Monday’s inauguration of Joko Widowo as Indonesia’s seventh president is a transformational moment for the world’s third largest democracy. Known as Jokowi, Widodo is Indonesia’s first retail politician and will be the first freely elected leader who wasn’t part of the power structure during Suharto’s 40 years of authoritarian rule. At Indonesia’s Ubud Writers Festival., experts warned the remnants of those bad old days threat to stop Jokowi’s reformist agenda, bad news for Southeast Asia’s largest economy and the nation with the world’s largest Muslim population.
Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.