hoping that he would fight corruption, boost the economy, launch infrastructure programs, reduce the influence of religious mafias and promote Indonesia on the world scene as a modern nation.

To say that those people, including myself, are disappointed is an understatement. 

Jokowi and his team have betrayed the people who voted for them. Not only he did not do what he promised, he did the contrary. A year after he took office, I cannot think of anything positive he has accomplished.

On the contrary, there are several reasons to think that Indonesia is actually going backwards.

Freedom of speech under attack

Indonesia was ranked #132 in the world in 2014 in terms of press freedom by Reporters Without Borders. It dropped 6 places in 2015.

Several foreign journalists have been arrested since the beginning of the year, in particular Rebecca Prosser and Neil Bonner who spent 4 months in jail for not having the proper visas. Journalists used to be deported when it happened in the past, but the current government wants to make it clear that foreign journalists are not welcomed.

Jokowi is also trying to make it harder for journalists to criticize the president, whatever than means.

He declared in August 2015: “Currently there are tendencies that people feel they are ultimately free to behave and voice their opinions as they like. This is less productive when the media only pursues ratings instead of guiding the public to be virtuous and have a productive work culture.”

This led the Alliance of Independent Journalists to issue a statement to warn Jokowi not to mess with press freedom. At the same time, SBY himself criticized the government over a plan to criminalize defamation against the president.

More about this issue: Jokowi and Foreign Press

Overt racism and xenophobia

Under Jokowi, Indonesian nationalism no longer means being proud of the nation’s achievements. It means being racist, xenophobic and blaming foreigners for everything that goes wrong.

Foreigners living in Indonesia have never been more uncomfortable than now. You will never hear from the government that foreigners are actually bringing jobs, investments and dollars. You will never hear that they pay taxes, that they help the economy and that they come with skills and knowledge.

Instead, the dumbest stereotypes are spread in the media even by high-ranking officials and ministers. Just a few weeks ago, Indonesian women were told not to date foreigners because they could be used as drug mules.

This racism can lead to more tragic stories:

Why did Jokowi choose to execute 12 foreigners out of 14 convicts even though there are more Indonesians dealers behind bars? Why the 12 foreigners chosen were almost exclusively from Black, Asian or Latin American ethnicity? Why did Neil Bantleman go to jail, if not for being a foreigner?

Using the death penalty as a TV show

My opinion about the death penalty is that it does not work and I could prove it with detailed studies. You can agree or not, it is not my point today.

What disturbed me the most in the execution of early 2015, apart from the obvious racism, is that the government used them for political gain. They were not about justice or fairness or efficiency. They were a show intended to prove that Jokowi was “tegas” or decisive. 14 dead for a few extra points in the polls.

To me, it just made Indonesia look like a banana republic. It also exposed to the whole world the failures of the Indonesian justice system, its corruption, its incoherences and its incompetence.

Destruction of the anti-graft agency

There was one institution that Indonesians respected and wanted to preserve, the KPK (anti-graft agency). The KPK was pretty much like Batman in Gotham City. It was fighting the crooks on behalf of the common people.

Problem: The whole PDI-P, the political party behind Jokowi, hates the KPK for reasons that are easy to understand. With the help of the Police, it took only a few weeks for them to take down the institution and replace its head with officers they don’t need to be afraid of.

Jokowi never spoke in public about this shameful event, and instead allowed it to happen. The whole nation would have supported him if he had had the gut to say “No”. He didn’t, and that’s how Indonesia lost its fight against corruption and went back 10 years.

Flirting with sharia

Indonesia was never founded as a Muslim state. It has a majority of Muslims, but its laws are not based on the teachings of the Koran (except in Aceh).

Yet, slowly, the rules of Islam are starting to apply to everyone. The most obvious illustration is the recent fight of the government against alcohol. First, it became illegal to sell alcohol in minimarts, then import taxes were doubled, then a law was discussed to forbid alcohol totally, then nightclubs in Bandung and Jakarta were told to stop operations at midnight, etc.

Surprisingly, at the same time, the tobacco industry in Indonesia is enjoying one of the world’s most lenient legislation.

Rupiah hitting all-time low

The rupiah has never been as low as today. Never*. The government says that it is not its fault and that all currencies are losing against the dollar. *edit: It was actually lower on August 1998

Yet how come the Singapore Dollar is appreciating while the Rupiah is depreciating? Is it possible that countries that are attractive to foreign investments perform better?

Economic growth at its lowest level

The economic growth for the second quarter of 2015 was the slowest since 2009. Naturally, the government blames the World economy. The truth is Jokowi did not do anything to spur growth. On the contrary, he has turned off foreign investment with his nationalist and populist speeches. He has raised import tariffs on most goods, making the country more difficult to invest in and more bureaucratic.

In July, he was not ashamed to ask David Cameron to lower import duties for Indonesian goods in England, just a few days after raising them in Indonesia for British products.

Indonesia is less competitive compared to its neighbors Malaysia, Singapore or Thailand. It produces goods of lower quality for a higher price. Instead of trying to improve competitiveness with bold reforms and infrastructure spending, Jokowi is using protectionism: He raises the tax for imports, thus forcing Indonesians to buy lower quality products. This strategy has never worked but it is the best one to protect private interests and large conglomerates.

In the latest Global Competitiveness Survey from the World Economic Forum, released on September 29th 2015, Indonesia fell 3 places and it is the only country in ASEAN not to improve with the exception of Thailand.

Deterioration of its relationships with neighboring countries

Indonesia has damaged its relationship with several key partners, including Australia (who reduced its aid to Indonesia), Malaysia, Singapore, Holland, France and Brazil.

Jusuf Kalla has become a joke for declaring that Malaysia and Singapore should thank Indonesia for 11 months of fresh air in the middle of the haze crisis. He then asked for help, even though the government refused it a few days earlier.

While offending some partners, Indonesia has been very careful with other countries, particularly Saudi Arabia where two Indonesian maids have been executed and 100 pilgrims died following an accident.

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un was also awarded a peace prize by the sister of Megawati Sukarnoputri, the current head of the PDI-P. I wonder if she considers it is an ideal for Indonesia to emulate.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, Jokowi killed any hopes that a better system is possible in Indonesia. This feeling, combined with the country’s refusal to confront its past, in particular a true assessment of the Suharto years, makes the search for a strong man more appealing than ever. I hope Jokowi can prove me wrong in the next 4 years.

40 comments to '' Is Indonesia Going Backwards? "

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  1. The only thing positive is that Malaysia is even more f*cked up with Najib...

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  2. Excellent article, and unfortunately everything is true :(

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  3. Easy to criticize - do you pay your taxes yourself? Have KITAS or living with Socio-Cultural / Business Visa that requires runs to Singapore every few months? I think you know the answer. L'Indonesie, tu l'aimes ou tu la quittes. Easy. Simple. We don't say our govt is perfect - they are far from perfect and on the way there but if you only have the guts to criticize all while participating in that "foreigner doing nothing in Indonesia without actually contributing anything to the economy" just go fuck yourself out of the country.

    I know what you're doing --> trying to monetize this blog by your Google Ads --> an income that obviously won't go to taxes --> illegal finally.

    If you're not even capable to do a business yourself / employ people correctly / participate to the economy, frankly man, that's just bullshit you're saying.

    If someone comes to France from another country and bashing the govt without doing anything while cashing in Google Ads revenue - oblivious of taxes to pay, I'm sure you'd be one of the unhappy Frenchies who'd join the choir and chanting, in unison, "What the fuck is this person doing in my country?"

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    1. Yeah, easy to attack the author than to criticize the content which is, unfortunately valid.

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    2. Hi, actually I'm not living in Indonesia. I just come in holiday and spend money there, then make reviews about it. Can you tell me which law I'm breaking? The money I made last year from the website was so small that I didn't have to pay any taxes on it in France.

      I'm very interested when people criticize France. I listen to it and I try to understand. I don't think you need to feel insecure about some criticism.

      Finally, please stop your racist bullshit about "shut up or leave". There is no laws yet against foreigners criticizing the government of Indonesia. If your laws allow me to do it, who are you to tell me to shut up? Are you above the laws of your own country?

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    3. Love it or leave it, that is F-ed up. It is just because I love the country that it saddens me watching it going backward.
      Don't worry, foreigners are leaving alright, number of expats in Indonesia has been reducing for the last past years
      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-07/ten-office-boys-per-foreigner-indonesia-explains-new-labor-law#media-2

      Delete
    4. What about, do not see who is talking but see the CONTENT
      foreigner or not, as long as the subject of word is a FACT, what is the problem?
      Im Indonesian and i definitely agree with most words in this article

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Probably just as much as your comment :-)

      Can you tell me what you don't agree with?

      Delete
  5. This article has got some good points but unfortunately less than the wrongs

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    1. Hi please tell me which one is wrong so we can discuss it.

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  6. I agree with you. We were just too naive and innocent to believe one person could make so much a change.

    Unfortunately one man can/t do anything. It was just too early for him to become a president. He doesn't even have his own party, which makes a big difference in the political world. He has to juggle around to gain support from different parties.

    He himself looks like a good person, but he cannot do anything alone.

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  7. Jokowi did start something quite good this year, he created national social security BPJS

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    1. Is it Jokowi or SBY who started the BPJS? I think it was started before Jokowi took office...

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    2. Lea, u got a point! Mr. Joko is the one who ruins BPJS system (along with other things)
      As a i remember before the election, Jokowi gained popular support from expat communities.
      Now, u know... u get a ZONK

      Delete
  8. According to the bloomberg article above, there are about 55,000 foreigners living and working in Indonesia - that's a measly 0.00022% of the population. In contrast, there are more than 8 million Indonesians living and working abroad - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overseas_Indonesian . Just some perspective. We live in a globalized society where we appreciate each other instead of pointing fingers.

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  9. There is such a distortion between the way you are treated as a foreigner living in Indonesia (the Indonesian hospitality, the warm welcome, the smiles, interest for foreigner products) and the policy regarding the foreigners, the foreign investments. I am not sure the foreigners are such a big troublemaker as the politicians pretend.

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  10. 1. freedom of speech,
    don't give any shit about this kinda thing

    2. overt racism and xenophobia,
    welcome to the "PANCASILA" base country as its ideology,where:
    (1) god is always and always will be number 1 (because daa~~, its F'ing god)
    (2) "fair and civilized to all citizens" comes after this mystical being as 2nd in podium
    (3) unity kinda suck in 3rd place (well you know here, there unity suck, get over it!)
    (4) most of the "so-called"members of the house of representatives in "SENAYAN" and the F'ing government are shitheads and act (it's only an act, FFS) as representative of their people
    (5) social equity is the least appeal thing because it comes last
    so, yeah... make your own summary over this shitty ideology

    3. death penalty?
    barbaric, uncivilized etc... whatever you may call it, but who cares? many people die because of stupid things.. different country have different law and regulation, just dig it

    4. the KPK thingy...
    how classic, one who made the law also know how to break it.. one who made the law also one who CAN abort it

    5. sharia thingy...
    well, you can't argue with the country F'ing ideology, the almighty PANCASILA

    6. all time lowest rate ?
    lowest as nominal? kind of , lowest as real value? absolutely not.. try to learn it more, internet is a good source though :)

    7. lowest economic growth ?
    c'mon not this again... even china and EU are hitting the bottom -______-, just compare indonesia with other 20 countries in asia... you'll get your results.. why suddenly people become so blind and can't even seek for any comparison.. jeezz~~

    8. deterioration of its relationships with neighboring countries
    well, if you want to have power, you need to sacrifice something... in this case relationships with other countries... just dig it

    conclusion?
    is there any ? naah~~, everybody have their own respective argument, statement or whatever you want to call it.. just dig what you dig, give more and you will receive more.

    NOTE: sorry for my broken english, doing it on purpose dough~~

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    1. 1) It's ok if we don't have the same values. I think it is important and that being able to criticize a government leads to better governance.

      4) Thank you for correcting me. It was as high as 16650.00 IDR for a dollar in august 1998 indeed. No need to be condescending anyway.

      7) Vietnam's economy is improving. Cambodia's economy is improving. Laos as well and probably other countries I won't check all of them.

      All reports on the Indonesian economy will note that the lack of infrastructure spending and reforms is one of the main reasons it is not performing well. Sorry can't always accuse China when things are not working...

      8) Power? What has Indonesian gained from being rude to Singaporeans and Malaysians?

      Delete
    2. 1. freedom doesn't rhyme with free.. it's ok to critized but not to insult.. well lets agree to disagree

      4. sorry for my rudeness

      7. a. 0 to 1000 is easier to spot the progress than 500 to 1000.. indonesia is the 500..
      b. lets agree you can't fix 30something years of mistakes in a day.. many people try some of them doing well, some others not at all

      8. it's a satirical comments that i wrote earlier.. i appologize for the mispreception.

      Delete
  11. well, from Balikpapan I will say he will, mate---I hope Jokowi can prove me wrong in the next 4 years. if you are a foreigner, who just come to Indonesia for a holiday, and have such a big critics to our president and government--that won the election by 70 millions vote--still have a hope--why dont us--at least myself--who live here forever-----------------this is all i can write for now---i have my own opinion about the press freedom, alcohol ban, economy growth, the death penalties, and so on, all from 'orang daerah' perspective----too bad i have so limited time to write now----

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  12. As one of expats, I appreciate that Indonesia and Indonesian that give me a job here and make me money. If Indonesia is already developed enough, there is not any chance for expats to work here but I think that Indonesian should also accept and know that you have a lot of weak points which mean too much corrupted public officials, world worst traffic & transportation and ETC.

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  13. Hi thibaud, i always admire your blog which mostly acurate for entertainment & nigh live review. But have to disagree for most point in this article....
    1. Rupiah at the lowest point.... Have u noticed that rupiah is getting strong in the last few days? And its moving strong fast, so i say lets just wait till next year before you jugde. I strongly believe our currency will getting stronger from now on, especially after the infratructure, tax and stimulus program from jokowi start to move...
    2. KPK thing.... Yes there is a lot of political and personal interest from a lot of high rangking people inside jokowi supporting party group that play in KPK inccident, however president need poltical support so he could run his presidential program. He needs time especially in his early leadership to to establish himself and see, choose or get rid some good and bad people arround him. But i see a lot of positive thing after 6 month of his leadership like get rid the controversial Kabareskrim, stated directly that he rejected the UU KPK revision, replacing the new menkopolkam and menseskab, etc
    3. Economic at the lowest growth... Yes you are right the our goods are less competitive, our system is corrupt, our infrastructure is bad way way behind our neighboring contry. Thats why jokowi focusing so much to build a lot of infrastructure which stagnant under last regime leadership. Trans sumatra high way, 49 damn, power plant, solo-sentral jawa highway, harbour, fast train jakarta-bandung, etc and ITS COST a lot of money. Thats why for short term jokowi needs to balance (or posible to make positive) import-export devisa by increase tax for import goods or band some unecesery imported stuff (unless in very special condition) like banning imported union, cow,etc. Our fundamental economy so far have always been base on import, while our productivity is very low and can't compete with others. So its time for us to sacrifice for a while to make it right by building our infrastructe, system and other resources to make our national product productive and competitive.
    4. Jokowi are not friendly to foreigner/investor... I had some similar comment from some of my foreign expatriate friend. But what i've seen he seem very open with foreign investor for INFRASTRUCTuRE program. Fast train (china/japan), MRT (japan), high way, new horbour, power plant, etc mostly funded by foreign investor. Maybe he just been more selective to open an area where foreigner can be involved in area of work to protect indonesian field work.
    5. Freedom of speech... Well until now Indonesia still remain as a country with freedom of speech and practice democarcy better compare than our neighbour country like thailand, singapore or malaysia..
    Conclusion: I still belive that jokowi is the right man to bring indonesia forward, and i'll give him time in the next 2 years before make judgement if my opinion is right or wrong

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    Replies
    1. Hi Rena, thank you for your interesting comment... I'm still hopeful as well... Maybe the expectations were too high from the beginning, I imagine you cannot change everything in just a year... I also noticed that since the past few months, Jokowi has been more active on the economy... maybe I should have written the article a few months ago...

      Delete
  14. Hello - better that you don't stay in Indonesia as according to your point 1 - you won't be able to write for long...

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  15. There are a lot you don't comprehend from politics, either due minimum interaction in said world or naivety that makes your assumptions hilarious.

    I would recommend sticking to your day job, i.e. nightlife reviews, which as others have stated is something you do well.

    There's nothing wrong with being politically ignorant per se, but it mostly rubs people the wrong way coming from an expatriate let alone seasonal tourist. The problem being not few media disinformation has saturated world press on the country since her independence, none of which have been outed voluntary, yet the people coming from said Western countries, ignorant of their own governments' continual manipulation in the region, point fingers as if the matter is black and white.

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    1. Hi, thank you for your comment... Please stick to the facts, without the personal attacks... What do you find hilarious, ignorant or incorrect in my post?

      Delete
    2. The glaring oversight is your interpretation of foreign affairs.

      Take capital punishment in South East Asia - a simple Google will show you it is the most effective deterrent for drug abuse in the region and main reason for our world low rates. Fact, whether you oppose or not.

      Now the political angle you missed is that it is enforced by all South East Asia heavyweights, not just Indonesia, including Singapore, but you don't get this amount of media flack when they enforce theirs. Because they are part of the same Commonwealth Australia is.

      Another fact is from the start, Australian law enforcement already knew these dealers would be apprehended in Indonesia, while they were in transit, but opted not to arrest them in their home soil with her lenient punishments, instead hand them over to Indonesia, a country already known for capital punishment for decades.

      Nothing was spur of the moment, unless your assumption is that it was the first day of work for the entire Australian law enforcement agencies that particular day. The politics were and continue to be deliberate, and surprisingly within the informational grasp of anyone actually seeking to find the truth.

      The only place this farce resonates is in the target minds of impressionable people as yourself - even the Australian government has backtracked so fast from the incident and their empty threats because it was just that - you won't find a single politician touching that subject in their local and international media because apparently after the media saturation, the majority of their population agreed on either the execution or the fact law enforcement bungled it up and tried to play the blaming game.

      If you want more examples, obviously you're out of the loop, but I wouldn't mind filling in some holes as time permits.

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    3. 1) Please indicate to me which study you are referring to which proves that capital punishment is the most effective deterrent for drug abuse in SEA.

      If you don't have any data to back your assumptions, then your "facts" are just an opinion.

      2) How can you compare Singapore with Indonesia? The two countries are absolute opposite.

      The reason Singapore has low drug crimes is the same reason they have no dirty paper on the floor. It is a well-run and rich city with almost no corruption.

      3) Singapore that you present as an example has actually revised its drug laws in 2012, lifting the mandatory death penalty for drug offenses. They found out that it was not effective to deter smugglers.

      4) The last time Singapore executed a foreigner was 10 years ago, a Vietnamese - Australian named Van Tuong Nguyen. There was no social media at the time, yet it created an uproar just like it did with Indonesia last April.

      Maybe that's the reason why Singapore has not executed any foreigner since?

      Malaysia has hundreds of foreign nationals on death row as well. Why do you think they are not being executed?

      Jokowi executed 12 foreigners in a few months. What do you expect? It created the kind of shit storm Singapore and Malaysia are trying to avoid.

      5) My point about the death penalty was not so much about how effective it is to fight drugs. It is an endless debate and I didn't want to get into it. My point was about how the execution of foreigners was used as a show to boost the popularity of Jokowi. I thought it made Indonesia looked like a country where life and death decisions are made without a full thinking process. A bit like the USA when George W Bush was president. There were so many irregularities and issues regarding the process of each inmates (not only the Australians) that it also exposed how weak the Indonesian justice system is. These are the kind of dysfunctionalities you normally don't want the whole world to see.

      6) Please give me more examples because I don't really see your point and what you are trying to say. You haven't proved me wrong, instead you have gone off-tracks and lost yourself in the way.

      Delete
  16. I’m not in the habit of spoon-feeding readily accessible information – if you can’t Google world drug abuse rates, see where Indonesia and the rest of South East Asia who use capital punishment are, as opposed to your own country and top ranking Australia, I really can’t help you.

    It is true Singapore is different than Indonesia, much like France is. Finding five million people who pick up after themselves, in the world’s fourth largest population of over two hundred million is easier than, say, finding a clean public space in Paris - believe me, I’ve tried. I can understand, however, that it doesn’t really give your argument the gravity you want.

    Singapore’s notorious reputation with dangling drug dealers at dawn precedes them, and causality dictates that smugglers would venture into the next opportunity, that being Indonesia – even you should be able to grasp the chronology of that logic, why Indonesia is in focus now, and Singapore before. I would assume that to them even a bullet to the heart is fair risk compared to a fractured neck and soiling yourself in your last minutes.

    Your sensation of feeling lost is on you, not on the information given. You readily gloss over the fact that the executions impacted Australia in the opposite way originally intended by theirs and international media, adding fuel to the fire that is their government’s inaptitude and lack of tact in negotiating with valuable neighbours, resulting in the vote of no confidence which saw their leadership change just last month – this from a country whose population inhabits a land mass larger than yours. You then conveniently assume law and order should be a certain way in a country whose population is fourfold yours, when your own is filled with nepotism, corruption, and the accept sex scandals that colour French life – where is the logic of arguing for change when you have none to show yourself?

    If that isn’t hilarious, I don’t know what is.

    Similarly hilarious and another example as per the request is free speech. Charlie Hebdo is hailed as a beacon of free speech, the poster child of the modern fight against oppression, yet racism which is basically the same – free speech inciting hate, is not. If you can’t see the hypocrisy of approving sheeple fodder to justify ostracizing one minority based on religion but then using same argument to oppose racial hate, where is logic that you supposedly base your arguments on?

    There is no such thing as freedom of speech, which is why real politicians and diplomats study their trade at higher education and those who don’t try to sell you a cherry-picking variety and wonder why they can’t get along with their biggest economic partners. This is the difference between an Asian view and a Western one, the more eloquent and harder to master being the previous.

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    1. 1) Well I googled and this is what I saw:

      Number of Drug Related Death in 2012 by Countries from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes:

      The Netherland had 12.5 death per million people from drugs, France 7.1, Italy 9.4, Portugal 3.8.

      China had 29.8, Malaysia 23.4, Vietnam 36.

      Other country who apply the death penalty for drug smugglers: Iran had 69.1

      Indonesia had a 48 per million death rate based on 33 people per day as claimed by Jokowi.

      At best the data is inconclusive. Anyway, again this was not my point as I know debate about the death penalty is endless because it is impossible to prove anything. That's why I had carefully avoided it in my article.

      2) There is such thing as free speech in France, it is defined by a law that was voted by our parliament. It has limits such as racist speech, hate speech, insults, etc.

      Saying there is no freedom of speech because there are limitations to it is like saying that there is no freedom because you don't have the freedom to kill or steal.

      Each countries has its own restrictions. Restrictions that protect individuals or minorities are good in my opinion. Restrictions that protect a President are questionable and that was my point (especially when you already have laws protecting from insults and defamation).

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    2. It seems we have a language problem – drug abuse does not always end in death, but death from drugs is always from its abuse. The previous is what I have been pointing out, while you seem to want to carry on with the latter, which bears little consequence seeing that death is an end in itself, to abuse which can carry on much longer and logically supersedes it in priority …

      As for the French, just because a people put something into law, doesn’t mean it then becomes free from the political quagmire your freedom of speech is in. By your own admission, hate is prohibited, but Charlie Hebdo can prance and waltz around it as it pleases because your warmongering ally the United States is peddling Freedom and Peace through military aggression, for a national incident whose death toll pales in comparison to its retribution and whose additional millions of displaced, and fleeing Muslims are calculatedly feeding back to the perpetuated circle of xenophobic sentiment caused by the unjust war in the first place. People like yourself readily gloss over that fact – just like the grisly and fruitless Vietnam campaign your government had her allies partake, with its death toll and collateral damage, but remember World War II like it was yesterday.

      So you sit there and write a piece as though you have a hold of past and current world politics, or even an idea of its future course, and wonder why we Asians, find your opinions both amusing and asinine.

      The difference between Indonesia and France is that we don’t readily take up arms for an unknown cause. We are nobody’s bitches, matter of factly. With a World Military Ranking in the top 15 and above Australia’s we have no impulse to be the aggressor – all the military policies you see from this country is internal, as of the 1960s, which much longer than even your own government can boast.

      If you can understand that little nugget, maybe you can understand why we pay little attention to Western rants – we got here by ourselves, unlike the three larger populations in the world which owe their beginnings to either a large land mass, British colonialism benefits, or both. We created the non-alignment movement, where true democracy is found in one country one vote, yet we receive flack from people like you who support a supposed democratic world body that has vetoes and member states taking military matters into their hands. Even through the military embargoes we’ve endured through the decades, we still have a formidable land, sea, and air presence to deter those who steal our soil, regardless who their backers are.

      You tell me – how is that not hilarious?

      Delete
    3. 1) Sorry I don't understand your point in the first paragraph. It seems you cannot shut up when you are wrong so you are just putting words together.

      2) Your second paragraph is barely understandable. You mention Charlie Hebdo, US Invasions, Vietnam wars, Muslim casualties (which war?), etc... Are you a troll? What is your point?

      3) "we asians" : Let me tell you that there is nothing in common between Asians apart that you live in the same part of the world.

      4) Fourth and fifth paragraph: What is your point?

      My overall feeling is that since you cannot take some criticism, you have to find someone to blame for everything that's wrong in your country.

      I love Indonesia contrary to what you may think. You are seeing an expression of disappointment with the first year of Jokowi as a declaration of war. I wrote this article because I hope for the best for Indonesia, not because I want to humiliate it. My point is that I'm disappointed with Jokowi, just like many Indonesians who had voted for him. I was hoping he would shake things up a bit more, the same way he did in Jakarta. I think he did the opposite and I explained why. That's all.

      Delete
  17. ... Here's some advice, find an English speaking adult and have them read to explain to you.

    It's one thing to be fully ignorant and another to stumble on language, and yet another to be all of the above.

    You point is to comment on something you have little knowledge of, with the arrogance of someone who thinks they have anything better or a position to judge when their whole house of cards political knowledge and own government's performance in the world says otherwise.

    Even the Tukang Satay has an opinion, good for them. Is it comprehensible, not likely. Stick to your day job. Simple.

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    1. It is amusing that you prove again your inability to self-criticism. Instead of questioning your writing, you blame others for not being able to understand you.

      Let me break it to you: Your have good vocabulary, probably from a Western education paid by corruption, but you are not making any point, you are unable to stay on topic and you cannot have a logical reasoning.

      You hide this behind arrogance, some insults, whatabouteries and a lot of bullshit.

      Again, please back up your claims with facts and data from reliable sources. Until now you haven't been able to refute any of my arguments nor to oppose your own to to my opinion that Jokowi is a disappointment for many.

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    2. Let’s not be bitter about the education you never had – with a little bit of perseverance, you can attain a passable level of English mastery, at the very least …

      Unlike yourself, the burden of an academic degree, the profession it entails and being a native speaker of this language we’re using, I’m not afforded the luxury of haphazardly spewing words together, hoping some stick and cover the gaping omissions in one’s logic.

      I would suggest you re-read this exchange, preferably with someone who actually masters this language you’re using, and hopefully they will help you finally realize that my points here have all been answers to your questions - it’s only you who can’t actually read them. Moreover, the fact you can’t find ways to address your incompetence in forming arguments pertaining fields you enthusiastically write about but gloss over when countered is telltale of your naivety in anything political and that you are out of your league – it wouldn’t surprise me if you no experience in this field in your home country, or anywhere else for that matter.

      Like I already mentioned, leave the politics to we professionals and keep your day job – but if you’re adamant to fake it until you actually make it, I recommend studying up first and taking on a field of politics closer to home and your comfort zone, if the term can even be applied here.

      That being said, feel free to give the last word another run – it is your website after all.

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    3. I'm still waiting for your arguments. Can you summarize why my article is wrong and ignorant? I can understand the economist and the harvard business review... there is no reason I couldn't understand you. Make an effort. How do you think Indonesia is currently making progress? How do you think Jokowi is helping Indonesia catch up with Singapore?

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  18. Are you going to give Jokowi the same amount of time to show his work and judge him as a president of a vast country of 250 million population and reverse all the wrongs in the last 70 years? You know it takes nearly a year just to build a single regular house. Jokowi surely needs a lot more time than that. Jokowi is like Obama in 2009. He is inheriting a country in a big mess.

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    1. My article is starting to be invalid as Jokowi seems to have a different mentality since the past few months....He released his stimulus packages, tried to adopt a more friendly approach with foreign investors, eased imports and announced a moratorium on the death penalty... I hope he will continue making changes!

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