‘Some will say it is good, some will say it is bad,’ he smiles. Ir is the most diplomatic answer you can give when someone asks you about the possible re-election of the current president of a nation of 260 million inhabitants. Welcome in Indonesia
He watches through the door opening, if nobody is there, he says, ‘To me it would be good when Jokowi [Joko Widodo] would be re-elected, especially compared to the previous president. Since he is in charge, you can see investments in our island – Lombok in casu – and not only in Java as with the previous president. Although a lot of investment depends on the local governor – every island got at least one governor who governs more closely than the president can.’
The Major versus the Army
In addition, he appoints to the background of the president candidates: ‘Jokowi was before governor and major of Jakarta, while the other candidate comes out of the army.’ Which is a significant different background. Maybe it explains Jokowi’s pragmatism at some points.
For instance, in 2017, he decided to attract more tourism to Indonesia, and especially not only to Bali – which is already overcrowded with tourism. Hence, he made up the plan to create 10 new Balis, as in converting 10 locations in Indonesia to new touristic hotspots. The result must be doubling the number of tourists up to 20 million a year by 2019. But that’s a story for my next blogpost.
Another idea of Jokowi – although not exclusively of Jokowi – is to relocate the capital Jakarta. The sinking city is threated by traffic congestion, overpopulation, the sinking surface due to ground water drilling, the rising sea level and other environmental issues, will in the future no longer be suitable as capital, hence he suggests to relocate it. Yet he is not the first Indonesian president proposing this strategy, and even not the only president in the world who effectively moved its capital. But, that is a story for a later blogpost as well.
One President to Rule them All
Back to those re-elections. Indonesia went voting the 17thof April and due to its infrastructural complexity, only the 22ndof May results will be known, and the current president Jokowi may or may not be re-elected, continuing his plans to create 10 new Balis and replace the capital.
At the moment of writing the results are not known yet, but they will when this post will be published, so later more on that. In addition, I can already share that manifestations rose in Jakarta when a poll before the definitive results claimed victory for Jokowi. Imagine having 260 million people to support one candidate only, that might be a huge challenge.
Now I understand why one Indonesian proposed to make the islands separate countries, like the United States of Indonesia, rather than having one president to rule them all. So let’s read on those various islands, and more in specific of the idea of 10 new Balis first in next blogpost.