I need my beauty sleep
Charlton are playing Fulham at 3 o'clock this morning, local time. Now, I only mention that because, with a couple of weeks off work, I could stay up, or get up, to watch it live on TV. After all, this is of vital importance to we Addicks.
The problem is, my bio-rhythms, internal body clock or whatever, still determine that I wake up bloody early and, therefore, go to bed early because, friends will agree, I do need my beauty sleep.
This is why I've missed some important events here in Jakarta. And I'm not talking about Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes of Man Utd. wreaking havoc
or the big bang which disturbed residents around Jakarta at the same time: Indonesian Air Force radar detected an unidentified object falling toward the earth at a great speed before disappearing at around the same time as the noise was heard, a spokesman said. Air Force spokesman Commodore Sagom Tambun said the air force was not monitoring falling objects such as meteors.
Must've been a UFO then.
The really earth-shaking event that I missed was the come-uppance of Akbar Tanjung
. He is no longer the éminence grise
controlling Golkar, Suharto's political group that he reinvented after the abdication of the smiling general. That Akbar was able to guide them back into becoming the largest group in the legislature was certainly some achievement, but then he did have the levers of a formidable political machine which was backed by powerful business interests.
His successor, Josef Kalla
, is a very successful business man too, though I'm intrigued by my lack of success in sussing out his current interests and connections
. That he is successful can be taken as read, particularly in the Jakarta Post editorial
today: While Golkar remains very much a élitist game, with votes acquired through a hard sell of money and power, nevertheless, during this congress and the convention earlier in the year it showed that the party's apex was determined via a process that allowed anyone - and just about everyone tried to take advantage - to partake.
What I think this says, is that in the true spirit of reformasi
, this was a democratic vote, and the richest man won.
"Akbar asked us to listen to our hearts, but Kalla gives us vitamins," said a participant from Sumatra. During this election year, "vitamins" and "nutrition" have widely been used as informal codewords for material gain, mainly cash.
What this means for the country will take some time to understand. Golkar has probably been co-opted to support SBY
rather than serve as an oppositional force. The post-Suharto ditherings of Gus Dur and Megawati have not raised morale. Will a stronger presidency encourage the populace to get more involved in their own governance? I suspect that there will be further power plays as Kalla is now in a position, as both vice president and leader of the largest power grouping, to make a play for the presidency himself.
I don't have the answers. I think I'll sleep on it.