Blog Archives

Political Communications Fail: Crafting the OIC Message

By N Mark Castro

Can’t believe they fed President Jokowi to such an awkward situation.

Whoever encouraged the president to be embarrassed this way should be shot.

They made him ban ALL ISRAELI PRODUCTS YET MANY OF HIS OWN ISLAMIC BROTHERS DID NOT FOLLOW HIM. Other fellow Islamic leaders didn’t even send their leaders to the Extraordinary Summit.

Couldn’t there have been a quiet polling conducted prior to this?

To assess how the support would go?

Read the rest of this entry


Indonesia’s Most Powerful Industry: Tobacco

By N Mark Castro



How quickly the public forgets.

A few months ago, the president defied international community by executing drug traffickers and declaring to the world that Indonesia is confronted with a deadly crisis of drug abuse, killing 18,000 people annually.

He further disclosed that the number of drug users who could not be rehabilitated amounted to 1.2 million and nearly 50 of them die every day. “In total about 18,000 die every year due to illegal drug consumption,” Jokowi said.

Those were his exact words.
Read the rest of this entry


by N Mark Castro

The Facts

Police General Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan was appointed as a candidate for the National Police Chief by President Jokowi, a decision many feel to be influenced by Megawati, chief patron of the president’s political party, PDI-P. Budi is known to be close to Megawati, having served as her security aide during her presidency from 2001 to 2004.

According to this report:

The suspicion was first flagged by the government’s anti-money-laundering watchdog, the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center, or PPATK, in 2010. The KPK also reportedly issued a red flag against Budi when President Joko Widodo mulled recruiting him as a member of his cabinet prior to his announcement of the cabinet lineup in late October last year.

It was only early this month, however, that the KPK decided to name Budi a suspect, alarmed by the president’s nomination of him as the sole candidate for National Police chief. Read the rest of this entry

Megawati: The Most Powerful Serial Presidential Loser

jokowi-boneka-politik-megawatiDespite never having won any presidential elections she’s ever run, people are criticizing her perceived influence on President Jokowi, particularly, with the series of political appointees coming from her PDI-P party.

With the growing disappointment and frustration of the people, it’s best to understand that PDI-P has been known in the past to under-deliver its political campaign promises.

Indonesian Democracy’s Last Hope

By N Mark Castro

His predecessor, Akil Mochtar, is serving life imprisonment for corruption charges. The betrayal of public trust was an assault on the country’s foremost institution, including its legal decisions.

However, the succeeding replacement, Deputy Constitutional Court Chief Hamdan Zoelva, has proven his mettle in delivering decisions — and justice — to the surprise of the nation.

One of the greatest trials in his capacity as the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia was the recent legal challenge of losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto on the election results. According to Prabowo’s claim, there was electoral fraud in a “structured, systematic and massive” way and most everyone thought that the legal battle would hold hostage the fledgling democratic process of the country.

The nation held its breath. The nation waited. Most everyone feared that the Constitutional Court would favor Prabowo’s claims because Chief Justice Hamdan’s former political party was allied to the Prabowo-led coalition. Further, everyone was aware of his close relations to the plaintiff. Worse, the Constitutional Court are filled with appointees associated with Prabowo and the incumbent president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, whose own political party was allied with the Prabowo-led coalition.

Indonesia’s greatest sinetron was at play.

prabowohamdan Read the rest of this entry

The Renomination of Marty Natalegawa: Indonesia’s Foreign Minister

By N Mark Castro

Menlu RI saat dikelilingi oleh WartawanThe current issue burning within the diplomatic ranks of Indonesia is the renomination of Minister of Foreign Affairs Marty Natalegawa.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has very distinct objectives:

  1. Restore Indonesia’s international image
  2. Help boost the economy and public welfare
  3. Help strengthen national unity, stability and integrity, and preserve the nation’s sovereignty
  4. Develop bilateral relations, particularly with countries that can support Indonesia’s trade and investment and economic recovery; as well as promote international cooperation that helps build and maintain world peace.

There right there is what makes Indonesia’s foreign affairs policy quite unique: world peace. Which perhaps explains its active role in engaging in peacekeeping missions. Not because out of the kindness of its heart, but enshrined in its objective and protected by its Constitution.

Imagine that. Read the rest of this entry

Blunder Upon Blunder on the Prabowo Campaign

By N Mark Castro


With presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto steadily gaining ground with his campaign, it pains me to see how the communications team of Prabowo fail to enlighten their candidate of the repercussions of his statements at Jakarta’s Taman Ismail Marzuki.

According to the report, “Prabowo began by saying that Indonesians had a tendency to be overly influenced by Western ideas such as democracy.” Read the rest of this entry

Weakness in the Jokowi Campaign Messsage

By N Mark Castro

prabowo campaign rally
Why hasn’t Jokowi left Prabowo to eat his dust?

Prior to the formal campaign trail, Governor Jokowi Widodo topped all ratings with his massive popularity. Several weeks later, we see that the entire contest is still a toss-up between two candidates. Never has an election excited so many yet too close to call between the two.

What Went Wrong Read the rest of this entry

Waistline Flood in Jakarta

By N Mark Castro

The images are from The Jakarta Globe and it says it all.

Continuous heavy downpour last night resulted in massive flooding for the most part of the city.

The annual flooding is part of what the new Jakarta Governor Jokowi had inherited.

In Too Deep

The Mayor That Should Be Governor

20120710-111232 PM.jpg

Not since former Mayor Rudy Giulliani of NewYork and former Mayor of Makati City and now Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines Jejomar Binay has there been a mayor that has so inspired his fellow citizens with Hope, that things can be better.

And that’s exactly what Mayor of Solo Jokowi has done, continues to do, and plans to bring to the governorship of Jakarta, Indonesia.

Read the rest of this entry

Charlotte Setijadi

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