Asia-Pacific

Feb 21, 2013

In Jakarta with Indonesia’s ambitious ‘Obama’ governor

There's no question that Jakarta's charismatic new governor, Joko Widodo, is popular. But will his vast appeal and lofty promises translate into an effective government? Kevin Ponniah writes from Jakarta.

When torrential flooding once again brought Jakarta to a standstill last month, it was tempting to think the 10 million residents of Indonesia’s capital would finally turn on their “celebrity” governor. Yet as the death toll climbed to 26 and with 50,000 homeless, Joko Widodo, floating through metre-deep water on a wooden cart, was greeted as a saviour.

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