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.


Going places

Here’s a snippet of my whereabouts this couple of weeks and months..

Sekeping Tenggiri. A night stay at this serene place, a stone’s throw away from KL. Loved the rustic concept, the open air bathroom and the empty pool. Minus point, non-stop dogs barking kept us awake the whole night. 

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Kuala Selangor Nature’s Park. My second visit here. This time with the family. Had seafood dinner after the visit. 

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Jakarta (yet again) . Just because I love the city, uhm plus this is our sort of family gateaway. I escaped the hazy and hot and stuffy KL to this wonderful city at quite the right time. It was raining, even flooding at certain places (but not too bad) plus the city was not too dusty when I went there. 

National Museum




Museum Bank Indonesia. Very interesting, Lotsa stories to tell, lessons to be learnt here. Gotta make an entry solely on this one.


Sculpture found at the National Museum. The 3 faced-goddess, the one that could be found at Angkor Wat.


Awesome friends in Jakarta


Nasi Goreng Kambing for supper. Damn good.


The Big Durian


Kota Lama

Had an impromptu weekend trip with the girls at work to the Big Durian. We booked Air Asia a week before the trip, therefore had to pay exorbitant fees; amounting to RM424 per person (plus our share of 25kg luggage). But nevermind. The sole purpose of this trip was just to release and have fun with the friends.


  • Since we opt for weekend trip, we had to rush to the airport immediately after work. Being close to monsoon season, it rained heavily every afternoon, including that fateful Friday. There was no taxi willing to pick us up, therefore we had to walk under the drizzling rain from our office to KLCC. From KLCC we took LRT to KL Sentral and then KLIA Express to Salak Tinggi and then a shuttle bus to LCCT Airport. Phew!
  • Bargain, but do not overdo it. In certain shopping areas like Tanah Abang, bargaining is a norm and expected. However there is no such thing as to ask for 70% reduction; the sellers won’t entertain you. Express your bargaining skills moderately.
  • Bajaj or the motorcycle trishaw charges similar fees to taxi. Use this when you’re in a hurry. It has the ability to maneuver through narrow passages and between vehicles. Your safety, however, is never guaranteed.
  • Jakarta is also one of the dustiest (if not the most) city that I’ve ever been. Use face mask when you’re expose to the vehicles on the road, hydrate well and use toner every time after cleaning your face.
  • Cheap food can always be found on the roadside. Similar items sold at the mall’s food court are priced thrice as much.
  • Being a huge city, its not always easy to go to places such as spa or hair salon from where you’re at the moment. Therefore its better to plan ahead and let the taxi drivers know exactly where you want to go; give them the exact location
  • Shopping experience at the malls are not that enticing. I think Indonesia is a bit late when it comes to sale season. The items in Forever 21 & Top Shop that are on sale in KL, however are sold at normal price in Jakarta.
  • We shop a bit at Martha Tilaar..I bought a lipstick at about RM10.
  • We ate too much nasi penyet and JCo donuts.

Places that we’ve been in a span of two days:

  • Tanah Abang
  • Mangga Dua (Pasar Pagi and the Mall)
  • Monas
  • Taman Anggerik Mall
  • Grand Indonesia Mall
  • Kota Lama area (the railway station, Museum Wayang, Cafe Batvia)

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Whatever it is, I love the city and its vibes. Won’t mind to re-visit this huge city again soon. Next time perhaps to venture into South area, such as Kemang, which I heard its the city’s trendier area.

Total expenses (minus flight) – Rp1,600,000 (RM457.60 @ 0.000286 rate on 18.10.2013)