Jakarta’s heavy metal-loving governor wanted for president

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joko-widodoUnder Shariah Law, fans of punk, heavy metal and hard rock aren’t really accepted in Indonesia. However, all of this could change, as 52-year-old, leather jacket wearing, fist thrusting, sweat soaking, head banging Joko Widodo, governor of Jakarta, is soaring in the polls.

“Jokowi” as he is nicknamed, is gaining popularity, as a lot of Indonesians are finding it easier to relate to the heavy metal mayor who spends his time outside of the confines of government.

“I listen to loud metal songs, from Metallica to Led Zeppelin, to Napalm Death… because rock is my passion,” Widodo said.

Part of Widodo ‘s charm stems from the fact that he was born in a riverbank slum, and he is the son of a carpenter – a type of politician that sets himself apart from the rest who were born into more privileged lives.

Despite not declaring his candidacy, Indonesians have placed him among their favourite politicians in becoming Indonesia’s next president in 2014. The decision will ultimately lie in the hands of his party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), as Widodo has yet to declare his candidacy.

“He is different from other powerful figures who don’t care about ordinary people,” said 32-yeard old Metallica fan Rizqi Widyasari, who shares the opinion of many who are touched and delighted with the mayor’s familiarity.

Yet there is some concern, as some question the credentials of Widodo, who hasn’t worked in national politics yet; if he would be elected, he’ll be in charge of the country’s 17,000 islands and more than 240 million inhabitants. Widodo has also faced criticism concerning his plans to evict residents living in slums around North Jakarta. The city is also facing a heavy load of traffic, with no shift in improving despite the mayor’s public transport projects.

Widodo often visits the city’s packed slums, listening to resident’s complaints, and keeping a check on whether government officials are properly performing their jobs, instilling surprise inspections with accompanying journalists. Widodo is currently focusing on the nation’s capital’s traffic-clogs and flood-prone problems.

“The problems are obvious – we just need to get on with it and to implement the policies we have laid out,” Widodo said.

The heavy metal governor has gone on from regulating Southeast Asia’s biggest textile market, which is controlled by a murky organisation, to starting transportation projects and seeking to improve the sectors of health and education.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Under Shariah Law, fans of punk, heavy metal and hard rock aren’t really accepted in Indonesia. However, all of this could change, as 52-year-old, leather jacket wearing, fist thrusting, sweat soaking, head banging Joko Widodo, governor of Jakarta, is soaring in the polls.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

joko-widodoUnder Shariah Law, fans of punk, heavy metal and hard rock aren’t really accepted in Indonesia. However, all of this could change, as 52-year-old, leather jacket wearing, fist thrusting, sweat soaking, head banging Joko Widodo, governor of Jakarta, is soaring in the polls.

“Jokowi” as he is nicknamed, is gaining popularity, as a lot of Indonesians are finding it easier to relate to the heavy metal mayor who spends his time outside of the confines of government.

“I listen to loud metal songs, from Metallica to Led Zeppelin, to Napalm Death… because rock is my passion,” Widodo said.

Part of Widodo ‘s charm stems from the fact that he was born in a riverbank slum, and he is the son of a carpenter – a type of politician that sets himself apart from the rest who were born into more privileged lives.

Despite not declaring his candidacy, Indonesians have placed him among their favourite politicians in becoming Indonesia’s next president in 2014. The decision will ultimately lie in the hands of his party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), as Widodo has yet to declare his candidacy.

“He is different from other powerful figures who don’t care about ordinary people,” said 32-yeard old Metallica fan Rizqi Widyasari, who shares the opinion of many who are touched and delighted with the mayor’s familiarity.

Yet there is some concern, as some question the credentials of Widodo, who hasn’t worked in national politics yet; if he would be elected, he’ll be in charge of the country’s 17,000 islands and more than 240 million inhabitants. Widodo has also faced criticism concerning his plans to evict residents living in slums around North Jakarta. The city is also facing a heavy load of traffic, with no shift in improving despite the mayor’s public transport projects.

Widodo often visits the city’s packed slums, listening to resident’s complaints, and keeping a check on whether government officials are properly performing their jobs, instilling surprise inspections with accompanying journalists. Widodo is currently focusing on the nation’s capital’s traffic-clogs and flood-prone problems.

“The problems are obvious – we just need to get on with it and to implement the policies we have laid out,” Widodo said.

The heavy metal governor has gone on from regulating Southeast Asia’s biggest textile market, which is controlled by a murky organisation, to starting transportation projects and seeking to improve the sectors of health and education.

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