Blogger Indonesia of the Week (47): Juwono Sudarsono

Indonesian Blogger and Defense Minister

I don’t want to talk here about a man named Juwono Sudarsono (pronounced: Yuwono) as a national and world figure with highly respected personality not only in terms of his personal integrity and humility, but also in terms of his achievement among Indonesian and international intelligentsia. Besides, this writing will never be enough to talk about him in that regard, you yourself can find loads of information on that by googling his name. The mighty Google will guide you towards more accurate and complete info.

Having said that, I have personal fondness on him because from some of my seniors in India, I heard that he’d been doing his high-school in Delhi Public School (DPS)during his father, Mr. Sudarsono, tenure as the first Ambassador of Indonesia in the 1950s. I dont know whether this info is correct, either way that make us, Indonesian student in India, pay more attention on him.

I, myself, admire him long before I came to India. As far as I can recall, he’s the first youngest professor in Indonesia. More than that, I also like his prolific writing in Tempo weekly magazine on socio-political phenomenon and his easy-going style (wearing jeans and golf t-shirt) as young professor gains admiration among his students.

Now, he starts blogging. So, he’s the first Indonesia Minister to have a blog. An extraordinary step forward as far as Indonesia’s VIPs are concerned. Extraordinary for more than one: (1) It symbolizes his willingness to reach out to the people, to talk directly to them, to us, a kind of willingness that’s uncommon among Indonesian establishment; (b) By opening the comment box in his blog, it suggests that he’s not afraid of any criticism, if any, which means he doesn’t have anything to hide, to afraid of. That might explain the meaning of his blog title: “Integrity in its strict sense.” A man of integrity, of principle should not worry anything; (c) As I wrote here and a comment by Ong Hock Chuan told us that even some journalists just dont have a clue about blog, not to say a minister. His departure from such ignorance should give a good example to his counterparts.

Mind you, in other parts of the world, a professor and MPs who’re actively blogging are a common phenomenon.

He just starts blogging last month with four only postings, but as you could see, his move are enthusiastically welcomed by Indonesian bloggers and it should motivate him to keep blogging and motivate other ministers and other VIPs to follow suit.

Many Indonesians who comment in his blog wish him luck and hope him to continue. One thing I disagree a bit with many commenters are their criticism as to why he’s blogging in English instead of in Bahasa Indonesia. I hope he keeps blogging in English because he truly represent our voices to the world and his capacity as Defence Minister and international relation professor suit him well to that task.
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