Trust science: Governor Anies Baswedan says no rain shaman for Formula E race

Anies Baswedan in the cockpit of a Formula E race car. Photo: Instagram/@aniesbaswedan
Anies Baswedan in the cockpit of a Formula E race car. Photo: Instagram/@aniesbaswedan

As high-tech as the electric race cars whizzing around Ancol’s street track this weekend, organizers will also rely on scientific tools to predict the weather — unlike a certain other grand prix in Indonesia.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan yesterday said that the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) have been tasked with providing weather data to organizers and race teams for the city’s inaugural Formula E grand prix on June 4.

In other words, there will be no rain shamans warding off precipitation during the big day.

“In a word: no. No shamans. We are talking with BMKG for weather monitoring,” Anies said.

“We in Jakarta always use knowledge and data to work.”

Anies’ statement was undoubtedly a dig at the central government-affiliated organizers of the Mandalika MotoGP race in March. Back then, a rain shaman by the name of Rara Istiani Wulandari made headlines around the globe after she performed a rain-averting ritual amid a downpour.

While foreign media appreciated this as a traditional Indonesian quirk, many Indonesians, particularly conservatives who reject shamanism, thought she brought shame to the country.

Practice sessions, qualifying, and race for the Jakarta E-Prix are all set to take place on June 4. The all-important race is scheduled to start at 3pm.


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