Friday, June 11, 2010

The phenomenon of Anas Urbaningrum

Although there is no guarantee that fresh blood will supply innovative ideas and a “new spirit”, we still hope that a younger mind and soul should play a greater role in national leadership.

In the aftermath of reformation, old faces still dominate the political arena. Some analysts and commentators are worried that the process of regeneration does not run efficiently.

Reformation fails to produce new leaders. Old players are too strong, a situation which thwarted the birth of new leaders.

In the recent years, three are young potential leaders — Rizal Mallarangeng, who already devoted a certain amount of energy and money to advertise his candidacy for president via the media, Yuddy Chrisnandi, a former candidate for Golkar chairman, and Ulil Abshar-Abdalla, one of the founders of JIL (Liberal Islam Network) who threw a hat in the NU (Nahdlatul Ulama) leadership arena — failed.

Now, Anas Urbaningrum becomes the chairman of the Democratic Party. Does it mean that an Indonesian Obama has come? Do not rush to a conclusion.

The case of Rizal is as follows. Once he said: “I do not run on behalf of myself, but on behalf of a generation. I respect President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Gus Dur, the Sultan [of Yogyakarta], and Amien Rais. But, they should not be alone.”

Rizal then rhetorically asked: If another country can produce new leaders, why can’t Indonesia? After 10 years (of reformation) why should only Gus Dur and Amien (dominate the Indonesian political landscape).

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