Indonesian president is a metal head


Indonesian president

Also known as Jokowi, Joko Widodo is President of Indonesia since the elections of 2014, and ever since he has changed the political landscape of the country with his different personality. For starters, he is the first Indonesian president not to come from an elite political or military background, he is a humble man, he's not letting religion lead politics like other politicians do in Indonesia and unlike former rulers, he is famously known as a metal head.

Upon winning the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial election, he improved the city's bureaucracy, reduced corruption, introduced programs to improve quality of life in the city - such as healthcare and dredging the city's main river to reduce flooding - and he inaugurated construction of the city's subway system.
After all these reforms, he started to gain prominence in Indonesian politicians and became increasingly popular amongst Indonesians. That is when PDI-P nominated him as their presidential candidate in the 2014 presidential election, and the rest is History.
But there is much more to Joko Widodo than his political accomplishments. He is also loves metal music, which is also a reflection of the country's music scene. According to The Economist, Kokowi “has a penchant for loud rock music” and he even owned a bass guitar signed by Robert Trujillo of heavy metal band Metallica. Unfortunately, the guitar was confiscated by the anti-corruption commission, KPK. While he was the Governor of Jakarta, he was seen in the rock festival Rock in Solo. He also attended the festival in 2011.
Clearly, he is a big fan of Metallica, but he is also a professed fan of Lamb of God, Led Zeppelin, and Napalm Dead. The latter band is famous for their humanist, socialist and political views. Although Nepalm Death went as far as congratulating the president on their Facebook page, they also criticized him after the Bali Nine and the Lindsay Sandiford case. This band wasn't the only band who criticized the president for those cases, but he also came under the fire from other bands within the metal scene, such as Tony Iommi, after their their pleas for clemency were ignored.
Axl Rose was another artist who pleaded for clemency fo two members of the so-called “Bali Nine”- nine people arrested in 2005 for allegedly planning to smuggle heroin out of Denpasar - and he went as far as sending a letter to Indonesian President Joko Widodo. According rep for Axl Rose told Rolling Stone magazine that the rocker made his letter public because was “quite upset with such injustice.”
The Guns N' Roses singer wrote in the letter: "I appeal to you Mr. President, Mr. Joko Widodo to use your show your country's strength and allow the world to witness an extraordinary act of humanity and bravery on yours and your country's part." Rose also sent the letter to three ambassadors and the chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights of Indonesia.
"Their crimes were now long ago, their hearts and minds forever changed by their crimes," Rose wrote. "In a world where the bad often outweighs the good and evil and negativity would appear more and more prevalent we need and can use every person choosing to make a difference.... In doing so we show the entire world that we are capable of forgiveness and mercy, a much greater sense of courage, strength and humanity and being so much more than that which seeks to overcome and destroy us."
Rose wrote that not sparing the prisoners' lives would be a "cold, cruel and uncaring message of hopelessness," and he pleaded that Joko not be "blinded by rigidity and inflexibility." He also described their death sentences as "draconian" and the act of killing them "barbaric, backward and truly disgraceful."
Rose wrote that "executing those on the bottom rungs of the ladder in the chain of drug trafficking...seems more than unfair." He continued. "Only the lives of these three human beings are what's important now."
He closed the letter by asking Joko to consider the message he is sending. "You've made your point and struck fear in both the hearts and minds of the condemned and anyone even remotely considering bad choices or already involved in those worlds," Rose wrote. "Life is the only thing important now, not death but life."
Despite Rose's letter, the government executed eight people – seven of whom were foreigners, including Chan and Sukumaran. Accordingly, Joko had said that the country was facing "a national emergency" of drug abuse which is why the pleas for mercy were rejected.
Joko Widodo's popularity as a metalhead has also reached Scandinavian shores, and when Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen Løkke Rasmussen visited Jakarta on diplomatic terms, he gifted Widodo a Metallica Master of Puppets vinyl box set, which was signed by the band's drummer and co-founder, Lars Ulrich, a Danish native. Widodo paid 11 million rupiah out of his own money to claim the record and avoid accusations of corruption.
Ulrich commented on the diplomatic gift on his Instagram account: “This is way cool… I signed an MOP box set for Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen to give to Indonesian President Joko Widodo who is well known as a huge fan of rock music and came to see us in Jakarta in ‘13… music really does connect people!!!”


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