Sponge Bob and the 2012 Jakarta Governor elections

Not satisfied with the quality of the six candidates vying to be the new Jakarta Governor in 2012 (*), a new candidate has just stepped in:

 Sponge Bob
Sponge Bob Square Pants

A popular figure among Jakartans, Sponge Bob has vowed to make the Big Durian “a better place to live” despite the city’s gargantuan problems.

Sponge Bob’s Stated Policies

Education: Improvement of education in Jakarta through compulsory viewing of his educational TV show on Global TV for all children aged 5 to 16.

Economy: Manufacturing and retailing of Sponge Bob merchandise, either through traditional retailers (small kiosks and the like) or at the huge number of shopping malls that are mushrooming up just about everywhere at the moment.

Flood mitigation: No need to bother with any flood canals or anything - Sponge Bob and his mates like a watery environment.

Health: Eat more fresh fish – it’s good for you - instead of the fat drenched nasi goreng rubbish.

Transportation: No need. Just stay at home or in the sea and keep away from the roads okay?

(*) But what to make of the other cartoon characters in the Jakarta governor race? Well it’s not easy of course, but who actually cares what they say anyway?  Politicians often fail to live up to their promises, so a better way to assess them is needed. And this is where anagrammaticography comes in - a highly regarded tool noted for its uncanny ability to accurately predict the views of political figures on a host of issues.

Although criticized by religious types as “the work of the devil”, the power of political anagrammaticography cannot be overlooked. An anagram of “George Bush” reveals “He bugs Gore”, and rather more ominously “Sarah Palin” reveals “Sharia plan”. (I always suspected that the US religious right had made an unholy (sic) alliance with the Jihadists, so thank God Barack Obama won the US presidential elections). Incidentally, an anagram of Barack Obama comes up with 'Aback, a Rambo!' – strongly suggesting he ain’t quite the limp-wristed liberal that many believe him to be.

So how does this motley crew of Jakarta Governor Candidates shape up? Well, here’s the analysis:

Fauzi Bowo. As the incumbent Jakarta Governor, Fauzi has certainly done well for himself, acquiring a staggering Rp46.9 billion in rupiah cash, US$ 200,000 of greenback, land and buildings worth Rp33.5 billion, antiques and art worth Rp9.3 billion (!!!), promissory notes worth Rp 1.2 billion, giros worth Rp 1.5 billion, and would you believe it, FIVE luxury Harley- Davidson motorcycles: one 1962 Sportster worth Rp 50 million, one 1991 Sturgis worth Rp 150 million, one 1992 Nostalgia worth Rp 125 million, one 1961 Duo Glide worth Rp 75 million, and a 2005 Harley-Davidson worth Rp 275 million. Not bad for a government official and a “man of the people”, but I bet he doesn’t ride his bikes past Semanggi every evening where traffic management is nonexistent and chaos rules. Anagram verdict:  “I of Bozuwa”. Perhaps he should go and live there.

Joko Widodo. The current mayor of Solo has a lot of fans but his deluded belief that the high school Esemka car could be “mass produced” and somehow challenge Toyota (!!!) raises a few eyebrows. He also has a cool Rp 18.4 billion plus US$9,483, according to the KPK (Corruption Eradication Commission). Anagram verdict:  “Wood OK Jodi”. Maybe he should just play golf.

Alex Noerdin. The South Sumatra Governor is not known to be an animal lover and famously called for the culling of dogs from Palembang ahead of the farcically organized 26th SEA Games during which athletes had to sleep on a navy boat due to a lack of hotel rooms. Nope, organization is probably not this chap’s greatest strength.  Anagram verdict:  “In relaxed: no”. Says it all really.

Hidayat Nur Wahid. Leader of the Islamic party PKS, Hidayat Nur Wahid seems like a friendly enough chap although I’m not so sure about his democratic credentials. Anagram verdict: “Ha Ha! Win arid duty”. Be afraid, very afraid.

Faisal Basri. As an economist Faisal should know that much higher fuel prices and decent public transportation are vital to reduce the chronic congestion in Jakarta.  But has he the guts to put in place the necessary policies? Anagram verdict:  “Flair bias as”

Hendardji Soepandji. Retired military general – there’s always one, ain’t there? – Hendardji is the poorest of the bunch with only Rp 5.03 billion and US$114,250 dollars. Anagram verdict:  “J-shaped, joined drain”. So be careful what you wish for!


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