Indonesia: Former lingerie model enters politics

Actress Yulia Rachmawati, popularly known as Julia Perez, is being championed by seven political parties in Indonesia to become the vice regent of Pacitan, an East Javanese regency. Julia is a soap actress, singer and former model who appeared in various magazines such as FHM, Maxim France, and Playboy Indonesia. Julia will run for the regency's top post with President Yudhoyono's cousin Nur Cahyono.

According to a report by Metro TV, Nurcahyono said that he's optimistic about the chances of his running mate [id] and that Julia won't be a problem for his extended family, however the family's representative stated the opposite.

Several Indonesian bloggers are questioning Julia's candidacy since she's neither a politician nor a Pacitan native.

Rifky wrote a post on Politikana, an online community for political savvy Indonesians, which summarized the coalition's reasons for appointing Julia as a candidate in the elections.

Berkenaan dengan majunya Jupe sebagai calon Wakil Bupati Pacitan itu, koalisi partai pendukungnya mempunyai alasan dan dasar pertimbangan dimana menurut mereka itu kehadirannya Jupe yang merupakan artis tingkat nasional itu akan memecah kebekuan politik yang terjadi di Pacitan.

Disamping itu, Jupe juga mempunyai wilayah pergaulan yang luas itu diharapkan kelak dapat mendatangkan investor ke Pacitan ini. Sehingga dapat menjadi solusi bagi pembangunan di Pacitan yang hingga saat ini terbilang belum berkembang, malahan cenderung tertinggal dibandingkan dengan kabupaten di sekitarnya.

Regarding Jupe's (writer's note: Julia's nickname popularized by entertainment media) candidacy as Vice Regent of Pacitan, the party coalition said they have a profound reason and assessment for this decision. They believe that Julia's celebrity status could be an ice breaker for Pacitan's political arena. Moreover, Julia is well connected and hopefully she could bring investors to the regency, so there can be more solutions for the underdevelopment of Pacitan, which is lagging behind other regencies.

Julia is a well known celebrity; she is secretly adored by many Indonesian men but she is deemed ‘“too provocative” by Muslim organizations.

She made headlines in 2008 following her spat with Muslim organizations in some Indonesian cities which banned her from performing in a concert to promote her album titled “Kamasutra”. The organizations accused her of promoting immorality among youth by handing out a free condom tucked on the CD sleeves.

Blogger Wafi SL wonders if the current trend of appointing celebrities for political jobs could be translated as the country's shortage of credible politicians:

Setelah Ayu Azhari, sekarang giliran Julia Perez alias Jupe mencalonkan diri menjadi pejabat negara. Tak tanggung-tanggung, yang mendukungpun lumayan banyak yaitu 8 partai. Luar biasa!Fenomena yang tak bisa dianggap enteng. Karena itu menandakan partai politik telah gagal menciptakan kader politisi yang mumpuni sehingga jalan pintaspun diambil dengan cara menjadikan artis sebagai figur untuk meramaikan dunia politik. Kalau dulu artis hanya sebagai hiasan, sekarang telah berubah menjadi pelaku politik itu sendiri. Lha terus kadernya kemana saja?

After Ayu Azhari (writer's note: former adult movie star), now Julia Perez wants to run for public service job. What's amazing is that there are eight political parties supporting her candidacy. Unbelievable! This phenomenon can't be taken lightly because this means that political parties have failed to raise a young and capable cadre, therefore they choose a shortcut by adopting celebrities into political arena. In the past, celebrities are taken as add ons, nowadays they're becoming political actors. Where are the real cadres?

Furthermore, Wafi predicts that in long run this so-called political blunder could make people lose their faith in politics even more:

Efek jangka pendek mungkin bisa dirasakan langsung oleh partai-partai pendukung artis semacam Jupe ini karena mungkin jumlah pemilih akan meningkat, terutama kaum pria. Tapi efek jangka panjang, apalagi jika Jupe gagal memperbaiki nasib rakyat-nya, maka saya berani menjamin akan menambah semakin banyaknya anggota “Partai Golput” seperti saya ini.

In short term, the effect, which is the increase of votes by male citizens, of choosing celebs such as Jupe could be experienced by the parties. But in long term, especially if she fails to improve the life conditions of the people (in the regency), I dare to say that non voters like myself will definitely increase.

According to an East Javanese journal Surya, Julia is popular among first time voters. Sutikno, the coalition's representative said that many young people have become skeptical after witnessing how politicians and businessmen turned politicians have failed to empower the regency.

Groups supporting and against the actress’ candidacy have started to appear on Indonesia's current favorite social network Facebook.

Alip Priyono : Kira-kira seperti apa ya kalau bupati (wakil bupati) Pacitan nanti Julia  Perez? Kayaknya seru ya ngebayangin dia nanti mimpin rapat/upacara. Lebih seru lagi klo SBY nanti pensiun pulang ke Pacitan.

What would happen if Julia Perez becomes regent (or vice regent)? Must be funny to have her presiding a meeting/formal ceremony. Would be funnier if SBY (the president) retires and retreats to Pacitan.

Putu Nova A Putra :  Di tivi ada berita Julia Perez mau dicalonkan sebagai bupati Pacitan-Jatim berpasangan dengan sepupu Pak SBY. Saya ga salah denger,ga salah lihat infotainment kan ya???? soale mata lagi merem-merem pas baru mau bangun sore. Mimpi Julia Perez lagi!!

A news on TV said that Julia Perez will be the running mate of the president's cousin, a Pacitan regent candidate. Am I hearing it right? Perhaps it was an infotainment program I was watching? I just woke up from afternoon nap, perhaps I was still dreaming.

Aan Ainur Rofik :  Susilo bambang Yudoyono (SBY) orang Pacitan setelah jadi TNI, Mentri trus sekarang Presiden RI setelah itu jadi artis kan habis ngeluarin Album, Lha sekarang Julia Perez  (JUPE) Setelah jadi artis ibukota eeeee jadi politisi maju Cawabub Pacitan….kita dukung Duet JUPE-SBY menjadi tokoh besarrrrrrrrrrrrr…….

Susilo bambang Yudoyono (SBY), a native Pacitan after joining the army, became a minister, becoming an Indonesian president then launched a pop album. Now, Julia Perez (Jupe), a celebrity soon to be politician aiming to be the vice regent of Pacitan. Let's support the Jupe-SBY duo to be grand figures.

Twitterers also react about the candidacy:

IraDalius Tuhan, dia siap tp kami TIDAK! RT @tweetdetik: Modal Baca Buku, Julia Perez nyatakan siap menjd calon Wakil Bupati Pacitan

God, she's ready but we're NOT! RT @tweetdetik: Read books, Julia Perez claimed she's ready for Pacitan's Vice Regent candidacy.

marshacha: RT tweetdetik: Modal Baca Buku,Julia Perez atau Jupe menyatakan siap menjadi calon Wakil Bupati -> kalau gitu mah anak gw juga siaaap ….

If that's the case, my child's also ready (to be a candidate)

indrapamungkas Start to think that Julia Perez doesn't necessarily worse than those dirty politician. At least she can ‘entertain’ people.

In latest development, news portal Detik reported [id] that many legislators have expressed support for Julia.

Pacitan regency in East Java province is synonymous with two things: its orange variety and sleepy fisherman's villages. The hilly regency was relatively unknown until one of its natives, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, was elected president.

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.