Ahok, A Man Who Hooks Many Protests


by Alfons Christian Hardjana


Source: http://penulishidupku.com/

After a long time period, the Indonesian political condition was noticed again by international. Now is not about a revolution toward absolute presidency, but about a protest toward “revolutionary governor”. There are three reasons why I called him revolutionary governor.  In the beginning, he is a symbol of double minority in the government system and Indonesian society that majority is Muslim and Indonesian people, a certain group called the native of Indonesian as “pribumi”. He is not only a Christian, but also a Chinese race. The interesting things are Indonesia as the biggest Muslim country  still have a native religion that people start to forget and maybe not acknowledge as religion, only acknowledge as belief; and Indonesia as the most native Indonesian people, in fact, the native itself has so many races with many kinds of diversity behind them, so what is the exact majority of Indonesian races? Next, this revolutionary governor is an idealist governor not a perfect governor, meaning he is a governor who looks forward to the development of his juridical city using the law that already established in UUD1945 and regional government law. On the other hand, he is an individual that rejects the corruption and laziness of government civil servants. His appearances in the government system change the paradigm of being a civil servant in his juridical city. Finally, he is the governor of Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. The ironic fact, he is not coming from Jakarta but from Belitung, a city in Belitung Island that a part of Sumatera Island. These reasons, also with the contradictions in them are a summary of the long story behind the viral traction among Indonesian people that surprisingly hook the interest of the International news agency and invisible hands in political power.

Being problemed with minority issues especially religion issues, what was the essence of his case that hooks so many attentions of people? Why is it become so viral? The main problem was the Muslims feel his speech that mentioning Al-Maidah 51 was a form of blasphemy toward the Muslim people. This is sound a logic reason for who hears the news in the beginning and the video that show this blasphemy spread in the internet too. The video is strengthening the reason too. The video has around one minute duration of speech. The interesting thing here the original speech of this governor is two hours and the topic is not about a religion this is about the plan of developing Pramuka Island in Jakarta to be better. The second interesting thing is the video that triggered the protest. The video already edited from the original video. This is the edited transcript of the governor’s speech:

“Muslim electors deceived by (with) Al Maidah 51 and will go to hell”

This is the original transcript:

“Dear mister and mistress could not choose me, because lied to use the letter Al-Maidah 51 or kinds of it. That is the right of mister and mistress. So if mister and mistress’ feeling can not choose me, because I am afraid of going to hell, fooled like that, alright, it is not a problem. Because this is the right private of mister and mistress. This program is still in progress. So mister and mistress should not feel bad. In mister and mistress’ conscience could not choose Ahok “

Focusing in the one minute speech with the edited version without looking the original context, the Moslem protested this governor with the belief of the leader of FPI, one of the radical Moslem organization in Indonesia. The emergence of post-truth era gives the blurry side to understand the context when the emotional side already conquered the rational side. This phenomenon, according to Oausson, the digitalization of (national) news allows, to a greater extent than previous technologies, for  cross-border communication and perhaps also cultural transformation. It means technologies linked the people, places, and object together. The link that shows this video, interactively changed the identity consciously or subconsciously, faster or slower.


The Never Ending Protests

The media play a pivotal role transforming understandings of time and space (Oausson, 1284) as shown in this news that affect the credibility of the governor in one minute everywhere the audiences saw it. This news will crafted in the memory of the Muslim for an undecided long period of time. Why is undecided time?

To understand this dramatic and emotionally charged reporting that lead into the emergence of a global discourse that involves interconnections between people across vast distances (Oausson, 1287), let see the story of this revolutionary governor.

Ahok before becoming the Jakarta governor on November 19, 2014, is the vice governor of Jakarta with Jokowi as the governor. They were the great combination of governor and vice-governor to the development of Jakarta. Jokowi with his gentle policy  reformed the chaotic surface things in Jakarta and Ahok as the vice governor reformed the depth things in Jakarta with his impulsive policy that based on law. This combination increased the prosperity rate of Jakarta. On the other hand, this combination did not tolerate the lazy and corrupt civil servant. Many politicians that were not in the same side of this combination tried to negotiate them. Here, society was not truly involved in the process so the situation remains calm at that time, until the Jokowi became the president of Indonesia, the gear of fate in Jakarta moves fastly. The calm situation became so noisy. The noise of the people that felt disappointed because they got unhumanized manner from Ahok. Those people were like the lazy civil servant, the people that live in wild resident living in the river, the corrupt government, and the people that corrupt in government project.  Different with Jokowi that slow, gentle, and looks invisible in solving this problem, Ahok is so impulsive that if people don’t look the law he is a brutal governor, but he is not. He also gives a solution to what he is doing. The people that live in the river, he gives them a new public mansion. The civil servant, he increases the salary. The red district demolished and now it is becoming a public garden space. The most important thing result, he did, but people don’t recognize nowadays is Jakarta not flooding in this rainy season now.

This achievement of Ahok was covered by his blasphemy’s scandal. The scandal happened because there was an interaction between one information with other information in the news. This interaction could happen because even the news is neutral, it has the interest to the person with political power. This phenomenon caused a transformation of the culture directly or indirectly because every news and political power has each own constructed perspective that they show to the public. This certain perspective that has diversity one to another, create a framework in person’s mind. In Ahok’s case, the constructed perspective is his credibility as the governor of Jakarta. This bad side of his credibility give a chance to an never ending protest from a certain group that claimed as the voice of the society to him.

So, when the this never ending protest to Ahok as Jakarta Governor will be ended? No one can predict the exact date when this event will come, but one thing for sure, This moment will come went Ahok will not become the governor of Jakarta again or may be in the extreme scenario when Ahok will not related to the political activity in Indonesia again.

But why do the protest, the credibility, and the next governor related in this last five months? Why not since in the beginning?

The answer is simple because on February 15, 2017, one day after valentine day that a certain Muslim organization claimed it as haram, is the day of the election of the governor of Jakarta. That day and the massive protest day since November will crafted in the mass consciousness.  This consciousness will not go until the decisive result will come. Again there was an interesting fact here. The result already shown and it will create the second period of the the election of the governor of Jakarta. The constructed credibility of Ahok in media shown the affection. Why was this result called have the affection?


The Constructed Value VS The Real Value

The person that has a life in society will be an agent of transformation in society. This agent will create further ripples or repercussions toward the news that has been shown in society. Ahok as the Governor of Jakarta that got twice massive protests from Muslim people in the last four months is being looked in different ways by the society now. The news in the past that constructed his value, has two side perspectives. The first side was cons with his value because of his one minute speech. This side, the media invited the Muslim expert that cons with him. Another side was the pro with his value towards his real speech and credibility until now. This other side invited both of the pro and cons side and discuss neutrally in media. Those are the beginning, but nowadays because of the pre-election shown a national debate with three periods of debate, society started to think that there was a set thing in the past protests. These three debates shown by national television not only in actual television, but also in online streaming media like YouTube and Facebook.

Those debates revealed the value of Ahok as the Governor of Jakarta, the constructed value and the real value. Above in the piece of paper, the real value of Ahok already won the heart of the society in Jakarta, but why there will be the second period of election? What happened?

As long as the fake contructed value of Ahok was being built, the other constructed value of their rivals on Jakarta election also gave an affection to the society. As the previous sentence, the one who won the heart of the society is Ahok, but it didn’t mean all of the part of society. There was the other part of society that, attracted by the other candidates of Jakarta governor. This fighting to the next governor election with the bait called Ahok hook the next realm of constructed value versus real value.

Ahok as the governor that in the past as vice governor won by the pure voice of society already intimidated the other candidates with his charisma, credibility, and act. This reality value was the thing that his rivals awared. The rivals faced this reality value with other constructed value of them. The first rival is using his parent popularity and power as his trump card, his parent was the sixth president of Indonesia. On the other hand, before he was also a soldier with major position. The second rival was the former education minister in Jokowi era that got a red raport from Jokowi. His trump card is his idealism toward the prosperity of social intellectual. From both of the rivals, the first rivals was not getting the attention of many societies because he was still a young and inexperienced one in the realm of politic. The rival who dominates the other society is the former education minister. This former minister got the force to fight equally Ahok’s side using the power of Jokowi’s rival in the last presidential election and he was winning the heart of the committee of the local election organizers. Using this committee and the lack of politic policy awareness of the society the second rival made an equality to the charisma and value of Ahok. The question is:

Did this moment indicate still affect the society’s perception to Ahok?

To answer this question, let’s look the other event that became the result of Muslim protests to Ahok. The protests lead Ahok in to the court in the same time with the pre-election time and still continue until now. The zombie of protests still lingering Ahok’s speech in the form of a court. This court is a determining stage of the democracy in Indonesia and the ideology of  Indonesia called “Garuda Indonesia” that has a slogan said “Bhineka Tunggal Ika” (Unity in Diversity).

This determining stage is the political transformation stage for the national media. The court of Ahok’s blasphemy show how the nation-state logic of political identity loosens up, is transgressed, and transforms into transnational political identities in certain contexts (Oausson,  1291), as in this example how medias reveal the real value of Ahok from this court.  This court becomes not only an emotional stage for Ahok but also a comedy stage for the head of protester. This stage become an emotional one for Ahok because from the beginning of court until now, from little step to another little step, he and his lawyer team can give the proofs of the his whole transcript of speech and reject the witnesses of his protesters. In the opposite effect, the head of the protesters got many shames because tin these courts, it revealed most of their witnesses have an unclear proof and a fake proof too. On the other hand, some of their witnesses are giving a good influence to Ahok’s side and one of the witness, the people from Pramuka Island after told his testimony wanted to have a shaking hand with Ahok. The last thing of their witnesses, there are still unverified witnesses that not appeared in the court because of can not come to the court with many reasons. These witnesses become one of the reasons why this court still happening until now.

This court of Ahok is looking so slow but this slow movement affect the media to sustain again and again to the society how impulsive a man called Ahok. His impulsiveness lead him to the accusation of blasphemy using the manipulating information from social media. The social media triggered the anger emotion of the Muslim and media relayed with two sides of perspective. These perspectives in the middle of process became one perception because the media record the progress of the court. The progress of the court that being shown in media and got enhancement in social media and new media reports change the perspectives of the society. The actuality of media is making the progress of the court looks relevant and showing implicitly to the society if the ideology of Garuda Pancasila is being questioned here. The national medias of Indonesia show how democratic and tolerance try to transform the society but on the other side, the relevancy of national media is being questioned too. Will the invisible hand of the interest of  the media owner’s political power affect their report to society? The answered lies in the man who hooks many protests in his act to the law called Ahok on the final judgement of his court. This phenomenon show how national news and media bring a cultural transformation, in this case politic transformation quickly throughout the cross border communication (Occlauson, 1291).













Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s