Jakarta. Young writer Tsamara Amany Alatas owes her interest in politics to her internship at Jakarta City Hall in 2016.
Since then she has earned a name as an online political activist, writing numerous articles on President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama and political issues in Indonesia.
Some of those articles have been compiled into her first book "Curhat Perempuan," or "Stories of a Woman," launched at the Grand Cemara Hotel in Central Jakarta on Monday (17/04).
"I am so glad this book is finally released. I want to encourage more people, especially the younger generation, to get more involved in politics," Tsamara said.
Most of the articles in the book tell of her personal experience during her internship at the governor office and her views on contemporary politics in Indonesia.
During her internship at City Hall last year, Tsamara was particularly alarmed by the shortage of younger staff.
"I was lucky to get the opportunity to see the city council up close. I feel now there's a desperate need for young people of my age to get involved in politics and create change," she said.
She also said it is very important for the younger generation to be more politically aware.
"The older generation will soon retire from politics and soon we're going to replace them. If we don’t understand how politics works, how are we going to lead this country in the future?" she added.
"Whether we realize it or not, politics plays a huge role in our life. To create greater change, we need to do it together," she said.
Tsamara said she had helped Governor Ahok with his re-election campaign, during which her admiration for him grew tremendously.
"I have learned a lot from him. Knowing how he works has encouraged me to contribute more for Indonesia," the young writer, whose Twitter bio says "future governor of Jakarta," said.
Tsamara said she was never worried about expressing her admiration for the Jakarta governor despite her ethnic background as an Indonesian of Arabic descent.
"I am of Arabic descent, but first and foremost I'm a citizen of Indonesia, just like Ahok. I support him because of his great integrity, clean politics and his programs to improve Jakarta residents' welfare."
Social commentator Hamid Basyaib, who attended the book launch, said the younger generation has the power to push for greater development in Indonesia.
"The younger generation has easy access to information and technology. They have the internet, social media. It would be extremely unfortunate if they aren’t smarter than us [older generation]," Hamid said.
"Young people have the responsibility to contribute to their communities and push for more development. They are the generation who will have to take care of this country," he added.