John Mcbeth, Straits Times senior writer wrote:
AUSTRALIAN National University (ANU) academic Marcus Mietzner bravely crawled out on a limb two weeks ago and predicted that not only would wildly popular Jakarta governor Joko Widodo enter the 2014 presidential race, but also he would win it.
I have a high regard for Dr Mietzner because he does not sit around and ruminate from a distance. He spends a lot of time on the ground in Indonesia and has a formidable circle of sources and contacts.
His presentation before ANU’s Indonesian Study Group, which one participant described as the best he has heard on contemporary Indonesian politics, is not being publicly circulated because he feels some of it is a little sensitive.
Still, such a bold prediction – unusual for an academic but delivered with compelling conviction – deserves close scrutiny, not least because most analysts haven’t as yet been willing to make such a big call.
Full article is available to subscribers: The Governor who could be Indonesia’s next leader.
Natalie Sambhi, analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Canberra, has also written a post on Dr Mietzner’s seminar, The audacity of Jokowi, at The Strategist, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute blog:
To sum up Mietzner’s presentation, Jokowi will sail to victory with a popularity (buoyed by intense media attention and pop culture appeal) and the hope of the people that no other political figure in Indonesia’s recent history has been ever able to muster. Jokowi hails from a modest background and self-made wealth as a furniture entrepreneur, which has given him a down-to-earth quality and sensitivity to the issues of Jakarta’s poorer residents. For those Indonesians fatigued with the usual suspects in elections, Jokowi makes an unconventional and therefore appealing candidate. He signals the potential for a new chapter in clean politics and accountability—a perspective that opinion polls are now beginning to show. According to one survey, he’s secured 21.2% of votes and leads the race.