It is always fun to check the foreign press because it gives you different perspective on the news. Here is a review of the on-line Indonesian newspapers covering the “to be or not to be” saga around the failed visit of President Obama to their country.
According to Armando Siahaan from The Jakarta Globe President Obama has eaten dog meat while living in Indonesia as a child. The author of the article has few suggestions about the things President O should do when visiting Indonesia (apparently in the summer):
… Obama, who has eaten dog meat when he lived in Indonesia as a child, should head out for a taste of traditional cuisine. I understand that people are expecting the president to chow down on nasi goreng , mie bakso or gado gado…
The next idea in the column made me spill my morning coffee. Thankfully the liquid missed the keyboard. Here is the suggestion of Mr. Siahaan from The Jakarta Globe:
The American president travels around the world in Air Force One, but while in the Big Durian, Obama, who drives a Ford Escape Hybrid in the United States, should ride our ironic snail-paced, three-wheeled, toxic-farting vehicle and have one named in his honor — the Bajaj Force One.
The Health Care debate in America is followed all over the world. Here are some tips from Indonesia:
We have the Chinese wonder pill that is reported to cure all sorts of illnesses, in addition to religious quasi-doctors. Maybe Obama could also borrow Ponari, the kid from Jombang, East Java, whose magical rock is reputed to give him mystical healing power.
There you go. This is the explanation of the missing healing powers of The One. He lost his magic rock in Indonesia.
On a serious note the Jakarta Globe has an article suggesting that President Obama needs to hurry up to Indonesia, because China is outbidding US in the region for the green energy projects.
General Electric’s chief executive Jeffrey Immelt wants Barack Obama to “sell hard” in Indonesia as he extols US expertise in industries such as clean energy. He will have to work fast as Premier Wen Jiabao will make China’s sales pitch in Jakarta next month.
The folks at Jakarta Post are less excited about the US President. The paper posted photo of hundreds of protesters that rally against the visit of President US Barack Obama. A woman in a traditional Muslim attire is carrying a sign “USA – the real terrorist” on the picture. The comments in the on-line forum of the article consist of mostly bashing President Obama. Most of the folks in Indonesia don’t see any difference between President O and President George W Bush.
The public opinion is split on President Obama. Those who remember him as a kid are fond of him, but many are increasingly suspicious of his foreign policy. That movement prompted the removal of the Obama-kid statue from a public park in Jakarta to the yard of the old school where the US President went to Kindergarten.