A native tourist report

1. Sri Mulyani still tops the news feed. She has resigned from her post as the Minister of Finance and the president has sworn the (former) CEO of Bank Mandiri as her replacement for the office. Her general lecture on public ethics and public policy perhaps summed up the whole episode. (Same-sex) political marriage kills.

(It’s interesting to see how money, sex, and power — the triadic axis of arch-idols — could come together as SMI used an analogy of sex to illustrate a reality of power which was tainted by money.)

2. The head of fiscal policy, Anggito Abimanyu, also resigned from his post. On January He has signed a pact of integrity to become the (future) deputy finance minister, but now the post is given to Anny Rahmawati, the head of budget bureau (Anny, by the way, is SBY’s doctoral thesis advisor at IPB). Bitterness also kills (or was it the media, who came up with endless speculations and hence aroused unfounded expectations?).

To see it from another perspective, it means that there must be another pact that overruled Anggito’s pact of integrity, and symbolically it means that integrity is and will be overruled in this land of milk and honey (yes, the Koes’ brothers echoed the biblical phrase when they sang ‘kolam susu’).

3. Golkar is Golkar. It goes wherever the power sways. It is consistently inconsistent.

4. Mama Lauren and Gesang died on the same week and it’s a tragedy that the former received more attention than the latter.

5. The official day to celebrate Pancasila is shifted from 18 August to 1 June, FYI. What is the fourth point of Pancasila, by the way? (don’t look up the answer at Google!)

6. There is a TV show which is called “Cewek Apa Cowok.” More or less: is it a ‘she’ or a ‘he’? The models are dressed like women and the contestants need to guess the true gender of the models (if I were not wrong, it is imported from a  Japanese TV show). I know that it is for fun, but I don’t think the show will do us any good. This is the problem of capitalism. The parameter of goodness is only whether the goods sell or not. And, if it sells, why not? Yes, even up to the point of public commercialization of transsexuality (and, in some sense, it also mocks the ‘true’ transsexuals).

7. On Thursday, I picked up my sis who was waiting at Istiqlal mosque after work. And there were tens of jockeys waiting over there, because of the 3-in-1 rule in Gajah Mada and Hayam Wuruk (Indonesia’s first binity?) from 430pm to 7pm. And they were running beside my car when I wanted to pull over. They seemed to be oblivious of the danger of doing so. Life, tragically, is cheap.

8. On Friday, I picked up my (another) sis at school. A school which charges their students of almost two million rupiahs per month (S$270) for their school fees. And S$270 is a lot of money. I don’t like (excessive) commercialization of education, either.

9. Pray unceasingly — especially when you drive!

10. Miroslav Volf’s book, Against The Tide: Love in A Time of Petty Dreams and Persisting Enmities, is superb. Highly recommended.

11. How does one lament rightly? When she laments not without hope. The book of Lamentation reached its climax on chapter 3 (the book has a chiastic structure) as follow:

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lam 3.21-23)


2 thoughts on “A native tourist report

  1. marcella~

    for no 1:
    it is also fun to see how the political situation in Indonesia is, lately. hope she can maintain her integrity, though.

    for no 4:
    owh, which tragedy? that she died unexpectedly due to heart attack, or the rumors that she was under the spell of her rivals? XD a bit sad for the latter, though, i heard that ppl from other countries were mourning as well.


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