My latest piece for the Jakarta Post on the rapid demolition of informal homes along the Kali Mampang river in South Jakarta and mass evictions of the urban poor to make way for levies, gardens, and “inspection roads”. More to come soon on the subject of the City Administration’s often flawed approach to dealing with Jakarta’s congestion and overcrowding.
The letter called the ban, which has been in place since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the early 1980s, “an outdated and discriminatory practice” and called for gay and bisexual men to be screened “based on a risk assessment of behaviors, rather than on sexual orientation.” Other cities including New York and Washington, DC have already issued similar resolutions.
Following Prabowo’s first appearance at the Indonesian Constitutional Court (MK) on July sixth in Jakarta to make his quickly unraveling case for why he should have won the 2014 presidential elections, his remaining supporters convened in front of the National Parliament to denounce the KPU, “communist” Jokowi, and to call for Prabowo to run again in 2019 if the Court doesn’t see reason. Below are some shots from the rally. Click here for the Globe’s most recent update on Prabowo’s desperate antics.
Meanwhile Jokowi upsetsmembers of his base with the appointment of Abdullah Mahmud Hendropriyono (a former intelligence officer with a reputation of alleged human rights abuses) to his transition team which will assist the the power transfer from outgoing SBY. Some call it a necessary evil to fill Jokowi’s experience gap in matters of intelligence while activists denounce the choice as allowing New Orderinfluence to creep into the future cabinet via political dealings, a decision made by Jokowi and his advisers either through ignorance or political dealings. I imagine it is a combination of the two, or maybe a concession to PDI-P and Megawati who are desperate for influence. Or maybe every intelligence figure in this country is so tainted that Abdullah is the best one of the bunch. But, it is only a addition to the transition team, and not a permanent cabinet selection. I also have a hunch that Jokowi’s administration will not look at any future military or intelligence committed brutalities with much sympathy or tolerance, at least in comparison to past governments. But it is the symbolism of the choice that counts, particularly in relation to his campaign promises. After speaking with Marina (a in-the-loop Jokowi volunteer) it seems like many of the idealistic campaign organizers are pretty disappointed at the pick. I would have rather heard that they were infuriated. I can only hope that they organize some public demonstrations, stoke the outrage, and bang on Jokowi’s front door, with a basket of rotten eggs handy in case he doesn’t give them an audience. Now is exactly the moment when all their talk of engaged citizenry should be put into concrete action, to get the hopefully lively relationship and dialogue between Indonesians and Jokowi off to a robust start. Politics is a rotten fucking business, and the people, often unknowingly, are a powerful judge to scrub out injustice and the filth if mobilized and motivated to do so.
Football is the one sport I ever enjoyed playing. I went through years of girls’ softball, because that is what girls in my neighborhood did, and even a disastrous single season of soccer. My parents’ favorite story about my early sports career involves an assignation at the defensive end of the soccer field and the concentrated scrutiny of a bumblebee. When asked why I wasn’t running after the ball, my response was that it would be coming back down any minute anyway.
You can’t do that in football. You can’t wait in the outfield or by the goal and space out. Football makes you plug in, use your mind, accomplish strategy as well as athleticism. I spent a glorious couple of weeks at a flag football YMCA camp over the summer, and came home and informed my mother that I wanted to try out for the high school junior varsity team.
It was a warm August night. I was shooting the breeze with a former classmate from my hometown at a local park, laughing about various high school memories ranging from alcohol-fueled antics to another classmate who ejaculated while observing a couple engage in passionate behavior at a school dance. It was a comic atmosphere.
During the course of our conversation the classmate mentioned that on his way to the park he encountered a homeless man passed out under a bush with an unattended backpack at his feet. With a tone of genuine regret my classmate casually said that he should have made off with the man’s backpack due to a protruding bottle of vodka in the bag.
He viewed that bag as being up for grabs just because the owner was homeless. But it wasn’t.
In short, Jokowi won the Indonesian General Election Commission (KPU) “Real Count” with around 53% to 46% of the popular vote, surpassing the original quick count predictions. While Prabowo continues to say he is gathering evidence to take the KPU verdict to the constitutional court, claiming rampant voter fraud amounting to around 8.5 million votes (votes, if handed over to him, would conveniently close the margin between him & Jokowi), the rest of Indonesia and the world seems happy with the election result. The Jakarta Globe keeps proudly touting how positively financial markets have responded to Jokowi’s win, while at celebratory rallies the president elects’ campaign volunteers and general supporters call for a new era of self-empowerment and active civic engagement among the masses to keep the populist momentum going. With two different portions of society who have opposing self-interests both hailing the electoral success of the humble furniture maker from the riverbank slums of Solo, we’ll have to wait and see which way Jokowi swings as time goes on.
A somewhat dense and unclear, if out of context, Jakarta Post report on the KPU reaction to reports of voter fraud and manipulation coming out of various parts of Indonesia. A few scattered quotes were contributed by yours truly.
My latest brief write-up for the Jakarta Post, touching on water quality issues at Pluit low-income housing projects and poor communication between the City Administration housing management and tenants.
Empty water jugs outside Pluit low-income housing projects