I have been watching Jokowi since he was inaugurated as president of Indonesia. His Inaugural Address was extraordinary. He wants Indonesians to work hard.
Jokowi has not visited Malaysia yet and I dont think he is in any hurry to do so either.
Or he may read my Blog and decide to catch a flight here next week (joking only ahh).
Yesterday, Friday Nov 21, 2014 Jokowi travelled to Singapore for a private visit - to attend his son's graduation from the Anglo Chinese International School in Singapore.
His travel caused a stir because Jokowi and wife flew Economy Class.
What is more interesting is that before flying back today morning, Saturday, Jokowi had breakfast with Singapore Premier Lee Hsien Loong. Here is the news :
- Joko Widodo caused a stir this weekend fly economy class
- to watch his son's high school graduation in Singapore
- Skipping security protocol Widodo and wife queued for check-in
- Widodo known for common touch, family maintained modest lifestyle
- since he became leader of Southeast Asia's biggest economy last month.
- presence of the president caused a buzz at Jakarta's airport
- his choice to fly economy won praise, many urging government officials to follow suit.
- "Hopefully other officials can follow in his footsteps," tweeted Anita Tobing.
- Widodo did not use presidential jet or VIP terminal because personal travel
- "I am going for family matters - so why should I use the facility?" Widodo told reporters
- to see youngest son graduate from Anglo-Chinese International School S'pore
- Widodo had b'fast with S'pore's PM Lee Hsien Loong before flying back
My comments : There is a theory that Indonesia is pulling away from ASEAN and orbiting closer to the big powers because Indonesia sees itself (as it rightly should) as a big power as well.
With 252 million people (4th largest in the world), the 15th largest land area and with the 17th largest economy in the world (nominal GDP) Indonesia can certainly be a great power.
With strong leadership it is not impossible that Indonesia will one day achieve its place among the great nations.
Ever since Dr Mahathir retired in 2003, Malayia's role in ASEAN has just dimmed like a burnt out light bulb. ASEAN by itself is sort of fading out too.
Here is a scenario - what if Indonesia pulls out of ASEAN? ASEAN will collapse. They may not pull out (yet) but what if Indonesia does not find ASEAN of much use to them? Whither then ASEAN?
To be a great nation requires thinking like a great nation. Not only its leaders but the people too must think in global terms.
Singapore has achieved this. China and Japan are also there and South Korea too. Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are headed in that direction. These are our neighbours.
Malaysia is developing excellent relations with camel herders. Our leaders cannot even speak English. Even their bahasa is not exactly that great. In a few days we will hear them shouting and screaming again. These are the leaders. What about the people?
What would Lee Hsien Loong have discussed with Jokowi?
If Jokowi came for breakfast with Najib what would Najib have to say?