Saturday, August 17, 2013

Joko Widodo

 

Joko Widodo (born June 21, 1961 in Surakarta, Indonesia), better known by his nickname Jokowi, is an Indonesian politician and the current Governor of Jakarta. He was previously the Mayor of Surakarta. He was nominated by his party, Indonesian Democratic Party – Struggle, to run in the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial election with Basuki Tjahaja Purnama as his running mate. He was elected as governor of Jakarta on 20 September 2012 after a second round runoff of voting in which he defeated incumbent governor Fauzi Bowo.

Born in Surakarta, Central Java, Completed primary school at SDN Sumber Surakarta, then continue in Junior High School at SMPN 1 Surakarta and Senior High School at SMAN 5 Surakarta. Jokowi graduated with an engineering degree from the Faculty of Forestry at Gadjah Mada University in 1985.

While running for the office of mayor of Surakarta, many doubted the ability of a man who worked as a property and furniture businessman, but after a year in office, he successfully led many progressive breakthroughs which became widely praised nationally. He adopted the development framework of European cities (which he frequently traveled to as a businessman) into his own city of Surakarta.

His supporters pointed to rapid 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). Furthermore, when Balekambang Park was abandoned by its organizer, he made it a public park. 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" elements designed to build bonds with the broad electorate. His approach has proved highly effective in the past few years. As just one example, as mayor of Surakarta he became personally in an incident just before Christmas 2011 when the Surakarta municipality had overdue bills owing of close to $1 million (Rp 8.9 billion) to the electricity company, the Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN). Following PLN company policy to pursue a more aggressive approach to collect overdue bills across Indonesia, the PLN imposed a blackout on street lamps in Surakarta just before Christmas. The city municipality quickly authorised payment but arranged the settlement along with a protest and suggested that the PLN should consider the interest of the public before taking this type of action. To reinforce the point, Jokowi made a highly-publicised 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.

Joko Widodo was chosen by the Tempo magazine as one of the 'Top 10 Indonesian Mayors of 2008'. In 2011, he was awarded the Bintang Jasa Utama by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The next year, he 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."

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

Taken from the Wikipedia.

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