atans1

Indon election: The shouter or the doer? And why it matters to us

In Indonesia on 09/07/2014 at 4:26 am

Here’s the best analysis I’ve come across on today’s election on the difference between the two candidates. The election matters to us because one of the candidates has stressed the importance of military might, saying international respect is based on prowess. Given that the Indonesian governing elite has outstanding grievances against S’pore (largely out of frustration, anger that we don’t kow tow to them), if he gets into power, relations will be tenser than normal. No gd for economic ties.

“You cannot understand these two figures [meaning the two candidates, Joko Widodo, known universally as Jokowi, and Prabowo Subianto] without placing them in the context of ten years of SBY,” the acronym by which Indonesia’s current president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is known …

But Mr Yudhoyono’s rule has been exceptionally disappointing for many Indonesians. Mr Winters identifies Mr Yudhoyono’s two major flaws as “his inability to follow through and get things done, and his incapacity to show leadership and make tough decisions.” To compensate for the first failing—which Mr Winters described to me more succinctly as “great PowerPoints, no action”—Indonesians have Jokowi, whose reputation first as mayor of Solo and then as governor of Jakarta rests on nuts-and-bolts administrative competence. As has been amply demonstrated during his campaign, he appears to be incapable of making an electrifying speech. Instead, he likes systems and solutions: as he explained, “I go to the ground, I go to the villages, I go to the riverbank, I go to the market to meet the people. I ask them what they want and what they need and we give solutions.” He wants to move as much of Indonesia’s governance online as possible as a way of avoiding, and thus trimming the power of, Indonesia’s incompetent and sticky-fingered bureaucracy.

Unfortunately, “systems and solutions” is not exactly a to-the-barricade rallying cry. And that is where Mr Subianto comes in: he compensates for Mr Yudhoyono’s second flaw, his indecisiveness, by presenting “a message of firm resolve and calls for national dignity”. He is a former soldier, and his rallies often have a military mien. Where Jokowi is calm and low-key, Mr Subianto has shouted himself hoarse during the campaign. His speeches are full of references to “foreign stooges” and “all of you who have a vision of Indonesian broken apart, a poor Indonesia”.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2014/07/indonesias-election

It’s a close race.

S’poreans should hope the doer wins as a rich, growing stable Indonesia is better for us. Foreign investors certainly prefer him: Deutsche Bank reports that if Mr Prabowo wins, 56% of investors surveyed would sell their Indonesian assets and just 13% would buy, while a Jokowi win would cause 74% to buy and just 6% to sell.

True, if the shouter wins the dirty money will keep on flowing. But there will be more rows and tantrums with S’pore. Mr Subianto (Shouter) has stressed the importance of military might, saying international respect is based on prowess. In addition to the uncertain economic climate that these rows will generate, the rows will give the PAP the excuse maintain and even spend more on defence.

And the full potential of Indonesia’s potential middle class will remain untapped. If the Indonesian middle class expands and grows richer, S’pore will benefit as they come here as tourists and gamblers.

Advertisements
  1. “International respect is based on prowess” is exactly what we are saying too.

    • Since when have SAF been used to kill S’poreans and invade other countries. Indonesia’s TNI has a record of murdering Indonesians and attacking other countries: M’sia, Papua, East timor.

      • I am not comparing the SAF to the TNI. I am saying that Singapore spends a large portion of its budget on defence because we want the world to respect us. A bristling armed forces wins you respect.

        As to whether Singapore will invade another country. I am no expert but I doubt when faced with a threat we will dig in at Changi point and wait.

        Finally, if the SAF does have to take to the streets there is nothing worth talking about any more.

  2. Hopefully the shouter wins. Biz as usual. Easier to do biz with corruption, bribes, prostitutes and murders. More exciting for sinkies also.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: