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Mahfud MD beats Obama, Sri Mulyani as newsmaker of the year

Jakarta | Wed, May 18 2011 | 07:00 am

Constitutional Court Chief Mahfud MD was named newsmaker of the year, beating US President Barack Obama and World Bank managing director Sri Mulyani Indrawati, at the first edition of the Seputar Indonesia Awards.

Seputar Indonesia, a news program broadcast by private television station RCTI, nominated 35 newsmakers in seven categories, including the most controversial and most entertaining newsmakers, the greatest socially transforming newsmaker and the true representative of the people.

“At least the award shows that what I’ve done so far is not too bad,” Mahfud said during the award ceremony on Tuesday, dedicating his accolade to the supporters of constitutional and human rights.

Former National Police detective chief Comr. Gen. Susno Duadji was named most controversial newsmaker, defeating pop singer Nazriel “Ariel” Irham, whose DIY pornographic videos shocked the nation last year, and Gayus H. Tambunan, the convict at the center of a seemingly endless tax and graft scandal.

The singing “Bollywood” cop, Norman Kamaru, was named the year’s most entertaining newsmaker, defeating Bona Paputungan, the Gorontalo resident and former prisoner who shot to fame for a song he wrote about Gayus, of all people.

Norman, through a video, said he was happy to have entertained the Indonesian people. “What I did was just a simple thing. And I am glad that people like my simple way,” he said.

People’s Consultative Assembly speaker Taufik Kiemas was named the true representative of the people, beating former vice president Jusuf Kalla, lawmaker Tri Riesmaharini and Surakarta mayor Joko Widodo.

Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) activist Tama Satrya Langkun was named young newsmaker of the year, defeating chanteusse Agnes Monica, filmmaker Hanung Bramantyo, Firmansyah and writer Raditya Dika.

Physicist Yohanes Surya was named Seputar Indonesia’s social transformer while sportsman of the year went to Indonesian boxing hero Chris John.

Rosihan Anwar, the late icon of Indonesian journalism whose career spanned a staggering 68 years, was honored with a special award.

University of Indonesia political communication expert Effendi Ghazali said that the awards were more entertainment than a proper acknowledgment of achievement.

“It is the first time for [RCTI] to make such an award. At first impression, I say the awards were entertaining and surprising,” he said.

Some categories were appropriate and necessary, Effendi said, though he questioned how the organizers chose the winners, especially the true people’s representative.

Arief Suditomo, chief editor of RCTI, said that the awards would be an annual event.

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