In this episode, we discuss the recent controversies around Teman Ahok — a grassroots, volunteer-driven independent organization committed toward supporting current Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, more commonly known as Ahok, and his 2017 independent gubernatorial re-election campaign — in particular, whether the initial funding to start the organization was actually money from the reclamation bribery scandal involving two giant property developers, PT. Agung Podomoro Land and PT. Agung Sedayu Group. The allegations were first made by Junimart Girsang, a PDI-P politician in the DPR (the Indonesian parliament), and was reported extensively by Tempo in their cover article, “Duit Reklamasi untuk Teman-Teman Ahok” (Reclamation Money for Friends of Ahok). Teman Ahok is currently under investigation by the KPK over these very allegations.
We also compared Teman Ahok with, arguably, its equivalent in U.S. politics, OFA (formerly Obama for America, now Organizing for Action) — a similarly grassroots movement that supported Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign (and continued to work with the Obama administration and the DNC throughout the Obama years). We also discuss whether Teman Ahok is similar to PACs and SuperPACs (Political Action Committees) and delve a little bit into the history of campaign funding in Indonesia. We wrap it up with our hopes that, in spite of the questions surrounding Teman Ahok, this organization can still inspire conversations around leadership, around campaign transparency, and around cleaner, more democratic politics.
This episode is Part 2 on our ongoing conversation around Ahok. You can listen to Part 1 in one of our previous episodes, Kali-Oh-No! (Ahok Pt. 1).
Thanks for listening!