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.

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Ketika jaket Jokowi menyihir publik

2016_11_05_15418_1478314566-_large(Untuk versi Bahasa Inggris, klik di sini)

Demonstrasi besar-besaran terjadi pada Jumat (4/11/2016) pekan lalu. Aksi unjuk rasa itu berlangsung aman dan damai, awalnya, lalu berubah sedikit rusuh pada malam hingga menjelang subuh. Tapi tiba-tiba perhatian netizens berubah saat Presiden Joko Widodo (Jokowi) pada saat konferensi pers menyikapi demonstrasi itu, Sabtu dinihari. Mereka membicarakan bomber jacket yang dikenakan presiden.

Sepanjang Jumat itu, media sosial ramai oleh komentar para pengguna mengenai jalannya aksi unjuk rasa menolak penistaan agama oleh Gubernur DKI Jakarta Basuki Tjahaja Purnama. Ini terlihat dari kemunculan beberapa tagar, seperti #demo411, #demo4november, dan #obrolanpendemo.

Linimasa Twitter diwarnai oleh obrolan pengguna yang memberikan penghargaan pada demonstrasi yang berlangsung secara tertib dan damai. Beberapa orang membagikan foto-foto lautan pengunjuk rasa di sepanjang jalan MH Thamrin, Medan Merdeka, Monas, dan Istana Negara. Beberapa akun bahkan menyebarkan foto-foto peserta demo yang membawa kantong plastik untuk tempat sampah.

Akun @poetrimutiara menyatakan, “dan bersyukur #demo411 ini berlangsung aman, damai dan tertib..tidak spt kebykan org yg menganggap provokasi belaka atau kepentingan politik.”

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

 

Akun @nihaqus menulis, “Slmt brdemo bg saudaraku ssama Muslim. Tunjukkan muka Islam yg damai bukan dengan sumpah serapah dan kata-kata yg tak mnyejukkan. #demo411

 

Akun @fahrul_anams menyatakan, “Alhamdulillah Demo Hari Ini Lancar Dan Damai, Seorang Bapak Bawa Kantong Plastik Shg Tdk Nyampah.”

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

 

Suasana yang sedikit membuat nyaman warga kota sepanjang siang hingga sore hari berubah menegangkan selepas Isya, ketika sebagian peserta demonstrasi bertahan di depan pintu Istana dan mendesak untuk masuk. Padahal aturannya, semua bentuk demonstrasi harus berhenti pada pukul 18.00. Pengunjuk rasa ditahan oleh aparat keamanan. Terjadi saling dorong dan lempar botol air mineral. Keributan kian mencemaskan ketika terjadi pembakaran mobil polisi.

Gagal masuk Istana, sebagian peserta unjuk rasa pindah menuju ke gedung DPR di Senayan, melewati jalan protokol Sudirman. Ketika massa berdemonstrasi di sinilah, muncul kerusuhan di dua tempat berbeda, di kawasan Luar Batang dan Penjaringan. Ada sekelompok orang yang mencegat mobil dan menjarah sebuah toko swalayan. Namun kerusuhan tak sempat meluas. Otoritas keamanan bertindak sigap dan berhasil meredakan ketegangan.

Akun @RadioElshinta melaporkan, “LIVE NOW! Pangdam Jaya, Mayjen Teddy Lhaksamana : yang terjadi di Luar Batang, Jakut sdh dpt diatasi petugas, sdh aman, tdk usah khawatir.”

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

 

Meski demikian, pada Jumat malam itu berseliweran rumor akan adanya kerusuhan dan penjarahan di tempat lain. Sebagian warga Jakarta mulai cemas. Mereka khawatir kerusuhan massal pada Mei 1998 akan terulang.

Muncullah tagar #SafetyCheckJkt di linimasa Twitter. Tanda pagar ini digunakan publik untuk mengetahui keadaan di seluruh pelosok Jakarta, mengecek mana daerah yang aman dan tidak.

Akun @Pandji menulis, “Pantau #safetycheckjkt utk mengetahui keadaan daerah2 di Jakarta.”

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

 

Aksi demonstrasi di depan DPR terus berlangsung. Desas-desus kian merayap. Ketegangan memuncak. Tepat tengah malam, Presiden Joko Widodo (Jokowi) menggelar konferensi pers. Dalam acara yang berlangsung kurang dari lima menit itu, Jokowi mengomentari beberapa hal, tentang aksi demonstrasi, sikapnya terhadap proses hukum Ahok, dan permintaan agar para pengunjuk rasa segera pulang ke rumah masing-masing.

Bagaimana reaksi di media sosial? Bukannya mengomentari isi pidato Jokowi, netizens justru membahas jaket yang dikenakan oleh presiden malam itu.

Akun @deroswunga berkomentar, “jadi hasil menyimak prescon dari bapak @jokowi ini adalah mencari tau merek dari jaket yang dipake oleh beliau.”

 

Akun @kmingyyu bertanya, “Jaket boomber yg dipake jokowi merek apa ya?”

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

 

Aku @miund menyebut, “yes, it was Pull & Bear, people. chill. “

 

Sedangkan menurut @bangaip, “bomber jacket-nya jokowi zara kayaknya ya.”

 

Karena terjadi perdebatan di linimasa, akun @amrazing menggelar japat (polling), “Oke. Mari selesaikan dengan polling: apa merk jaket pake jokowi?

 

Pembicaraan makin seru ketika putra Jokowi yang memiliki akun @kaesangp menulis, “Yg pengen tau jaketnya beli dmn, silahkan mampir @markobar1996 @MOMMILK_SOLO @CeKopi @Pastabuntel @CakarDheer @Chilli_Pari dulu.”

 

Status ini diretweet 276 kali.

Mengapa para pengguna media sosial lebih suka membahas jaket yang dipakai Jokowi?

Akun @teguhwicaksono menjawab, “karena lelah sama informasi negatif di momen itu, begitu ada yang berpotensi bisa jadi lucu-lucuan langsung gampang terdistribusi.”

 

Akun @devieriana menulis, “karena sudah pada bosen rusuh, dan butuh piknik.”

 

Akun @thinpices “Uda eneg lihat mereka2 yang menggunakan agama untuk kepentingan politik.”

 

Akun @amasna menjawab, “karena perlu penyegaran.”

 

Akun @arundhatishint_ menulis, “karena jaket pak presiden lagi hits dikalangan anak muda setahun belakangan ini …”

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

 

Akun @DollySW menyatakan, “Soalnya bikin penasaran dan akhirnya beli, termasuk saya.”

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

 

Percakapan tentang jaket Jokowi membuat tiga toko Zara yang di tiga mal Jakarta, yakni Pondok Indah Mall, Grand Indonesia dan Plaza Indonesia, kehabisan stok bomber jacket dalam tempo satu hari.

cwb1ratveaera6v

Cepatnya perubahan pembicaraan dari isu demonstrasi ke jaket Jokowi mencerminkan bagaimana anak Indonesia berpikir dan bereaksi terhadap perkembangan politik dan kekerasan di sekitarnya. Benarkah mereka sudah bosan pada politik dan mencari topik lain yang lebih menarik? Apakah menurut mereka perkara busana lebih penting daripada urusan negara?

Foto: Antara dan @bangaip

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

 

 

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

Anies-Sandiaga’s billboard message seizes the attention

billboardanies

We begin a series of occassional posts about the goings on in the Indonesian social media scene by Ndoro Kakung, who’s joined Maverick as an advisor. Today’s post is about the controversial billboard put up by the Anies-Sandiaga camp that caused a kerfuffle on Twitter over the weekend.

By Ndorokakung

 

The gubernatorial election for Jakarta began last Friday (28/10/2016) and the candidates and their supporters have not wasted any time in getting their message across in the form of leaflets, posters, billboards, banners, photos, videos, and so on.

In this flurry of activity one of the candidate-pairs, Anies Baswedan and his deputy Sandiaga Uno, reaped perhaps more than their fair share of controversy when they put up billboards featuring a photo of both of them with a prominent slogan beneath that proclaimed “Jakarta Milik Kita, Mari Bung Kita Rebut Kembali!” (“Jakarta is Ours, Let’s Seize it Back!”)

The slogan, with its use of the aggressive verb “seize” immediately sparked questions from the Twitterverse as it reminds Indonesians of a couple of lines in the nationalistic song Halo Halo Bandung in which it calls on Indonesians to seize back Bandung (occupied by the Dutch) that is on fire.

Twitter user @jelantik5 questioned the billboard’s messaging: “Excuse me Pak @aniesbaswedan & Pak Sandiaga Uno, could you tell us who’s colonized Jakarta until it has to be seized back?”

Despite having their Twitter handles mentioned in the tweet, both Anies and Sandiaga did not respond to the question.

Their silence did not stop other Twitter users such as @AndiMartin_

@GubernurKW

and @Pinneng

from asking the same question. Still Anies and Sandiaga, as well as their campaign teams and supports, kept mum over the issue.

On Sunday, when many Indonesians have more spare time to check their social media accounts, the issue surfaced again after @AroonP asked @Pandji, (921,000 followers), a standup comedian as well as an official spokesperson for the Anies-Sandiaga ticket: “Masbro @pandji, any comment? Seize Jakarta from whom? ”

This time the questioners got some traction. Pandji replied on Twitter, “We” refers to us, the citizens, to seize the city from the developers and corporations who use Jakarta for their own advantage. Case in point: Reclamation.”

The conversation between @AroonP and Pandji also involved @ernestprakasa into the mix. The account that is believed to be owned by actor and stand up comedian, Ernest Prakasa currently has 389,000 followers. Ernest is also known as one the stand-up comedians like Pandji. They even had a role together in the movie Comic 8.

Pandji’s mention of the word “corporation” and “reclamation” hit a nerve with some of the Twitterati and raised more questions. Which is the corporation he meant? And what has the reclamation project got to do with anything?

Other Twitter users professed surprise by Pandji’s sudden anti-corporate stand because, they pointed out, Pandji has been the recipient of various sponsorships and engagements by corporations.

@hotradero (an account apprently owned by Poltak Hotradero), an employee of the Indonesia Stock Exchange who has more than 88,000 followers, asked “Do you have any opinion about the reclamation, Pandji? Have you already studied all data and documents? Isn’t Bluebird also considered as a corporation? The last remark was an apparent reference to some influencer work done for Blue Bird by Pandji.

Soon, the issue had escalated into a storm in the social media teacup, with other accounts such as @agussari and @imanbr joining into the fray.

Like so many other Twitwars that have flared in Indonesia, however, the billboard issue subsided after Pandji asked for time to discuss the matter first with Anies-Sandiaga.

There is a truce for now but the lesson that the politicians may pick up is that they need to manage issues that may crop up from anything they do or say, be it in billboards or rallies.

When such things become issues it is up to the team as a whole – the candidates, their social media administrators, as well as their spokespersons and surrogates to be responsive with a unified message or stand. In communications this is called getting your messaging right, aligning your messages and then maintaining message discipline among everyone that has exposure to the public at large. This is something that the politicians have yet to learn to do.