Ladies and gentlemen, the president of Indonesia

“He leads the world’s most populous Muslim country, but he prays only occasionally. He is a cleric who knows the Koran by heart, but he loves to crack risque jokes. He meets visitors at 5 a.m. dressed in tight plaid shorts and a striped polo shirt, scratching his bare feet as he talks. He falls asleep when he is bored, no matter if he is attending a cabinet meeting or an important session of parliament. He is an inveterate gossip with a penchant for blurting out whatever is on his mind, even if it risks alienating his political allies.”

Posted March 5, 2001

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