Free Dinner cum Dialogue with Mr. Boediono


According to his source, more than 80% Indonesian voters in Singapore voted SBY-Boediono in the presidential election. That what makes Vice President-elect Boediono chose Indonesia Embassy in Singapore as the first embassy to visit and make a dialogue session, in addition to his visit to Rajaratnam School as a guest lecture.

I arrived at the embassy with Handy around 7.15 PM. There were no sign of Mr. Boediono, but we saw a long queue to another room instead. In my mind, there were only two possibilities: either these people queued to greet and have their picture taken with Mr. Boediono, or, dinner. Hoping that the latter would be the case, we joined the queue.

And it turned to be correct, the dinner session preceded the dialogue session. Unlike other events held in KBRI, the menu for the day was quite lavish: chicken soup, roasted chicken, beef rendang, fried gurame fish, gado-gado, plus some cakes and fruit juices. Yummy. Too bad I need to stick to my diet, so I had to forgo some food.

Around 8.00 PM, Mr. Boediono came with the Indonesia ambassador for Singapore Mr. Wardana, and all visitor voluntarily stood up to pay respect. After that, Mr. Wardana gave a short opening speech for about 15 minutes. Followed by the speech by Mr. Boediono itself. In the 30-minute speech, he explained about the focus in the economic side of their (SBY-Boediono) plan. It consists of three main points: [1] developing “hard” infrastructure (transportation, electricity, etc…), [2] “soft” infrastructure (cut red tapes, single identity, etc…) and helping the people who are behind to catch up (i.e. helping on the poor). It was ended with Q&A session, which is the longest session among others (+/- 1 hour).

Notable question was from a PLRT, who was asking about possibility to consider PLRT as PNS (thanks to bear with me with all these acronyms 🙂). It was not about the question, but her introduction. She started with “Hello, my name is ***. Recently I received a message in facebook…” and she was interrupted with big laughs from the audience. Even Mr. Boediono jumped from his chair. This PLRT surely know how to use technology!

There was also another question from a woman who works as informal education coordinator for PLRTs working in Singapore. She described how she works, how she travel from Batam island and back, how her hard work is, etc, etc. I almost dead of boredom after 10 minutes she spoke nothing but bragging herself, when Mr. Wardana interrupted her to speak to the point. Thank God.

But that when he started his own bragging of KBRI involvement in building up school for Indonesians in Singapore for another 10 minutes, without anyone could interrupt.

Even with so many people eager to ask, the Q&A must be ended at 10PM, as “Mr. Boediono will have another event tomorrow morning”. While everyone headed to the front to take pictures with Mr. Boediono, I and Handy slipped outside, leaving out opportunity to get easy money by taking people pictures with Mr. Boediono and sell them for $10 each.

Glossary:

  • KBRI: Kedutaan Besar Republik Indonesia, Embassy of Republic of Indonesia
  • PLRT: Penata Laksana Rumah Tangga, formal name for domestic worker
  • PNS: Pegawai Negri Sipil, civil servant
  • SBY: Soesilo Bambang Yoedhoyono, president and president-elect of Republic of Indonesia

Bonus Story: Alert reader may notice that this post lack picture of Mr. Handsome on ground zero. It is because my camera-powered mobile has some problem recently. The sensor for “OK” button has stopped responding, making it practically unusable. I can still make and receive calls with the green “call” button, but it stupidly disable this button to replace “OK” for reading and sending SMS, or even merely enter the menu. I even had to call my colleague just to ask what message she just sent to me 5 minutes earlier.
Therefore now I’m stick with this low-end phone, which in turn has smarter design because I can send SMSes with both OK and green button.

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