Indonesia Anonymus

We are a group of Indonesians, ranting about our beloved country. This blog is a result of many people grumbling about many things in many ways.
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Anonymus is the Latin word for anonymous, the correct English spelling. The Latin spelling, however, is traditionally used by scholars in the humanities to refer to an ancient writer whose name is not known, or to a manuscript of their work. Read more at Wikipedia.

Our blog in Bahasa Indonesia (but rarely updated) can be found here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Change we can grovel in

We read an opinion today by the Jakarta Post [1] and couldn't keep wondering why on earth they would write something like this. It's on Obama not coming to Indonesia in his Asia tour.

Read the whole thing there but here is some taste of it:

" [...] Indonesia – the world’s third-largest democracy and country with the world’s largest Muslim population – is of vital strategic importance to the US [...] A new era of US-Indonesia relations was touted [...]

But when it came time for recognition, we did not get our expected due

"Two days in Japan, two cities in four days in China, two days in Korea, three days in Singapore, and not a minute in Indonesia? We all wonder. [...]

But the news of the cancellation [...], is a letdown that speaks volumes as to the significance, or lack thereof, Indonesia is granted in American foreign policy circles.

Some insiders claim Obama actually wants to visit next year [...]
Be that as it may, the hurt has been done. Even a five-hour pause at the airport and palace would have sufficed. "


Now hang on a minute, because we got some questions:

Question number one, who's hurt by Mr Obama not visiting Indonesia?
Our answer: Not us the little people. Not us mere mortal earning less than a dollar a day and have to live with horrible traffic day in day out to earn it.
(We still remember the time when W Bush visited Indonesia and how annoying the security measures were.)
So let's see. Obama's not coming. Hmm.. Do we feel hurt? Any pain at all? A little depressed maybe? Some kind of feeling? Disappointment? Anything? Deep down inside? Hmm...

Nope. Nothing. Sorry.

As a matter of fact, we didn't even know he's planning to be in the neighbourhood.
Sure, we like Obama and his hope thing. But it does not mean we would grovel for his attention. Haven't we grovelled enough throughout history? Let's have some dignity for a change. (Change! hey, another Obama thing).

And number two, why do we need recognition from Mr. O on how well we did democracy-wise?
What does a thumbs-up from him mean anyway?
Let's see: we got our democracy after the fall of Suharto. And what country supported Suharto to stay in power for decades? Oh, that's right. The good old US of A [2].
So we set ourselves free from a dictator that they once supported, and now we want THEIR recognition?

Really, Jakarta Post? Really?

Sorry, but when it comes to recognition, the only two-thumbs-up we need is from our own people, and that is yet to be seen.

So speak for yourself, Jakarta Post.

[1] The Jakarta Post - Barry’s snub
[2] AFP - US propped up Suharto despite rights abuses: documents


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's quite sad how some of us (Indonesians) should look to others (whether that's US, Israelites, Philistine or whatever) to get our recognition.

Why should we pride on "Oh, Obama visit us, hooray" or something like that?

There's nothing wrong in acknowledging other's good works or achievement, but getting upset because they're not visiting us? Boohoo, toughened up my countrymen, and we all wonder why we're not recognised by them?

Why should they recognised us, if we don't start appreciating ourselves? Stop corrupting, and start doing hard work, and stop whinging, that's the first step to get recognised by others (if we want to)...

9:17 AM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...


Thank you and yes, we totally agree with you.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous colson said...

A treat to read. A great matter of fact opinion in the perspective of ordinary citizens with common sense.

Wealth, prosperity or happiness do not come from above or from abroad. It's like garamdunia said: "Stop corrupting, and start doing hard work, and stop whinging". Don't beg for attention by big brother, but take care of your own national fate.

However the support of neigbours and regional or world superpowers is not absolutely irrelevant. So good relations within ASEAN, with China or the US may be of some help of course.

2:18 PM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...

thank you for the comment, and we agree with you.

We do need to maintain good relations with all countries in the world and relation with the US is indeed very important.

We think this relationship is based on mutual respect and therefore we should act accordingly and with dignity. (which means: no grovelling involved... :)

4:36 PM  
Blogger Rob Baiton said...

Nice read. Imagine Mr. Obama (aka Mr. President) had spent some serious time in Indonesia and not just the three years when he was a six-year-old. How big of a snub would it have been then?

Mountains out of molehills.

In any event, Indonesia may in fact be a developing democracy, but the recent cicak vs. buaya spat suggests that there is still some ways to go before the methods of the new order are eradicated proper.

Agreed. When the little people can give the two thumbs up then perhaps there is an argument to be made for real progress having been achieved.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...


hear, hear!
(and thanks for dropping by.)

11:32 PM  
Anonymous JR said...

selamat siang, salam kenal....wakh keren blognya, ini adalah kunjungan pertama saya, semoga dengan kunjungan pertama ini bisa menambah silahturahim dan teman sesama blogger. saya baru belajar

2:07 PM  

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