Endy Bayuni at PostGlobal

Endy Bayuni

Jakarta, Indonesia

Endy M. Bayuni took up the job of chief editor of The Jakarta Post, Indonesia’s independent and leading English language newspaper, in August 2004 shortly after he returned from a one-year Nieman Fellowship at the Harvard University. Endy has been with the newspaper since 1991, working his way up from Production Manager (Night Editor), to National Editor, Managing Editor, and Deputy Chief Editor through all those years. He previously worked as the Indonesian correspondent for Reuters and Agence France-Presse between 1984 and 1991, and began his journalistic career with The Jakarta Post in 1983. Endy completed his Bachelors of Arts degree in economics from Kingston University in Surrey, England, in 1981. Close.

Endy Bayuni

Jakarta, Indonesia

Endy M. Bayuni took up the job of chief editor of The Jakarta Post, Indonesia’s independent and leading English language newspaper, in August 2004 shortly after he returned from a one-year Nieman Fellowship at the Harvard University. more »

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June 24, 2009 11:13 AM

Iranians, You Are Not Alone

The Current Discussion: What do your heart and head tell you as you look at pictures, videos, and other kinds of stories from Iran? Should the world help the protesters -- and how?

The street protests in Tehran again confirm the belief that freedom is a universal basic human need. No one and no people can live with their freedom suppressed for a long time. Sooner or later, they will revolt and press for their rights to freedom.

We saw this in the streets of Rangoon last year, and in Beijing in 1989. We have seen it in Eastern European capital cities, in Jakarta and in Manila and in many other places around the world at different times. In some countries, these movements led to a change in regime. In others it led to the brutal suppression of the demonstrators.

In Iran, it could still go either way. Of course we all wish for a happy ending.

The question we ask about Iran is whether this desire for freedom among the people has reached a critical mass to tip the balance in their favor, to the point where a brutal suppression would be so horrific even the rulers could not stomach.

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June 8, 2009 1:29 PM

Obama Leaves Out Half the 'Muslim World'

The Current Discussion: What did you think of Obama's speech in Cairo? What kind of change will, or won't, it bring?

Can the U.S. craft a foreign policy towards the Muslim world?

Obama's speech sent a fresh breeze into the relations between the United States and Muslims around the world. It started to clear the air, which has been polluted by tensions, misunderstandings and mutual suspicions for much of the past eight years.

Time will tell whether Obama will be able to walk the talk. But it would be wrong for Washington to translate his speech into U.S. foreign policy towards the Muslim world. There is no such thing as the "Muslim world" except in the minds of those fixated by Huntington's outmoded view of a world divided by major religions.

Even Obama recognizes the contribution Islam has made to the world of science and culture, including in paving the way for Europe's Enlightenment. Viewed this way, Islam is part and parcel of a continuum of existing civilization, not outside it.

The Muslim world cannot be defined geographically because the largest Muslim populations are found outside the Middle East, including Indonesia and India. Even America and Europe have growing if not flourishing Muslim minorities through migrations and conversions.

The Muslim world cannot be defined by race or culture either. Non-Arab Muslims, or non-Muslim Arabs for that matter, would be offended by people continually equating Islam with Arab. To do this is to deny the cultural diversity that exists among the more than one billion Muslims around the world.

Obama, a devout Christian, knows about this diversity. He was born to a Muslim father and spent four years in predominantly-Muslim Indonesia, growing up and going to school with Muslim friends.

Even on issues like freedom and democracy, religious tolerance and gender equality, which Obama mentioned as some of the main sources of tensions with the Muslim world, a generalization could be problematic.

The "Muslim world" today comprises emerging democracies like Indonesia and Turkey, where freedom and equality are part and parcel of their values, and military dictatorships and absolute monarchies. And where do we put Muslim minorities in India, China, Europe and America -- many of whom embrace universal and local values and principles of the people where they reside - in this so-called Muslim world?

There is not one single Muslim world for the U.S. government to formulate its foreign policy. Instead there are several such worlds and several different policies. How it approaches Arab countries will necessarily be different from how it deals with Turkey, Morocco, Malaysia, and Indonesia, and with Muslims in India, Europe and America.

In giving the speech, Obama had the best of intentions with Muslims around the world, but it's time we move on beyond Huntington's distorted world view to the real world of hugely diverse people. America under Obama can provide the leadership that seems to be missing.




May 1, 2009 11:13 AM

Finding the Highest Common Denominator

The Current Discussion: How can we reduce our vulnerability to risks posed by global interconnectedness - from swine flu to financial contagion to terrorist threats? What risks do you see on the horizon?

The trouble with increasing global interconnectedness is that a lot of the time, nations aim for the lowest common denominator just for the sake of making cooperation possible. It's the easiest and the most obvious thing to do if we want to make any relationship work. It's a lot easier for nations in more advanced stages of development to make compromises than for the others to catch up. But this is a lose-lose proposition, not the win-win that they make it out to be.

Let me cite one example: The European Union got it right when it set standards for imported food. A decade ago, Indonesian fish and shrimp exporters were suddenly barred entirely from the Union's markets because of new higher food standards that had previously been imposed only by a few European countries.

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March 2, 2009 11:52 AM

American Humiliation After Iraq

The Current Discussion: The Obama administration has finally set a date for withdrawing U.S. troops for Iraq. If ethnic strife returns there, raising again the specter of civil war, should the U.S. send troops back in?

Nations make mistakes, some bigger than others. They can either compound those mistakes, or put a stop to them and live with their consequences. Invading Iraq in 2003 was obviously a mistake, and President Obama now has to decide whether to compound it by staying in Iraq, or cut the losses, withdraw, and let Americans live with the legacy of yet another war defeat.

A comparison with Vietnam is inevitable.

The United States went to war in Vietnam in the 1960s -- some Americans still argue today that it was with the best of intentions -- only to realize more than a decade later that it was a mistake, and pulled out in 1974, come what may.

It took years for Americans to realize that it was a war they could not win. Nixon and Kissinger agonized over whether to cut the country's losses and leave Vietnam, or stay and maintain America's integrity, pride and international standing.

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November 6, 2008 1:15 PM

Help Americans Stop Seeing in Black and White

Race still divides America

Is Barack Obama black or white? The last time that question came up about a public figure it was about Michael Jackson. While Jackson definitely comes from black parents, the president-elect of the United States, appearance and color of skin aside, comes from a mixed family.

I don't mean to spoil the party, but here is the bad news for African Americans: Obama is not black. Let me rephrase that. He is not all that black. To call the winner of Tuesday's election in the United States America's "first black president" is a complete misnomer, misleading, and unnecessarily perpetuates racial division.

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October 2, 2007 11:06 AM

Keep Politics Out of the Olympics

Threatening to boycott the Beijing Olympics may sound like a good (if not desperate) proposition to pressure China to prevail over Myanmar. We all agree that if anyone can push the Myanmar junta to stop persecuting the monks and students, it will be China. Beijing has propped up the country economically for years while the junta has defied one international condemnation or embargo after another for its appalling human rights record.

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September 19, 2007 11:02 AM

Military Dictators Don't Want Democracy

We’ve seen it all before, in Asia, Africa and in Latin America. Military generals (sometimes colonels or even mayors) take over the government in the name of stability. Some of these coups were justifiable, most were not. Historically speaking, there has never been any military officer in any of these continents who took power by force and then successfully paved the way for democracy (though I stand corrected if anyone can point to one.) It has never been part of their military training to build a nation on the principles of freedom, rules of law, respect for human rights and democracy. They haven’t a clue about how to build democracy, let alone how to start one, and most likely, they have no interest in doing so.

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August 1, 2007 9:03 AM

Don't Send Islam Underground, but to Ballot Box

Political Islam is a fact of life in countries with large Muslim populations. Indonesia and Turkey, two such countries, have had to deal with this issue for decades. Indonesia's own experience tells us that suppressing or banning political Islam is not the answer. General Suharto tried this when he ruled Indonesia for three decades until 1998, and political Islam simply went underground, making detection of its activities -- some of which were violent -- even more difficult.

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June 22, 2007 1:14 PM

If Neutrality is a Myth, Try Fairness

During the East Timor war of independence in the 1990s, The Jakarta Post and a few other Indonesian newspapers were accused by the Indonesian military of siding with the rebels (the word traitor was frequently used). The East Timor rebels, on the other hand, accused us of being part of the Indonesian propaganda machinery.

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May 19, 2007 7:59 PM

America is Powerful -- and Vain

A new favorite American pass time is to ask “how much do you like me?” or “how much do you hate me?” And later the question develops into “do you like me enough to do what I say?” or “do you hate me enough to want to kill me?” And then, lo and behold, the question becomes “either you are with me, or you are against me.”

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