Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A00100 - Joko Widodo, Indonesian Politician

Joko Widodo (born June 21, 1961) is an Indonesian politician and the current governor of Jakarta. He is often better known by his nickname Jokowi. He was previously the mayor of Surakarta (often also known as Solo in Indonesia). He was nominated by his party, the Indonesian Democratic Party – Struggle (PDI-P), to run in the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial election with Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (often known as Ahok) as his running mate.[1] He was elected governor of Jakarta on 20 September 2012 after a second round runoff election in which he defeated the incumbent governor Fauzi Bowo.[2] Jokowi's win was widely seen as reflecting popular voter support for "new" or "clean" leaders rather than the "old" style of politics in Indonesia, although he is over 50 years old.[3] His governorship lasts for five years and will end in 2017.
Jokowi's popularity has risen sharply since his election to the high-profile position of governor of Jakarta in 2012. During 2013 and early 2014, he was seen as a potential PDI-P candidate for the Indonesian presidential election in 2014. Originally, PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri stated that she would not announce the PDI-P presidential candidate until after the 9 April legislative elections in accordance with Law No 42 of 2008 (Clause 9) which states that nominations of candidates for the presidential election may only be made by a party (or a coalition of parties) that receive at least 20% of the seats in Indonesia’s House of Representatives (112 out of 560) or win 25% of the popular votes. However, due to the potential vote gains that announcing Jokowi's presidential nomination will bring to the PDI-P legislative candidates, some speculate she took advantage of his popularity to announce his nomination on March 14, 2014, three weeks before the elections and two days prior (March 16, 2014) to the start of the official legislative campaigning period including rallies and mass media advertising.[4] Regardless, Megawati’s nomination is not formal until one of the following occurs after the Indonesian legislative election on 9 April 2014: PDI-P wins 20 percent of the legislative seats, PDI-P wins 25% of the popular votes, or forms a coalition with other parties to reach the 20% threshold. If Jokowi runs successfully for President, the Deputy Governor of Jakarta Basuki Tjahaja Purnama from theGreat Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) will succeed him as the new Governor of Jakarta.


Joko Widodo was born in Surakarta, Central Java, completed primary school at SDN (Sekolah Dasar Negeri or State Primary School) Sumber Surakarta, then continued in State Junior High School (Sekolah Menengah Pertama Negeri or SMPN) at SMPN 1 Surakarta and State Senior High School (Sekolah Menengah Atas Negeri or SMAN) at SMAN 6 Surakarta. Jokowi graduated with an engineering degree from the Faculty of Forestry at Gadjah Mada University in 1985.[5]


When he first ran for the office of mayor of Surakarta, many doubted the ability of a man who had worked as a property and furniture businessman. However, after a year in office Jokowi had successfully led many progressive breakthroughs which became widely praised nationally. One academic research shows that his leadership style includes an inter-actional relationship with the people of Solo, through which he is able to induce people's strong faith to him.[6] He adopted the development framework of European cities (which he frequently traveled to as a businessman) into his own city of Surakarta.[7]
Highlights of Jokowi's approach during the seven years that he was mayor of Surakarta include the following:[8]
  • Building new traditional markets — including an antiques market and a home appliances market.
  • Constructing a 7-km city walk with a 3-meter wide pedestrian walkway along Surakarta’s main street.
  • Revitalizing the Balekambang and Sriwedari parks.
  • Stricter regulations on cutting down trees along the city’s main streets.
  • Rebranding Surakarta as a center of Javanese culture and tourism under the tagline “The Spirit of Java”.
  • Promoting the city as a center for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE).
  • The blusukan culture, the manner in which Jokowi made impromptu visits to certain areas to hear directly from the people their needs and criticisms.
  • Prohibiting his family members from bidding for city projects.
  • Healthcare insurance program for all residents.
  • Public transportation in the form of double-decker buses and the railbus.
  • Solo Techno Park, which helped support the Esemka Indonesian car project.[9]
His supporters pointed to rapid positive changes in Surakarta under his leadership. Branding the city with the motto "Solo: The Spirit of Java" was seen as a successful move. While in office he was able to relocate junk dealers in the Banjarsari Gardens smoothly, a move which was helpful in revitalizing the functions of the open green land; he emphasized the importance of business firms engaging in community activities; he improved communications with the local community (appearing regularly on local television). Jokowi also did not hesitate to dismiss investors who do not agree with the principles of his leadership. As a follow-up of the new branding of Surakarta, he applied for Surakarta to become a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities, which was approved in 2006, and subsequently had Surakarta chosen to host the organization's conference in October 2008. In 2007, Surakarta had also hosted the World Music Festival (Festival Musik Dunia/FMD) which was held at the Fort Vastenburg Complex (it is worth noting that Fort Vastenburg was to be bulldozed and replaced by a business center and shopping malls before Jokowi vetoed the decision). The FMD in 2008 was held in the Mangkunegaran Palace Complex.
Part of Jokowi's personal style has populist "can-do" (punya gaye) elements designed to build bonds with the broad electorate.[10] This approach has proved highly effective in the past few years. As just one example, as mayor of Surakarta, he became personally involved in an incident just before Christmas 2011 when the Surakarta municipality had overdue bills of close to $1 million (Rp 8.9 billion) owing to state-owned electricity company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN). Following PLN company policy to pursue a more disciplined approach to collect overdue bills, the PLN imposed a blackout on street lamps in Surakarta just before Christmas. The city municipality quickly authorized payment but in settling the bill protested that the PLN should consider the public interest before taking this type of action. To reinforce the point, Jokowi made a highly-publicized personal visit to the local PLN office to deliver the Rp 8.9 billion in cash in the form of hundreds of bundles of notes and even small coins.[11]
Such interaction-oriented approach quickly rose Jokowi's prominence at the national level. Among others, he was chosen as the Tempo's Leaders of Choice byTempo news magazine (2008) and received Changemakers Award from Republika newspaper (2010); his name also started being considered in national polls for governorship of Jakarta way before his party nomination of him to run for the post, including that by Universitas Indonesia and Cyrus Network (2011).[12]

Governor of Jakarta[edit]

Jokowi has been an active and high-profile governor of Jakarta. He has followed the practice (known as blusukan) of regularly arranging well-publicized visits to local communities, often in quite poor areas, across Jakarta (see below). His broad approach is widely said to reflect the similar, successful style of administration that he adopted while mayor of Surakarta between 2005 and 2007. His inner circle of advisers in Jakarta is reported to include people such as FX Hadi 'Rudy' Rudyatmo, Sumartono Hadinoto, and Anggit Nugroho who were colleagues while he was mayor of Surakarta as well as Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama, his current deputy as governor of Jakarta.[13]

Policies as Governor[edit]

Not so much a policy as a general approach, Jokowi has actively carried out the practice known as blusukan of regularly visiting quite poor areas across Jakarta. During these visits he wears simple informal clothes and makes a point of spending time in markets or walking along narrow Jakarta lanes (gangs) to chat to people about problems like the price of food, housing difficulties, local flooding, and transport. Polling and media coverage suggests that Jokowi's hands-on style has proved very popular both in Jakarta and elsewhere across Indonesia.[14]
Healthcare Program
Early after taking office in late 2012 Jokowi introduced a universal health care program in Jakarta, based on a Healthy Jakarta Card (Kartu Jakarta Sehat or KJS). The program proved to be very popular. However, the KJS program also generated controversy because implementation problems quickly became evident.[15] The demand for health services from hospitals across Jakarta jumped sharply putting great pressure on the limited services available. Demand for health services surged by 70% in the first few months.[16] The program involved an insurance program provided through the state-owned insurance company PT Askes Indonesia (Persero) and a plan to regulate health charges for treatment for over 20,000 services and procedures.[17] There was confusion over the details of the implementation of the system and long waiting queues for services caused dissatisfaction. The long queues even generated a market for middlemen who offered line-waiting services for up to Rp 150,000 (around $US 15 at end-2013 exchange rates).[18] The various problems led to criticism of Jokowi in the Jakarta regional parliament that he was promoting a populist, poorly-designed program. However Jokowi defended the popular KJS program and counseled patience.

Presidential candidacy[edit]

On March 14, 2014, Jokowi said to the press that he is ready to run for president in the Indonesian presidential election, 2014,[19] following his official nomination by the Indonesian Democratic Party – Struggle.[20]

Awards and honours[edit]

His awards and honours include the following:
2008: Jokowi was listed by Tempo magazine as one of the 'Top 10 Indonesian Mayors of 2008'.
2011: He was awarded the Bintang Jasa Utama by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
2012: 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. He was listed as one of "The Leading Global Thinkers of 2013" in Foreign Policy (magazine). In February 2013 he was nominated as the global mayor of the month by the The City Mayors Foundation based in London.
2014: Jokowi was listed by Fortune (magazine) as one of the 'The World's 50 Greatest Leaders' [21]


According to The Economist, Jokowi "has a penchant for loud rock music" and once owned a bass guitar signed by a member of heavy-metal band Metallica.[22]

Popular culture[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Jokowi in popular culture.
In June 2013, a movie depicting Jokowi's childhood and youth was released.[23] Jokowi expressed some objections to the movie saying that he felt his life had been a simple one and was not worthy of being presented as a movie.[24]


Joko Widodo (born June 21, 1961) is an Indonesian politician who became the governor of Jakarta. He was often better known by his nickname Jokowi. He was previously the mayor of Surakarta (often also known as Solo in Indonesia). He was nominated by his party, the Indonesian Democratic Party - Struggle (PDI-P), to run in the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial election with Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (often known as Ahok) as his running mate. He was elected governor of Jakarta on September 20, 2012 after a second round runoff election in which he defeated the incumbent governor Fauzi Bowo.  Jokowi's win was widely seen as reflecting popular voter support for "new" or "clean" leaders rather than the "old" style of politics in Indonesia, even though Jokowi was over 50 years old at the time.  
Jokowi's popularity rose sharply after his election to the high-profile position of governor of Jakarta in 2012. During 2013 and early 2014, he was seen as a potential PDI-P candidate for the Indonesian presidential election in 2014. 

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