Top 12 Affiliate Marketing Programs To Get Started in Malaysia

$60k/month selling vape juice.

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview.
Today's interview is with Jeremy Ong of Vape Club, a brand that sells malaysian vape juices.
Some stats:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

I’m Jeremy Ong, I am mostly based in Malaysia and Singapore right now. The business that I’ve built is Vape Club. It started off as an MVP for a vape subscription box business for consumers to discover e-liquids for cheap. Initially, our customers are primarily from Malaysia. Currently, Malaysia only accounts for 1% of our total revenue.
We do about USD60,000 in revenue per month right now - which is a hella lot of money for typical Malaysians. To put things into perspective, the median average household income in Malaysia is USD1,215. Not too bad for a single unmarried 28 year old chap eh?
image

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I grew up in a traditional-minded middle class Asian family in Malaysia. I had tiger parents who always asked me to study hard, get good grades, get a good job and retire at 60. I’ve always been skeptical about this as my dad was not particularly happy and he was always worried about money.
That’s what I did anyways, I graduated as an Economics graduate and found a job as a brand marketer in an FMCG environment. I was working 9am - 9pm for a 600USD salary in Malaysia.
I thought that there must be more to life than this. I started reading and taking inspiration from books like Rich Dad Poor Dad, Millionaire Mindset, Millionaire Fastlane etc. I don’t have a lot of capital to start with so I’ve always experimented with online businesses as a way to build wealth. During my spell when I was working a full-time job, I built eCommerce stores on my downtime and made some money out of it. However, none of these really took off as I had a lack of focus.
One day, I decided slaving away on the desk isn’t the kind of life I wanted to leave. And I’ve saved up a runway burn fund of about 5,000 USD (so that I can continue eating). I enrolled in a programming bootcamp right after I quit my job because I thought that some coding knowledge would help me build a better online business.
To be honest, I did not know what I wanted to do after graduating from the bootcamp. I had been vaping for about 3 years (this was in 2015) and the vaping industry was just going through an explosive phase of growth. So I thought, why not?
I managed to validated the subscription box idea for about 50USD. All I did was build a two step landing page using a free tool like Unbounce that “sells” the subscription box product. When visitors click buy now, they get sent to an opt in page saying that we’ve “sold out” due to “overwhelming demand”. To get in front of the imaginary queue that I’ve created, they’d have to share the links with 5 friends. This campaign was a success as we’ve achieved more than 30% conversion rates. Here’s a screenshot of the 2-step landing page.
Here’s the landing page that “sells” the product.
image
Upon clicking on the “Sign Up” button, we lead them to this page to collect their contact information.
image
The reason behind this is because I didn’t have an ad budget for validating the service and I had to get creative. There were a few vape expos happening at that time and we got in touch with the organizers offering them a swap, where I provide web development services for their event in exchange for emails of the attendees. That’s how we got our initial leads. ;)

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

Vape Club started off as product curators, so there weren’t any products to design other than our web app and our packaging attached below.
I coded the web app from the ground up using what I’ve learned from the coding bootcamp and launched the service on the 22nd of September 2019.
I didn’t have any working capital to buy inventory, so I employed the “sell first, worry later” concept. Not 100% ethical, but I had no choice - what better way to validate the idea other than actually selling it?
image
Fulfilling orders wasn’t really an issue because there were vape shops everywhere, and the subscription box is sold as a mystery box so we do not commit to fulfilling certain brands or products.
We ended up partnering up with a few local vape shops and manufacturers on a per-order basis. At that time, we would just walk in and purchase the products whenever we sold a box and ship it right away. We literally held 0 inventory!

Describe the process of launching the business.

As mentioned, we launched a landing page in the beginning. It was an empty shell at that time, nothing like what it is now. I financed the business with 400USD in paid-up capital, but I’ve also used my personal funds to fund working capital as there was a lead time for payment gateways to settle payments.
On the 22nd of September, we launched for real. We sent out an email newsletter with MailChimp to all the previous people who’ve opted-in to our email list. We had 11 sales on the first day. I was ecstatic!
A few days later, I noticed that there were a lot of people sending in customer service requests saying that they couldn’t check out. I did some debugging and I found that the “app” that I’ve built can only process one transaction at a time! I quickly fixed the bug and we were getting 3-4 orders per day - which was massive for me at the time.
One of the biggest lessons learned from the process of launching and starting my own business is to know your weaknesses and don’t stinge to get help to shore up those weaknesses. In my case, the launch could’ve been a lot better if I had a better developed app.
Another lesson that I’ve learned is that listening to your customers can bring you a long long way. Some of our subscription box customers mentioned that they really liked some the e-juices we’ve sent them, and suggested that we start an online retail store so that they can re-purchase the ones they’ve liked. Our retail business now brings in 85% of our revenue in repeat purchases.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

In the beginning, PR the hell out of your business. As small guys, we want to look like the big guys. The best way to do this is to get featured on many, many publications!
A good way to do this is signing up to HARO (help a reporter out) and answer questions. If you’re in a trending industry, you’ll find that reporters want to cover your business just as much as you want to get featured!
Let’s start with acquisition. We only use non-paid channels as advertising is not allowed for vaping products. Our biggest traffic channel is blogging & SEO. Whatever traffic we had, we made sure we optimized our email collection with tools like Privy and SumoMe because repeat customers are the best customers.
After awhile, we noticed that more and more people start coming to our site via Google. So I dove deep with SEO tools to see what sort of keywords are leading these customers to the website. What we found is that there were a ton of people searching for branded keywords. We started bringing in all sorts of vape juices we can get our hands on and uploaded them to the site. To take it to the next level, we also started putting out blog content dedicated to the top vape e-liquids brands. Some of the blog posts that did really well are:
We do post on our Instagram and Facebook account but it doesn’t really do anything for us, it’s more of keeping our customers updated. To further improve our content strategy, we also started doing e-liquid reviews on our YouTube channel - which we embed on the flavour pages that we have on our website.
We’ve also experimented with advertising on porn sites, but it’s not something we do anymore because porn sites tend to bring in totally irrelevant traffic that hurts your site behaviour profile - Google doesn’t like that.
When it comes to retention, email marketing works wonders for us! E-liquids are consumable so people would have to restock and repurchase after they’ve finished. We also set up a whole lot of automated email sequences that segments each user into providing as much value as we can along the journey. We recommend using Klaviyo when you can afford it, it pays for itself!
Some of the flows that we implement are:
1) Cart Abandonment
This is where we remind cart abandoners that their products are almost “out of stock”. This is an eCommerce hack to recover lost sales.
2) Browse Abandonment
Have you received emails saying “hey, I noticed that you were looking at insert product here”. This is another email flow that we implement that automatically sends out the relevant products personalized to shopper’s behaviours.
We also implement scarcity marketing with messages like “your item is selling fast, checkout now to avoid disappointment”. You get the drift.
3) Customer winback
This is for customers who’ve been buying from us but stopped for 3 months. We try to win them back with discounts codes to improve retention rate and customer lifetime value.
4) Loyalty discounts
This email flow sends out discount codes for every milestone in lifetime amount spent. Say, if a customer has spent $500, $1,000, $1,500 on our website, we send them a custom discount code to reward their loyalty.
My suggestion is to experiment a whole lot in the beginning! Once you’ve identified something that works, double down and spend 80% of your time and resources on that marketing channel. Spend the rest of your time experimenting with new stuff.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We are currently profitable, I make about $25,000 in net profit every month. Cost of goods is steadily on the decline as more suppliers compete with each other. We are the top online retail store in Malaysia so every supplier tends to give us really good rates to begin with. 100% of our distribution comes from our online store. Currently, only 2 team members are required to handle the operations (picking, packing and warehousing), We have a CLTV of $400 for every new customer we bring in. However, we do not actively acquire customers as we do not have access to paid advertising.
In the short term, we just want to improve profitability without serving extra customers. We also OEM our own products to expand our B2B channels. We currently have distributors in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Australia, South Korea, UAE and South Africa.
P/S I’ve also attached 2018’s Shopify dashboard screenshot to give the readers a better idea.
image
I spend 20% of my time on the Vape business now. The rest of my time is spent on building my new venture, HUSTLR - a website about personal finance, internet money and better side hustles. It’s a web resource with the aim of helping the average hustler achieve what I achieve. I’m more in touch with this because my ultimate goal is to help as many people as possible to succeed in starting an online business.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

A few key lessons I’ve learned from starting this business:
1 - Choose your business partner very wisely.
Make sure you can work together in the long term and have the business’ best interests in mind. When in doubt, don’t partner up. I’ve had a horrible “breakup” with my partner that ended up in a lawsuit. It was primarily due to differing priorities in life and business. I ended up paying her a huge settlement fee that I prefer not to disclose.
2 - Know that your product will sell before you sell it.
Doing keyword research and validating your idea with the lowest cost is extremely important if you’re just starting out. Build an MVP, fail fast and learn fast from your launch. You can relaunch over and over again. When you’re small, you typically have nothing to lose - so think big and just go for it!
3 - Invest in automation, but do your research.
I’ve successfully automated my business to require little to no time from my end due to investing in systems. Find out which parts of the business are taking the most time from you, and start from there. However, I’ve made a huge mistake of committing to $100,000 year-long contracts with these software providers when there were WAY cheaper options available in the market. Don’t be trigger happy - be as objective as possible when finding out which software you integrate into your business.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco
One of the best business books out there that really changes the way you think about how entrepreneurship works. This is great for people who are looking to start an online business but have not taken the leap.
Smart Passive Income Podcast by Pat Flynn
I’ve learned a lot about online businesses from his podcast. Good for beginners and advanced learners. There’s something for everyone on this podcast.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Build a sellable business. When I say sellable, it means that you (the founder) should be removed from the equation. If you build a business and end up working 12 hour work days for it, you’re building yourself a full-time job disguised as a business. That way, when you decide to sell your business for cash up front, there’s no founder risk.
Never build on rented space. It’s tempting to sell on Facebook, Amazon, eBay or other marketplaces but you lose control as a result. Imagine this - if Amazon sees how lucrative your product is and decides to launch their own version. Manage risk by building a brand (on your own website), not transactions (selling on Amazon).
Software over humans. When solving a business problem or streamlining processes, always prioritize software over humans. Humans are usually the most unpredictable part of a business. Integrating software into business processes on the other hand, scales well, saves time and never tires.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

HUSTLR is looking for long form content writers that have experience in digital marketing, freelancing, personal finance. If you’re a writer with expertise in these fields, write into [email protected]. We’re looking for full-time/part-time/freelance.

Where can we go to learn more?

HUSTLR
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos, tools, books, and other data.
For more interviews, check out starter_story - I post new stories there daily.
Interested in sharing your own story? Send me a PM
submitted by youngrichntasteless to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

$60k/month selling vape juice.

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview.
Today's interview is with Jeremy Ong of Vape Club, a brand that sells malaysian vape juices.
Some stats:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

I’m Jeremy Ong, I am mostly based in Malaysia and Singapore right now. The business that I’ve built is Vape Club. It started off as an MVP for a vape subscription box business for consumers to discover e-liquids for cheap. Initially, our customers are primarily from Malaysia. Currently, Malaysia only accounts for 1% of our total revenue.
We do about USD60,000 in revenue per month right now - which is a hella lot of money for typical Malaysians. To put things into perspective, the median average household income in Malaysia is USD1,215. Not too bad for a single unmarried 28 year old chap eh?
image

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I grew up in a traditional-minded middle class Asian family in Malaysia. I had tiger parents who always asked me to study hard, get good grades, get a good job and retire at 60. I’ve always been skeptical about this as my dad was not particularly happy and he was always worried about money.
That’s what I did anyways, I graduated as an Economics graduate and found a job as a brand marketer in an FMCG environment. I was working 9am - 9pm for a 600USD salary in Malaysia.
I thought that there must be more to life than this. I started reading and taking inspiration from books like Rich Dad Poor Dad, Millionaire Mindset, Millionaire Fastlane etc. I don’t have a lot of capital to start with so I’ve always experimented with online businesses as a way to build wealth. During my spell when I was working a full-time job, I built eCommerce stores on my downtime and made some money out of it. However, none of these really took off as I had a lack of focus.
One day, I decided slaving away on the desk isn’t the kind of life I wanted to leave. And I’ve saved up a runway burn fund of about 5,000 USD (so that I can continue eating). I enrolled in a programming bootcamp right after I quit my job because I thought that some coding knowledge would help me build a better online business.
To be honest, I did not know what I wanted to do after graduating from the bootcamp. I had been vaping for about 3 years (this was in 2015) and the vaping industry was just going through an explosive phase of growth. So I thought, why not?
I managed to validated the subscription box idea for about 50USD. All I did was build a two step landing page using a free tool like Unbounce that “sells” the subscription box product. When visitors click buy now, they get sent to an opt in page saying that we’ve “sold out” due to “overwhelming demand”. To get in front of the imaginary queue that I’ve created, they’d have to share the links with 5 friends. This campaign was a success as we’ve achieved more than 30% conversion rates. Here’s a screenshot of the 2-step landing page.
Here’s the landing page that “sells” the product.
image
Upon clicking on the “Sign Up” button, we lead them to this page to collect their contact information.
image
The reason behind this is because I didn’t have an ad budget for validating the service and I had to get creative. There were a few vape expos happening at that time and we got in touch with the organizers offering them a swap, where I provide web development services for their event in exchange for emails of the attendees. That’s how we got our initial leads. ;)

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

Vape Club started off as product curators, so there weren’t any products to design other than our web app and our packaging attached below.
I coded the web app from the ground up using what I’ve learned from the coding bootcamp and launched the service on the 22nd of September 2019.
I didn’t have any working capital to buy inventory, so I employed the “sell first, worry later” concept. Not 100% ethical, but I had no choice - what better way to validate the idea other than actually selling it?
image
Fulfilling orders wasn’t really an issue because there were vape shops everywhere, and the subscription box is sold as a mystery box so we do not commit to fulfilling certain brands or products.
We ended up partnering up with a few local vape shops and manufacturers on a per-order basis. At that time, we would just walk in and purchase the products whenever we sold a box and ship it right away. We literally held 0 inventory!

Describe the process of launching the business.

As mentioned, we launched a landing page in the beginning. It was an empty shell at that time, nothing like what it is now. I financed the business with 400USD in paid-up capital, but I’ve also used my personal funds to fund working capital as there was a lead time for payment gateways to settle payments.
On the 22nd of September, we launched for real. We sent out an email newsletter with MailChimp to all the previous people who’ve opted-in to our email list. We had 11 sales on the first day. I was ecstatic!
A few days later, I noticed that there were a lot of people sending in customer service requests saying that they couldn’t check out. I did some debugging and I found that the “app” that I’ve built can only process one transaction at a time! I quickly fixed the bug and we were getting 3-4 orders per day - which was massive for me at the time.
One of the biggest lessons learned from the process of launching and starting my own business is to know your weaknesses and don’t stinge to get help to shore up those weaknesses. In my case, the launch could’ve been a lot better if I had a better developed app.
Another lesson that I’ve learned is that listening to your customers can bring you a long long way. Some of our subscription box customers mentioned that they really liked some the e-juices we’ve sent them, and suggested that we start an online retail store so that they can re-purchase the ones they’ve liked. Our retail business now brings in 85% of our revenue in repeat purchases.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

In the beginning, PR the hell out of your business. As small guys, we want to look like the big guys. The best way to do this is to get featured on many, many publications!
A good way to do this is signing up to HARO (help a reporter out) and answer questions. If you’re in a trending industry, you’ll find that reporters want to cover your business just as much as you want to get featured!
Let’s start with acquisition. We only use non-paid channels as advertising is not allowed for vaping products. Our biggest traffic channel is blogging & SEO. Whatever traffic we had, we made sure we optimized our email collection with tools like Privy and SumoMe because repeat customers are the best customers.
After awhile, we noticed that more and more people start coming to our site via Google. So I dove deep with SEO tools to see what sort of keywords are leading these customers to the website. What we found is that there were a ton of people searching for branded keywords. We started bringing in all sorts of vape juices we can get our hands on and uploaded them to the site. To take it to the next level, we also started putting out blog content dedicated to the top vape e-liquids brands. Some of the blog posts that did really well are:
We do post on our Instagram and Facebook account but it doesn’t really do anything for us, it’s more of keeping our customers updated. To further improve our content strategy, we also started doing e-liquid reviews on our YouTube channel - which we embed on the flavour pages that we have on our website.
We’ve also experimented with advertising on porn sites, but it’s not something we do anymore because porn sites tend to bring in totally irrelevant traffic that hurts your site behaviour profile - Google doesn’t like that.
When it comes to retention, email marketing works wonders for us! E-liquids are consumable so people would have to restock and repurchase after they’ve finished. We also set up a whole lot of automated email sequences that segments each user into providing as much value as we can along the journey. We recommend using Klaviyo when you can afford it, it pays for itself!
Some of the flows that we implement are:
1) Cart Abandonment
This is where we remind cart abandoners that their products are almost “out of stock”. This is an eCommerce hack to recover lost sales.
2) Browse Abandonment
Have you received emails saying “hey, I noticed that you were looking at insert product here”. This is another email flow that we implement that automatically sends out the relevant products personalized to shopper’s behaviours.
We also implement scarcity marketing with messages like “your item is selling fast, checkout now to avoid disappointment”. You get the drift.
3) Customer winback
This is for customers who’ve been buying from us but stopped for 3 months. We try to win them back with discounts codes to improve retention rate and customer lifetime value.
4) Loyalty discounts
This email flow sends out discount codes for every milestone in lifetime amount spent. Say, if a customer has spent $500, $1,000, $1,500 on our website, we send them a custom discount code to reward their loyalty.
My suggestion is to experiment a whole lot in the beginning! Once you’ve identified something that works, double down and spend 80% of your time and resources on that marketing channel. Spend the rest of your time experimenting with new stuff.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We are currently profitable, I make about $25,000 in net profit every month. Cost of goods is steadily on the decline as more suppliers compete with each other. We are the top online retail store in Malaysia so every supplier tends to give us really good rates to begin with. 100% of our distribution comes from our online store. Currently, only 2 team members are required to handle the operations (picking, packing and warehousing), We have a CLTV of $400 for every new customer we bring in. However, we do not actively acquire customers as we do not have access to paid advertising.
In the short term, we just want to improve profitability without serving extra customers. We also OEM our own products to expand our B2B channels. We currently have distributors in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Australia, South Korea, UAE and South Africa.
P/S I’ve also attached 2018’s Shopify dashboard screenshot to give the readers a better idea.
image
I spend 20% of my time on the Vape business now. The rest of my time is spent on building my new venture, HUSTLR - a website about personal finance, internet money and better side hustles. It’s a web resource with the aim of helping the average hustler achieve what I achieve. I’m more in touch with this because my ultimate goal is to help as many people as possible to succeed in starting an online business.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

A few key lessons I’ve learned from starting this business:
1 - Choose your business partner very wisely.
Make sure you can work together in the long term and have the business’ best interests in mind. When in doubt, don’t partner up. I’ve had a horrible “breakup” with my partner that ended up in a lawsuit. It was primarily due to differing priorities in life and business. I ended up paying her a huge settlement fee that I prefer not to disclose.
2 - Know that your product will sell before you sell it.
Doing keyword research and validating your idea with the lowest cost is extremely important if you’re just starting out. Build an MVP, fail fast and learn fast from your launch. You can relaunch over and over again. When you’re small, you typically have nothing to lose - so think big and just go for it!
3 - Invest in automation, but do your research.
I’ve successfully automated my business to require little to no time from my end due to investing in systems. Find out which parts of the business are taking the most time from you, and start from there. However, I’ve made a huge mistake of committing to $100,000 year-long contracts with these software providers when there were WAY cheaper options available in the market. Don’t be trigger happy - be as objective as possible when finding out which software you integrate into your business.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco
One of the best business books out there that really changes the way you think about how entrepreneurship works. This is great for people who are looking to start an online business but have not taken the leap.
Smart Passive Income Podcast by Pat Flynn
I’ve learned a lot about online businesses from his podcast. Good for beginners and advanced learners. There’s something for everyone on this podcast.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Build a sellable business. When I say sellable, it means that you (the founder) should be removed from the equation. If you build a business and end up working 12 hour work days for it, you’re building yourself a full-time job disguised as a business. That way, when you decide to sell your business for cash up front, there’s no founder risk.
Never build on rented space. It’s tempting to sell on Facebook, Amazon, eBay or other marketplaces but you lose control as a result. Imagine this - if Amazon sees how lucrative your product is and decides to launch their own version. Manage risk by building a brand (on your own website), not transactions (selling on Amazon).
Software over humans. When solving a business problem or streamlining processes, always prioritize software over humans. Humans are usually the most unpredictable part of a business. Integrating software into business processes on the other hand, scales well, saves time and never tires.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

HUSTLR is looking for long form content writers that have experience in digital marketing, freelancing, personal finance. If you’re a writer with expertise in these fields, write into [email protected]. We’re looking for full-time/part-time/freelance.

Where can we go to learn more?

HUSTLR
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos, tools, books, and other data.
For more interviews, check out starter_story - I post new stories there daily.
Interested in sharing your own story? Send me a PM
submitted by youngrichntasteless to EntrepreneurRideAlong [link] [comments]

Why Prabowo-Sandi Lost: Caught by the Javanese Tsunami Part 1

I really haven't been following this election unlike the 2014 and 2017 Jakarta Governor's election, but I will like to present my analysis why Prabowo legitimately thought he could win, the new challenges that faced Prabowo in 2019 and why ultimately lost. The analysis will be divided into eleven sections
  1. Why Prabowo Thought He Could Win
  2. New Challenges Faced by Prabowo in 2019
  3. Prabowo's Assets In 2019 Campaign: Epitome of Tactics over Strategy
  4. Prabowo's Strategy and How Did Prabowo Do?
  5. Caught by the Javanese Tsunami
  6. Protecting the Javanese Homeland
  7. Two Pillars of Javanese Society
  8. Playing with Stereotypes
  9. Culture Clash: Indonesian Campaign vs Javanese Campaign
  10. Rising Javanese Identity
  11. Jokowi: Javanese Muse and Storyteller
This is going to be very long, because it covers material not many people are familiar with. Jokowi is Javanese and Jokowi won because of the surge of support in the Javanese home provinces (Tanah Jawa) of Central Java, East Java and Yogyakarta. Many Indonesians understand him the way a foreigner would, because they look at him as Indonesians, not as Javanese. We need to look at election in the Javanese home provinces from a Javanese perspective to really understand what went on.
Warning: This post is 11,000 words long or 20 single space pages.. I decided to do this post, because its been a long time since I written any post like this for /Indonesia. I wanted to finish this before the official election results were announced, but it took longer than expected, because I kept revising the last 5-6 sections. Since the post is over the reddit maximum post length, I broke it down into two parts.
Why Prabowo-Sandi Lost: Caught by the Javanese Tsunami Part 1 (Sections 1-7)
Why Prabowo-Sandi Lost: Caught by the Javanese Tsunami Part 2 (Section 8-11)

WHY PRABOWO THOUGHT HE COULD WIN

Unlike many people and the polls, I thought Prabowo had a good chance of winning. Here are some of the reasons.
The gubernatorial elections of 2017-2018, particularly Sudirman Said's results in Central Java, While Sudirman Said lost by 17%, he managed to get 42% of the vote in a PDI-P strong hold against a longstanding and popular PDP-P party member, Ganjar Pranowo. Most polls expected him to get only 20% of the vote. This race was more important than the Jakarta election for Gerindra and Prabowo, because it showed them that it was possible to do well in Central Java. Said run on a modest budget, imagine a well funded effort would do in a Presidential election. The wins in Jakarta and North Sumatra, and close finish for the so-so PKS candidate in West Java gave room for optimism.
Jusuf Kalla wasn't going to be Jokowi's running mate in 2019. In 2009, Jusuf kalla won 12% or 15 Million votes. Losing Kalla most likely cost Jokowi a couple of millions votes. Jusuf Kalla is popular in Eastern Indonesia and Aceh, and not just in Sulawesi or among the Bugis, but among many non-Bugis as well. Its why Jokowi spent a lot money on infrastructure in Sulawesi to compensate for losing Kalla in 2019.
Jokowi's so-so economic performance. During the 2014 election, Jokowi had promises 7% growth, and he only managed to deliver 5%. Also some of Jokowi's economic policies weren't well thought out. Many of the infrastructure projects, like trans Papua, had a very low rate of return, which is understandable since you are building roads in the middle of nowhere.
Declining enthusiasm among Jokowi's base as a result of failure to protect Ahok and putting on Ma'ruf Amin on the ticket. If you were to measure Siandiaga Uno and Ma'ruf Amin popularity individually, Uno does a lot better. All these factors could influence voter turnout.
Ma'ruf Amin was a compromise candidate meant to appease Jokowi's backers, both the political parties and NU. Ma'ruf selection was a political calculation to maintain NU support and unity, not electoral one. If Jokowi could get NU support and pick a better VP candidate, he would have ended doing better. Mahfud MD polled better among Muslim voters than Ma'ruf. While the press thought appointment Ma'ruf would dissuade progressive and non-Muslim from voting for Jokowi, Ma'ruf. as a high ranking NU leader actually hurt Jokowi's support among non-NU Muslims more, particularly in Sumatra.

NEW CHALLENGES FACED BY PRABOWO IN 2019

Most military officers today, including Prabowo, haven;t fought peer competitors. While going against OPM or Fretlin is dangerous, its not like trying to invade Malaysia. Prabowo-Sandi campaigning in Central and East Java, from a military standpoint is like the Indonesian army invading and penetrating deep into Malaysia.
Jokowi had the benefit of Incumbency, this is particularly important for Jokowi, who's ties to PDI-P political machinery isn't strong. For those who didn't follow the 2014 election, Jokowi's 2014 campaign was poorly organized and scheduled. Jokowi didn't have access to party infrastructure and transportation as described in this New Mandala article. The PDI-P only really supported Jokowi during the last three weeks of the campaign, when Prabowo had cut Jokowi's lead to 2-3%.
The PDI-P, PKB and other coalition parties were out in force in support of Jokowi, because first the legislative and Presidential elections were held on the same day. Secondly, this was Jokowi's last term, winning this term, means that people like Puan Maharani have a chance to compete in 2024. A Prabowo-Sandi victory could mean a possible 10-15 year wait. The PDI-P and its coalition partners were much more engaged than they were in 2014.
Jokowi and coalition partners control the governorship of all the main provinces on Java - West, Central and East Java. Even in West Java, Jokowi benefited from Ridwan Kamal being the governor. His control of the governorship prevented Jokowi from losing support as he did in other provinces that Prabowo had won in 2014 like West Sumatra and NTB.

PRABOWO'S ASSETS IN THE 2019 CAMPAIGN: EPITOME OF TACTICS OVER STRATEGY

Since Prabowo started running for the President in 2004, his endeavors have often been dominated by decisions made at the last moment and short term opportunism. Only in the Presidential Election of 2014 show a build up to the election. There are three patterns one can see from Prabowo's political career over the last decade.
Going into 2019, Prabowo was left with Gerindra, an organization with no credible senior management and limited grass roots organization. The lack of a grassroots organization, is the reason why Gerindra aligns itself with the likes of PKS and FPI. However, even the PKS and other parties at the local level in Prabowo's coalition correctly sensed something was different about this election in Central and East Java, withheld support, and focused on their own campaigns. That is why I suspect Prabowo-Sandi justification in building the Postko in Central and East Java, getting the FPI and other conservative groups involved.
Role of Sandi
Despite what people believe, I don't think he was an asset. Sandi was a compromise candidate, and his biggest advantage was he brought money. But other than that he didn't really bring additional voters, no grass roots organization and no government experience. To be honest, after this campaign Sandi is toast politically. He is a political light weight, always trying to minimize damage, but at the end he comes off looking weak. When he was called sandiwara, his mother jump to his defense. As we have the riots, there are people who are willing to kill to obtain power in Indonesia, the last thing the country need is a Mommy's boy.
As for his economic acumen, you can hire a finance minister. Every cabinet in Indonesia rotates through the same dozen economists, The reality is Sandi's economic message didn't catch on with voters in Central and East Java. because the economies of Java and the outer island are fundamentally different. Added add on culture and class, to most Javanese voters, Sandi was speaking Martian.

PRABOWO STRATEGY AND HOW DID PRABOWO DO?

Prabowo had lost the 2014 Election by 8.5 Million votes or 6.3%, or if he could swing 3.15% of the vote his way he would win. He had three factors working to his advantage in 2019. The first was Kalla wasn't in the race. The second, was the negative impact of low resource prices, this impacted the economies of resource rich provinces in Sumatra and Kalimantan, impacting non-Muslims and Muslims alike. In Kalimantan, district with large Chinese and Christian majority population showed a drop in support for Jokowi compared to 2014. The third factor were new voters, who are more educated and conservative who would be voting for the first time. The factor working against Prabowo was the loss of the non-Muslim vote in non-resource provinces, particularly the minority majority provinces like NTT, Bali, North Sulawesi and Maluku.
Whatever he had gained in the outer islands, it wouldn't be enough to make up the difference. So the provinces on Java - West, East and Central Java would be critical. All Prabowo had to do was maintain his support in Javanese homeland (East, Central and Yogyakarta) and gain 1% from Jokowi in West Java, Bantan and his margins outside Java will allow him to eke out a small victory. Not altogether a unrealistic strategy, given Sudirman Said's performance in the governor's election in 2018.
For the purposes talking about the election results I am going to divide Indonesian provinces into six groups - Stable, Kalla, Resource, Javanese Homeland, non-Muslim Majority , and Outliers. The elections results can be categorized in five groups. The first are provinces that are stable. meaning their result changed by less than 5% points relative to 2014. These provinces economies also didn't show a sharp drop in per capita GDP growth like the provinces in the Resource group compare to the SBY era. The second group, are effects that benefit Prabowo, the Kalla and the resource effect The third group is the non-Muslim majority provinces. The fourth group are the Javanese homeland provinces (which also include Lampung given the majority Javanese population and very long settlement history). The last group are outliers, which include Bangka-Belitung, West Sumatra and Gorontalo. Bangka-Belitung even though its predominantly non-Javanese Muslim region, it has a long history of supporting PDI-P candidates. Megawati did better here in 2009 than she did in Central Java. Its resource economy was severely impacted by lower commodity prices, Prabowo only got 36.3% vs 32.73% in 2014. West Sumatra despite a generally healthy economy, with per capita GDP growing above 4%, Jokowi's support dropped by 10.14% points to only 12.89%. This had to do with putting Maruf Amin, an NU leader on the ticket. The last outlier, was Gorontalo, which Prabowo's support dropped from 63% to 48% even though growth in per capita GDP went from 5.89% per year to 4.87%. I still haven't figure out why Prabowo lost Gorontalo.
The first column shows the 2019 Elections Results with the Prabowo's share of the vote in the Javanese Home Provinces the same as in 2014. The second column shows the 2019 Elections Results with the Prabowo's share of the vote in the Javanese Home Province adjusted so Prabowo=Sandi's results in Central Java mirror those of Said's 2018 results. The third column contains the actual results

Provinces % of Votes in Javanese Provinces like 2014 % of Votes in Javanese Provinces like Said 2018 Actual; 2019 Results
STABLE: North Sumatra, DKI Jakarta, West Java, Banten, NTB, Central Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi, North Maluku, Papua, West Papua, North Kalimantan, Overseas 29,038,542 (2014: 54,29% 2019: 54.52% +124,998 votes) 29,038,542 29,038,542
KALLA: Aceh, South Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi 5,868,052 (2014: 38% 2019 66.10% +2,494,919 votes) 5,868,052 5,868,052
RESOURCE: Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, Bengkulu, Riau Island, West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, West Sulawesi 10,756,042 (2014: 45.73% 2019: 54.16% +1,673,573 votes) 10,756,042 10,756,042
jAVANESE: Lampung, Central Java, East Java, Yogyakarta 21,878,185 23,580,062 15,568,118 (2014: 41.23% 2019: 29.81% -5,968,233 votes)
NON-MUSLIM MAJORITY: Bali, NTT, North Sulawesi and Maluku 1,236,272 (2014: 36.42% 2019: 16.21% -1,540,985 votes) 1,236,272 1,236,272
OUTLIERS Bangka Belitung, West Sumatra, Gorontalo 3,080,198 (2014: 66.97% 2019: 70.94% +181,330 votes) 3,080,198 3,080,198
TOTAL 71,857,291 (49.17%) 73,559,168 (50.30) 65.651.967 (44.85%)
If you factor our the change in results in the Javanese Homeland the election results were a lot closer than many realize. There are four things one can take away from the election.
Had Prabowo's vote share in the Javanese home provinces remained the same as in 2014, he would gotten a very close result and would have bogged down the Constitutional Court and possibly lead to much more serious political unrest. Had he managed repeat what Said did in Central Java in 2018, he would have won with a thin margin.
Note: Here is the spreadsheet with breakdown province by province. The data for 2014, and 2019. For growth in per capita GDP was taken here. The census data on ethnicity was from this book by BPS.

CAUGHT BY THE JAVANESE TSUNAMI

Here is a table of showing the 4 provinces where the Javanese make a majority of the population, 74% of the Javanese population lives in these 4 provinces. I use the term Javanese Tsunami to draw parallels to the Malay Tsunami in Malaysian politics.
Province Javanese as % Total Jokowi 2014 Jokowi 2019 Change
East Java 80.0% 53% 66% 13%
Central Java 97.5% 67% 77% 10%
DI Yogyakarta 95.5% 56% 69% 13%
Lampung 63.5% 53% 60% 7%
For East Java I estimate about 59% of the Javanese population voted for Jokowi in 2014, and in 2019 about 73%. Madurese make up 17.5% of East Java's population. On Madura Island where 60% of Madurese in East Java live, Prabowo got 73% of the vote. In East Java, many districts in the North have a mixed Javanese/Madurese population, looking at the preliminary data, outside the 4 districts on Madura and 1-2 districts that have a majority Madurese population, the only district that showed no shift toward Jokowi is SBY home district of Pacitan.
In Central Java, it not only caught Prabowo-Sandi by surprise, but the provincial PDI-P organization as well. Ganjar Pranowo, the Governor of Central Java, was targeting 70% of the vote in Central Java. This was reflected down to the kabupaten level, in Sragen, PDI-P officials were targeting 74%, but got 80% according to the quick count. This was a safe assumption given that Ganjar only got 58% against Said, and Jokowi was facing a much better funded campaign in 2019 than Ganjar did in 2018. I think the PDI-P assumed Jokowi path to victory would involve getting more votes among non-Javanese Muslims than he did.
There is assumption is that religious minorities and Javanese voted for similar reasons, I don't think this is valid given that most Javanese voted along similar lines as other Muslims in the Jakarta election.
NU Madurese members still voted for Prabowo like they did in 2014, while Javanese voters in Central Java, East Java and Yogyakarta showed a large swing to Jokowi, particularly in areas where Jokowi lost or won by narrow margins. In Galur and Kota Gede Kecamatan in Yogyakarta, two Muhammadiyah areas, Prabowo got 55% in 2014, in 2019 he only managed 41 and 45% respectively. Muhammadiyah didn't endorse the two sides, but most Javanese members voted for Jokowi, most likely because they couldn't stand Rizieq Shibab with his self-appointed title "Imam Besar". In the three districts in Yogyakarta, Kulon Prago, Bantul and Sleman, Prabowo got 48%, 46% and 46% of the vote in 2014, in 2019 it dropped to 32%,32% and 33%. In contrast, Kota Yogyakarta which Prabowo got 40% of the vote, it only dropped to 34%. You see something similar in predominately Javanese districts in East Java, Prabowo won Gresik, East Java with 53% in 2014, he lost with 33% in 2019.
Jokowi's got about 74% of the Javanese vote in Javanese home provinces, and most likely above 70% of the Javanese vote in Javanese dominant districts in West Java like Indramayu and Subang. SBY in 2009 got about 57% of the Javanese vote in 2009. Even under the New Order, Golkar never got more than 70% of the vote in Central / East Java.
Given that there was large shifts in how Javanese voted from 2014 and 2019, one should ask "Why Did Javanese shift heavily to Jokowi in 2019?"

PROTECTING THE JAVANESE HOMELAND

The first reason why the Javanese shifted heavily to Jokowi in 2019 was important pillars of Javanese society felt threatened by a common threat (PKS, Gerindra and FPI). The mood in the Javanese homeland was of righteous indignation (atau kemarahan benar in Indonesian), which Jokowi and others on his side were able to channel.
THREATS FROM WEST JAVA
The Javanese think of power as a concentric circle, with Central-East Java at the center, and everything radiating outward. Serious threats have always come from either the North (Mongols and Japan) or from the West (Dutch). This continued after independence, from 1949-1960, the Darul Islam movement was centered in West Java, In 1998, riots moved from Medan to Jakarta than to West Java than to Central Java before petering out in Surabaya. During May Riots, Wiranto called troops from KODAM Diponegoro from Central Java to secure Jakarta, and that is why the riots lasted 48 hours. He couldn't trust Kostrad or KODAM Siliwangi, Today, you see the same "threats" from West Java in the form of Gerindra-PKS-FPI alliance in the 2019 Presidential Election. To the Javanese living in the Javanese home provinces, Jakarta isn't the center. but an outlying, unstable and problematic "territory".
The reason for this is since the fall of the Kingdom of Sunda in 1500s, there has been a power and cultural vacuum in West Java. The subsequent Muslim kingdoms in West Java, whether the Cirebon or Banten Sultanates, never filled the void left by the Kingdom of Sunda for the Sundanese. The Sundanese are a people in crisis. They belonged to the Dharmic world like the Javanese-Balinese, but since the fall of the Kingdom of Sunda, they have been wondering adrift,
How would your average Javanese feel when Prabowo or Sandi enters their town being escorted by FPI members? To many its like an invading army coming from the West, lead by a traitor, Prabowo. This is ironic, given that elite betrayal of the ordinary people is a common theme in Prabowo's political campaigns. Here is a video of scuffle between residents and FPI, who were guarding Prabowo in Gresik, East Java. Prabowo won Gresik in 2014, but lost heavily in 2019. You see this across East and Central Java, in predominately Javanese districts which Jokowi had lost or won with small margins in 2014, you see big shifts sometimes as much as 15-25 percentage points favoring him. The biggest difference between Sudirman Said's 2018 Campaign and Prabowo-Sandi Campaign was FPI did not have significant involvement in the Said's campaign.
Most Javanese are OK with FPI, as long as they stay away from Central Java and East Java, and don't take control of Islam nationally. The animosity toward FPI is attributed in part, because most of its top leadership are Arab Indonesians. No senior national figure talked openly about their ethnicity, until Hendropriyono open his big mouth. The thought of Rizieq Shibab, an Arab-Betawi half-breed, even getting near the Ministry of Religion, would cause many Javanese to throw up.
Why did Prabowo-Sandi allow FPI to get involved in the East-Central Java campaign?. My theory is it could be used to maintain support of FPI and other conservative groups in other regions. Prabowo and Gerindra don't have a strong grassroots, and with his supporting parties not willing to fully commit manpower to support him in East and Central Java, he was dependent on groups like the FPI.
JAVA WAR 1825-30
The Javanese, like many Asian societies, view history as cyclical and repeating, not linear as Westerners or Arabs do. You see a similar themes emerge during the 2019 Election and the Java War of 1825-30. The Java War of 1825-30 is important in explaining politics in the Javanese Homeland, because its crucible of modern Javanese "nationalism" and politics. It was the first time all segment of Javanese united in fighting a common enemy. Secondly, the Java War took place during the period (1755-1860s) that saw a unification of Javanese culture under the court culture of Surakarta-Yogyakarta, Thirdly, the laid the template for successful mobilization of the Javanese to this day.
When Indonesians study pre-Independence history, wars against the Dutch and other colonist are seen as a stepping stone to the Indonesian War of Independence. But the reality is more people died in absolute terms during the Java War than Indonesia's War of Independence from 1945-1949. One must remember the population of Central and East Java in 1825 was only 1/8 of the population of Java in 1945. During the Java War, the Dutch lost 20,000 men, more than double their deaths in the Indonesian struggle of independence. The Java War proved so costly for the Dutch, they were thinking of abandoning colonial possessions on the north coast of Central and East Java.
For our purposes, the Java War is important because it illustrates two important aspects of Javanese society that continue to this day. Javanese society is conservative, and Diponegoro was first and foremost a conservative. The cause of the Java War was the gradual break down of the arrangement between the Javanese and the Dutch from the Treaty of Giyanti in 1755 to the dissolution of the Dutch East Indies company in 1799. As Carey's points out
Later, in his peace proposals which he transmitted to the Dutch through one of his army commanders, he expressed the hope that the Dutch would remain as settlers and traders in Java provided that they agreed to live on the north coast (pasisir). This was possibly in keeping with the traditional Javanese kraton view, which held that the Dutch were legitimate co-rulers in Java as the descendants of the Sundanese kingdom of Pajajaran. There was much then in Diponegoro’s war aims which hankered for a revival of the old political system which had been in force before Daendels’s period of administration.
The reason for the break down in the arrangement ultimately lay with the invasion and occupation of the Netherlands by Napoleon from 1795 -1813.
Secondly, in Javanese society, there are three pillars - the secular elites (traditionally the Javanese nobility). santri and their communities and the masses. There was a great deal of suspicion between the Javanese nobility and the santri. All three pillars were negatively impacted by the break down of the arrangement.
The years immediately preceding the Java War thus prepared the way for an extensive social rebellion against Dutch rule and against the ruling élite in the Yogyakarta kraton which affected all classes of Javanese society. There only remained the need to await the emergence of a leader with sufficient prestige to weld together the disparate elements into an effective alliance. Dipanagara was such a leader for he had extensive contacts with the Javanese nobility, the religious communities, and the countryside.
While some Muslims in Indonesia see the Java War, as religiously motivated, it was inspired by Javanese conservatism.
Here Diponegoro himself gave a lead by sparing Chinese and European prisoners, and by going so far as to consider making a captured Dutch official one of his principal administrators. Later, in his peace proposals which he transmitted to the Dutch through one of his army commanders, he expressed the hope that the Dutch would remain as settlers and traders in Java provided that they agreed to live on the north coast (pasisir). This was possibly in keeping with the traditional Javanese kraton view, which held that the Dutch were legitimate co-rulers in Java as the descendants of the Sundanese kingdom of Pajajaran. There was much then in Diponegoro war aims which hankered for a revival of the old political system which had been in force before Daendels’s period of administration.

TWO PILLARS OF JAVANESE SOCIETY

Like the Java War, the 2019 Election in Central Java, DIY and East Java could be seen conservative Javanese reaction against groups under Prabowo-Sandi's campaign like Gerindra, FPI and PKS. In this section I will talk about the first 2 pillars, secular pillar (Yogyakarta Sultanate and the PDI-P) and religious pillar (NU). In separate sections I will talk about ordinary Javanese.
SECULAR PILLAR
Hamengkubuwono X publicly remained neutral. However, it was clear from photos during Jokowi and Prabowo visits to the Kraton, the Kraton backed Jokowi. Here is a photo of Jokowi with the Sultan, the Queen consort and all the princesses, and here is a photo with Prabowo and the Sultan. Here is a photo of Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla with the Sultan during 2014 campaign, and Prabowo with the Sultan in 2014. As you see the photos of Jokowi with the Sultan in 2014, and Prabowo with the Sultan in 2014 and 2019 are the essentially the same, the Sultan met with them in side rooms and without the princesses. In 2014, the Kraton was neutral. What changed during the five years? First, the Sultan declared his eldest daughter heir apparent in 2015, going against palace norms and tradition. Secondly, Prabowo aligned himself too closely with PKS and more importantly with FPI, and these groups are more disposed to supporting the Sultan's brothers position that females can't lead the Sultanate. I think Prabowo realized this, and brought along Titiek Suharto and Rachmawati Soekarnoputri, to soften his image.
The PDI-P felt threatened by Gerindra, because Gerindra setup a lot of Posko (campaign offices) in both Central Java and Yogyakarta. They even establish their HQ in Solo, Jokowi's home town. This is what Ketua DPC PDIP Kota Semarang PDIP Hendrar Prihadi said, on Dec 12, 2018
Menurut Hendrar, rencana kubu Prabowo-Sandi yang akan membangun posko kemenangan sampai ke tingkat RT/RW, merupakan khayalan tinggi karena pembuatan posko secara masif membutuhkan biaya yang tidak sedikit."Sudah tahu belum di Jawa Tengah ada berapa desa, berapa RT-RW. Bangun posko tidak murah, biayanya besar," katanya.
Ketika posko Prabowo-Sandi berdiri, kata Hendrar, seketika kader PDIP semakin bersemangat untuk memenangkan pasangan Jokowi-Maruf. Rencana pembangunan posko pemenangan itu dikatakan cawapres nomor urut dua Sandiaga Uno untuk mengoyak mitos Jateng kandang banteng.
Without full support from BPN coalition partners, particularly PAN, PPP and Demokrat, Prabowo and Sandi were just firing blanks.
RELIGIOUS PILLAR
With NU, whether in East or Central Java, they felt threatened by Prabowo-Sandi's association with groups like FPI, and their willingness to lift the ban on HTI. During the campaign, NU took a hardline message
And their message is not a conciliatory one; rather, it’s message of “us or them”. NU and PKB leadership now propagate a kind of militant pluralism, which paints any Islamist group affiliated with Prabowo as a threat to the nation. NU’s leaders, from the national level down to local ulama on Java, Madura and, in West Nusa Tenggara, the NU and Nahdatul Wathan-affiliated Tuan Guru, have been enlisted to convince the electorate not just that Jokowi will support these traditionalist Islamic institutions and their community of santri, but also that a Prabowo victory would open the door to an Islamic caliphate, and the rise of an emboldened Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI).
The assumption here is the NU can dictate to its branches and masses what to do, but my view it was the ordinary Javanese and NU grassroots members in Central and East Java that pushed NU central leadership to act. Despite what the article says, I don't think any of the senior leadership in NU expected the non-Javanese NU affiliated branches would have much luck in getting their members to back Jokowi.
Non Javanese NU branches and leaders are more favorably disposed to FPI than Javanese NU branches. NU in Madura, unlike their counterparts on Java, had good relations with FPI. Mar'uf Amin stated the position of NU with regards to FPI
Mereka (FPI) juga memecahkan diri atau keluar dari kelompok NU karena menganggap NU kurang keras. Padahal bukan kurang keras, tapi NU bijak, santun untuk berjuan. Sekarang ini justru bukan antisipasi lagi, sudah ada di Indonesia, Wahabinya ada, bahkan HTI-nya, bahkan juga ada gerakan yang anak-anak kita dulunya tidak puas dengan gerakan yang kurang ekstrem dari NU, kelompok FPI,
Both NU and FPI are opposed to Wahhabi influence in Indonesia.
However, this contrast with others within NU who want FPI disbanded most notably the NU grassports organization like Banser. After FPI clash with residents in Purwakarta, West Java in 2015, NU chairman, Said Aqil Siradj called for the FPI to be disbanded. However, since the 2017 Jakarta election, FPI has penetrated deeper into East and Central Java, as well emerged from a street vigilante group to a center of Islamic and national politics challenge NU. PDI-P and NU have been aligned in past elections like Megawati - Hasyim Muzadi in 2004, and they still lost heavily to SBY in East Java, because there was no common threat to unite most of the NU branches in East and Central Java. But FPI presence became more visible in small town Java, ordinary Javanese started to worry which motivated many NU leaders to take action. The top video in youtube for FPI, which had a post in /Indonesia was a video with FPI members confronting police about them wanting to raid a supermarket in Sragen, Central Java to check if employees were wearing Christmas themed clothing. This video got 9.2 Million views, and was uploaded on Dec 21, 2016. Sragan is in right next to East Java, and is the geographic center of Central-East Java. IF you want to find a typical Javanese town, Sragen would be it. This attempted raid was followed by attempts by FPI to setup a branch in Semarang in April, 2017, which was rejected by the community.
My view is NU only had two choices -- to remain neutral or back Jokowi. Backing Prabowo was a non starter, given Jokowi popularity among his fellow Javanese and hostility of grassroots NU members in Central and East Java toward FPI. If it remained neutral, the Javanese in the home provinces would most likely vote for Jokowi anyways, and you would ended up with nothing. By negotiating with Jokowi regarding NU support, NU gots something in return. Ma'ruf was important to cover Jokowi against attacks, but NU advanced Ma'ruf as Vice President was to unify NU and get conservatives in NU to go along with what turned out to a full frontal assault against Prabowo and his hardline supporters.
After Diponegoro capture, Javanese society didn't find another leader that could unite them. Starting in the 20th century it became increasingly more difficult as Javanese society became divided on political and religious lines. These divisions culminated in the thr 1965 Anti-Communist purges. In 2019, the secular and religious pillar were united behind Jokowi, as Ganjar Pranowo said,
Kayaknya justru poskonya ditaruh di sana jadi semua semangat. Jadi semua semangat, semua bekerja dan alhamdulillah di Jawa Tengah kondusif ya bekerjanya juga cukup serius. Kelompok masyarakat, kelompok ulama, kebetulan mereka solid untuk mendukung Jokowi-Ma'ruf, maka kolaborasi kekuatan besar itu membikin suara lompatan cukup tinggi,"
PDi-P draws its support from areas which were once heavily PKI, Time has a way of healing the rifts between these people and NU. In addition, starting with Gus Dur, there has been attempt by some within NU to atone for NU involvement in 1965.
Why Prabowo-Sandi Lost: Caught by the Javanese Tsunami Part 2 (Section 8-11)
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The Modern Javanese Identity (Part III)

Javanese Islamization and Fragmentation (Part II)

THE MODERN JAVANESE IDENTITY

As I mentioned in the previous section, the search for a modern Javanese identity began to emerge starting from the mid-19th century and continued to grow until the 1920s. However, with the quest to overthrow the Dutch, Javanese leaders sought common cause with other ethnic group, which lead to Sumpah Pemuda in 1928. While it lingered around until Indonesia got its independence from the Dutch in 1949, it quickly became dormant as Indonesian project took over. As a result of Reformasi 1998 and the decentralization of 2004/2005, Indonesia has seen a growing presence of Islam in the public sphere long suppressed under Suharto. Decentralization was important for this rising tide of Islam, because without it would have occurred much more slowly. By decentralizing authority to districts, it allows regional authorities to dictate issues like wearing hijab in schools and government offices, implemented of religious inspired by-laws. Regional elections have allowed conservative regions like West Sumatra elect officials that reflect the more orthodox Islam practice in the province.. However, decentralization also has spurned a revigoration of local identity and culture, and rising Javanese identity is at the forefront.
In Why Prabowo-Sandi Lost: Caught by the Javanese Tsunam I mentioned the importance of decentralization and the role of social media, particularly, in rebirthing this identity. Now I will articulate the rough contours of this Modern Javanese identity, and how it is similar and different from the movement in the late 19th and early 20th century. In both cases its a reaction to changes in Javanese society brought about by external forces. In the 19th century it was a response to contact with the Dutch and Western ideas, In contemporary Javanese society, Modern Javanese identity is a response to the loss of culture and language as result of decades of "enforced" Malayifcation, growth in more "reformist" strains of Islam, decline of the plantation economy and growing urbanization, and migration. While it is still in its formative stages, the Modern Javanese Identity can be categorized as follows 1) Believes Javanese tradition, customs and thinking helps one navigate the modern world 2) Has its roots in the Javanese working class 3) Cosmopolitan 4) Its relatively more egalitarian than Indonesian society as a whole 5) On going debate about religious identity.
In Why Prabowo-Sandi Lost: Caught by the Javanese Tsunami, I mentioned the Javanese are a visual people, particularly working class abangan Javanese. Prior to 1949, Javanese literacy rates were in the single digits. Low literacy, didn't stop lower class Javanese from producing batik, wayang, wood carvings and intricate stone work. This transfers over to the modern day. For the Javanese the preferred medium is video, and their favorite social media is youtube. In the last five years with cheaper broadband there is explosion of content. A youtube channel is like a series of reliefs on a Javanese candi. The importance of youtube, doesn't just extend to popular culture, but as channel for voices that aren't fully represented in the national media. Javanese Kyai, factory workers and maids working overseas, farmers in rural Java, craftsmen and a policeman in small town Java. They have some channels to devoted to presenting Javanese literature to people in Bahasa Indonesia.

PRESERVATION AND RESTORATION OF JAVANESE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

After almost 100 years of ancillary Malayization, and over 70 years were Malay (Indonesian) was taught as the primary language, language of government and media, many Javanese feel it has went too far. First, many younger generation in Tanah Jawa, don't know the two higher registers Madya and Krama Outside Tanah Jawa and transmigration settlements, many 2nd or 3rd generation Javanese can't even speak Ngoko. Than there are other aspects of Javanese culture like Javanese philosophy and Javanese arts like the Wayang, many older Javanese feel are being neglected. Thirty years ago, they still had travelling Wayang shows, where the Dalang would be hired by local communities. The Dalang would come with all the puppets and equipment in a Ox cart.
Schools East and Central Java are trying to reverse the disinterest among young people toward Javanese language and culture like this in Malang, East Java.
Students perform gamelan music during the thanksgiving event. Those who attend SMA 1 Bantur are familiar with traditional arts. The sound of a gamelan performance and the buzzing noise of teenagers attracts passersby on the roadside in front of SMA 1 Bantur in Bantur village, some 40 kilometers south of Malang in East Java. Inside, students wearing the traditional blangkon headdress carry a tumpeng (rice cone served with various dishes), which symbolizes blessings, into a classroom. It is a monthly activity at the school to preserve the Javanese culture, this time coinciding with the opening of a new class building. The Javanese atmosphere was unmistakable in that school, with some students greeting visitors and speaking to older people in refined Javanese. Boards with Javanese philosophical quotes and mottos along with their Indonesian translation decorate classroom walls.
Most Javanese want to preserve Javanese culture, because they feel as Javanese,it is their obligation. However some feel Javanese language and culture is worth preserving, because it helps Javanese navigate the modern world. Its within this group are the advocates of Islam Nusantara emerge
At his core, Kyai Rofiq is very much a proponent of the concept of Islam Nusantara – a fairly straight- forward combination of social relations, cultural traditions, faith and practice, which are integrated as a way of life that reflects the Indonesian and Javanese surroundings. For him, maintaining social relationships and interactions can be complementary to spiritual relations and the ritual practice of the religion – they should not be viewed separately, both are equally important. Hence his emphasis on amaliyah (practising Islam in daily life) and the fact that cultural norms such as visiting graves and prayers for the deceased should be practised.
Moreover, many Javanese aren't satisfied with just preserving Javanese culture, but restoring Javanese culture as way of repairing a damaged social fabric to combat radicalism and intolerance.
Jika falsafah dan budaya Jawa ini digunakan, kasus-kasus radikalisasi dan juga intoleransi tidak akan terjadi. Karena ajaran Jawa sangat kental dengan saling menghormati, menghargai dan kebersamaan," terang Kepala Dinas Sosial DIY, Untung Sukaryadi,
NOTE: Both Western and Indonesian historians explain why Malay was chosen over Javanese as the national language. However, after over 70 years of independence, Malay's limitations are more apparent than they were in 1930s. First, the spirit of the Indonesian (ie Pancasila, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, Garuda) are Javanese, while the language is Malay. For example, the problematic first sila, the meaning of esa in Sanskrit is rather ambiguous, in Sanskrit it could mean "this", not just "one". As you can see from this example, and my previous examples, the Javanese are comfortable with ambiguity and introspection. This can be summarized best in the phrase "Sing ana, sing ora ana, ora ana, ana". What is, is not; what is not, is" Secondly, Benedict Anderson praised "Revolutionary Malay" or 'Indonesian for powering the revolution. The strength of Indonesian is it doesn't come with a lot of baggage, which means people adopt for their own purposes. Unfortunately, Muslims hardliners like Rizieq Shabib have hijacked it for their own purposes. Its more difficult to sound militant in Javanese. because of the cultural baggage, than it is in Indonesian.
The desire for a "purer" Javanese identity, is the reason why many Javanese are fascinated by the Javanese in Suriname relative to Javanese in Netherlands or Malaysia. For example, when the Ambassdor to Suriname visited Jokowi when he was Governor of Jakarta, it was widely reported , or a youtube video about a Javanese market in Suriname can get 3.2 Million views. The Javanese in Suriname are mostly the descendants of Javanese laborers who left Indonesia between 1880-1920 to work in Suriname. They haven't been exposed to Malayification, the politicization of religion let alone the PKI and 1965 purges. They don't speak Malay or Indonesian, unlike the Javanese in Malaysia or the Netherlands. When their forefathers left Java 100-120 years ago, both NU and Muhammadiyah hadn't been setup yet or were still in their infancy
As Governor of Central Java and DIY, Ganjar Pranowo and Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X job is promote and preserve Javanese culture. This is what distinguishes Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X and Sultans in Malaysia, one of his primary jobs is to promote and restore Javanese culture, while in Malaysia, the Sultans primary focus is to act as the guardians of Islam. Both Central Java and DIY sponsor events promoting Javanese culture, and in the last couple of years they held events promoting the Javanese Diaspora

WORKING CLASS CULTURE

The Modern Javanese Identity draws its inspiration largely from the Javanese working class. In contrast, Javanese nationalism during the colonial period was largely the preserve of the nobility. In my opinion, the Javanese and the Thais are the only two major ethnic groups in Southeast Asia that have distinctive working class identity. The Javanese and Thais working class have their own culture and political party. In terms of culture, for the Javanese working class its Javanese Dangdut, for the Thais, it is Thai country music, Luk Thong. The theme covered in both Javanese Dangdut and Luk Thong cover working class themes like work, migration to the big city, small town/rural life. For political parties, for the Javanese worker, its the PDI-P, or the Thai working class, its the red shirts, even the color they are associated with, red, is the same. In the Philippines, they have a large working class, but they don't have their own culture or political party. Its similar with the Malays in Malaysia. One reason for the existence of a large working class and identity in Thai and Javanese society, is like English society, Javanese and Thai society are stratified and traditionally in the past there were a large number of landless peasants.
Working class identity is evident in the differences between Indonesians dangdut and Javanese dangdut, in Indonesian dangdut working class themes are largely absent, while in Javanese dangdut its a common feature. A theme found in Javanese dangdut songs, whether in lyrics or the videos, is work and struggle. Laoneis Band - Ayo Kerjo, Pendhoza - Aku Cah Kerjo,NDXAKA - Pamit Kerjo. Even music videos that aren't about work, the characters in the video are seen working like Guyon Waton Korban Janji and DARBOY GENK - BALUNGAN KERE. Another working class theme present in Javanese songs is migrating in search of work. Here are some songs and music videos with this theme Letto - Kangen Deso, TKW ( Tulong Kirim Werto ) Gafarock feat. Carakan, Eny Sagita - Taiwan Ninggal Janji, Andra Kharisma - TKI
This popularity of these newer Javanese Dangdut singers, is a key factor in propelling Didi Kempot from a largely working class Javanese audience to the mainstream Jokowi has invited Didi Kempot for this year's independence celebration

COSMOPOLITAN

In the 19th century, rural Javanese society was one of the more closed societies in Maritime Southeast Asia, now it is one of the most worldly. A century ago, the average Javanese could only speak Javanese, 95% couldn't even spell their own name. About 97% lived in East and Central Java. Now 1/4 of Javanese live outside East and Central Java, and that doesn't include Javanese who migrated to Malaysia and Singapore over the last 150 years. Of all the major ethnic groups in Indonesia, a large % of Javanese are working overseas. You will find maids from Central Java and East Java working in Cairo, Egypt and Javanese working in South Korea and Taiwan as factory workers. The largest number of non-Chinese speakers of Cantonese is found in East and Central Java.
A lot of observers, both Westerns and Indonesians, underestimate the social and cultural impact of the large numbers of Javanese working overseas has on rural Javanese society. Many people down play the importance of life experience and background over education. The 22 year old maid working in Hong Kong who can speak English and Cantonese most likely has a more worldly outlook that your average university educated civil servant. There are a few TKW and TKI that have youtube channels describing their life overseas. From Hong Kong (1,2,3), from Taiwan (1,2) , South Korea (1,2), Saudi Arabia and Singapore. Some of the channels are typical of experiences of most TKI/TKW working in those locations, while others aren't, like this Javanese woman working in a farm in Hong Kong. There are easily 3 times more TKW/TKI working overseas than there are santri in Indonesia. In light of this, I found Prabowo's Boyolali comments strange when he mentioned that people would get kicked out of a five star hotel in Jakarta because of how they looked. First he assumed they were country bumpkins, when many Javanese villages have people working in all around Asia. Secondly, it assume Jakarta of the universe. For many TKW and TKI, Jakarta is just a layover destination.
The reason why Javanese are so adaptable in different parts of the world is because still have both a Western mindset from Islam/Christianity and an Eastern one from Hindu-Buddhism. The irony is that since the Javanese have learned Malay, they understand how outer islanders think, but few outer islanders can understand how the Javanese think. Its easier for a KeJawen follower to understand islam than the reverse. It is why when countries in Mainland Southeast Asia have disputes whether its Myanmar, Cambodia or Thailand, they don't call in the Malaysians or Filipinos, but Indonesians. The Javanese and Sundanese are still a Mandala culture, meaning they understand the culture in Mainland SEA, but are neutral.

SOCIAL AND GENDER EQUALITY

Many Indonesians accuse the Javanese of being feudal and hierarchical, while some of the arguments were justified during the Order Baru, Benedict Anderson talked about Javanization of the Bahasa Indonesia in the 1960-70s, where he compared formal Indonesian to Krama and Betawi dialect to Ngoko.
In 1800s, Javanese society was socially rigid and Javanese women position within Javanese society was among the lowest in Indonesia. Relatively to the outer islands now, Javanese society is less socially rigid and has greater gender equality.
First, the Javanese were never as socially rigid as most other ethnic groups in archipelago, because Java never has been continuously ruled by one dynasty in the last 700 years, unlike many of the kingdoms of the outer islands. First, the Majapahit was founded by a commoner, and all subsequent kingdoms (even the Islamic ones) can trace their linage back to the Majapahit. After tbe fall of the Majapahit, rulers claimed legitimacy by tying themselves either through blood or "spiritually" as successors to the Majapahit. Its why you get this long period of war lasting from the fall of Majapahit to 1755.
When Jokowi became President, some Javanese compared him to Ken Arok, the commoner who founded the Majapahit. Jokowi's ability to get overwhelming support from all Javanese social classes, from the farmers to Javanese royalty, because people were more interested in what he did and his character. Ironically, it was supposedly more egalitarian Muslim outer islanders who were more concerned about Jokowi's appearance and demeanor.
Lastly, if one looks at how the royal family of Yogyakarta behaves given their power and influence, it is restrained, compared to the royal families in Malaysia. When Hamengkubuwono X travels outside Yogyakarta he often doesn't travel with a bodyguard or any staff. During a conference for the Javanese diaspora in 2017, Hamengkubuwono X, spoke in Ngoko, because most of the participants only understood Ngoko, the lowest speech register. Usually in such a occasion, the Sultan would use Krama. For those who aren't familiar with registers in Javanese speech, for an English speaker it would be if Queen Elizabeth II was to speak in Cockney.
Javanese women are often stereotyped as docile and obedient. I think this was in part a product of foreign and domestic trends that manifest themselves in the 19th century such as a desire for respectability among Javanese, rise of more orthodox Islam and influence from Victorian European morals. And continued after independence, particularly under Suharto.
The assumption among many is that gender equality among the Javanese nobility decline when the Javanese transitioned to Islam. However, it is not accurate, Javanese Sultanate had female soldiers/bodyguards well into early 19th century. Raden Ayu Yudakusuma, the first daughter of Hamengkubuwono I who lead a Calvary unit during the Java War 1825-30.
In contemporary Java, one seems a greater gender equality with regards to the political role of women in Javanese society. Javanese society has organizations that place women's role as equal or close to equal as men. PDI-P, Indonesia's largest political party, is organization dominated at the top by Javanese women. NU and PKB have strong women's branches. In East Java's the governor and the mayor of the largest city are women. In Jokowi's cabinet, the Finance and Foreign Affairs Minister are Javanese women. The Sultan of Yogyakarta and his daughter IS trying to upend centuries of tradition.
The second is gender dynamics within working class Javanese society. In TKW working class Javanese households, gender roles are often reversed, with the men staying behind to take care of the children, while the women travel overseas to work. Here is a dangdut song describing the phenomena, TKW ( Tulong Kirim Werto ) Gafarock feat. Carakan. About 60-70% of Indonesian workers that get sent overseas are women. I would estimate about 70-80% of the maids working in places like Hong Kong / Taiwan are Javanese, even though Javanese make up onty 40% of Indonesia's population.
One sees that in Filipino society also. However. the big difference between Javanese women working overseas and their Filipino counter parts or women from NTB (the province that sends the most workers overseas after West Java, Central Java, East Java and North Sumatra), is Javanese maids come from families with 1-2 other siblings. Fertility rates in Central and East java are around 2.0 to 2.3 since late 1990s). This means your average Javanese maid is less likely to have siblings (nephew or nieces) to support through school compared to say maids from the Philippines were fertility rates 20 years ago were 4. As a result they usually have more money to invest in land or setting up a business, which strengthen their standing in the local community.
Thirdly, while Javanese women aren't seen as aggressive, they make up for it in being flexible, adaptable and doing things others won't do. For example, most of female Dangdut singers are Javanese from Pantura. As was the case when the Dutch missionaries entered Java in 19th century, Javanese women are much more likely to convert to Christianity, and it shows up population statistics. In Central and East Java, Christian women outnumber Christian men by 108 to 100, in some district its as high as 115:100.. Like in the 19th century, one reason is for social betterment and access to education.
NOTE: In the Why Prabowo-Sandi Lost: Caught by the Javanese TsunamI, I didn't mention a negative stereotype of Javanese women, they are "ballbusters", figuratively and literally. When men in the outer island see Megawati and PDI-P, one of the first thing that comes into their mind, is Gerwani. Gerwani was predominately a Javanese, Balinese and Sundanese organization.

JAVANESE AND RELIGION

I will keep this section, brief because a lot of the process you see after the overthrow of Suharto, had their start during last decade of Suharto'[s rule.
Like the Javanese courtiers of 18th century, in general most Javanese today are open ended about Javanese religious identity. While Muslim Javanese society, like the rest of Indonesian Muslims, have adopted more orthodox forms of Islam since the fall of Suharto, the historical development of religion in Java as described in the post Islamization and Fragmentation" still impacts Javanese society today.. While many younger Javanese have become more Abrahamic in their view of religions, both Muslims and Christians, the traditional Eastern view of religion still persist among many Javanese. This manifest itself in their political affiliation, their acceptance of converting to other faiths and for Muslim Javanese their flexibility in following Islamic hadiths.
In the 17-18th century Javanese mostly had varied beliefs, but most weren't aware how different their beliefs were other groups of Javanese outside their area. However, in 19th century, Javanese religious life to begins to fragment, with some becoming more orthodox (ie Santri), others becoming Christian and by the early 20th century some embracing reformist Islam (Muhammadiyah). By the 1950-70s, some Javanese, mostly abangan, re embrace Buddhism and Hinduism Interestingly, when a Javanese Muslim/Christian converts to Hindusim, Indonesian Hindus don't say they "masuk Hindu", but "kembali ke Dharma" Starting from 1980-90s, new orthodox strains of Islam from the Middle East begin to take root like Wahhabism and Salafiism among a small numbers of Javanese, through contact with the Middle East. So by the 1990s, Javanese are fragmented along sectarian lines. While Javanese of the early 19th century most likely only wore one or two sets of "Agamen", 150 years later it has fragmented into dozen different "Agamen"
Sultan Agung to Jokowi: Maintaining Balance and Supremacy of Secular Power
Most Indonesians, even many Javanese, don't realize the importance of two concepts of Javanese concepts of power - maintain balance and the supremacy of secular power. Javanese rulers rather not destroy an opponent, particularly a powerful one, but recruit them, if not allow them to live. The reason for this, is the importance of maintaining balance. If you keep a defeated foe alive, they might serve as an ally or balance an opposing force. You see this with FPI. The FPI was created in 1998 by Wiranto and some members of the military to balance the students demonstrators. Now jumping the current period 2019, the elite have realized that FPI has become too powerful and more importantly too dangerous as a tool, now they figures its time cut it down to size.
Javanese rulers places secular power above clerical authority, and Javanese rulers have been consistent about this from Sultan Agung to Jokowi. People ignore this rule at their own peril. Of course the methods can range from Amangkurat I slaughter of 6,000 ulema and their families in 1648 to Jokowi's banishment of Rizieq to Saudi Arabia, Amangkurat I pretend he didn't order the killings, and acted outraged and angry at the killing according to Dutch accounts. Is Jokowi behind Rizieq's banishment? We don't know.
The Presidential Election was a defeat for the Islamist, not Prabowo. And all of the government actions since starting the second term, from a former general becoming the Minister of Religion amd Nadiem becoming Minister of Education shows the true nature of the election and the victory. Ma'ruf was just a useful tool, and is towing the government line.
Ulema should spend less time reading Quran, and more time reading Javanese history, to know you have to be very careful with any Javanese ruler.
Darmagandhul and 'Kadrun' vs 'Togog'
In a recent article in the Jakarta Post titled The rise of 'kadrun' and 'Togog': Why political polarization in Indonesia is far from over describes the names hardline opponents of Jokow used to describe hardcore supporters of Jokowi and vice versa. Togog is what opponents of Jokowi to describe his supporters. Togog was known as a character of Javanese shadow puppetry. In the wayang story, Togog is the elder brother of Semar. And during the Sate Senayan meeting with Prabowo, Jokowi was sitting in front of a Togog puppet. Kadrun is short for kadal gurun (dabb lizard found in the Middle East) is used to describe Jokowi opponents who support Anies, who is of Arab descent. I had written about this in the post Javanese Islamization and Fragmentation (Part II) where there were two works Darmagandhul and Gatoloco found in the 1870-1890s They can be seen as anti-Islamic and anti-Arab, they often mocked the Arabs (as well as the Chinese to a lesser extent), but more importantly mocked the Santri for their esoteric nonsense and their embrace of Arab customs.
Some Muslims scholars have said these works were created by the Dutch to spread anti-Islam sentiment among the population, but the academics consensus is they were produced by the Javanese literati, most likely some of the prominent court poets themselves.

Creating the Modern Javanese Economy (Part IV)

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New Guilty Plea Implicates Trump Fundraiser and RNC Deputy Finance Chair Elliott Broidy in $75 Million Scheme to End a Justice Department Investigation of the 1MDB Scandal

Lost in the shuffle of this week's news, on Friday, the Department of Justice announced a guilty plea from George Higginbotham, who worked at the Department of Justice as a senior congressional affairs specialist from July 2016 to August 2018.
Background:
What We Now Know About Broidy's Involvement:
  • In March 2017, Low’s associates were looking to retain “someone with political influence” to help him deflect efforts to seize assets bought with money he siphoned from 1MDB and to end the Justice Department investigation into his activities.
  • In May 2017, Broidy traveled to Thailand to meet with Low and Michel, and he indicated “that he would sit down with Jho Low’s legal team and figure out the best way to get to a settlement on the 1MDB matters”.
    • Broidy “agreed to try to influence a potential nominee for a federal position that would have authority over the 1MDB forfeiture matters”. (The potential office holder is known to investigators and was not nominated.)
    • Broidy “indicated to Michel that although he was willing to assist Jho Low, he would not take any compensation directly from Jho Low in exchange for his services” and instead “wanted $15 million in compensation, but Michel negotiated the price down to approximately $8 million.”
    • At least $6 million was transferred to Rosenzweig’s law firm through various accounts set up to “disguise the true source, origin and purpose of the funds, and, specifically, to conceal from U.S. financial institutions Jho Low’s ownership, control and affiliation with these funds and transactions”.
    • A draft agreement called for a $75 million “success fee” to be paid to Broidy if the investigation was resolved within 180 days, or $50 million if it was resolved within 365 days.
  • Low’s allies also talked with Broidy about using his “political connections to lobby United States government officials” to force the exit of a Chinese dissident from the United States.
    • The Chinese dissident, Guo Wengui, made a fortune in real estate and finance in China but fled in 2014 in anticipation of charges of corruption. He has said the allegations were fabricated by business and political opponents, and he has since styled himself as a whistle-blower exposing the corruption of the Chinese elite.
    • On May 21, 2017, Broidy drafted a memo to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, writing that “while conducting business in Malaysia” he had learned of “a potential opportunity for the U.S. and China to increase their law enforcement cooperation” and encouraged Sessions to engage a delegation from China with “the one request China will make,” the extradition of Guo, “who China alleges has conspired with others who have been arrested and charged with violations of numerous criminal laws of China.”
  • In August 2017, Broidy’s assistant sent him a memo outlining talking points intended to ease concerns about the 1MDB scandal that were apparently intended for use by Najib Razak, then the prime minister of Malaysia, during a conversation with Trump.
DOJ Documents:
News Coverage:
Previous Reporting on Elliott Broidy:
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$60k/month selling vape juice.

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview.
Today's interview is with Jeremy Ong of Vape Club, a brand that sells malaysian vape juices.
Some stats:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

I’m Jeremy Ong, I am mostly based in Malaysia and Singapore right now. The business that I’ve built is Vape Club. It started off as an MVP for a vape subscription box business for consumers to discover e-liquids for cheap. Initially, our customers are primarily from Malaysia. Currently, Malaysia only accounts for 1% of our total revenue.
We do about USD60,000 in revenue per month right now - which is a hella lot of money for typical Malaysians. To put things into perspective, the median average household income in Malaysia is USD1,215. Not too bad for a single unmarried 28 year old chap eh?
image

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I grew up in a traditional-minded middle class Asian family in Malaysia. I had tiger parents who always asked me to study hard, get good grades, get a good job and retire at 60. I’ve always been skeptical about this as my dad was not particularly happy and he was always worried about money.
That’s what I did anyways, I graduated as an Economics graduate and found a job as a brand marketer in an FMCG environment. I was working 9am - 9pm for a 600USD salary in Malaysia.
I thought that there must be more to life than this. I started reading and taking inspiration from books like Rich Dad Poor Dad, Millionaire Mindset, Millionaire Fastlane etc. I don’t have a lot of capital to start with so I’ve always experimented with online businesses as a way to build wealth. During my spell when I was working a full-time job, I built eCommerce stores on my downtime and made some money out of it. However, none of these really took off as I had a lack of focus.
One day, I decided slaving away on the desk isn’t the kind of life I wanted to leave. And I’ve saved up a runway burn fund of about 5,000 USD (so that I can continue eating). I enrolled in a programming bootcamp right after I quit my job because I thought that some coding knowledge would help me build a better online business.
To be honest, I did not know what I wanted to do after graduating from the bootcamp. I had been vaping for about 3 years (this was in 2015) and the vaping industry was just going through an explosive phase of growth. So I thought, why not?
I managed to validated the subscription box idea for about 50USD. All I did was build a two step landing page using a free tool like Unbounce that “sells” the subscription box product. When visitors click buy now, they get sent to an opt in page saying that we’ve “sold out” due to “overwhelming demand”. To get in front of the imaginary queue that I’ve created, they’d have to share the links with 5 friends. This campaign was a success as we’ve achieved more than 30% conversion rates. Here’s a screenshot of the 2-step landing page.
Here’s the landing page that “sells” the product.
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Upon clicking on the “Sign Up” button, we lead them to this page to collect their contact information.
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The reason behind this is because I didn’t have an ad budget for validating the service and I had to get creative. There were a few vape expos happening at that time and we got in touch with the organizers offering them a swap, where I provide web development services for their event in exchange for emails of the attendees. That’s how we got our initial leads. ;)

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

Vape Club started off as product curators, so there weren’t any products to design other than our web app and our packaging attached below.
I coded the web app from the ground up using what I’ve learned from the coding bootcamp and launched the service on the 22nd of September 2019.
I didn’t have any working capital to buy inventory, so I employed the “sell first, worry later” concept. Not 100% ethical, but I had no choice - what better way to validate the idea other than actually selling it?
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Fulfilling orders wasn’t really an issue because there were vape shops everywhere, and the subscription box is sold as a mystery box so we do not commit to fulfilling certain brands or products.
We ended up partnering up with a few local vape shops and manufacturers on a per-order basis. At that time, we would just walk in and purchase the products whenever we sold a box and ship it right away. We literally held 0 inventory!

Describe the process of launching the business.

As mentioned, we launched a landing page in the beginning. It was an empty shell at that time, nothing like what it is now. I financed the business with 400USD in paid-up capital, but I’ve also used my personal funds to fund working capital as there was a lead time for payment gateways to settle payments.
On the 22nd of September, we launched for real. We sent out an email newsletter with MailChimp to all the previous people who’ve opted-in to our email list. We had 11 sales on the first day. I was ecstatic!
A few days later, I noticed that there were a lot of people sending in customer service requests saying that they couldn’t check out. I did some debugging and I found that the “app” that I’ve built can only process one transaction at a time! I quickly fixed the bug and we were getting 3-4 orders per day - which was massive for me at the time.
One of the biggest lessons learned from the process of launching and starting my own business is to know your weaknesses and don’t stinge to get help to shore up those weaknesses. In my case, the launch could’ve been a lot better if I had a better developed app.
Another lesson that I’ve learned is that listening to your customers can bring you a long long way. Some of our subscription box customers mentioned that they really liked some the e-juices we’ve sent them, and suggested that we start an online retail store so that they can re-purchase the ones they’ve liked. Our retail business now brings in 85% of our revenue in repeat purchases.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

In the beginning, PR the hell out of your business. As small guys, we want to look like the big guys. The best way to do this is to get featured on many, many publications!
A good way to do this is signing up to HARO (help a reporter out) and answer questions. If you’re in a trending industry, you’ll find that reporters want to cover your business just as much as you want to get featured!
Let’s start with acquisition. We only use non-paid channels as advertising is not allowed for vaping products. Our biggest traffic channel is blogging & SEO. Whatever traffic we had, we made sure we optimized our email collection with tools like Privy and SumoMe because repeat customers are the best customers.
After awhile, we noticed that more and more people start coming to our site via Google. So I dove deep with SEO tools to see what sort of keywords are leading these customers to the website. What we found is that there were a ton of people searching for branded keywords. We started bringing in all sorts of vape juices we can get our hands on and uploaded them to the site. To take it to the next level, we also started putting out blog content dedicated to the top vape e-liquids brands. Some of the blog posts that did really well are:
We do post on our Instagram and Facebook account but it doesn’t really do anything for us, it’s more of keeping our customers updated. To further improve our content strategy, we also started doing e-liquid reviews on our YouTube channel - which we embed on the flavour pages that we have on our website.
We’ve also experimented with advertising on porn sites, but it’s not something we do anymore because porn sites tend to bring in totally irrelevant traffic that hurts your site behaviour profile - Google doesn’t like that.
When it comes to retention, email marketing works wonders for us! E-liquids are consumable so people would have to restock and repurchase after they’ve finished. We also set up a whole lot of automated email sequences that segments each user into providing as much value as we can along the journey. We recommend using Klaviyo when you can afford it, it pays for itself!
Some of the flows that we implement are:
1) Cart Abandonment
This is where we remind cart abandoners that their products are almost “out of stock”. This is an eCommerce hack to recover lost sales.
2) Browse Abandonment
Have you received emails saying “hey, I noticed that you were looking at insert product here”. This is another email flow that we implement that automatically sends out the relevant products personalized to shopper’s behaviours.
We also implement scarcity marketing with messages like “your item is selling fast, checkout now to avoid disappointment”. You get the drift.
3) Customer winback
This is for customers who’ve been buying from us but stopped for 3 months. We try to win them back with discounts codes to improve retention rate and customer lifetime value.
4) Loyalty discounts
This email flow sends out discount codes for every milestone in lifetime amount spent. Say, if a customer has spent $500, $1,000, $1,500 on our website, we send them a custom discount code to reward their loyalty.
My suggestion is to experiment a whole lot in the beginning! Once you’ve identified something that works, double down and spend 80% of your time and resources on that marketing channel. Spend the rest of your time experimenting with new stuff.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We are currently profitable, I make about $25,000 in net profit every month. Cost of goods is steadily on the decline as more suppliers compete with each other. We are the top online retail store in Malaysia so every supplier tends to give us really good rates to begin with. 100% of our distribution comes from our online store. Currently, only 2 team members are required to handle the operations (picking, packing and warehousing), We have a CLTV of $400 for every new customer we bring in. However, we do not actively acquire customers as we do not have access to paid advertising.
In the short term, we just want to improve profitability without serving extra customers. We also OEM our own products to expand our B2B channels. We currently have distributors in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Australia, South Korea, UAE and South Africa.
P/S I’ve also attached 2018’s Shopify dashboard screenshot to give the readers a better idea.
image
I spend 20% of my time on the Vape business now. The rest of my time is spent on building my new venture, HUSTLR - a website about personal finance, internet money and better side hustles. It’s a web resource with the aim of helping the average hustler achieve what I achieve. I’m more in touch with this because my ultimate goal is to help as many people as possible to succeed in starting an online business.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

A few key lessons I’ve learned from starting this business:
1 - Choose your business partner very wisely.
Make sure you can work together in the long term and have the business’ best interests in mind. When in doubt, don’t partner up. I’ve had a horrible “breakup” with my partner that ended up in a lawsuit. It was primarily due to differing priorities in life and business. I ended up paying her a huge settlement fee that I prefer not to disclose.
2 - Know that your product will sell before you sell it.
Doing keyword research and validating your idea with the lowest cost is extremely important if you’re just starting out. Build an MVP, fail fast and learn fast from your launch. You can relaunch over and over again. When you’re small, you typically have nothing to lose - so think big and just go for it!
3 - Invest in automation, but do your research.
I’ve successfully automated my business to require little to no time from my end due to investing in systems. Find out which parts of the business are taking the most time from you, and start from there. However, I’ve made a huge mistake of committing to $100,000 year-long contracts with these software providers when there were WAY cheaper options available in the market. Don’t be trigger happy - be as objective as possible when finding out which software you integrate into your business.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco
One of the best business books out there that really changes the way you think about how entrepreneurship works. This is great for people who are looking to start an online business but have not taken the leap.
Smart Passive Income Podcast by Pat Flynn
I’ve learned a lot about online businesses from his podcast. Good for beginners and advanced learners. There’s something for everyone on this podcast.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Build a sellable business. When I say sellable, it means that you (the founder) should be removed from the equation. If you build a business and end up working 12 hour work days for it, you’re building yourself a full-time job disguised as a business. That way, when you decide to sell your business for cash up front, there’s no founder risk.
Never build on rented space. It’s tempting to sell on Facebook, Amazon, eBay or other marketplaces but you lose control as a result. Imagine this - if Amazon sees how lucrative your product is and decides to launch their own version. Manage risk by building a brand (on your own website), not transactions (selling on Amazon).
Software over humans. When solving a business problem or streamlining processes, always prioritize software over humans. Humans are usually the most unpredictable part of a business. Integrating software into business processes on the other hand, scales well, saves time and never tires.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

HUSTLR is looking for long form content writers that have experience in digital marketing, freelancing, personal finance. If you’re a writer with expertise in these fields, write into [email protected]. We’re looking for full-time/part-time/freelance.

Where can we go to learn more?

HUSTLR
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos, tools, books, and other data.
For more interviews, check out starter_story - I post new stories there daily.
Interested in sharing your own story? Send me a PM
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New statements by Malaysia on MH17 case: the closer the trial, the more nervous the Kremlin

New statements by Malaysia on MH17 case: the closer the trial, the more nervous the Kremlin
It is obvious that Malaysia is becoming that very litmus test which allows judging what kind of anxiety and reactions are taking shape in the Kremlin. Indeed, today it is so far the only country in the world whose government has sold its loyalty to the Russian Federation on the MH-17 issue. And the latest public statement by yet another Malaysian official once again confirms this suggestion.

As already known, Malaysian Foreign Minister Sayfuddin Abdullah urged the international community to wait for the results of the official investigation and refrain from rushing to accuse Russia of the downing of the Boeing MH17 in Donbas.

Of course, I would like to remind the Malaysian top diplomat that Russia’s involvement is not even being disputed, since the entire evidence base of the investigation points to Moscow as the culprit. But in this case, I'd like to note that the frequency of statements voiced on the topic by the Malaysian political elite is simply flying through the roof. And if we take into account the fact that a pseudo-documentary pseudo-investigation about the disaster was released just recently, there is no doubt that the Kremlin is really serious about this.

And the closer the date of the trial start, which is March 9, 2020, the more desperate the bleating of talking heads affiliated with Russia, which for six years has been refusing to accept blame for those innocent victims, having instead generated a plethora of fake stories and myths. Of course, not without the help of their Malaysian puppets.

And in this context, something else is also interesting. The investigation, in principle, follows the path of proving Russia's guilt, and the aggressor state has pretty much nothing to beat those cards. But what will be the role of those Russian puppets once the trial is over and the perpetrators are identified?

In general, the Russian regime, which deserves the same trial as was once held against the leadership of the Third Reich, will one way or another, be assessed in history. And what will be the place in this assessment of those foreign minions of the cruel regime? It’s not difficult to guess. But are those minions aware of this? Now, they are not so much jeopardizing their reputation, of which it is basically hard to talk without a bit of irony, they are jeopardizing the image of their whole country.

https://zloy-odessit.livejournal.com/2825631.html

https://preview.redd.it/hezucv6pfvd31.jpg?width=900&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=374cc0f3fe0722c2637815f4db35de5b4978eb26
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Why Prabowo-Sandi Lost: Caught by the Javanese Tsunami Part I

I really haven't been following this election unlike the 2014 and 2017 Jakarta Governor's election, but I will like to present my analysis why Prabowo legitimately thought he could win, the new challenges that faced Prabowo in 2019 and why ultimately lost. The analysis will be divided into ten sections
  1. Why Prabowo Thought He Could Win
  2. New Challenges Faced by Prabowo in 2019
  3. Prabowo's Assets In 2019 Campaign: Epitome of Tactics over Strategy
  4. Prabowo's Strategy and How Did Prabowo Do?
  5. Caught by the Javanese Tsunami
  6. Protecting the Javanese Homeland
  7. Two Pillars of Javanese Society
  8. Playing with Stereotypes
  9. Culture Clash: Indonesian Campaign vs Javanese Campaign
  10. Rising Javanese Identity
  11. Jokowi: Javanese Muse and Storyteller
  12. Conclusion
This is going to be very long, because it covers material not many people are familiar with. Jokowi is Javanese and Jokowi won because of the surge of support in the Javanese home provinces (Tanah Jawa) of Central Java, East Java and Yogyakarta. Even though Jokowi is an Indonesian President, many Indonesians understand him the way a foreigner would, because they look at him as Indonesians, not as Javanese. We need to look at election in the Javanese home provinces from a Javanese perspective to really understand what went on.
Warning: This post is 11,000 words long or 20 single space pages. . I decided to do this post, because its been a long time since I written any post like this for /Indonesia. I wanted to finish this before the official election results were announced, but it took longer than expected, because I kept revising the last 5-6 sections. Since the post is over the reddot maximum post length, I broke it down into two parts.
Why Prabowo-Sandi Lost: Caught by the Javanese Tsunami Part 1 (Sections 1-7)
Why Prabowo-Sandi Lost: Caught by the Javanese Tsunami Part 2 (Section 8-12)

WHY PRABOWO THOUGHT HE COULD WIN

Unlike many people and the polls, I thought Prabowo had a good chance of winning. Here are some of the reasons.
The gubernatorial elections of 2017-2018, particularly Sudirman Said's results in Central Java, While Sudirman Said lost by 17%, he managed to get 42% of the vote in a PDI-P strong hold against a longstanding and popular PDP-P party member, Ganjar Pranowo. Most polls expected him to get only 20% of the vote. This race was more important than the Jakarta election for Gerindra and Prabowo, because it showed them that it was possible to do well in Central Java. Said run on a modest budget, imagine a well funded effort would do in a Presidential election. The wins in Jakarta and North Sumatra, and close finish for the so-so PKS candidate in West Java gave room for optimism.
Jusuf Kalla wasn't going to be Jokowi's running mate in 2019. In 2009, Jusuf kalla won 12% or 15 Million votes. Losing Kalla most likely cost Jokowi a couple of millions votes. Jusuf Kalla is popular in Eastern Indonesia and Aceh, and not just in Sulawesi or among the Bugis, but among many non-Bugis as well. Its why Jokowi spent a lot money on infrastructure in Sulawesi to compensate for losing Kalla in 2019.
Jokowi's so-so economic performance. During the 2014 election, Jokowi had promises 7% growth, and he only managed to deliver 5%. Also some of Jokowi's economic policies weren't well thought out. Many of the infrastructure projects, like trans Papua, had a very low rate of return, which is understandable since you are building roads in the middle of nowhere.
Declining enthusiasm among Jokowi's base as a result of failure to protect Ahok and putting on Ma'ruf Amin on the ticket. If you were to measure Siandiaga Uno and Ma'ruf Amin popularity individually, Uno does a lot better. All these factors could influence voter turnout.
Ma'ruf Amin was a compromise candidate meant to appease Jokowi's backers, both the political parties and NU. Ma'ruf selection was a political calculation to maintain NU support and unity, not electoral one. If Jokowi could get NU support and pick a better VP candidate, he would have ended doing better. Mahfud MD polled better among Muslim voters than Ma'ruf. While the press thought appointment Ma'ruf would dissuade progressive and non-Muslim from voting for Jokowi, Ma'ruf. as a high ranking NU leader actually hurt Jokowi's support among non-NU Muslims more, particularly in Sumatra.

NEW CHALLENGES FACED BY PRABOWO IN 2019

Most military officers today, including Prabowo, haven;t fought peer competitors. While going against OPM or Fretlin is dangerous, its not like trying to invade Malaysia. Prabowo-Sandi campaigning in Central and East Java, from a military standpoint is like the Indonesian army invading and penetrating deep into Malaysia.
Jokowi had the benefit of Incumbency, this is particularly important for Jokowi, who's ties to PDI-P political machinery isn't strong. For those who didn't follow the 2014 election, Jokowi's 2014 campaign was poorly organized and scheduled. Jokowi didn't have access to party infrastructure and transportation as described in this New Mandala article. The PDI-P only really supported Jokowi during the last three weeks of the campaign, when Prabowo had cut Jokowi's lead to 2-3%.
The PDI-P, PKB and other coalition parties were out in force in support of Jokowi, because first the legislative and Presidential elections were held on the same day. Secondly, this was Jokowi's last term, winning this term, means that people like Puan Maharani have a chance to compete in 2024. A Prabowo-Sandi victory could mean a possible 10-15 year wait. The PDI-P and its coalition partners were much more engaged than they were in 2014.
Jokowi and coalition partners control the governorship of all the main provinces on Java - West, Central and East Java. Even in West Java, Jokowi benefited from Ridwan Kamal being the governor. His control of the governorship prevented Jokowi from losing support as he did in other provinces that Prabowo had won in 2014 like West Sumatra and NTB.

PRABOWO'S ASSETS IN THE 2019 CAMPAIGN: EPITOME OF TACTICS OVER STRATEGY

Since Prabowo started running for the President in 2004, his endeavors have often been dominated by decisions made at the last moment and short term opportunism. Only in the Presidential Election of 2014 show a build up to the election. There are three patterns one can see from Prabowo's political career over the last decade.
Going into 2019, Prabowo was left with Gerindra, an organization with no credible senior management and limited grass roots organization. The lack of a grassroots organization, is the reason why Gerindra aligns itself with the likes of PKS and FPI. However, even the PKS and other parties at the local level in Prabowo's coalition correctly sensed something was different about this election in Central and East Java, withheld support, and focused on their own campaigns. That is why I suspect Prabowo-Sandi justification in building the Postko in Central and East Java, getting the FPI and other conservative groups involved.
Role of Sandi
Despite what people believe, I don't think he was an asset. Sandi was a compromise candidate, and his biggest advantage was he brought money. But other than that he didn't really bring additional voters, no grass roots organization and no government experience. To be honest, after this campaign Sandi is toast politically. He is a political light weight, always trying to minimize damage, but at the end he comes off looking weak. When he was called sandiwara, his mother jump to his defense. As we have the riots, there are people who are willing to kill to obtain power in Indonesia, the last thing the country need is a Mommy's boy.
As for his economic acumen, you can hire a finance minister. Every cabinet in Indonesia rotates through the same dozen economists, The reality is Sandi's economic message didn't catch on with voters in Central and East Java. because the economies of Java and the outer island are fundamentally different. Added add on culture and class, to most Javanese voters, Sandi was speaking Martian.

PRABOWO STRATEGY AND HOW DID PRABOWO DO?

Prabowo had lost the 2014 Election by 8.5 Million votes or 6.3%, or if he could swing 3.15% of the vote his way he would win. He had three factors working to his advantage in 2019. The first was Kalla wasn't in the race. The second, was the negative impact of low resource prices, this impacted the economies of resource rich provinces in Sumatra and Kalimantan, impacting non-Muslims and Muslims alike. In Kalimantan, district with large Chinese and Christian majority population showed a drop in support for Jokowi compared to 2014. The third factor were new voters, who are more educated and conservative who would be voting for the first time. The factor working against Prabowo was the loss of the non-Muslim vote in non-resource provinces, particularly the minority majority provinces like NTT, Bali, North Sulawesi and Maluku.
Whatever he had gained in the outer islands, it wouldn't be enough to make up the difference. So the provinces on Java - West, East and Central Java would be critical. All Prabowo had to do was maintain his support in Javanese homeland (East, Central and Yogyakarta) and gain 1% from Jokowi in West Java, Bantan and his margins outside Java will allow him to eke out a small victory. Not altogether a unrealistic strategy, given Sudirman Said's performance in the governor's election in 2017.
For the purposes talking about the election results I am going to divide Indonesian provinces into six groups - Stable, Kalla, Resource, Javanese Homeland, non-Muslim Majority , and Outliers. The elections results can be categorized in five groups. The first are provinces that are stable. meaning their result changed by less than 5% points relative to 2014. These provinces economies also didn't show a sharp drop in per capita GDP growth like the provinces in the Resource group compare to the SBY era. The second group, are effects that benefit Prabowo, the Kalla and the resource effect The third group is the non-Muslim majority provinces. The fourth group are the Javanese homeland provinces (which also include Lampung given the majority Javanese population and very long settlement history). The last group are outliers, which include Bangka-Belitung, West Sumatra and Gorontalo. Bangka-Belitung even though its predominantly non-Javanese Muslim region, it has a long history of supporting PDI-P candidates. Megawati did better here in 2009 than she did in Central Java. Its resource economy was severely impacted by lower commodity prices, Prabowo only got 36.3% vs 32.73% in 2014. West Sumatra despite a generally healthy economy, with per capita GDP growing above 4%, Jokowi's support dropped by 10.14% points to only 12.89%. This had to do with putting Maruf Amin, an NU leader on the ticket. The last outlier, was Gorontalo, which Prabowo's support dropped from 63% to 48% even though growth in per capita GDP went from 5.89% per year to 4.87%. I still haven't figure out why Prabowo lost Gorontalo.
The first column shows the 2019 Elections Results with the Prabowo's share of the vote in the Javanese Home Provinces the same as in 2014. The second column shows the 2019 Elections Results with the Prabowo's share of the vote in the Javanese Home Province adjusted so Prabowo=Sandi's results in Central Java mirror those of Said's 2018 results. The third column contains the actual results

Provinces % of Votes in Javanese Provinces like 2014 % of Votes in Javanese Provinces like Said 2018 Actual; 2019 Results
STABLE: North Sumatra, DKI Jakarta, West Java, Banten, NTB, Central Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi, North Maluku, Papua, West Papua, North Kalimantan, Overseas 29,038,542 (2014: 54,29% 2019: 54.52% +124,998 votes) 29,038,542 29,038,542
KALLA: Aceh, South Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi 5,868,052 (2014: 38% 2019 66.10% +2,494,919 votes) 5,868,052 5,868,052
RESOURCE: Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, Bengkulu, Riau Island, West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, West Sulawesi 10,756,042 (2014: 45.73% 2019: 54.16% +1,673,573 votes) 10,756,042 10,756,042
jAVANESE: Lampung, Central Java, East Java, Yogyakarta 21,878,185 23,580,062 15,568,118 (2014: 41.23% 2019: 29.81% -5,968,233 votes)
NON-MUSLIM MAJORITY: Bali, NTT, North Sulawesi and Maluku 1,236,272 (2014: 36.42% 2019: 16.21% -1,540,985 votes) 1,236,272 1,236,272
OUTLIERS Bangka Belitung, West Sumatra, Gorontalo 3,080,198 (2014: 66.97% 2019: 70.94% +181,330 votes) 3,080,198 3,080,198
TOTAL 71,857,291 (49.17%) 73,559,168 (50.30) 65.651.967 (44.85%)
If you factor our the change in results in the Javanese Homeland the election results were a lot closer than many realize. There are fors things one can take away from the election.
Had Prabowo's vote share in the Javanese home provinces remained the same as in 2014, he would gotten a very close result and would have bogged down the Constitutional Court and possibly lead to much more serious political unrest. Had he managed repeat what Said did in Central Java in 2018, he would have won with a thin margin.
Note: Here is the spreadsheet with breakdown province by province. The data for 2014, and 2019. For growth in per capita GDP was taken here. The census data on ethnicity was from this book by BPS. The data for 2019 is preliminary, abd based on real counts that are 40% complete.

CAUGHT BY THE JAVANESE TSUNAMI

Here is a table of showing the 4 provinces where the Javanese make a majority of the population, 74% of the Javanese population lives in these 4 provinces. I use the term Javanese Tsunami to draw parallels to the Malay Tsunamiin Malaysian politics.
Province Javanese as % Total Jokowi 2014 Jokowi 2019 Change
East Java 80.0% 53% 66% 13%
Central Java 97.5% 67% 77% 10%
DI Yogyakarta 95.5% 56% 69% 13%
Lampung 63.5% 53% 60% 7%
For East Java I estimate about 59% of the Javanese population voted for Jokowi in 2014, and in 2019 about 73%. Madurese make up 17.5% of East Java's population. On Madura Island where 60% of Madurese in East Java live, Prabowo got 73% of the vote. In East Java, many districts in the North have a mixed Javanese/Madurese population, looking at the preliminary data, outside the 4 districts on Madura and 1-2 districts that have a majority Madurese population, the only district that showed no shift toward Jokowi is SBY home district of Pacitan.
In Central Java, it not only caught Prabowo-Sandi by surprise, but the provincial PDI-P organization as well. Ganjar Purnomo, the Governor of Central Java, was targeting 70% of the vote in Central Java. This was reflected down to the kabupaten level, in Sragen, PDI-P officials were targeting 74%, but got 80% according to the quick count. This was a safe assumption given that Ganjar only got 58% against Said, and Jokowi was facing a much better funded campaign in 2019 than Ganjar did in 2018. I think the PDI-P assumed Jokowi path to victory would involve getting more votes among non-Javanese Muslims than he did.
There is assumption is that religious minorities and Javanese voted for similar reasons, I don't think this is valid given that most Javanese voted along similar lines as other Muslims in the Jakarta election.
NU Madurese members still voted for Prabowo like they did in 2014, while Javanese voters in Central Java, East Java and Yogyakarta showed a large swing to Jokowi, particularly in areas where Jokowi lost or won by narrow margins. In Galur and Kota Gede Kecamatan in Yogyakarta, two Muhammadiyah areas, Prabowo got 55% in 2014, in 2019 he only managed 41 and 45% respectively in 2019. Muhammadiyah didn't endorse the two sides, but most Javanese members vote for Jokowi, most likely because they couldn't stand Rizieq Shibab with his self-appointed title "Imam Besar". In the three districts in Yogyakarta, Kulon Prago, Bantul and Sleman, Prabowo got 48%, 46% and 46% of the vote in 2014, in 2019 it dropped to 32%,32% and 33%. In contrast, Kota Yogyakarta which Prabowo got 40% of the vote, it only dropped to 34%. You see something similar in predominately Javanese districts in East Java, Prabowo won Gresik, East Java with 53% in 2014, he lost with 33% in 2019.
Jokowi's got about 74% of the Javanese vote in Javanese home provinces, and most likely above 70% of the Javanese vote in Javanese dominant districts in West Java like Indramayu and Subang. SBY in 2009 got about 57% of the Javanese vote in 2009. Even under the New Order, Golkar never got more than 70% of the vote in Central / East Java.
Given that there was large shifts in how Javanese voted from 2014 and 2019, one should ask "Why Did Javanese shift heavily to Jokowi in 2019?"

PROTECTING THE JAVANESE HOMELAND

The first reason why the Javanese shifted heavily to Jokowi in 2019 was important pillars of Javanese society felt threatened by a common threat (PKS, Gerindra and FPI). The mood in the Javanese homeland was of righteous indignation (atau kemarahan benar in Indonesian), which Jokowi and others on his side were able to channel.
THREATS FROM WEST JAVA
The Javanese think of power as a concentric circle, with Central-East Java at the center, and everything radiating outward. Serious threats have always come from either the North (Mongols and Japan) or from the West (Dutch). This continued after independence, from 1949-1960, the Darul Islam movement was centered in West Java, In 1998, riots moved from Medan to Jakarta than to West Java than to Central Java before petering out in Surabaya. During May Riots, Wiranto called troops from KODAM Diponegoro from Central Java to secure Jakarta, and that is why the riots lasted 48 hours. He couldn't trust Kostrad or KODAM Siliwangi, Today, you see the same "threats" from West Java in the form of Gerindra-PKS-FPI alliance in the 2019 Presidential Election. To the Javanese living in the Javanese home provinces, Jakarta isn't the center. but an outlying, unstable and problematic "territory".
The reason for this is since the fall of the Kingdom of Sunda in 1500s, there has been a power and cultural vacuum in West Java. The subsequent Muslim kingdoms in West Java, whether the Cirebon or Banten Sultanates, never filled the void left by the Kingdom of Sunda for the Sundanese. The Sundanese are a people in crisis. They belonged to the Dharmic world like the Javanese-Balinese, but since the fall of the Kingdom of Sunda, they have been wondering adrift,
How would your average Javanese feel when Prabowo or Sandi enters their town being escorted by FPI members? To many its like an invading army coming from the West, lead by a traitor, Prabowo. This is ironic, given that elite betrayal of the ordinary people is a common theme in Prabowo's political campaigns. Here is a video of scuffle between residents and FPI, who were guarding Prabowo in Gresik, East Java. Prabowo won Gresik in 2014, but lost heavily in 2019. You see this across East and Central Java, in predominately Javanese districts which Jokowi had lost or won with small margins in 2014, you see big shifts sometimes as much as 15-25 percentage points favoring him. The biggest difference between Sudirman Said's 2018 Campaign and Prabowo-Sandi Campaign was FPI did not have significant involvement in the Said's campaign.
Most Javanese are OK with FPI, as long as they stay away from Central Java and East Java, and don't take control of Islam nationally. The animosity toward FPI is attributed in part, because most of its top leadership are Arab Indonesians. No senior national figure talked openly about their ethnicity, until Hendropriyono open his big mouth. The thought of Rizieq Shibab, an Arab-Betawi half-breed, even getting near the Ministry of Religion, would cause many Javanese to throw up.
Why did Prabowo-Sandi allow FPI to get involved in the East-Central Java campaign?. My theory is it could be used to maintain support of FPI and other conservative groups in other regions. Prabowo and Gerindra don't have a strong grassroots, and with his supporting parties not willing to fully commit manpower to support him in East and Central Java, he was dependent on groups like the FPI.
JAVA WAR 1825-30
The Javanese, like many Asian societies, view history as cyclical and repeating, not linear as Westerners or Arabs do. You see a similar themes emerge during the 2019 Election and the Java War of 1825-30. The Java War of 1825-30 is important in explaining politics in the Javanese Homeland, because its crucible of modern Javanese "nationalism" and politics. It was the first time all segment of Javanese united in fighting a common enemy. Secondly, the Java War took place during the period (1755-1860s) that saw a unification of Javanese culture under the court culture of Surakarta-Yogyakarta, Thirdly, the laid the template for successful mobilization of the Javanese to this day.
When Indonesians study pre-Independence history, wars against the Dutch and other colonist are seen as a stepping stone to the Indonesian War of Independence. But the reality is more people died in absolute terms during the Java War than Indonesia's War of Independence from 1945-1949. One must remember the population of Central and East Java in 1825 was only 1/8 of the population of Java in 1945. During the Java War, the Dutch lost 20,000 men, more than double their deaths in the Indonesian struggle of independence. The Java War proved so costly for the Dutch, they were thinking of abandoning colonial possessions on the north coast of Central and East Java.
For our purposes, the Java War is important because it illustrates two important aspects of Javanese society that continue to this day. Javanese society is conservative, and Diponegoro was first and foremost a conservative. The cause of the Java War was the gradual break down of the arrangement between the Javanese and the Dutch from the Treaty of Giyanti in 1755 to the dissolution of the Dutch East Indies company in 1799. As Carey's points out
Later, in his peace proposals which he transmitted to the Dutch through one of his army commanders, he expressed the hope that the Dutch would remain as settlers and traders in Java provided that they agreed to live on the north coast (pasisir). This was possibly in keeping with the traditional Javanese kraton view, which held that the Dutch were legitimate co-rulers in Java as the descendants of the Sundanese kingdom of Pajajaran. There was much then in Diponegoro’s war aims which hankered for a revival of the old political system which had been in force before Daendels’s period of administration.
The reason for the break down in the arrangement ultimately lay with the invasion and occupation of the Netherlands by Napoleon from 1795 -1813.
Secondly, in Javanese society, there are three pillars - the secular elites (traditionally the Javanese nobility). santri and their communities and the masses. There was a great deal of suspicion between the Javanese nobility and the santri. All three pillars were negatively impacted by the break down of the arrangement.
The years immediately preceding the Java War thus prepared the way for an extensive social rebellion against Dutch rule and against the ruling élite in the Yogyakarta kraton which affected all classes of Javanese society. There only remained the need to await the emergence of a leader with sufficient prestige to weld together the disparate elements into an effective alliance. Dipanagara was such a leader for he had extensive contacts with the Javanese nobility, the religious communities, and the countryside.
While some Muslims in Indonesia see the Java War, as religiously motivated, it was inspired by Javanese conservatism.
Here Diponegoro himself gave a lead by sparing Chinese and European prisoners, and by going so far as to consider making a captured Dutch official one of his principal administrators. Later, in his peace proposals which he transmitted to the Dutch through one of his army commanders, he expressed the hope that the Dutch would remain as settlers and traders in Java provided that they agreed to live on the north coast (pasisir). This was possibly in keeping with the traditional Javanese kraton view, which held that the Dutch were legitimate co-rulers in Java as the descendants of the Sundanese kingdom of Pajajaran. There was much then in Diponegoro war aims which hankered for a revival of the old political system which had been in force before Daendels’s period of administration.

TWO PILLARS OF JAVANESE SOCIETY

Like the Java War, the 2019 Election in Central Java, DIY and East Java could be seen conservative Javanese reaction against groups under Prabowo-Sandi's campaign like Gerindra, FPI and PKS. In this section I will talk about the first 2 pillars, secular pillar (Yogyakarta Sultanate and the PDI-P) and religious pillar (NU). In separate sections I will talk about ordinary Javanese.
SECULAR PILLAR
Hamengkubuwono X publicly remained neutral. However, it was clear from photos during Jokowi and Prabowo visits to the Kraton, the Kraton backed Jokowi. Here is a photo of Jokowi with the Sultan, the Queen consort and all the princesses, and here is a photo with Prabowo and the Sultan. Here is a photo of Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla with the Sultan during 2014 campaign, and Prabowo with the Sultan in 2014. As you see the photos of Jokowi with the Sultan in 2014, and Prabowo with the Sultan in 2014 and 2019 are the essentially the same, the Sultan met with them in side rooms and without the princesses. In 2014, the Kraton was neutral. What changed during the five years? First, the Sultan declared his eldest daughter heir apparent in 2015, going against palace norms and tradition. Secondly, Prabowo aligned himself too closely with PKS and more importantly with FPI, and these groups are more disposed to supporting the Sultan's brothers position that females can't lead the Sultanate. I think Prabowo realized this, and brought along Titiek Suharto and Rachmawati Soekarnoputri, to soften his image.
The PDI-P felt threatened by Gerindra, because Gerindra setup a lot of Posko (campaign offices) in both Central Java and Yogyakarta. They even establish their HQ in Solo, Jokowi's home town. This is what Ketua DPC PDIP Kota Semarang PDIP Hendrar Prihadi said, on Dec 12, 2018
Menurut Hendrar, rencana kubu Prabowo-Sandi yang akan membangun posko kemenangan sampai ke tingkat RT/RW, merupakan khayalan tinggi karena pembuatan posko secara masif membutuhkan biaya yang tidak sedikit."Sudah tahu belum di Jawa Tengah ada berapa desa, berapa RT-RW. Bangun posko tidak murah, biayanya besar," katanya.
Ketika posko Prabowo-Sandi berdiri, kata Hendrar, seketika kader PDIP semakin bersemangat untuk memenangkan pasangan Jokowi-Maruf. Rencana pembangunan posko pemenangan itu dikatakan cawapres nomor urut dua Sandiaga Uno untuk mengoyak mitos Jateng kandang banteng.
Without full support from BPN coalition partners, particularly PAN, PPP and Demokrat, Prabowo and Sandi were just firing blanks.
RELIGIOUS PILLAR
With NU, whether in East or Central Java, they felt threatened by Prabowo-Sandi's association with groups like FPI, and their willingness to lift the ban on HTI. During the campaign, NU took a hardline message
And their message is not a conciliatory one; rather, it’s message of “us or them”. NU and PKB leadership now propagate a kind of militant pluralism, which paints any Islamist group affiliated with Prabowo as a threat to the nation. NU’s leaders, from the national level down to local ulama on Java, Madura and, in West Nusa Tenggara, the NU and Nahdatul Wathan-affiliated Tuan Guru, have been enlisted to convince the electorate not just that Jokowi will support these traditionalist Islamic institutions and their community of santri, but also that a Prabowo victory would open the door to an Islamic caliphate, and the rise of an emboldened Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI).
The assumption here is the NU can dictate to its branches and masses what to do, but my view it was the ordinary Javanese and NU grassroots members in Central and East Java that pushed NU central leadership to act. Despite what the article says, I don't think any of the senior leadership in NU expected the non-Javanese NU affiliated branches would have much luck in getting their members to back Jokowi.
Non Javanese NU branches and leaders are more favorably disposed to FPI than Javanese NU branches. NU in Madura, unlike their counterparts on Java, had good relations with FPI. Mar'uf Amin stated the position of NU with regards to FPI
Mereka (FPI) juga memecahkan diri atau keluar dari kelompok NU karena menganggap NU kurang keras. Padahal bukan kurang keras, tapi NU bijak, santun untuk berjuan. Sekarang ini justru bukan antisipasi lagi, sudah ada di Indonesia, Wahabinya ada, bahkan HTI-nya, bahkan juga ada gerakan yang anak-anak kita dulunya tidak puas dengan gerakan yang kurang ekstrem dari NU, kelompok FPI,
Both NU and FPI are opposed to Wahhabi influence in Indonesia.
However, this contrast with others within NU who want FPI disbanded most notably the NU grassports organization like Banser. After FPI clash with residents in Purwakarta, West Java in 2015, NU chairman, Said Aqil Siradj called for the FPI to be disbanded. However, since the 2017 Jakarta election, FPI has penetrated deeper into East and Central Java, as well emerged from a street vigilante group to a center of Islamic and national politics challenge NU. PDI-P and NU have been aligned in past elections like Megawati - Hasyim Muzadi in 2004, and they still lost heavily to SBY in East Java, because there was no common threat to unite most of the NU branches in East and Central Java. But FPI presence became more visible in small town Java, ordinary Javanese started to worry which motivated many NU leaders to take action. The top video in youtube for FPI, which had a post in /Indonesia was a video with FPI members confronting police about them wanting to raid a supermarket in Sragen, Central Java to check if employees were wearing Christmas themed clothing. This video got 9.2 Million views, and was uploaded on Dec 21, 2016. Sragan is in right next to East Java, and is the geographic center of Central-East Java. IF you want to find a typical Javanese town, Sragen would be it. This attempted raid was followed by attempts by FPI to setup a branch in Semarang in April, 2017, which was rejected by the community.
My view is NU only had two choices -- to remain neutral or back Jokowi. Backing Prabowo was a non starter, given Jokowi popularity among his fellow Javanese and hostility of grassroots NU members in Central and East Java toward FPI. If it remained neutral, the Javanese in the home provinces would most likely vote for Jokowi anyways, and you would ended up with nothing. By negotiating with Jokowi regarding NU support, NU gots something in return. Ma'ruf was important to cover Jokowi against attacks, but NU advanced Ma'ruf as Vice President was to unify NU and get conservatives in NU to go along with what turned out to a full frontal assault against Prabowo and his hardline supporters.
After Diponegoro capture, Javanese society didn't find another leader that could unite them. Starting in the 20th century it became increasingly more difficult as Javanese society became divided on political and religious lines. These divisions culminated in the thr 1965 Anti-Communist purges. In 2019, the secular and religious pillar were united behind Jokowi, as Ganjar Pranowo said,
Kayaknya justru poskonya ditaruh di sana jadi semua semangat. Jadi semua semangat, semua bekerja dan alhamdulillah di Jawa Tengah kondusif ya bekerjanya juga cukup serius. Kelompok masyarakat, kelompok ulama, kebetulan mereka solid untuk mendukung Jokowi-Ma'ruf, maka kolaborasi kekuatan besar itu membikin suara lompatan cukup tinggi,"
PDi-P draws its support from areas which were once heavily PKI, Time has a way of healing the rifts between these people and NU. In addition, starting with Gus Dur, there has been attempt by some within NU to atone for NU involvement in 1965.

Why Prabowo-Sandi Lost: Caught by the Javanese Tsunami Part 2 (Section 8-12)
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