The explosive power of Jokowi’s jacket

2016_11_05_15418_1478314566-_large (For Indonesian version, click here) 

Jakarta ground to a halt when tens of thousands staged a protest demonstration outside the Presidential Palace last Friday. The protest was mostly peaceful but when the sun went down there were some sporadic incidents of violence, raising for some the specter of the riots of 1998.

All Friday, the day of the demonstration, Netizens were focused on the goings on at the demonstration but shortly after midnight after President Jokowi held a press conference about the demonstration, the focus shifted dramatically to an unlikely object. Jokowi’s jacket.

Throughout Friday, social media was filled with comments from users with hashtags such as #demo411, #demo4november, and #obrolanpendemo.

Twitter was full of praises for the demonstrators for conducting their protest in an orderly and peaceful manner. Some shared photographs of the ocean of protesters on Jalan MH Thamrin, Merdeka Square, the National Monument, and around the National Palace. Others posted photographs of volunteers carrying plastic bags for trash.

@poetrimutiara said he was, “grateful that #demo411 proceeded safely, peacefully and orderly even though most people thought they would be merely provocative or acting on behalf of political interests.”

https://twitter.com/poetrimutiara/status/794502449750913024

 

@nihaqus wrote: “Greetings to my Muslim brothers who are joining the rally. Show the face of Islam that is peaceful, not the one that is full of curses and inflammatory words. # Demo411 ”

https://twitter.com/nihaqus/status/794370599103496192

 

@fahrul_anams added: “Thank God Today’s demo was smooth and peaceful. A man is also seen carrying plastic garbage banks so that there is no littering.”

https://twitter.com/fahrul_anams/status/794491274787069952

 

The amicable feeling about the demonstration turned tense after evening prayers when some of the demonstrators massed outside the entrance to the presidential palace and insisted on being let in. The police permit they had obtained had stipulated that they needed to disperse at 6 PM. Some protesters were detained by the security forces. This was followed by the shoving and throwing of water bottles at the police. The commotion increased when some police cars were torched.

Denied entry into the palace, some demonstrators moved toward the parliament building in Senayan via Jalan Sudirman. As a crowd massed there two riots broke out in Luar Batang and Penjaringan. There was a group of people who intercepted cars and looted a supermarket. But the police acted swiftly and the unrest was contained soon after without a chance of spreading.

@RadioElshinta reported: “LIVE NOW! Jakarta Military Commander, Major General Teddy Lhaksamana: Officers have pacified Luar Batang, it is now safe, don’t worry.”

https://twitter.com/RadioElshinta/status/794561043921915904

 

In spite of this the rumors flew fast and furious that there was riots and looting had broken out elsewhere, worrying some Jakarta residents that they may see a repeat of the 1998 riots.

At this juncture Netizens introduced the #SafetyCheckJkt hashtag on Twitter, so that all users can inform each other which areas are safe and which not.

@Pandji wrote: “Monitor #safetycheckjkt to know the status of places in in Jakarta.”

https://twitter.com/pandji/status/794555211452858368

 

In spite of this rumors kept flying and tensions escalated. Then, at midnight President Jokowi held a press conference that lasted five minutes.

Jokowi assured everyone that things were under control. He spoke about the demonstrations and the legal process that Ahok would have to undergo. He also urged all demonstrators that were still on the streets to return home.

What was the reaction on social media? Instead of commenting on the content of the speech, Netizens focused instead on the jacket worn by the president that night.

@deroswunga: “The conclusion from listening to @jokowi’s press conference: finding out the brand of the jacket worn by him.”

https://twitter.com/deroswunga/status/794596646604525568

 

@kmingyyu asked, “what is the brand of Jokowi’s bomber jacket?”

https://twitter.com/kmingyyu/status/794739262176403460

 

@miund had an answer: “yes, it was Pull & Bear, people. chill. ”

https://twitter.com/miund/status/794593509898522625

 

@bangaip, however thought differently: “His bomber jacket was from Zara, I think.”

https://twitter.com/bangaip/status/794592088671199232

 

To settle this difference of opinion @amrazing had a japat (Indonesian for poll): “Okay. Let’s settle this with a poll: what brand was Jokowi’s jacket?”

https://twitter.com/aMrazing/status/794602965566795776

 

The obsession with Jokowi’s jacket went up a notch when his son Kaesang (@kaesangp) wrote: “Anyone wants to know where to buy the jacket check out @ markobar1996 @MOMMILK_SOLO @CeKopi @Pastabuntel @Chilli_Pari @CakarDheer.”

https://twitter.com/kaesangp/status/794735215272869888

 

This status was retweeted 276 times.

Why were Netizens so engrossed with Jokowi’s jacket?

@teguhwicaksono said: “Because people are tired of the same tired, negative information so any amusing distraction is welcomed.”

https://twitter.com/teguhwicaksono/status/795459803304763392

 

@devieriana wrote:”Because we are bored with violence and need a picnic.”

https://twitter.com/devieriana/status/795468631261859840

 

@thinpices “Tired of seeing those who use religion for political purposes.”

https://twitter.com/thinspices/status/795462177570242561

 

@amasna said: “because the situation needs some refreshing.”

https://twitter.com/amasna/status/795461121813553152

 

@arundhatishint_ wrote, “because the jacket the President wore has been a hit among youths this past year.”

https://twitter.com/arundhatishint_/status/795460951537422336

 

@DollySW Account states, “Because it made people curious. In the end I bought the jacket.”

https://twitter.com/DollySW/status/795461262482149376

 

The jacket conversations were a windfall for three Zara outlets in Pondok Indah Mall, Grand Indonesia and Plaza Indonesia where their entire stocks of Jokowi bomber jackets were sold out. cwb1ratveaera6v

This priority of trivia over serious issues is an interesting reflection of how the young people in Indonesia think and react to politics and violence around them. Are they so jaded by the politicking that they need to seek other distractions? Or are they so shallow-minded that a garment takes precedence over important affairs of the State?

 

Photo: Antara and @bangaip

 

 

Lebaran Kuda SBY Jadi Kelakar

kudasby

(Untuk versi Bahasa Inggris, klik di sini)

 

Sekarang adalah Tahun Monyet dalam Kalender Tiongkok. Namun di Indonesia, orang justru sedang demam “Tahun Kuda”. Ini gara-gara pada Senin lalu Jokowi dan Prabowo melakukan “diplomasi kuda” dan Rabu kemarin muncul istilah “lebaran kuda.”

“Lebaran kuda” dan “Pak SBY” memicu histeria pengguna media sosial dan masuk trending topic Twitter setelah Ketua Umum Partai Demokrat Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono menggelar konferensi pers di kediamannya, di Cikeas.

Dalam acara tersebut, SBY menyatakan bahwa pemerintah harus mendengar aspirasi masyarakat yang akan berunjuk rasa pada 4 November menuntut agar proses hukum terhadap Gubernur DKI Jakarta Basuki T. Purnama–yang dituduh menistakan agama–tetap dilanjutkan.

Yudhoyono menyatakan aksi unjuk rasa besar pasti dipicu oleh suatu sebab. Apabila tuntutan si pengunjuk rasa tak pernah diakomodir, unjuk rasa akan tetap ada. “Barangkali karena mereka merasa yang diprotes itu tuntutannya tidak didengar. Kalau tuntutannya tidak didengar, sampai lebaran kuda bakal ada unjuk rasa,” kata Yudhoyono.

Istilah “lebaran kuda” itulah yang membuat ranah Twitter tertawa, karena secara resmi hanya ada dua jenis lebaran, yaitu Idulfitri dan Iduladha. Orang Indonesia biasanya memakai istilah “lebaran monyet” untuk bercanda saja, bukan “lebaran kuda,” yang sesungguhnya tidak pernah ada.

“Sejak dulu gw tau ada sebutan Lebaran Monyet. Klo lebaran kuda br tau dr pak SBY nih :))) .. tulis akun @x_catra

 

Akun @annisanggaraa menulis, “Karena pak SBY kita akhirnya punya lebaran kuda yihaa

 

Akun @buset1975 bahkan membuat meme dan menulis, “Duileee mentang2 mo lebaran kuda.”

 

Akun @digembok menulis, “Selamat Hari Raya Lebaran Kuda -dinasti cikeas #SBYPanik

 

Sinisme dan kelakar yang muncul itu merupakan bentuk prasangka publik yang mencurigai Yudhoyono sedang membantu usaha anaknya.

Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY), anak sulung Yudhoyono, adalah salah satu kandidat gubernur DKI Jakarta. Menurut hasil sementara lembaga-lembaga, popularitas Agus masih di bawah gubernur petahana Basuki T Purnama (Ahok). Seandainya Ahok diadili, otomatis peluang Agus membesar.

Ini seperti yang ditulis akun @KeongKecill milik Andika M Halimaking, “Mungkin sby takut anaknya kalah makanya dia turun gunung :v 10 tahun masih kurang #SBYsudahlah

 

Namun, para pendukung dan simpatisan Yudhoyono mengingatkan agar netizens tak terkecoh oleh lelucon lebaran kuda. Mereka menilai bahwa pemimpinnya sedang mengingatkan aparat hukum agar menjalankan tugas menangani perkara dugaan penistaan agama oleh Ahok. Jadi jangan dirisak.

Akun @antikonsultanpr menulis, “Jadi sekarang skenario konsultanpolitik2 pemerintah mau spin SBY biang kerok kasus penistaan agama oleh Ahok, gile lu ndro …”

 

Akun @Bangsa2000 milik Idan Setyawan menulis, “Ada saja pihak Yang menyudutkan.SBY Setelah Putra sulungnya AHY maju Pilkada, bentuk ketakutan sudah melanda dan panik.”

 

Apa pun komentar publik, sulit dimungkiri bahwa pernyataan Yudhoyono di depan publik berpotensi menaikkan lagi suhu politik. Pada saat situasi sedang memanas seperti sekarang, pernyataan Yudhoyono bisa diartikan lain.

Dia seolah mendukung dugaan bahwa Ahok bersalah telah menista agama dan layak dihukum. Padahal sebagai tokoh nasional dan ketua partai politik besar, Yudhoyono sebaiknya mengambil posisi netral dan tak memberikan pernyataan yang provokatif.

Padahal menurut akun @sy_haris milik peneliti senior dan analis politik dari Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (LIPI) Syamsuddin Haris yang memiliki 4.800 pengikut, “Dalam kondisi politik yang sedang keruh, para pemimpin politik dan agama mestinya memberi pernyataan menyejukkan, bukan malah memprovokasi.”

 

Pernyataan Presiden Indonesia ke-6 kemarin menimbulkan sejumlah pertanyaan di tengah memanasnya situasi politik menjelang pilkada serentak.

Apakah hukum akan ditegakkan setelah SBY menggunakan haknya untuk berpendapat? Apakah dia sedang berusaha mendongkrak peluang anaknya dalam kontestasi Pilkada Jakarta? Ataukah SBY berlebihan, bukannya membantu menyelesaikan, melainkan malah menambah masalah?

Bagaimana menurut Anda?

 

Did the Horse make a monkey out of SBY?

kudasby

(For Indonesian version, click here)

 

It might be the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese cosmology but where Indonesians are concerned this might as well be the Year of the Horse.

Hot on the heels of the show of Equestrian Diplomacy by Jokowi and Prabowo on Monday, canters in a new horsey concept “Lebaran Kuda” (Literally, the holy day of Eid for Horses).

The phrase sent Netizens into hysterics and propelled Lebaran Kuda and Pak SBY into Trending Topics on Twitter all Wednesday.

The source of all this mirth came from a press conference held by Democratic party Head and former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at his country home in Cikeas.

He told the media that the Government needed to listen to the aspirations of the people who would be demonstrating on November 4 to demand that Jakarta Governor Basuki Purnama or Ahok, be legally prosecuted for disrespecting islam.

Yudyohono said that the huge demonstration must have a cause. If this is not accommodated there will be further demonstrations. “Probably this is because the protesters felt that their complaints haven’t been heard. If their complaints are not heard we will have demonstrations until the cows come home (Ok, this is tricky, the equivalent English phrase is “till the cows come home” but in Indonesian it is usually expressed in using another animal, the monkey as in Lebaran Monyet or the Eid of Monkeys).

Yudohono’s choice of animal, the horse as in Lebaran Kuda, reaped scorn and derision from Netizens. As far as Indonesians are concerned there are two official “eid” holidays Idulfitri and Iduladha. Colloquially Indonesians jokingly use the phrase “Lebaran Monyet” but no one says Lebaran Kuda.

“From before I know only of Lebaran Monyet. I’ve only known that there’s a Lebaran Kuda from SBY :000,” says X-catra

 

@annisanggaraa wrote: “Because Pak SBY owns a lebaran kuda yihaa

 

@buset1975 came up with a meme and wrote: “Wow! We are about to have a Lebaran Kuda.”

 

@digembok was more acidic: “Selamat Hari Raya Lebaran Kuda -dinasti cikeas #SBYPanik

 

Cynicism and derision that appeared most probably because the netizens felt that Yudhoyono’s statement was aimed at helping his eldest son,Harimurti Agus Yudhoyono (AHY) who is one of the candidates contesting the upcoming gubernatorial elections against Ahok.

According to several polls, Argus’s popularity is just below Ahok so if Ahok was taken out of the race through being found guilty of blasphemy, Agus’s electoral chances will be greatly enhanced.

Andika M Halimaking (@KeongKecill) observed: “Maybe SBY is afraid of his son losing and that’s why he came down the mountain :v. Still lacking 10 years #SBYsudahlah

 

Yudhoyono supporters and sympathisers, however, wasted no time telling Netizens not to be affected by jokes about Lebaran Kuda. SBY, they said, was only reminding law enforment officers

To process the allegations of blaspheny against Ahok. So he should not be bullied.

@antikonsultanpr wrote: “So now we have a scenario in which the government’s political consultants want to spin it so that SBY is blamed for Ahok’s prosecution. You guys are crazy…”

 

Idan Setyawan (@Bangsa2000) added: “There are forces that want to corner SBY after his eldest son makes progress in the gubernatorial elections. Looks like fear and panic has begun to spread.”

 

Others said that it can’t be denied that SBY’s statement has the potential of raising political tensions since he seemed to support the contention that Ahok is guilty of blasphemy and eligible to be sentenced. As a national figure and the head of a political party SBY would be better off adopting a neutral rather than provocative position regarding Ahok.

Such views were forwarded by people such as LIPI senior political analyst Syamsuddin Haris @sy_haris (4.800 followers): . “In a an atmosphere of heightening political tensions political and religious leaders should issue statements to calm people down, not provoke them”

 

All this raises important questions on the role of ex Presidents in an atmosphere of heightening political tensions surrounding the gubernatorial elections.

Was SBY right to speak up so that then law would be enforced? Was he doing it to increase the electoral chances of his son? Or did he step out of line and added to the problems rather than help solve them?

What do you think?

 

Political horseplay: The Equestrian Diplomacy of Jokowi and Prabowo

kudajokowi1

(For Indonesian version, click here)

We continue with an occassional series of posts on what’s happening in the Netizenry of Indonesia. In today’s post, Ndoro Kakung assesses the impact of Jokowi’s horse-riding diplomacy on the Netizens and their reaction toward the political horseplay.

 

Indonesia’s social media users were all abuzz when President Jokowi pranced into the homestead of Gerindra party chairman Prabowo Subianto in Bogor on Monday.

It was the second public meeting between the political rivals since their showdown during the presidential elections in 2014. This meeting of political elites propelled the word “Prabowo” into a Trending Topic on Twitter for most of the day. The responses were generally positive but some Netizens read much more into the meeting than others.

Both Jokowi and Prabowo supporters seemed pleased that the political opponents were able to rise above their rivalry and maintain cordial relations but Jokowi supporters also interpreted the move as evidence of the President’s political acumen.

@zie_ananta, for example, said: “Pak @jokowi @prabowo I like to see this photo (of Jokowi and Prabowo on horseback). I’m afraid to ride a horse, but I like the hats you wear.”

 

@Yosefen_A, “Jokowi’s passage to Hambalang is like a war general riding into the enemy’s camp. Testing the courage of the opponent’s commander. ”

Other Netizens said Indonesia is fortunate to have Jokowi and Prabowo as leaders because usually opposing political elites who’ve clashed with each other rarely patched up (silathurami) by visiting each other’s official residences. They named former Presidents Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Megawati as examples of leaders who could not come to friendly terms after the Chairman of the Democratic Party defeated the Chairman of the PDIP in the 2004 presidential elections.

From the perspective of political communications, Jokowi’s “safari” to Prabowo’s home seems to have paid off with Netizens looking at Jokowi as a politician not only given to political rhetoric but willing to take pains to nurture his relationship with a political opponent by visiting his house. This further reinforces Jokowi’s intended image as a Man of Action.

@ubegebe1 (13,000 followers) said: The javanese are playing “high context” politics. Jokowi meets Prabowo. This is folowed by SBY meeting Wiranto

 

What Jokowi’s gesture seems to have achieved is a lowering of tensions between Netizen supporters of the Jokowi and Prabowo camps, who have been polarized and at each other’s virtual throats since the 2014 elections.

Former Golkar official Indra J Piliang, @IdraJPiliang, for instance tweeted: “The horse-riding diplomacy conducted by Jokowi and Prabowo should cool the rising political temperature. Make a dialogue! ”

 

Supporters from both camps hailed both leaders as statesmen who prioiritzed the national interest over their own.

@ferrywar, an account belonging to architect Ferry Wardiman, proclaimed the event as, “One humble step by Jokowi met with statesman-like positivity by Prabowo, visible to everyone anyone outside the circle.”

 

@DheaMerlinda added: “We are proud of you General for being statesman-like. Although you’ve been betrayed you do not bear a grudge @Prabowo

 

Radio Most Medan broadcaster Arief Lubis (@arief_badil) praised Jokowi as a humble statesman who took time to pay a courtesy call to Prabowo

 

The positive reaction of the Netizens was probably influenced by media reports that carried stories and photographs portraying the meetings as relaxed, intimate and familial.

This was also the impression that the Presidential Staff (@KSPgoid ) wanted to convey as seen in its tweet, accompanied with a photo of both men on horseback: “The intimate atmosphere when President @jokowi visited with @prabowo at his residence, Koneng Bojong, Bogor #BertemuPrabowo”

Many social media users shared the Government’s tweeted photo of both men on horseback, giving credence to the belief that Jokowi’s team are masters at political communication, through use of gestures and images, all assisted by social media.

jokowi-bowo

Photo: Kantor Staff Presiden