• ross1948 10:49 on June 2, 2014 Permalink Reply  

    Stadium Tutup, Tapi Ahok Yang Takut? Kata Siapa? Seorang Asing!

    Apologies for the weekend shut-down. I am not dead, but apparently my ISP’s fibre optic was, or that was their excuse when I rang for the fourth time and raged at them!

    • angry face


    • I’m getting used to Dunhill, since Lucky Strike has stopped supplying their Greens, the menthol brand, only their Reds and Blues to be found in stores, and I must have tried almost all the stores in Jakarta.

    A mild bit of hyperbole, that, but King Arthur’s Knights could hardly have done more in their heroic quest for the Holy Grail.


    • lucky-strike-cigarette-advert-1950s Reds galore, no menthol
    • ====================
    • So?

    Well, that shows I am not drug-free.  I’m fond of nicotine, and, to be honest, alcohol.

    Just re-stocked the manor with a fine selection of Red Label and Jim Beam.

    • I do not, however, have any interest in the illegal sort, but some people, I’m afraid, do.  

    • I occasionally tell them, in friendly fashion, that…

    A  they are doing themselves no good, and…


    indonesia drugs

    B  in Indonesia, it’s crass folly, for the penalties are harsh.


    That meandering intro serves to bring me to yesterday’s news.

    Yesterday, June 1st, Ahok took over as Acting Governor of Jakarta. That’ because Governor Joko Widodo, aka Jokowi, has relinquished the reins to run for president of Indonesia.

    Like many Jakarta residents, I admire Ahok, not because he’s a Christian, or because he’s from the ethnic Chinese minority (though those attributes are welcome insofar as they infuriate racist Islamist bigots ) but because he is that rare breed here, an outspoken, frank and fearless politician.


    So I was more than a little shocked to learn that somebody has called him ‘gutless.’

    Not by those whose criticisms of Ahok were heard during the gubernatorial election two years ago, the babbling baboons who shouted him down at the hustings, hurling sectarian and racist abuse at the man.

    Jakarta Jew-Haters Boo Chinese Christian Candidate 

    Nor by those fanatics  who,are beside themselves with Islamist indignation that a non-Muslim dare aspire to high office in this fair city.


    • ahok
    • ———-
    • No, not by any of those.
    • Instead I find that his latest challenger is not even Indonesian. Astoundingly, the frantic denunciation comes from a youthful ‘Jakarta-based‘ expat, named Patrick Tibke.
    • ======================

    Okay, it takes all sorts, but Tibke’s tirade appeared just over a month ago in an online magazine called Asian Correspondent, which I’d never previously heard of, but which is clearly well-connected, carrying ads from some of the most reputable Western universities.

    • ””””””””’
    • Regular readers will know I am not always given to measured invective.
    • If undesirable alien ‘asylum’ seekers aiming to gain bludger status in Oz, or IslamoNazi thugs marauding against honest citizens in Jakarta, get a mention here, they get the full force, often fast and furious, of my wrathful vocabulary deployed against them.

    But the article in Asian Correspondent left me gob-smacked.

    How anyone, Indonesian or expat, could heap such abuse on Ahok, who, in my opinion, and that of many millions of Indonesians, is the best thing that’s happened to Jakarta in years, and years, and years, simply shocked me..

    Gutless policy will do nothing to curtail burgeoning drug use in the Indonesian capital, writes Patrick Tibke


    Whose policy is he talking about?

    Last week Basuki Purnama Tjahaja, the vice governor of Jakarta more commonly known as Ahok, announced an aggressive new pilot scheme designed to cleanse the capital  of illicit narcotics. 

    According to Tibke, this comes amid an unceasing torrent of alarmist drug trolling…buoyed by an unremitting campaign of misinformation and sensationalist reporting..

    He goes on to label the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) as sanctimonious for calling 2014  “The Year of Saving the Drug User”.



    I’d have said BNN was perhaps optimistic, but Tibke appears to think this objective is a ridiculous shared fantasy.

    And as for Ahok’s plan to hit drug-swamped night-clubs with a two-strikes-and-you’re-out campaign of raids?

    Beneath the belligerent rhetoric, however, there undoubtedly lies an ill-conceived and totally infeasible policy – which has been timely crafted to coincide with the run-up to the 2014 elections, and will only float with the help of a string-pulled media circus.

    But Ahok’s not running in the 2014 election.

    Governor Jokowi is, and if elected, Ahok automatically becomes Governor, no election involved.

    So how come Tibke slights Ahok and insults the media too?

    Okay, a lot of the media are deserving of insult. I insult both the Jakarta Post and Jakarta Globe all the time!

    But in terms of illicit drugs, the journos probably (and unusually!) reflect the views of their readers.

    Tibke is no doubt correct that clubs where dope-heads hang out turn over millions of dollars in tax-free, illicit revenue, but when he immediately follows that with allegations of wholesale police corruption, he needs to stump up evidence. 

    Again, I’m no slouch in offering harsh words when the police speak or act in ways that give encouragement to the vile sectarians in this country. 

    But I post on the basis of clear info, the evidence available across the media, here and/or abroad.

    Tibke or his editors should know that’s the right and proper way.


    I did go to one of the most notorious clubs, when I was still quite new here, and it was a repulsive, hellish place, so dark you couldn’t see who was next to you, and the metallic jungly ‘house’ music enough to deafen you.

    I didn’t ever go back.  

    And for the time being I can’t – Ahok has just had the Stadium shut down!


    However, Tibke may differ – he refers to Jakarta’s empirically endowed club-goers, whatever the heck that means, and evidently spends much time talking with them, for his corruption revelations are apparently confirmed by their gossip.

    Again, he offers no trackable sources.

    I’m not saying he’s wrong about what he says goes on, but it’s no damned use just spouting off unsubstantiated allegations.

    He admits there are at least 600,000 druggies in town, and they get their drugs at nightclubs. 

    Right, if you think, as he does, that current efforts to stomp this are an extraordinary farce, then you might say that’s  an argument for Ahok’s plan to toughen up endeavours.

    Instead Tibke insults Ahok, dismissing one of the city’s, and the country’s, most honest and admirable leaders as just another case of a high-profile, urbanite politician desperately spouting tough-on-drugs hot air amid the run-up to an election. 

    Off again on the red-herring trail.

    jokowi-twitter Jokowi

    It’s JOKOWI who’s running for President.

    And he’s no longer Governor, as of yesterday – yes, he and Ahok have been a good team, but if Jokowi wanted to use this plan as a campaign ploy, he’d have announced it as HIS plan.

    He left it to Ahok, who is not a candidate at all, to get the kudos – or the nasty insults, which Tibke doesn’t hesitate to hurl.

    And what’s this foreign youth’s alternative? He offers what he awkwardly calls a paradigm shift in approach to drug policy, not merely the addition of another empty, punitive threat.

    So what the heck does that gobble-de-gook paradigm shift actually mean? 

    Legalise the lot, or much of it. 

    Politicians like Ahok would do better to acknowledge that the vast majority of drug use performed in a nightclub environment – even in Jakarta(!) – is not significantly harmful nor dependence-forming, is indulged in by informed adults, and is rationally motivated – primarily by pleasure. To vilify such environments and their patrons, en masse, by way of ‘hard-line’ platitudes purely for short-term political expediency, is both disingenuous and divisive to society at large.

    (Warning – Tibke puts that quote in red print as if it is some impartial reference source, but in fact it comes from the website of an outfit describing itself thus – think tank that campaigns for the legal regulation of drugs both in the UK and internationally.)

    Actually, I’ve seen some of those ‘informed adults‘ wandering down Jalan Jaksa as I breakfasted there in years gone by.

    Not a pretty sight, a pretty girl, her brain so addled that she’s incapable of coherent conversation – yes, I know her – and I remember a nice guy who, when clear-headed, could discuss all manner of academic matters, reduced by ‘stuff’ to a shambling mess.

    I also know other people who have hung out in that pitch-black den all night long, who emerged mentally intact – so neither his description of informed adults nor mine of nearly brain-dread wrecks covers the entire spectrum.

    But he shouldn’t paint drugs as harmless.

    They’re not.

    Any more than is strong drink, which I like to sample now and then. 

    If alcohol were hitherto unknown, there’d be a case for banning it. It’s fun while it lasts, but it can be ruinous to people who are short on self-discipline.

    But prohibition is unrealistic, because booze has been with us for centuries.

    These prohibited drugs, however, are relatively new. Old-fashioned opium dens are a fact of history, but this massive substance abuse?

    There’s no overwhelming argument for Indonesia to ape the West, where, although countries like Holland have caved in and legalised them, other countries like America and Britain are still split wide open on the issue.


    But Tibke’s peroration won’t hear of any such quibbles. He wants the debate shut down.  But debate is too straightforward a word, so he substitutes discourse.

     Sanctimonious and ideologically-driven pipe dreams, such as the eradication of all (currently illegal) narcotics, ought to be thrown out of the discourse on drug policy immediately – and, believe it or not, it’s politicians like Ahok who largely possess the power and influence required to do just that – if only they didn’t lack the guts.

    Why on earth should one side of the debate, a side supported probably by most Jakartans (I spent yesterday with one, who often argues with me, but who hailed Ahok as ‘courageous’ for his Stadium action) be ‘thrown out,’ simply because one foreigner dislikes hearing it? 

    So who is Mr. Tibke?

    Patrick Tibke is a Jakarta-based writer and a recent graduate from the Southeast Asian Studies program at SOAS, University of London. His interests include politics, human rights, labour and narcotics-related issues.  http://asiancorrespondent.com/122248/jakartas-vice-governor-launches-a-pointless-drugs-crackdown/

    That figures!

    • Ati 10:50 on June 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Ross, thank you so much. You are a friend to Indonesia, not like Mister Tibke


    • derek 11:25 on June 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      We are at lunch together again and all agree with you Ross.
      Tibke is not the bule big expert he thinks.
      We in Indonesia do not need advice from him. Drugs are dangerous.


    • santi 11:39 on June 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Terrible, Mr. Tibke. To say thing like that about Ahok is unfair and not true.
      We are not Europe or America, and want our country healthy and safe.


    • anita 11:46 on June 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I think you are right, Ahok is a good man, honest. This Tibke is living here?
      But he does not care for our young, wants everyone free to do drugs?



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