Indonesia: ‘Jokowi’ Phenomenon in Jakarta

Meet Jakarta’s new governor: Joko Widodo or Jokowi. His recent electoral victory surprised many people who now regard him as Indonesia’s most charismatic leader. Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia.

Multibrand explains why Jokowi has become an instant political legend. He also identifies some of the obstacles that Jokowi has to hurdle in the next few months:

…has become a legend because he has shown what one man with integrity and political will can do for a city and, by extension, for the country.

I was not surprised when Jokowi and his running mate Basuki a.k.a Ahok won the first round of election for the governor of Jakarta on 11 July 2012, and final round on 20 September 2012. although they were only supported by minority nationalist parties i.e. the PDIP and Gerindra, each of which own 11 and 6 seats out of the total of 94 seats in the Jakarta regional Parliament.

Jokowi has great obstacles facing him, because he is only supported by 18% of the seats in Jakarta parliament. He has to compromise with the big political parties like Democrat and Golkar if he wants to make his plans realized.

That would not be easy considering all the parties are preparing for the 2014 general and presidential elections.

Colson believes that solving Jakarta’s problems will take some time:

I gladly add my congratulations to yours. To the winner and hopefully to the people of Jakarta.

One warning though: even Jokowi will not be able to solve Jakarta's problems overnight. At best it will be an incremental process.

Supporters hit the streets to celebrate the inauguration Joko Widodo and Basuki Tjahaya Purnama as the new Jakarta Governor and Deputy Governor. Photo by Denny pohan, copyright Demotix (10/15/2012)

A week after taking his oath, Jokowi made a surprise visit in some offices and discovered that many government employees have not yet reported for work. rossrightangle supports the move of Jokowi:

So GOOD ON YA, again, Pak Jokowi – you are living up to the hopes you inspired in millions here that SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!

PS Staring silenty at it is a good start – replace its (non) occupant next!

Jokowi’s brand of governance is also noticed on twitter:

@waliwali1 This poor guy is probably thinking “what the heck have the past governors been doing the last 20 years??!?!?” :) #jokowi

@criesmary The dude even got the time to watch JakJazz without any special VVIP Treatment. #Jokowi is really a force to be reckoned with..

@criesmary I rarely talk about politics, but this #Jokowi dude is awesome. He gives a nice clean spirit of working to Jakarta in just seven days!

@irya2003 For those who always critize our new governor,what have u done for ur city?#jokowi

Susi Johnston thinks the global media should pay more attention to Jokowi:

Jokowi is a phenomenon. Funny how his miraculous and idiosyncratic ascendancy has gone unheralded by the world press. They should be all over it. And they will be.

I am impressed by his courage and humility. He kindles a new flame of hope not only for Jakarta and for Indonesia, but for the world. Ok, I know . . . we’ve had high hopes many times in Indonesia, only to see them dashed to the ground yet again. But there’s a fundamental difference in the form of leadership Jokowi embodies…

I googled around looking to see if and how the world press had cheered on Widodo’s modest and self-effacing rise to altruistic servitude (and inevitable conflict, with martyrdom not ruled out ever), as the new Mayor of Jakarta. Hardly a single whisper anywhere. I guess the world has (once again) failed to pay adequate attention to Indonesia

Projecting Indonesia believes that Jokowi’s victory is good for Indonesian democracy:

The rise of Jokowi-Ahok to power is certainly not smooth. Initially they were considered to be ‘peanuts’ in the tough political contestation. But the genuine-type and proven leader such as Jokowi quickly gained popularity among the public who were tired with the previous leadership.

Furthermore, Ahok himself had been much challenged due to his ‘minority’ issue. But with his humbleness and unprovoking reaction to the issue, Ahok finally succeeded winning the test.

The winning of Jokowi-Ahok would also provide momentum in the country’s political sphere. Previously lots of people thought that only money and the elite power that can control the many. But a simple leader like Jokowi and a minority figure such as Ahok can win too. In other words, Indonesian democracy becomes more and more aligning towards a better direction.

Indonesia's Urban Studies agrees with Jokowi’s plan on how to solve the traffic mess in Jakarta:

I commend the mindset of Jokowi in addressing the most acute urban problem of Jakarta– traffic congestion. He understands that the correct way of addressing traffic congestion is not building more roads, but developing mass transportation. He said during his campaign that “Move People, Not Cars” was the solution for the Jakarta's traffic congestion.

Jokowi also maximized the social media during the campaign period.


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