Monday, 17 October 2011

Bungklang Bungkling: Media by Wayan Juniartha

Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Media’, a column by I Wayan Juniartha, published in Bali Post, Sunday 2nd October 2011. Translated by Putu Semiada.


Who is the most powerful person these days?

If you ask that question to I Madé Polo Cupet (I Madé Narrow Mind), he will say ‘Bli Komang Bastok (Basang Bontok)’ or Big Belly Brother Komang.

“He is the strongest person in the village, the bravest and he has tattoos all over his body” comments I Made.

He is right, Komang is an influential person as he is field coordinator of Laskar Pelangi (Stupid Arrogant Vigilante Association).

“If he is influential person, why he can’t lower the prices of the fuel or rice,” comments I Pekak Dangdut (I Pekak Fond of Dangdut Music).

I Made can not say anything. He seems to agree with Pekak’s comment. No matter how powerful he is, he cannot change the price of fuel or omit school ‘compulsory’ donation.

“Does it mean that SBY, our president, is a powerful president? Or if I may say, Mangku Pastika is a very powerful governor.

I Pekak shakes his head.

“If SBY is powerful, then why his men never listen to him? He asked Nazarudin to Indonesia but he rejected. He keeps asking his political party members not to take people’s money but nobody listens.”

“If the governor is really powerful, why does nobody follow his orders? All the mayors in Bali do not listen to him regarding Space Planning. The people also do not listen to him when he talks about how to prevent social conflicts among the Balinese.”

If SBY and the governor are powerful, why does the media keep criticizing them.

“Are you saying that the media is more powerful?” asks I Madé.

“The newspaper or television can say something good or bad about person or certain leader; they can change a Cokorda (ksatrya caste) to become a common person or vice versa. So media has very strong influence.”

I Pekak shakes his head.

“If the media has strong influence, why are they just quiet when a certain party put a full page advertisement in their media?”

“In addition, if the media is strong enough, why they don’t dare to expose ‘Laskar Pelangi’ who always makes trouble? Why are they afraid of the organization whose members have scary tattoos on their body?”

“What are really we talking about? It’s like a never ending topic?” comments I Made.

I Pekak smiles.

“I reckon that nobody is really powerful, not even the media.