Tuesday, June 3, 2014

There’s a Christian or two in everyone’s closet this election . . .

The weekend has been a busy one for our candidate-watchers and their coterie of pundits.

Wati forwarded her "debate" on the “Muslim Idol” article with a fellow citizen:

>Thank you, Wati!  A very good article and I could not agree more.  The upcoming election is about electing the president of the country and each and every vote counts in determining who is going to win the race.
Both Jokowi and Prabowo know for a fact that if they want to win the race, they need to win the hearts and minds of the majority of the Indonesian people, who happen to profess Islam as their religion. So, probably by invoking this religious sentiment, one expects to win (or to lose) the election. That's why both Jokowi and Prabowo want to be seen more pious than the other.
It's only normal in politics. 
Don't forget every presidential candidate in the US, before or immediately after announcing his intention to run for the office, goes to church.
Many American citizens still lament the fact that president Obama isn't “Christian enough” to run the country, because his father is a Moslem. 
He regularly goes to church by the way, more often than those who accused him of being half-Christian. Funny, isn't it?

>Dear Pak 
You are right. The sad thing is that politicians don't want to say the truth. Bung Karno openly stated that his mother was Balinese and Hindu in her religion.
And Bung Karno’s ideal was to have Indonesia not as a Islamic state but a secularist or pluralist state based on PANCASILA .

Sadly, both candidates are trying so hard to imitate Bung Karno but only in style but not in substance.
Prabowo’s mom is good friends with late pm Des Alwi’s wife who is a Christian from Menado.
Prabowo’s sister, mbk Bianti and her husband, Pk Soedradjad Djiwandono, is Christian.
Hence, he should not "hide" it –rather he should do the opposite and promote it as a Pancasilaist.
Same with Jokowi--he should be proud that he has Ahok as his deputy.

Only with this attitude can both candidates, as Bung Karno said, can "mencerdaskan bangsa" [educate the nation] and not the contrary.

As for Obama, well . . . the US still has the "patriot" law in place after September 11 . . .

Another exchange:

>Dear Ibu: This is so totally correct.  Where did "strength in diversity" go?  Where is the Indonesia I knew?

>Dear Pat,
Many of us have the same question. It must be more so for you and your husband, since both of you were living in Indonesia through the history of the first stages of my country’s independent years.
As well, you were one of the few "orang asing" [foreigners] who knew Pres Soekarno well on his ideas of PANCASILA and unity in diversity.
Remember how Bung Karno introduced Indonesian national dress for men and women, how he reminded us of what " identity" means and that we should be proud of it?
His ideas of "NATION AND CHARACTER" building...sad!
Love from Hanoi

Read the terrific June 1article in the Jakarta Post by Ati Nurbaiti, who’s fat becoming my favorite Indonesian journalist, as he reports on the Presidential Idol “Song List” of presidential and vice presidential aspirants that has become a favorite on YouTube and Twitter.  The list  features our outgoing musical President and current and former aspirants:” including
*Prabowo Subianto: “It’s now or never…”, as the dishonorably discharged Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) chief looks hell-bent on winning well before his mid-60s;
*Joko “Jokowi” Widodo: “I believe I can fly ...”, fit for the former skinny underdog when he was vying for the Jakarta governorship, and belatedly announced as presidential candidate by his party;
*Jusuf Kalla: “Di sini senang, di sana senang...” (I’m happy here, I’m happy there...), as the former Golkar Party chief gleefully pairs with Jokowi while other confused Golkar leaders support Prabowo;”
among others.

Journalism in Jakarta is not dead!

And last but not least:
Fan mail!
We received a comment on the blog post (Vigilante Sharia) about the thugs who gang-raped a woman, beat her, threw excrement on her, and “turned her over” to the Sharia police for suspicion of adultery, where she was sentenced (you heard right) to caning.

The response from a reader:
Which as far as I can tell goes something like  "See, please don't be so westernized, you British stooge, your teachers are Communist . . . you are such outlandish folks, screw you."

He says that like it's a bad thing . . . . 

Hey, as  P.T. Barnum said, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”  Just ask Probowo!

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