The wRap Indonesia: Oct. 10, 2014
JAKARTA, Indonesia - President-elect Joko Widodo's response to the threat from Prabowo Subianto's camp and Indonesia's pledge to protect ancient cave art lead our wrap of stories from Indonesia the past day.
1. Jokowi shrugs off threat from Prabowo camp, gives PPP ministerial seat
“Does my face look like a worried face? No, right? I don’t look ahead to the moves to block me — I just want to hear and be near the people,” President-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Thursday, October 9, according to the Jakarta Globe. He was responding to the threat from Prabowo Subianto's camp to use our their power over the legislature to investigate Jokowi and obstruct his presidency. But at the same time, Jokowi is seen to have begun compromising in order to erode Prabowo's control over the legislature: he has said he would include the United Development Party (PPP) in his cabinet in exchange for their support during the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) leadership vote.
2. Indonesia pledges to protect ancient cave paintings
Indonesian authorities plan to place caves in Sulawesi that bear ancient paintings on a list of the nation's official "cultural heritage" and are applying to have them included in UNESCO's World Heritage List. "This is certainly something that Indonesia can be proud of. Of course, we must do our best to protect them," said Andi Muhammad Said, head of the cultural heritage conservation office in South Sulawesi province, where the caves are located. Researchers say the paintings, which include a 40,000-year-old silhouette of a hand, show that Europe was not the birthplace of art as many had long believed. Read the full story on Rappler.
3. Bali Democracy Forum opens Friday amid concerns over Indonesian democracy
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to open the 7th Bali Democracy Forum – and the final under him – on Friday, October 10, amid protests over the state of democracy in Indonesia. On Thursday, the Seoul-based Asian Democracy Network (ADN) said the controversial passage of the Regional Elections Law – which removes the right of Indonesians to directly elect their governors, mayors and district heads – “affects negatively the Indonesian reputation as a champion of democracy in Asia recent years”. The statement was issued in solidarity with the 11 Indonesian civil society organizations that declined invitations to the forum. Read the full story on Rappler.
4. Groom among missing in deadly Indonesian boat sinking
"He called me and shouted in panic, 'the boat is sinking!' and after that the connection was cut off," Mas'ut, the father of the bride, said of his would-be son-in-law. The groom is among the 24 still accounted for after the boat they were on sank while on their way to Bali to get married. At least 20 are confirmed dead, officials said Thursday. "We were all very shocked – what was supposed to be a joyful event turned to misery," Mas'ut said. Read the full story on Rappler.
5. Who's better-looking: Jokowi or Obama? South Korea's foreign minister weighs in
President-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has been called the "Obama of Indonesia", but when it comes to the looks department, it seems the leader of the free world would want to be likened to Indonesia's next president instead. At least according to South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se. The minister said he was "struck that Jokowi was more handsome than Obama", after meeting the president-elect on Thursday in Jakarta to congratulate him on his election on behalf of South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, state news agency Antara reported. Yun, who also said Jokowi knew more K-pop artists that he did, also invited the president-elect to attend the ASEAN-Korea Summit in South Korea in December.