Category Archives: Politics

16 Years Ago, Did Any of Us See This Coming?

If you read through Indonesian media this week you’ll find many references to how Indonesians eventually won our democracy these days sixteen years ago when Soeharto finally relinquished his 32-year iron grip following bloody protests, brutal attacks on Chinese descendants, … Continue reading

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Beyond Lion Dances and Red Lanterns at Fancy Malls

I spent my formative years in a low-key neighborhood near where Central, West and South Jakarta meets. My public school’s classmates were the local Betawi kids, some of us ‘newcomers’, and a lone Chinese boy named Icong. Icong came from … Continue reading

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Putting Into Perspective: Rain, Gridlock, and Election Year

If you’re a Jakartan chances are recently you’ve been held in due to rain outside, stuck in traffic when braving a downpour, or trapped in a flooded area. Some Jakartans have experienced all. Just as our luck, the wired Jakartans … Continue reading

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Some Salacious Soekarno Saga

“Some people find it hard to believe that Madiba didn’t just fall from the sky.” One of Nelson Mandela’s estranged daughters reportedly uttered that line to a foreign journalist several years ago. Family feud notwithstanding, I could understand where she … Continue reading

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When Bread and Circus Collide in Our Indonesia

“What do you think of human trafficking (perdagangan manusia)?” “Well, as it’s about perdagangan (= trafficking, trading), then we should discuss it with the Ministry of Trade.” That chat between a journalist and a former-Miss-Indonesia-turned-lawmaker was widely circulated a few … Continue reading

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As The Boston Bombs Went Off, Muslims Worldwide Held Their Breath…

I worked at a British company in Jakarta right off college. Once, during a watercooler chat that somehow arrived at the Oscar-winning performance of Daniel Day-Lewis in In The Name of the Father, an expat told me that when he … Continue reading

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A New Dawn for Jakarta… Yet?

July the 11th has passed. DKI Jaya’s gubernatorial election attracted so many interests beyond its demography and geography that many of us didn’t even realize that Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany and EU numero uno de facto, was in town … Continue reading

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Want More Public Places? Start Supporting What We Already Have!

Summer is here! Wait. Scratch that. Indonesia is not a 4-season country. School break is here!! I’m not in school anymore and not yet a parent. But friends with kids have started to mull over travel options for the school … Continue reading

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Beyond the Saga Over Gaga

First, allow me to clarify that I am not and never was a fan of Lady Gaga. I find her public persona and antics overpower her singing, and even, entertaining qualities. However, I’m not her hater either so, Little Monsters, … Continue reading

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Meddling Much in Middle Class: The Ivory Towers’ New Pastime

Enjoying your weekend? Either savoring Sunday brunch, sweating at gym, catching the latest flick and frocks or, hopefully, spending time outside malls with your beloveds, I wish you a good time. One does need rest after toiling away at work … Continue reading

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