Showing posts from October, 2014

In Crikey: Jokowi hailed a beacon of hope, but could be a shrinking violet

An opinion piece of mine has appeared in Crikey today. Subscribers can read it here , and freeloaders can read it here: When world leaders gather in Jakarta later this month for the inauguration of a new president, hopes will be high that the new occupant of Istana Merdeka will bring great changes to Indonesia and its underperforming US$870 billion economy. With a background as a furniture seller from Central Java, president-elect Joko Widodo lacks the aristocratic heritage of the the six people who have held the office of president since Indonesia’s independence in 1945. Jokowi, as the incoming president is popularly known, is the first president to come to prominence in public life since the fall of Suharto in 1998. To ordinary Indonesians, Jokowi represents a beacon of hope who can deliver the basic health, education and welfare services people crave from their government. To entrepreneurs, Jokowi also represents the possibility of change — they hope he can cu