INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Indonesian prez taps image consultant

JAKARTA: Amid a sudden burst of unpopularity that may threaten his reign, Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid has turned to British political consultant Nigel Oakes to help manage his image.

JAKARTA: Amid a sudden burst of unpopularity that may threaten his reign, Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid has turned to British political consultant Nigel Oakes to help manage his image.

JAKARTA: Amid a sudden burst of unpopularity that may threaten his

reign, Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid has turned to British

political consultant Nigel Oakes to help manage his image.



Wahid retained Oakes, who runs a government relations and PR agency in

Jakarta called Strategic Communications Laboratories, on the advice of

several of his advisors. One of the key tasks that lies ahead is

monitoring and evaluating media coverage of the Wahid administration -

which, since the resumption of ethnic and separatist violence on several

islands in the Indonesian archipelago in recent weeks, has been

criticized as largely ineffective.



Oakes’ appointment comes shortly before this month’s session of the

People’s Consultative Assembly, during which some members may well

attempt to remove Wahid from office. Wahid came to power nine months ago

on a reformist platform, which included the breakup of the government’s

Ministry of Information.



The move, however, has had ruinous consequences from a PR perspective,

seemingly having removed the government’s ability to manage

communications.



Earlier in the year, the Indonesian government began working with PT

Ellipse, a local PR agency. The firm is said to have introduced Oakes to

the government.



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