Indonesia #2: Jakarta humour

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at
Thu Jul 24 20:18:14 MDT 2003

Two jokes  from the Suharto era, that I think have never been translated. I
heard the first one in April 1997:

One of Suharto’s youngest grandchildren has a birthday. Mom and Dad ask her
what present she wants. “Grandpa can give you anything. Aunt Tutut has the
tollways, Uncle Tommy has the Timor car businesses. What do you want?”
Nothing, says the little girl.
 “Come on, you must want something.”
I’m embarrassed, says the little girl. (Using the Indonesian word “malu” –
literally: “shame”)
“Oh,” says her mother. “Shame
 Grandpa doesn’t have any of that.”

The second one circulated after the Asian economic crisis arrived; I heard
it in 1998:
Bill Clinton dies and, because of his sins with Monica, goes straight to
hell. The Devil says he can choose between three torture chambers. “Walk
around,  have a look, take your pick.
Clinton enters the first, labelled “Nazi Germany”. Sure enough, Hitler is
presiding. Behind him there is a huge machine in which sinners are being
boiled in oil. 
Horrified, he leaves and runs to the second chamber. It’s labelled “Fascist
Italy”. He finds Mussolini, and behind him the same huge machine, and
sinners boiling in oil.
He rushes on to the third. Labelled “Indonesia”, it features Suharto.
Behind him, the same huge machine – but this chamber is packed with people.

Clinton walks up to Suharto. who remembers him from the OPEC summit.
Clinton asks the obvious question: this place has the same boiling machine
as the other two chambers, so why have so many people come here?
“Simple”, answers Suharto. “No one around here can afford cooking oil.”

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