Pak Jokowi

Indonesia, with its massive population of 250 million people, is grippling with issues and struggles; providing enough basic necessities to the people, food, shelter, healthcare and jobs. Jakarta alone is swarmed with 10 million people and due to its large population and lack of public transportation services, the city is often infested with problems such as flood and gridlocks. It is said that 440 cars are bought everyday.. in Jakarta alone.

In Pluit (district within Jakarta) alone there are 7,000 squatters, of whom 2,000 has been relocated to low rent housing under Jokowi leadership. Of all his manifesto, one of his aims is to transform the slum infested Pluit to the better, by having city parks and proper housing development.

Who is this Jokowi, you’d ask? Joko Widodo or Jokowi is the Governor of Jakarta since 2012. Previously he was the Mayor of his hometown of Solo for 8 years, where he has managed to cut crime, revived the local economy and rebranded the city as the centre of Javanese culture and tourism, among many other achievements. This year, Fortune magazine has listed this man as The World’s 50 Great Leaders. Whereas in 2012 alone Jokowi received 3rd place of the 2012 World Mayor Prize for “transforming a crime-ridden city into a regional center for art and culture and an attractive city to tourists”.  In February 2013 he was nominated as the global mayor of the month by the The City Mayors Foundation based in London.

How’s that for a resume?

These are some of Pak Jokowi approach as the Governor:

-Most of the time he’s not at the office, he goes out to the street, market place, hospitals to meet the people. this is a culture / habit which is referred to as blusukan in indonesian.

-He cycles to/from home every Friday since November last year in encouraging the city dwellers to ditch the car and cycles/walks/uses bus to get around.

-He listens to Metallica.

-He ditches his formal uniform and donnes plain khakis and cheap shoes while doing his rounds of meeting people.

-Doesn’t use police escort while commuting. Doesn’t have bodyguards while doing the routine blusukan.

-He was even spotted ditching his formal car and hopped on a motorbike to beat the notorious traffic.

-The people and media adore him. he frequently appears on media, usually with throngs of people swarming him.

-Previous career as a furniture businessman and he made millions doing it. Decided to join politics as to help his ailing, radical hometown (remember Abu Bakara Bashir?) to prosperity.

So there, among the highlights of his achievements and aspirations. And yes, he’d be running for presidential election comes July 9th. This year is surely an interesting year in Jakarta politics. I am of course, intrigued and excited. All the best Pak Jokowi.