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Cablegate: Top Indonesian Rock Band Sends Strong Message to Combat

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RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #2178/01 3331046
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281046Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0839
INFO RUEAWJB/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2782
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5673
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 3344
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 5173
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 002178

DEPT FOR R - U/S GLASSMAN
DEPT FOR E - U/S JEFFERY
DEPT FOR EAP DAS MARCIEL
DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, INL SNYDER, INL ROESS
DOJ FOR CRIM AAG SWARTZ
DOJ/OPDAT FOR ALEXANDRE/LEHMANN/JOHNSON

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KCOR KPAO ECON KJUS ID
SUBJECT: Top Indonesian rock band sends strong message to combat
corruption

JAKARTA 00002178 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) Summary: Top Indonesian rock band Slank and the Indonesian
Corruption Eradication Commission chairman partnered with Embassy
Jakarta on November 25 to promote youth participation in the
political process, particularly combating corruption. Ambassador
Hume hosted nearly 500 guests - largely university students and
civil society leaders - at his residence for a "Welcome Home"
concert after Slank's recent four-week U.S. tour. Corruption
Eradication Commission chairman Antasari Azhar spoke to the crowd of
university students, civil society leaders, and government
officials, encouraging everyone to engage in the fight against
corruption. The hour-long Slank concert was broadcast live on
Indonesian radio and filmed for television broadcast, reaching over
two million people through the 20 national media outlets covering
the show. End Summary.

Ambassador, KPK, and Slank partner to combat corruption
--------------------------------------------- ----------

2. (U) Indonesian rock band Slank, the Rolling Stones of Indonesia,
toured the U.S. in October and November to promote its
newly-released album, wrapping up a 15-performance tour in Hollywood
on November 20. Ambassador Hume invited Slank to perform at his
residence for a "Welcome Home" concert on November 25 to highlight
cultural links through music between Indonesia and the U.S. Beyond
its star appeal in youth culture, Slank has promoted messages of
youth participation in the political process, particularly combating
corruption and environmental awareness. Slank performed on the
steps of the Corruption Eradication Commission earlier this year,
playing their hit song "Street Gossip," which lampoons the corrupt
of all stripes. Members of Parliament filed a defamation case
against the band for this song, but the case was quickly dropped
after the arrest of several Members of Parliament on corruption
charges.

3. (U) Corruption Eradication Commission Chairman Antasari Azhar
addressed the crowd before the Slank performance. Azhar outlined
goals for the Corruption Eradication Commission, highlighting
messages of both prosecution and prevention. The KPK's popularity
and credibility have strengthened under Azhar's leadership over the
past year largely due to high-level prosecutions. At the concert,
Azhar pressed the prevention message, encouraging the young leaders
in attendance to combat corruption in all forms and in all places.


Reaching youth and young leaders through music
--------------------------------------------- -

4. (U) The Embassy invited hundreds of youth and young leaders,
drawn from university groups, civil society, and young leaders in
government. The university groups - over half of the audience -
included Muslim and Christian, private and public, elite and
mainstream higher-education institutions. Civil society leaders
included anti-corruption reform, legal reform, and environmental
organizations. Several civil society members remarked that the
event was a unique opportunity for groups from a variety of
backgrounds to meet, dialogue, and unite around a common theme.

5. (U) Within the government, the Embassy invited young leaders from
the Corruption Eradication Commission and the Attorney General's
Anti-Corruption Task Force. In addition, the Embassy invited
several Muslim youth organizations as well as business leaders. The
Ambassador also invited the prominent Indonesian business leader
Peter Gontha, who supported Slank's U.S. tour and is working with
Embassy Jakarta to advance the Jakarta-Los Angeles sister city
relationship.

Slank's anti-corruption message reaches millions
--------------------------------------------- ---

6. (U) The Embassy worked with Indonesian media outlets GlobalTV and
GlobalFM to broadcast the concert live over the radio and to film
the concert. GlobalTV will re-broadcast the Slank "Welcome Home"
concert during primetime on November 30, which will reach millions
of viewers. In addition, over 20 national print, radio, and
television media outlets covered the event, further adding to the

JAKARTA 00002178 002.2 OF 002


event's audience.

Slank, cultural diplomacy, and the U.S. image
---------------------------------------------

7. (U) The actual Slank concert and resulting media coverage
provided an opportunity for Embassy Jakarta to engage youth and
other audiences that are typically difficult for Embassies to
engage. It also allowed us to promote - and be associated with - an
anti-corruption message that resonates with Indonesians, especially
youth. Leading Indonesian language daily Kompas featured a
front-page article and photo on November 27, titled "Slank and
Cultural Diplomacy," which highlighted the concert's messages of
youth-oriented cultural diplomacy and combating corruption. The
sub-text of the concert and Kompas article were equally powerful: a
popular Indonesian band promoting U.S.-Indonesian partnership and a
positive, welcoming image of the United States.

HUME

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