When asked why I’ve lived in Indonesia for so long, I generally reply that it’s because being regularly boggled keeps me alert. For example, at a farewell meal with a recently departed friend we were told that the restaurant didn’t have any vegetables. He remarked that ‘WTF? moments’ are delivered on a daily basis.
Today’s example is on the back page of the Jakarta Post; it’s a full page advertisement, in colour, for tvOne and ANTV. Both TV stations are owned by the family of Aburizal Bakrie, the much reviled oligarch who is currently chairman of the Golkar Party which he unilaterally aligned with presidential aspirant Prabowo’s coalition.
Quick counts were conducted following last Wednesday’s election and eight of Indonesia’s most respected survey companies showed that Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla won the election by a margin of between three and five percentage points. However, tvOne carried results by other companies which gave Prabowo a similar winning margin.
The Public Opinion Survey Association (Persepi) has since conducted audits of the polling companies and given a clean bill of health to those who predicted a Jokowi-Kalla victory. Of the four companies which predicted a Prabowo win, two, the National Survey Institute (LSN) and the Indonesia Research Center (IRC), were not members of Persepi. The two other companies refused to be audited; the Association has expelled Puskaptis, and JSI withdrew before being expelled.
One might reasonably expect, therefore, that Bakrie’s media companies might wish to keep a low profile. But no… this is the heading of the ad.
How many language errors can you spot?
(Note: no-one has been elected – yet.)
Back in 2005 I castigated AdamAir for a similar full page in colour of self-adulation. That ad had many more language errors, but like the one above just 70 or so words. I suggested that if the company couldn’t be bothered to check their English then they probably couldn’t be bothered to be maintain their aircraft.
Of course, there is no suggestion that the above ad is an indication of pending fatalities. However, stock market sentiment has impacted on the shares of companies owned by Prabowo backers. Bakrie companies are especially unpopular, due to what is considered to be poor company management and a lack of transparency, as well as delays in submitting financial reports.
These lyrics, by Kevin Ayres from the first Soft Machine album (1968) seem particularly appropriate.
It begins with a blessing, it ends with a curse
Making life easy by making it worse
“My mask is my master”, the trumpeter weeps
But his voice is so weak, as he speaks from his sleep …