5 Reasons Why Indonesian Government Needs A Language and Intercultural Communication Specialist

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… like me. Just because I don’t want to be so pompous and said: “Why Indonesian government needs ME”.

Anyway, I was inspired by one of my Indonesian friend in Norwich who apparently has a blog. He wrote about the “funny” occurrence where our Mr President “scolded” the kids who fell asleep during his speech on the National Children Day. I couldn’t help laughing my fat arse off because of that. To be completely and brutally honest, nobody listened to presidential speech anymore, we either swiftly change the channel to HBO to see blood gushing killings on Game of Throne, or just turn off the telly and posted on Facebook how lame the tv show was.

I remembered how many blunders our Mr President has made in the public appearance. It reminded me of what my “Introduction to Public Relations” lecturer told us that the government did not need any more spokesman. What they needed was the PR team who would be able to handle all the motherfucking crisis they would face in the future. I thought the government listened to that very well, and now the people complained about the “politik pencitraan” (“image” politic).

But I think, what the government need is me. Or, someone like me. It would be their loss if they don’t hire me, because I am the one who came up with this shit. But yes, I believe the government of Indonesia would need a language and intercultural communication specialist… like me. Why the fuck is that?

1. Indonesia is a multi-language country.
Holy shit. Based on Ethnologue, there are 729 individual languages listed in Indonesia. I have been to places where Indonesian bahasa, as the national language means nothing to the natives. To reached out to them, you have to talk the way they talk. You have to understand their words to be understood by these people.
I remember the presidential campaign in 2000, our Mr President use the slogan “SBY berbudi” (the righteous SBY) on the campaign, not knowing that “berbudi” in  Palembang language means “lie” => which made the whole campaign means “the liar SBY”. Hilarious.

2. Tensions between ethnic groups
No matter how much the government wanted to cover this shit up, people in Indonesia know this. The tension between the ethnic groups have happened since a long time ago. It was accumulated since the New Order era, and apparently it was too hard to be solved. So like a cat that bury their crap after they dump their shit, that’s what happened. However everybody can smell that shit in the air.
The DKI governor election has shown me enough that the ethnic issues can always be use to activate the bomb. Nobody admit that now everybody in indonesia is sitting on top of this massive bomb, which is ready to blow. Hastalavista, “bhinneka tunggal ika”?

3. The religious issues
One of the branch of intercultural communication is the interfaith communication. Ask Alain, godammit, he’s the expert in this.
Indonesia has 6 religions. And where the fuck is the interfaith communication? Well, I am godless, so I don’t really care of what you’re talking to each other. What piss me off is when the output of the religious groups’ disagreement were violence towards people who know no shit about this.
I could not believe you still need more reasons to hire a language and intercultural communications specialist after all these bloody mess I have presented to you.

4. Because you need to reach out to your people, godammit
We have the young and the old, the rich and the poor, the illiterate and professors, the academic, the businessman, the skeptic, the hopeful, the ones who criticise and those who blindly support. We have the ones who apathetic, and those who desperately want to give something back. THOSE are your people. You have to reach out to ALL of them.
They came from different background, they had different idea of the government. You can not please them all, but there’s a way to talk to them so you would not piss them all, like what you’re trying to do now.
For example, you can not expect to get the same reactions from the primary students audience and the military soldiers. You can’t expect the same reactions from mothers as from the businesspersons. You just can’t. It’s the different culture you’re facing, Dude!

5. Because we need a job, D o h
I know… I know this is lame. But see, you need to put the right person in the right position. Why the fuck you put a specialist in macro economy to handle the public relations, you’re dumb leaders? You need a specialist to understand your people, choose those who do. You need a specialist to fix your economy, why the heck you send our Sri Mulyani away. If all sectors in our government is filled with politicians, then no one will work for the people… it will be all politicised.
It’s like assigning a band vocalist to decorate a caravan. I know, lame example.

Anyway. Yes… I presented you five bloody reasons why you need ME in your government. Vote for me! Yes!

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