Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hubungan Mesra Liga Inggris dan Indonesia



Bila kita mengakses situs resmi liga inggris ada hal yang menarik disana khusunya bagi rakyat Indonesia. Situs tersebut memiliki tujuh pilihan bahasa yang salah satunya adalah Bahasa Indonesia.[1] Penyertaan Bahasa Indonesia ini mengindikasikan bahwa Indonesia merupakan bagian terpenting dalam perhelatan Liga Inggris.

Liga inggris tak dipungkiri merupakan salah satu liga elit di dunia. Dalam jumlah penonton pun premier league kokoh di puncak sebagai liga dengan jumlah penonton terbanyak di dunia. Tak kurang ada sekitar 4.7 miliar orang yang menonton liga inggris di televisi.[2] Untuk Indonesia sendiri, ada separoh dari penduduk Indonesia yang berjumlah lebih dari 250 juta jiwa menonton liga inggris. Rinciannya adalah 54% menonton lewat televisi dan 17% menonton lewat internet. Jumlah ini menjadikan Indonesia sebagai negara dengan jumlah penonton liga Inggris terbanyak berdasarkan data yang dirilis oleh Global Web Index Report 2015.[3]

Meskipun tidak ada data pasti, jumlah penonton liga Inggris di Indonesia bisa dikatakan meningkat saban tahun. Kenaikan ini dapat dilihat dari semakin banyaknya tempat-tempat nonton bareng liga inggris di seluruh penjuru negeri, dari kota besar semisal Jakarta sampai kota kecil di Papua. Tidak sampai disitu, peningkatan jumlah penonton ini juga dibuktikan dengan semakin menjamurnya komunitas fans klub di Indonesia. Di kota Medan misalnya, ada sekitar 14 komunitas fans klub yang diantaranya adalah Big Reds Indonesia (Liverpool), Manc United Indonesia (Manchester United), dan Arsenal Supporters Indonesia (Arsenal).[4] Penggemar klub Chelsea juga tidak ketinggalan dalam memobilisasi sesama fans klub London itu. Ada sekitar 11 fanbase resmi Chelsea yang tersebar di seluruh penjuru Indonesia dengan jumlah anggota yang tergabung lebih dari 2100 orang.[5] Adapun tiga klub inggris dengan jumlah fans terbanyak di Indonesia adalah Manchester United (25%), Chelsea (23.94%), dan Arsenal (18.87%).[6]

Jumlah fans yang tidak sedikit ini tentu memiliki sisi keuntungan tersendiri bagi sebuah klub sepakbola. Sudah menjadi ‘adat’ tak tertulis di kalangan fans bahwa mereka harus mencurahkan fanatismenya kepada sebuah klub dengan mengoleksi atribut-atribut klub seperti jersey, sepatu, dan barang-barang terkait lainnya. Oleh karena itu, hitung-hitungannya adalah, semakin menggeliatnya fans klub liga inggris di Indonesia semestinya berbanding lurus dengan keuntungan finansial yang diraup oleh klub-klub tersebut. Chelsea telah membuktikan hal ini ketika klub yang memiliki koleksi empat gelar premier league itu berkunjung ke Indonesia pada 27 Juli 2013 silam. Dalam lawatan tersebut terdapat peningkatan penjualan produk-produk Adidas bertemakan Chelsea sekitar 30-35 persen.[7] 

Sayangnya peluang ini tidak dimanfaatkan secara optimal oleh klub-klub liga Inggris. Kunjungan mereka ke Indonesia bisa dikatakan masih sangat minim. Selain Chelsea yang baru sekali menyapa langsung fans fanatiknya di Indonesia, ada Liverpool yang juga baru sekali (2013), dan Arsenal dua kali yaitu pada tahun 1983 dan 2013. Manchester United yang lebih parah lagi. Meskipun mayoritas fans liga inggris di Indonesia menyukai klub peraih gelar liga terbanyak ini, kunjungan Manchester United ke Indonesia baru satu kali dan itu sudah lama sekali yaitu tahun 1975 silam.[8] Hubungan bisnis liga inggris dan Indonesia cukup kuat. Hal ini dibuktikan dengan semakin menggeliatnya perusahaan-perusahaan Indonesia menjalin kerjasama dengan beberapa klub liga inggris. Manchester United merupakan pioneer dalam hal penjajakan kerja sama dengan perusahaan Indonesia. Pada tahun 2006 setan merah menjalin kerjasama dengan Bank Danamon. Buah dari kerjasama ini adalah tak kurang dari 170 nasabah yang sudah diberangkatkan ke Manchester untuk menonton langsung Manchester United berlaga.[9] Kerjasama antara setan merah dan Indonesia bertambah dengan disetujuinya Achilles-Corsa, perusahaan ban dari Indonesia, sebagai salah satu sponsor Manchester United pada tahun 2013.

Perusahaan perbankan Indonesia merupakan salah satu sector bisnis yang rajin menjadi sponsor klub liga inggris. Bank Nasional Indonesia pada tahun 2012 menjadi salah satu sponsor klub Chelsea.  Kemudian yang terbaru ada Arsenal yang pada bulan januari kemarin menjalin kerja sama dengan Bank Muamalat. Sector bisnis lain juga tidak ketinggalan. Pada musim 2014/2015 Liverpool bersedia menyematkan logo maskapai penerbangan dari Indonesia yaitu Garuda Indonesia di pakaian latihan Cautinho dan kawan-kawan. Pada tahun yang sama, perusahaan asuransi Indonesia, Jiwasraya, menjadi sponsor Manchester City.

Bertambahnya jumlah perusahaan Indonesia yang menjadi sponsor liga inggris tentu pertanda baik. Klub-klub Inggris dan perusahaan-perusahaan Indonesia sama-sama meraup untung dari partnersip ini. Klub inggris tentu saja mendapatkan uang yang banyak dari kerjasama ini. Sedangkan perusahaan Indonesia, dengan memasang brandnya di klub-klub ternama premier league, bisa menjadi lebih dikenal oleh masyarakat global. Sudah bukan rahasia lagi bila segala aktifitas klub dan gerak gerik pemain sepak bola selalu diliput media. Dengan logo perusahaan yang melekat di emblem klub dan baju pemain merupakan promosi gratis bagi perusahaan tersebut.

Selain meningkatkan kunjungan ke Indonesia, ada satu hal lagi yang bisa dilakukan oleh klub-klub liga premier inggris yaitu menambah jumlah gerai resmi klub. Saat ini baru Manchester United, Liverpool, dan Arsenal yang tercatat secara resmi membuka toko merchandisenya walaupun masih berbasis online.[10] Arsenal sendiri terbilang cukup agresif dalam memanfaatkan pasar Indonesia setelah menjalin kerjasama dengan perusahaan Indonesia, Mitra Adi Perkasa Tbk pada tahun 2015 lalu. Buah dari kerjasama itu adalah akan dibukanya 56 toko online pernak-pernik Arsenal khusus untuk konsumen Indonesia.[11] Meskipun langkah ini patut diapresiasi, klub-klub liga premier inggris perlu membuka gerai offline resminya di kota-kota lain di Indonesia. Gerai offline ini bisa berfungsi sebagai base untuk meningkatkan rasa kebersamaan antara klub dan fans melalui penyelenggaraan acara seperti nonton bareng.

Indonesia dan liga premier inggris merupakan dua elemen yang penting dan saling menguntungkan dalam hal industry sepak bola. Kedepannya hubungan keduanya akan semakin mesra lagi mengingat semakin membaiknya perekonomian Indonesia dan semakin kompetitifnya liga inggris.



[3] Premier League Fans summary, p. 3.
[4] Universitas Sumatera Utara, p. 2.
[5] Serviens, p. 5.
[7] Serviens, p. 7.

If Sadiq Khan Ran for Office in Indonesia, Would He Be Elected?


Friday is considered a blessed day in Islam, to the extent that it has a name; ‘the feast for Muslims’. On this important day, Muslims are recommended to bathe, put on perfume, wear their best garments, and gather at the mosque to perform Friday prayers in congregation.
Friday 6 May 2016 was made even more special. On this day, it was not only Muslims who celebrated the festivity, but all residents of London. The reason for this, is that last Friday, Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor of London; the first Muslim to hold the position. Undoubtedly, millions of Londoners rejoiced at the coronation of Khan as the individual in charge of the British capital.
Khan brings four main initiatives to the capital; namely, cleaner London, greener London, preserving the environment, and making London a low-carbon city. This piece does not analyse Khan’s government or the implications of his accession for London and its inhabitants; however, we would like to take a unique approach by asking the following question. If Khan ran for Governor, Mayor, or Member of Parliament in Indonesia with his four main programs, would the son of a former bus driver be elected?
It cannot be denied that democracy in Indonesia is still laden with the flow of illicit money; known as money politics. So when a person aims to instigate change through politics, he or she should have a large flow of cash to support him or her. Sadly, holding political office in Indonesia is expensive.
Being a Member of Parliament, for instance, requires hundreds of millions to billions of Rupiah in order to become ‘the people’s representatives’. The Vice-Chairman of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) for the period 2009-2014, Hajriyanto Y. Thohari, agrees with this. Meanwhile, Pramono Agung, the Vice-Chairman of the House of Representatives (DPR) between 2000 and 2014, explains in his doctoral dissertation that the average cost incurred by a candidate of the House of Representatives in the 2009 election was about 1.5 to 2 billion rupiah (more than 100,000 British Pounds).
For the 2014 election, the number was almost the same. Teguh Dartanto, a researcher from the University of Indonesia, calculated the total amount needed for the prospective Member of Parliament to stand for election. Employing classical investment theory, Dartanto reveals that a candidate’s average spending ranged from 787 million (£40,814) to 1.18 billion (£93,866) for the national Parliament, and up to 481 million rupiah (£24,944) for the House District.
The numbers are even higher for regents’ or governors’ elections. Home Affairs Minister, Tjahjo Kumolo, reveals that the minimum funds required are as much as 75 billion Rupiah (3,889,491 pounds) for a regent candidate if he or she wishes to be elected. That amount of money is only for areas with approximately 120,000 constituents. For areas with more than 120,000 voters, the amount is obviously higher. To be a Governor, for instance, it is estimated that the funds need reach 100 billion rupiah (£5,185,988), and 50 billion rupiah (£964,137) to be elected Mayor.
The huge cost of occupying political seats is attributed to nothing more than the high costs of socialisations and campaigns. Liked or not, a candidate must dredge deep pockets if he or she wishes to be known, and later elected, by the people. The more socialisations and campaigns, the higher the likelihood of being elected.
Another factor of equal importance is the number of requests for assistance ahead of the election. During this period, many people make proposals to the candidates for a variety of activities and development undertakings. These range from sports tournaments to the construction of bridges or places of worship. The candidates would find it difficult to refuse as they would be branded as cheapskates or not pro-people. Consequently, it is highly likely that they would lose votes. 

Negative implications
Undeniably, the high cost of becoming a political official in Indonesia has several negative implications. The worst of these is corruption. Data provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs reveals that until January 2014, around 318 of a total of 524 local politicians have been entangled in corruption cases. Even former Deputy Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Denny Indrayana, claimed that 70% of heads of region are involved in corruption affairs. The House of Representatives has been named as the most corrupt institution in the country for five consecutive years. Looking at the massiveness of corruption cases, it is not surprising that Indonesia ranks 88 out of 168 countries in a list of the world’s most corrupt nations.
Besides corruption, the consequence of costly official seats is the relatively low quality of elected officials. Elections are no longer the platform from which truly qualified and committed individuals can fight for people’s rights. It has now become a venue to showcase who has the most money and even looks. So it makes sense if now people who participate in the election are businessmen and celebrities. It can be said that these two professions are fairly quick to grab people’s attentions. Candidates who are businessmen must have capital that is much larger than normal candidates. Meanwhile, celebrities not only have large funds, but also familiar faces. In the eyes of many political parties, the quality of the candidate is no longer important, as long as he or she can raise the electability of the party.
Another important implication is the lack of effectiveness of these politicians. Instead of working to ensure the well-being of the people, those selected politicians will almost certainly be busy counting the political costs incurred. Of course, these individuals wish to recoup their money or even make a profit. The potential impact is that many of them no longer work to truly serve the people. Public interest is frequently disregarded in favour of pursuing their personal interests to get the money back, regardless of how they do it.
While we may dislike Khan, his election is based undoubtedly on the desire of the people of London to see new winds of change offered by their new mayor. A healthy system without politics tainted by money or a ‘dawn raid’ like this should be a lesson for Indonesia. Because if Indonesia does not want to learn, even Sadiq Khan would find it difficult to win an election in the third largest democratic country in the world.
This piece is co-authored with Muhammad Beni Saputra, a postgraduate student at the University of Manchester.
This piece is also published by Huffington Post at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/muhammad-zulfikar-rakhmat/sadiq-khan_b_9883262.html?utm_hp_ref=indonesia 

Why the English Premier League Should Look Towards Indonesia


As Indonesians, accessing the official website of the English Premier League (EPL) offers a channel to something interesting. The website has seven language options, one of which is Bahasa Indonesia; thereby demonstrating the importance of Indonesia to the EPL.
It is undeniable that the EPL is one of the most elite football leagues in the world. In terms of spectator numbers, the EPL has always ranked highest. It is estimated that approximately 4.7 billion people watch the English League on television. When it comes to Indonesia, approximately half of its 250 million population watch the league. Of these, 54% watch on TV, while the remainder access matches via the Internet. This means Indonesia has the highest number of English League spectators, based on data released in 2015 by the Global Web Index Report.
Even though it is difficult to determine the precise figure, the number of EPL spectators in Indonesia is growing every year. This is evidenced in the increase in the number of cafes, hotels, and other venues in which fans can watch the league across the country; from big cities such as Jakarta, to a small town in Papua. Moreover, the increase is evidenced by the proliferation of fan communities of English clubs in Indonesia. On social media, for instance, there are several fan communities; includingLiverpool Indonesia Fans Club (Liverpool F.C.), Manchester United Fans Club's Indonesia (Manchester United), and Arsenal Indonesia (Arsenal F.C.). Fans of Chelsea F.C. are not left behind, as there are around 11 official Chelsea fan bases across Indonesia, comprising more than 2100 members. It is estimated that the three English clubs with the highest number of fans in Indonesia are Manchester United (25%), Chelsea (23.94%), and Arsenal (18.84%).
The large number of fans should reap benefits for the football clubs. It has become an unwritten custom that they should devote their fanaticism to a club by collecting memorabilia, such as jerseys, shoes, and other related items. Therefore, it can be assumed that the dedicated fans of these clubs in Indonesia should be proportional to the financial benefits scooped by these clubs. Chelsea proved this when the club visited Indonesia in 2013. During the trip, there was a 30-35% increase in sales of Chelsea-themed Adidas products.
Unfortunately, this opportunity has not been seized optimally by the English football clubs. Their visits to Indonesia could be said to be still very low. Besides Chelsea, which visited only once, Liverpool also made a visit in 2013, while Arsenal visited in 1983 and 2013. Worse still, even though the majority of English League fans in Indonesia are devotees of Manchester United, the club has visited the country only once, way back in 1975.
Business ties between the EPL and Indonesia, however, are relatively intense. This is evident in the increasing number of Indonesian firms cooperating with some English football clubs. Manchester United is the pioneer in this regards. In 2006, the Red Devils signed a deal with Bank Danamon, resulting in more than 170 customers traveling to Manchester to watch the match live at Old Trafford. This cooperation further developed with the approval of the Achilles-Corsa, an Indonesian tire company, as one of United's sponsors in 2013.
The Indonesian banking sector is one of the business sectors that often become sponsors of EPL clubs. In 2012, for instance, Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) was one of Chelsea's sponsors. More recently, Arsenal's brokered a sponsorship deal with Bank Muamalat. Other business sectors are also included. In the 2014-2015 season, Liverpool agreed to embed the logo of Garuda Indonesia, the national air carrier of Indonesia, in the club's training clothes. In the same year, an insurance firm, Jiwasraya, became the sponsor of Manchester City.
The growth in the number of Indonesian companies becoming sponsors of English football clubs is certainly a good sign. Both the companies and the clubs seem to garner benefits from their partnership. The clubs certainly reap a large amount of money from the deals, while the Indonesian companies may be more recognised in the global community.
Several efforts could be exerted by Indonesia and EPL clubs to improve their relationship. Besides increasing visits to Indonesia, the clubs could also boost the number of official club outlets. At present, only Manchester, Liverpool, and Arsenal have opened official merchandise stores; albeit ones that are based online. Arsenal itself is quite aggressive in seizing opportunities in Indonesian markets after signing a deal with Mitra Adi Perkasa in 2015. According to the deal, Arsenal will open at least 56 online stores for Indonesian consumers. While this step should be appreciated, it is also important for the clubs to open official offline outlets in Indonesia. These offline stores could serve as a base from which to improve the sense of community between the club and the fans.
This can be supplemented further by the establishment of official football schools in Indonesia. This has become increasingly attractive for some Indonesians since Chelseaand Liverpool began operating football schools in the country. As the partnership grows, it is hoped that the EPL will also be able to help improve the country's feeble football industry.
Indonesia and the EPL are two important partners that are mutually beneficial in the football industry. Looking to the future, the two will grow even closer given Indonesia's improving economy and the increasing competitiveness of the EPL.
This piece is co-authored with Muhammad Beni Saputra, a postgraduate student at the University of Manchester.
This piece is also published by Huffington Post at: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/muhammad-zulfikar-rakhmat/why-the-english-premier-l_b_10087446.html 

A Parasite in Democracy


Many cheered when Indonesian President Soeharto (1966-98) decided to leave office in 1998. It was, of course, unsurprising. The end of Soeharto’s regime was a breath of fresh air for the Indonesian society; consequently, the post-Soeharto era, dubbed the New Order, was renamed ‘the Reformation’ or, in other words, a time for change. However, Soeharto’s resignation did not bring a considerable positive transformation for the people of Indonesia. This is because the post-Soeharto era, as described by Jeffrey A. Winters of Northwestern University, is the period in which democracy and oligarchy meet.
The oligarchs are a group of wealthy individuals who attempt to control the life of democracy in Indonesia. Worse, these oligarchs have gained strength by controlling the country’s mainstream media. Following Soeharto’s demise, the Indonesian press underwent a major transformation. During his tenure, freedom of the press was highly restricted and not many media outlets dared to criticise the government. Moreover, newspapers were required to go through the Ministry of Information before they were published. However, everything changed drastically after 1998. The end of the New Order gave birth to a new chapter for the Indonesian press. New media platforms, both print and electronic, sprung up with a new look and spirit. Over a period of four years (1998-2002), more than 1,200 new print media, 900 new commercial radio stations, and 5 commercial television channels were launched. To the present day, these media are no longer reluctant to excoriate the authorities or expose corruption cases to the wider public. Deregulation and privatisation of the press have been among the defining characteristics of the post-Soeharto era.
Nevertheless, the new media are controlled and managed largely by the oligarchs. What is worse is that these oligarchs had direct involvement in the country’s politics. For example, the founder and chairman of the National Democratic Party (Nasional Demokrasi), Surya Paloh, has a sizeable empire media business in Indonesia. He owns a well-known newspaper, Media Indonesia, and a very influential television channel, Metro TV. Another politician who also owns media in Indonesia is Aburizal Bakrie, the chairman of Golkar Party, which owns ANTV, TV One, and Vivanews.
Paloh had frequently been a member of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) during the Soeharto era, while Bakrie served twice as minister during the government of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. If these two individuals were old actors in Indonesian politics, there is another important newcomer who is also a media tycoon, Hary Tanoesoedibjo. He is the CEO of MNC Group, which manages three private television stations (RCTI, Global TV, and MNC TV), a radio station (Trijaya), three newspapers (Seputar Indonesia, Koran Sindo, and Majalah Ekonomi), and two online media (SINDOnews.com and okezone.com). With a massive media empire, it is not surprising that Tanoesoedibjo earned the nickname of ‘the king of multimedia business’.
Tanoesoedibjo is very ambitious in participating in Indonesian politics. This was first observed when he joined Paloh’s party in 2011. Two years later, he moved to Hanura Party and declared his candidacy as Vice-President to accompany Wiranto during the 2014 presidential election. Following his elimination, a year later he founded his own party; Indonesia Unity Party (Perindo). Many have argued that Perindo was founded as a platform for Tanoesoedibjo’s ambition to run for President in 2019.
Among these oligarchs is Dahlan Iskan. He is the owner of the country’s leading newspaper, Jawa Pos, and served as a minister during Yudhoyono’s tenure. Then, there is James Riady, who owns the Lippo Group. Even though he is not a party leader, his decision to appoint Theo Sambuaga, a prominent politician of Golkar, as President of the Lippo Group is questionable. This appointment has been perceived by some as a means to advance certain political interests. Finally, Chairul Tanjung is the owner of television channels Trans TV and Trans 7, as well as online news site Detik.com. Tanjung is known for having close ties with former President Yudhoyono. Therefore, it should be no surprise that he has been appointed three times to three ministerial seats.
It is also noteworthy that these oligarchs not only control five out of six newspapers with the highest circulation, but also manage nearly all of the country’s major online news sites. In addition, renowned radio stations, both in large and small cities, are also owned by the oligarchs. Their power over Indonesian TV channels is even more powerful, where they control more than 95% across the country.
The involvement of the oligarchs in Indonesia’s political process is not without problems. There have been countless reports stating that they have used their media outlets as platforms from which to launch and promote their political ambitions. In the 2014 presidential election, for example, research conducted by Masyarakat Peduli Media (MPM) revealed the alignments of TV One and Metro TV to the owners’ political interests. As described above, the two stations are affiliated with the Golkar Party and Nasdem. The research found that the channels broadcast more news about their respective preferred candidates. The same applies to print and online media, which are proven to align to their owners and even reportedly hiding the truth. For instance, throughout the 2014 election, media owned by Tanoesoedibjo reported only about the owner and those affiliated with his party.
Other research proves the same phenomenon that the absolute power of the oligarchs over the media and their involvement in the country’s politics has made news reports in the media biased. The public is no longer served with neutral and qualified news. News reports that come out demonstrate only the perspectives of the oligarchs and limit society’s ability to obtain important and balanced information.
The power grip of the oligarchs over the press and politics in Indonesia is very strong; hence, it is apparently difficult to change. However, this does not mean that change is impossible. The government must make a concerted effort in this respect, such as creating legislation that prohibits media owners from having direct involvement in politics. If this is not done immediately, it is reasonable to expect the 2019 election as a showcase for the oligarchs to manipulate democracy in Indonesia.
Moreover, if this situation is not addressed soon, it is very likely Soeharto’s new style is rolling back. Through the control of media, oligarchs in the current democracy are planting a parasite in democracy.

Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat is a PhD scholar at the University of Manchester.
This piece is co-authored with Muhammad Beni Saputra, a postgraduate student at the University of Manchester.
This piece is also published by Australian National University at: http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2016/05/26/a-parasite-in-democracy/