Saturday, February 6, 2010

Removal of Obama Statue

After more than 56,000 people in Facebook objected the placement of a statue of young Barack ObamaJakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo finally agreed to remove said statue from its present location at Menteng Park to Obama's former elementary school not far away at Jalan Besuki.                                                     

I hope that in the future the government would be extra careful whenever it wants to give honor to foreigners especially if he/she never made significant contribution for Indonesia.  
Please find below an article that I have quoted from The Jakarta Globe.
The Obama statue will be relocated from Menteng Park to the US president's former elementary school. (JG Photo/ Afriadi Hikmal)

Jakarta Obama Statue to Make A Move After Fauzi Bows   
                                                        
Bowing to public protests, Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo on Friday said a statue of Barack Obama as a child would be relocated from Menteng Park to a nearby elementary school where the American president once studied.

The almost life-size statue of the young Obama was unveiled in Central Jakarta in December, but immediately drew criticism from people who said there were more appropriate national figures to be celebrated in bronze.

A Facebook group, which has attracted tens of thousands of members, has been demanding the statue’s removal.

“I approve the people’s initiative to move the statue,” Fauzi said, adding that the city would relocate the statue as soon as possible to the school on Jalan Besuki in Menteng.

Obama, who spent four years in Jakarta as a child with his mother and Indonesian stepfather, is expected to visit his old school during his trip to the country next month.

“It will be ready,” Fauzi said of the school and the statue.

The work of sculptor Edi Chaniago, the statue depicts a 10-year-old Obama smiling and holding a butterfly in his outstretched hand. Obama went to the Besuki public elementary school in Menteng before he returned to the United States in 1971.

Jakarta-based US businessman Ron Mullers, chairman of the nonprofit Friends of Obama Foundation, which had the statue built at a cost of Rp 100 million ($10,700), told the Jakarta Globe that he was not upset by the decision.

“If the city administration said so, then we are up for it. They were the ones who approved the location in the first place,” he said.

The Facebook group Turunkan Patung Barack Obama di Taman Menteng (Take Down the Barack Obama Statue in Menteng Park), which currently has 56,541 members, filed a legal action against the city administration on Jan. 22 after they received no response to their request for a formal hearing with the governor and the City Council.

Abdul Hadi Lubis, the group’s legal counsel, told the Globe that the group wanted action more than words.

“We will follow through with the lawsuit because it has been filed,” Abdul said, adding that the group may yet decide to withdraw the suit once the statue had actually been relocated.

Heru Nugroho, the founder of the Facebook campaign to remove the statue, praised the decision, according to The Associated Press.

“It’s good — a little too late,” he said. “But I appreciate it.”

7 comments:

umihoney said...

"The only correct actions are those that demand no explanation and no apology." ~Red Auerbach

In this case it is clear that the statue offends more than it is appreciated.

There's a Malay quote on this:
"Kera dihutan disusui anak diriba mati kelaparan"
(literally: "Feeding the monkey in the forest while the child in the lap dies of starvation")

Let us honour the sons and daughters that had shed sweat,blood and tears for the motherland first and foremost. Give respect to foreigners where it is due,just don't over do it.It's rather ridiculous,no?

H. Nizam said...

Umi,

I always love your choice of quotes.

The statue was built and financed by a pro Obama group headed by an American citizen. The municipality govt. agreed to place it at a public park. That's why so many people protested.

iswady said...

Memang lebih baik dipindahkan saja.

H. Nizam said...

Iswady,

Benar sebaiknya ditaruh dibekas sekolahnya, supaya jangan ribut terus. Kapan mau majunya ?

David said...

I think they were right to remove the statue. President Obama is a good man. But He still has to prove himself worthy.


Cookies of the day

H. Nizam said...

David,

As far as Indonesia is concerned, a person can only be honored by having his statue placed in our capital city's public park if he has made significant contribution for the country.
And until now I never heard Obama making contribution except that he has written and mentioned about Indonesia several times.

H. Nizam said...

Cookies of the day,

Thank you for your visit.
Silence is golden