The statue of the young Barrack Obama made its public come back. Yup. The authorities decided to put it back back up prior to Obama’s state visit to Indonesia next month. But, to all booers’ rejoice, not to its previous place.
A couple of months ago I joined a Facebook group calling the authority to put away the statue. The group admins suggested that Obama is not one of Indonesian visionaries, so why should his statue put on display instead of local visionary figures say Gus Dur of Benyamin Sueb (Jakarta’s own Oliver Hardy). Not long after I left the group because there were too many jerks saying plenty of horrible craps.
Finally by court order the Little Barry statue was taken out from the public park.
The statue is now found a new home at the state elementary school where Obama studied for 3 years back in the seventies.
Islam in Indonesia is like a palate, ranging from moderate to militants. Despite Obama’s stern action with their fellow muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan, to most Jakartans, Obama remains Barry, their homeboy ( who’s now happened to have differnt nationality and is one of the world’s most influential head of state).
I didn’t find it brilliant at first knowing that there’s a foundation in Jakarta raising money to built Obama statue. One, the statue from pictures I found on Google, mind you that I haven’t been living in Jakarta for a while now, looked poorly made. The little boy statue didn’t resemble Barrack Obama at all, it looked more like a tuyul (or toyol to our neighbor Malaysians, Singaporeans and Thais – a mythical spirit invoked by black magic, still a common belief in some parts of Indonesia). It will definately discourage people to hang around in the park until late..hahaha. Bottom line, to me putting the statue at the public park is esthetically incorrect.
Two, if the statue was meant to glorify Barrack Obama as Jakarta’s greatest export, than that would be plain wrong and an insensitive move. It saddens me that local government disregard the public’s opinion when it comes to beautifying public spaces. Well.. not like it’s the first or final time anyway.
Despite my personal criticism towards him and what media have said, I still consider Obama a visionary figure. He’s no superman, and nobody should take him as one. Things could’ve been worse if uncle Sam has that creepy Colonel Sander’s at the oval office… yikes.
It’s a great to know that an initiative has been made by someone in whatever foundation to move the statue to the elementary school’s yard, allowing the Little Barry to inspire the young Indonesians, as cliché as it might sound, to shoot the moon.