29 May 2008

Megawati and the Little People

The fact that Megawati is still somewhat of a political force in Indonesian is testament to the cult of politics in Indonesia. I was going to work the other day and passed this huge banner promoting Megawati and her party, the Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle. What was interesting about this banner was the size of the figure of her father, Soekarno. Soekarno has been dead since 1970 but it seems that even after all of these years Megawati's political legitimacy is intricately tied to that of her father.
Is she a legitimate contender for the 2009 Presidential elections, possibly. What is scary about this is she has had a crack at the Presidency before and it was not a particularly successful tilt and getting Indonesia back on track to prosperity. Nevertheless, in the period since her departure in 2004 she has been a sporadic critic of the current regime. This is likely to change in the lead up to the General and Presidential elections in 2009.

Most recently Megawati has been voicing her criticisms of the 'direct cash assistance' or 'bantuan langsung tunai' being provided to the poor of Indonesia who are most affected by the recent jacking up of fuel prices. Her main criticism is that the government is creating a culture of handouts and poor people willing to do nothing but line up for these handouts.

A valid criticism on face value. However, what it the Megawati plan to alleviate the suffering? The plan seems to be provide prosperity, better education, world peace, security, social justice, and the returning of pride to the peoples of Indonesia. This all sounds great, but where are the policies? How are these great aims costed? Can they be realized?

Hopefully, this election cycle the public will not be lulled into this idea of security through promises that are never realized. The little people need serious help through serious policies that provide proper long-term solutions. Supporters and potential supporters of Megawati must realize that a vote for Megawati is not a vote for Soekarno. She might be her father's daughter but she is certainly not her father!


Anggara said...

saya sepakat, megawati jelas beda sama soekarno

Rob Baiton said...


I thought you might!

Nah, yang lucu adalah orang2 tetap mau memilih Si Mega ini dengan harapan dia bisa persis seperti bapaknya!

Yang lebih lucu lagi adalah "orang2" ini bukan semua wong cilik!

pjbali said...

I'm not sure indonesia needs another Sukarno. The man despite his positive achievements was a lousy manager in terms of putting food on the table. The cynic in me suggests that Ibu Mega and the PDIP are playing on the naivete of the public by trying to create a personality cult similar to the bhuttos in pakistan or the ghandis in india. Problem is I do't think Ibu Mega has the charisma to pull it off.

One things for sure; next years election is sure to be interesting. Are you sure you don't want to stick around just to see whats going to happen.

LavanyaLea said...

i have a feeling next year's election is gonna be the case of voting for the lesser of 2 (or 3/4/5??) evils :S

same like the last jakarta govt election!!! do u honestly think we would notice any changes had the other guy won?

LavanyaLea said...

ps: i honestly don't know how to voice out my concerns (so that it will be heard, blogging doesn't count, unless it gears up a mass rally or sth maybe?) in this democratic country!!

Rob Baiton said...


An article in a newspaper or magazine (assumng you do not think your blog is widely enough read to start a thought revolution)!

But it is like a ripple in a pond everything will spread from the centre. You just have to drop the first stone!

Building movements for change take time, sometimes it takes more time than we might like!

Voice those concerns! I am sure that there are more like minded people out there!