Where did Jokowi’s Lead Go?

Incumbent Jokowi was looking good, even unassailable, in the runup for the Presidential elections.

He had a slick social media campaign, he was popular with a common touch, he could claim credit for massive infrastructure successes from Jakarta’s MRT to toll roads linking cities in Java and in Eastern Indonesia. His supporters had much to crow about.

And crow they did. It is impossible to wade into social media without coming across the snarky, witty comments and memes generated by the Jokowi supporters. Generally one gets a feeling that they look down on the other camp, dismissing them as clumsy, crass, corrupt and beyond the pale.

In the eyes of those sympathetic to Jokowi – and let’s be honest, most of us who pride ourselves as being progressive, modern and liberal fall into this category – Prabowo’s campaign seemed like an exercise in futility. Prabowo was not displaying much enthusiasm as a presidential candidate, his campaign lacked funds because his brother Hashim had said he wasn’t funding him anymore, he had an unholy alliance with the extremists behind the 212 movements, the same guys clamoring for  Indonesia to become a Caliphate.

And to add strength to that perception Prabowo consistently fumbled. His premature defense of Ratna Sarumpaet as a victim of violence before it emerged that the injuries on her face were self-inflicted once from a plastic surgery procedure; his ignorance of Unicorns; his outrages statements about foreigners.

Yet, with less than a week to go before to the elections here we are, with the more reliable polls suggesting that he and Jokowi are running neck to neck with an even larger portion of the electorate choosing not to vote or spoiling their votes.

If this is true, then the question that needs to be asked is what went wrong for the Jokowi camp? How did they squander the advantage and lead that they had at the start of the campaign?

From a communications perspective, it would seem that Jokowi and his supporters had been preaching to the wrong choir.

The Millennials form the largest voting bloc in this round of elections so any politician worth his salt would definitely count them. Jokowi is no exception. The Millennials that Jokowi has been courting, however, are those who belong to the smart set. They are the ones who very much believe in entrepreneurship, the creative economy, having a shot at being unicorns, look on SXSW as the Davos of the entrepreneur. They believe in the goodness of globalization.

They are the ones who would be impressed by Jokowi’s motorcycling stunt for the opening of the Asian Games, his propensity to take selfies, his vlogging. His love for heavy metal and his chops riding customized motorcycles.

Prabowo, however, has been playing the role of High Priest to the Discontents. These are the young Indonesians unable or unwilling to get onto the Hipster treadmill. Success at being funded by venture capitalists do not really appeal to them so they seek alternative means to validate themselves.

Many of them who are Muslim turn to Hijrah, the process of becoming closer to God and Mecca instead of Ted Talks and Davos.

Other young Indonesians with low religious inclination are similarly vulnerable to feeling alienated in Jokowi’s Indonesia that has fallen way short of their expectations. LGBT Indonesians talk extensively of going Golput because of the increasing intolerance that has festered since Jokowi took office. Appointing Maruf Amin only makes it worse.

Those who feel strongly about principles and rule of law are similarly disappointed as the rights of minorities and others are trampled on. A sizeable number of supporters of the Tolak Reklamasi movement in Bali, for instance, are saying they too would go Golput.

The big question now is what would happen to Indonesia after the elections, regardless of who wins. Would the victor end up with an Indonesia where business returns to usual after the excitement of a presidential election; or will he face a permanently polarised society with a rising level of discontent.

If the latter happens, then as Jokowi so sassily observed at an IMF gathering in Indonesia not so long ago: Winter is coming.

Written by Ong Hock Chuan, Maverick Managing Partner

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?