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Is Ahok arrogant? If so, why does he deserve that label?

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  • Is Ahok arrogant? If so, why does he deserve that label?

    There's an old story that is particularly relevant in SE Asia, where the public face of being "calm" is so important.

    Two guys were arguing in a coffee shop. Mr. A raised his voice and called Mr. B stupid, then stormed off.

    Mr. B grinned and looked at all of his friends at his table, "You see. Mr. A is an angry man. Don't pay attention to him." They all laughed.

    A sufi from the next table then came over and said to Mr. B, "You know, tomorrow he will become calm, but you will still be stupid."

  • #2
    Originally posted by martindo View Post
    There's an old story that is particularly relevant in SE Asia, where the public face of being "calm" is so important.

    Two guys were arguing in a coffee shop. Mr. A raised his voice and called Mr. B stupid, then stormed off.

    Mr. B grinned and looked at all of his friends at his table, "You see. Mr. A is an angry man. Don't pay attention to him." They all laughed.

    A sufi from the next table then came over and said to Mr. B, "You know, tomorrow he will become calm, but you will still be stupid."
    Isn't this a variation of the Churchill quote "I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly".
    "[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Helvetica Neue]I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.[/FONT][/COLOR]"
    George Bernard Shaw

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    • #3
      Ahok, although I think his scolding gets a bit much sometimes...but on the other hand, I do understand his frustration.

      Jakarta people, blame it on the hard life in the big city, dealing with many years of corruption, or even trying to live along with some eight other million people in a relatively cramped and congested city....maybe become insensitive at times...unfortunately it affects their listening skills as well as their (in)ability to follow instructions. Not trying to make an excuse or anything, but from my own experience...just dealing with less than a hundred people at the office is already a constant headache...i can't imagine him/jokowi dealing with Jakarta's issues, not to mention bullcrap like FPI demo, or other things...

      Somebody in Ahok's position (or in any leadership position for that matter), might get frustrated after a while....

      Maybe this is an over simplified example: I mean, if I were to give somebody a better living condition (Rusun) VS living by the polluted river, but yet..the people ask for amenities, etc. I would get mad too...granted, calling somebody "Udah miskin, belagu lagi" might be a bit much, but then again....sometimes I think Jakarta people are really asking for it. It's like ya can't get ahead in this city or having people listen to you without really showing a bit of power or bravado sometimes.

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      • #4
        Scolding...hmmm. I noticed that Jokowi is now doing the finger-waving "lecturing the listener" gesture that is characteristic of Obama.

        It doesn't bode well for democracy if the "heroic" leaders act elitist -- that is the attitude that the proposed law to eliminate certain elections is based on.

        Sad that idiots are putting Ahok on the defensive before giving him a chance to show what he can do. Sadder still that most people prefer to focus their attention on that kind of drama rather than rally or send comments on constructive actions that he could take. Didn't the governor's office start a "kotak saran" years ago?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lantern View Post
          Isn't this a variation of the Churchill quote "I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly".
          To Lady Astor it is said

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          • #6
            I was going to send Ahok a message to his kotak saran about the flood, but looks like they've been working around the clock getting rid of mud from the river and the ditches in my neighborhood

            Had a conversation with my driver this morning...I opened up the conversation half-jokingly "Ahok lagi sibuk ya...ngadepin demo FPI". To which he answered "Dasar ya pak, Gubernur yang bener, kok malah di demo...emangnya kenapa di demo pak?" (he doesn't newspaper that much). I didn't want to tell him FPI's reason..I just joked back "Ngak tau...mungkin anggota FPI yang waktu itu kena gusur.."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Banana72 View Post
              I was going to send Ahok a message to his kotak saran about the flood, but looks like they've been working around the clock getting rid of mud from the river and the ditches in my neighborhood

              Had a conversation with my driver this morning...I opened up the conversation half-jokingly "Ahok lagi sibuk ya...ngadepin demo FPI". To which he answered "Dasar ya pak, Gubernur yang bener, kok malah di demo...emangnya kenapa di demo pak?" (he doesn't newspaper that much). I didn't want to tell him FPI's reason..I just joked back "Ngak tau...mungkin anggota FPI yang waktu itu kena gusur.."
              There are a lot of little things he improved from two years ago that if Jakarta people blinked, they will miss. He just restarted digging kelapa gading canal as well. Rain season is coming by the end of next month. By then we will know if the improvements worked or not.

              As for the topic, I believe he is confident not arrogant. Worst case scenario for him is that he will never get re-elected even after a tremendous job on Jakarta so he could care less if people call him names including "arrogant".

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              • #8
                Originally posted by R35553H View Post
                There are a lot of little things he improved from two years ago that if Jakarta people blinked, they will miss. He just restarted digging kelapa gading canal as well. Rain season is coming by the end of next month. By then we will know if the improvements worked or not.

                As for the topic, I believe he is confident not arrogant. Worst case scenario for him is that he will never get re-elected even after a tremendous job on Jakarta so he could care less if people call him names including "arrogant".
                Flood...we'll find out soon enough. I wanna bet and hope at least IF we had another flood...assuming we can't fully eliminate the problem yet,..I'll take a 5 cm flood on the street vs 30 cm INSIDE the house like this year. Unless there's a conspiracy from some crazy government people to mess with the dams or purposely close the water gate or something, I think we should feel the difference.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Michael2014 View Post
                  To Lady Astor it is said
                  I think the quip WSC made to Lady Astor (who was a bit of a looker if I'm not mistaken and would therefore not still be ugly in the morning) was when she said "Winston if you were my husband I would poison your coffee", to which he replied "Madam if I was married to you I'd drink it."

                  Although it's hard to know, Winnie ranks along with Oscar Wilde as the source of almost every good put down.

                  As regards Ahok I am a huge fan and I can relate to his way of doing things but at the risk of sounding like one who is too prepared to accept second-rate service I tend to think he over-does the hard-man thing, it was handy when he could be the hard-man beside his softly spoken boss but now he is the boss he could ease up a bit, he doesn't want to rub everyone the wrong way.

                  I am reminded of the tale of the emperor and his chief minister, the emperor was a kindly man, much-loved by his subjects whereas his chief minister was a dreadful martinet, shouting at everyone, scolding them and generally being objectionable.

                  The emperor noted however that whilst the minister was hated he was also extremely effective and got things done, people jumped to his commands whereas everything thought the emperor was a soft old duffer and no one paid him much heed. So the emperor decided to change this, he instructed his chief minister to relax, become more friendly whilst he, the emperor would become a bit of a tyrant for once.

                  The upshot was that everyone started to hate the new emperor contrasting him with the now benign chief minister, so they overthrew the emperor and replaced him with the chief minister. The moral being it is easier to start off nasty and then ease up than to start off nice and then try to crack the whip.

                  The emperor of Jakarta will soon be gone, chief minister Ahok can avail of the opportunity to show a kindlier face now that he has already established his no-nonsense reputation.

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                  • #10
                    Great story about the emperor, Gong. They also used to say in China that the good emperor was famous and the great emperor was unknown -- because he didn't interfere in daily life, so nobody remembered his name. Unfortunately, Jakarta is so "parah" that it needs intervention on several fronts.

                    Several of the Churchill quotes are apocryphal (unproven), including the "drunk" and "poison" ones, I believe:
                    http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/classic-insult

                    The one I like best is the retort of Churchill to Shaw, but it appears to have been invented by C's biographer:
                    “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend ... if you have one."
                    — George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
                    "Cannot possibly attend first night; will attend second, if there is one."
                    — Churchill's response”

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                    • #11
                      Ah, nothing like a list of great Churchill quotes; after a particularly heated exchange with Labour prime minister Clement Attlee in the House of Commons over the nationalisation of British Steel, Churchill was in the loos having a pee, in came Attlee and Churchill shuffled off to the other end of the stalls. Attlee was hurt "Oh come on Winston, we've had our disputes in the past but you've never taken them personally before", Churchill replied "Nothing to do with personal feelings old boy, it's just that every time you see something big you feel the need to nationalise it."

                      Again almost certainly apocryphal.

                      My own GBS favourite (again supposedly with Lady Astor, it must have been very entertaining to be at dinner with that lot), "Madam would you sleep with me for a million pounds?", to which she replies "I certainly would you handsome old devil", "What about for five shillings?" he asked, "Most certainly not! What sort of lady do you take me for?", "Oh I thought we had established that and were now haggling over the fee".

                      I used that line to end an interminable debate at a business meeting one time as the directors went back and forth insisting that a particular asset was an intrinsic part of the company and could never be sold but just as a matter of interest how much are they offering? It didn't make me very popular.

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                      • #12
                        Yes, that GBS quip is another superb one, but I first read it as a general joke, not attributed to anyone famous.

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                        • #13
                          I think the reason that most WSC quotes are almost certainly apocryphal is that while Churchill was a master of the English language crafting speeches that even today make the spine tingle, he in fact spent hours working on them, drafting and redrafting them, changing words and sentences and practicing reading them until he felt he had got them just right. Combined with the fact that as a young man (and indeed into his old age) he suffered from a debilitating stammer I rather suspect that spontaneous witticisms tripping off the tongue would not have been his speciality.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Michael2014 View Post
                            To Lady Astor it is said
                            I believe the famous exchange with Lady Astor goes something like this:

                            Lady Astor to Churchill, "If you were my husband, I'd poison your tea."

                            Churchill replied, " If I were your husband, I'd drink it."

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by waarmstrong View Post
                              I believe the famous exchange with Lady Astor goes something like this:

                              Lady Astor to Churchill, "If you were my husband, I'd poison your tea."

                              Churchill replied, " If I were your husband, I'd drink it."
                              So I said coffee, but the point was the same.

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