Jumat, 30 Agustus 2013

The Jokowi Effect

Since elected Governor of Jakarta, Joko Widodo or popularly called Jokowi has become a “media darling” in almost all domestic, both electronic and printed publications. Journalists and reporters wait patiently and enthusiastically in front of his office every morning to follow his secret agenda known as “blusukan” (a term to refer to a management by on site problem solving activities). Never does a day pass by without news covering his unique activities in media. Indeed, Jokowi has become a shining star which illuminates the dark areas, many of which have never been dealt with by the previous governors. His popularity skyrockets, and his humble, sincere, and genuine character hypnotizes millions of Indonesians who are longing for a populous, capable leader like him.

When the Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle appointed him to compete for the Jakarta governor seat, many doubted that the Jakarta people would choose him. Even after he won the governor election, many still disbelieved that he would be able to handle the massive, complicated problems faced by Jakarta. They argued that Solo is very different from Jakarta. His experience as a mayor of Solo would never work in a metropolitan city like Jakarta. Some skeptical comments from analysts even said that Jokowi, a local leader lacking political experience in the national stage, would only be frustrated to battle countless mafias in Jakarta. These are only three among many arguments that his opponents always say strongly about. Nevertheless, with the backing of his brave and “crazy” vice Basuki Tjahaya Purnama (Ahok), Jokowi turns what many have argued the other way around.

Things in Jakarta change under his leadership. Surprisingly, they change fast. Who will not be astonished to see the change in the surrounding of Pluit water reservoir in North Jakarta? This man-made water reservoir is intended to catch excessive rain water during wet season. For many years its main function to control flood has been neglected. The reservoir is full of garbage and its size has shrinkened as hundreds of houses, permanently or semi-permanently, have been built on almost each bank of the reservoir. For years, people have used this reservoir to dump garbage. Knowing that this is not right and that people violate the law, Jokowi approached the people and persuaded them to clear the place. He gave a solution which people would never expect: relocate them to Marunda Flat. In three months, the illegal occupation of the reservoir is solved with minimum objection from those affected.

For another, who is not surprised with the orderliness occurring in Pasar Minggu and Tanah Abang? People are amazed with the bravery that Jokowi and Basuki have shown to erect and apply the laws strictly. In the case of Tanah Abang, this biggest textile market in South East Asia  used to be packed with hundreds of street vendors. They blocked the road and made passing through Tanah Abang hell. Many interests played in Tanah Abang. Bandits, black politicians, bad cops, and mafias treated this place as the most fertile land for their source of wealth. When Jokowi decided to apply the correctness in Tanah Abang, many believed that he would fail. The reason was crystal clear. Many parties would oppose him and would be willing to fight till death to protect their dirty, illegal businesses. However, in a matter of weeks, Pasar Minggu and Tanah Abang are now clear from street vendors. Traffic can flow in an orderly and fluent manner. The street vendors are now happy to be relocated and given kiosks in Block G for them to continue their informal businesses.

With his blusukan and actions taking place, people begin to see some dreams come to reality. No wonder that Jokowi has become a phenomenon. Of course, there are still many things that need to be done. Only in a year, people have already felt good with the way Jokowi and Ahok run Jakarta. This duet has affected Jakarta positively and revolutionized the ways how Jakarta government should give services to public. What he did in Solo turns out to be beautifully workable in Jakarta. Hopefully, the Jokowi effect spreads to other provinces in Indonesia for the betterment of our nation.

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