Diputus Pacar Gara-Gara Golput (1)

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Judul Diriku Diputus Pacar Gara-gara Golput (Bagian 1)
Penulis Agus Mulyadi
Disadur dari Mojok, 31 Maret 2018
Jumlah Kata 200
Tingkat Kesulitan B1unduh pdf


As one of the largest democracies on earth, Indonesia holds a general election (pemilihan umum, abbreviated to pemilu) every five years to elect the president, the 560-member People’s Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat, DPR) and the 128-seat Regional Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah, DPRD). On a different date, the Indonesian people also select regional representatives such as the governors (gubernur) on the provincial level (provinsi), the regents (bupati) on the regency level (kabupaten), and the mayors (wali kota) on the municipal level (kota). This election is known as pemilihan kepala daerah or pilkada.

Naturally, not everyone participates in the elections. Voters who abstain from voting are known by the portmanteau golput, from Golongan Putih, the “blank group” or “white party”.

Colloquial Indonesian

Our text is taken from the advice column of the online journal Mojok. The request for advice is answered by Agus Mulyadi who is intimately called Gus Mul. Letters to the editor are usually written in relaxed formal Indonesian, in which one usually finds a few elements of colloquial Indonesian.

What would it be in formal Indonesian?

Show Answer
In formal Indonesian, there are two words for ‘about’, mengenai and tentang.

What would the three words be in formal Indonesian?

Show Answer
1. In formal Indonesian, the question marker would be apakah; 2. the formal word for ‘no, not’ is tidak; and 3. in formal Indonesian the preposition would be either akan or dengan.

What would it be in formal Indonesian?

Show Answer
In formal Indonesian, it would simply be diputus (as in the title of our reading). The colloquial suffix -in usually represents -kan or -i, but in some cases there is no formal substitute for the suffix -in.


Click on the plus sign and read the summary carefully. Pay attention to the spelling of each word as this is a dictation exercise. After you have read the text, close the spoiler, and then complete the dictation exercise.

Kami berdua punya cara pandang yang sangat berbeda. Saya memilih golput dan pacar saya tidak. Saya diputuskan karena memilih golput. Apa yang harus saya lakukan agar bisa bersama lagi dengannya?


Ipul from Pekalongan in Jawa Tengah (Central Java) has a problem. His girlfriend broke up with him. Now he is seeking advice from Gus Mul whose answer you will find in the next lesson.

Diriku Diputus Pacar Gara-gara Golput (Pertanyaan)


  1. Langsung saja ya. Jadi begini, Gus. Pada suatu ketika, saya pernah berdebat dengan pacar saya; debat kami sebenarnya tidak penting, debat soal memilih kepala daerah. Namun karena kami berdua punya cara pandang yang sangat berbeda, jadilah debat kami menjadi debat yang sangat panas.
  2. Saya merasa bahwa di tengah kondisi politik yang sangat busuk ini, golput adalah pilihan yang paling masuk akal.
  3. Namun di lain pihak, pacar saya sangat berbeda pandangan dengan saya. Bagi dirinya, memanfaatkan hak pilih adalah cara untuk ikut membangun negara ini.
  4. Kami berdebat dengan sangat keras. “Apa kamu nggak cinta sama tanah airmu sendiri?” begitu kata pacar saya.
  5. Ujung dari perdebatan ini, saya diputusin gara-gara saya memilih golput alias tidak menggunakan hak pilihnya untuk memilih siapa yang jadi pemimpin.
  6. Nah, Gus Mul, mohon masukannya agar aku dan dia bisa bersama lagi walau saya dan dirinya sangat berbeda secara pemikiran tentang cara mencintai tanah air dan bangsa ini.
  7. Salam dari saya, Ipul di Pekalongan.
  8. ~Ipul

Latihan Mendengarkan

Dengarkan rekaman dan lengkapilah teks di bawah.

Latihan Pemahaman

Names in Indonesia: Ipul and Gus Mul

The name Ipul is derived from the Muslim name Syaiful (sword) or Syaifullah (sword of God). In most cases Ipul is a nickname, but it can also be found as a proper name in birth certificates. The Arabic name Syaiful is also often spelled Saiful, and as there is no f-sound in native Indonesian words, the ‘f’ gets substituted by a ‘p’ and hence we arrive at Saipul and then Ipul. Indonesians Indonesians tend to shorten names, especially in the vocative. So, a person with the name Ipul may be called ‘Pul’.

In our reading, Gus Mul is an abbreviation of Agus Mulyadi, and it is not the Javanese title Gus given to the sons of Islamic religious leaders (Kiyai). Agus is a popular Javanese name meaning ‘the honourable’. Because of its association with the word Agustus (August), Agus has become a popular name for children born in said month.

The most prominent Indonesian person with the title Gus, is the former president Abdulrahaman Wahid, who in Indonesia is better known as Gus Dur. He was in fact a religious leader, and the chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama.


The indefinite number suatu ‘a, one’ is similar in function to sebuah (see Sneddon 2.21). Suatu usually occurs with abstract nouns whereas sebuah tends to occur with concrete nouns, but this is not always the case so that there is considerable overlap between suatu and sebuah:

  • sebuah/suatu ide/pertemuan/perusahaan/wadah
    an idea/meeting/company/container

Suatu, but not sebuah, is also used with time words to form
indefinite temporal phrases:

  • suatu hari ‘one day’, suatu pagi ‘one morning’, suatu waktu/saat/ketika ‘one time’

The indefinite number suatu is not the same as the pronoun sesuatu!

The pronouns seseorang and sesuatu correspond to English ‘someone’ and ‘something’ respectively:

  • Saya melihat seseorang berdiri di balik pintu.
    I saw someone standing behind the door.
  • Dia makan sesuatu.
    He ate something.


The reflexive pronoun diri ‘self’ can be used to form reflexive phrases. It usually occurs as the object of a verb and indicates that the object is the same person as the subject of the verb:

  • Kita harus pandai membela diri.
    We need to be able to defend ourself.
  • Ratna memperkenalkan diri kepada kami.
    Ratna introduced herself to us.

Diriku is ‘myself’, dirimu is ‘yourself’ and dirinya is ‘herself/himself’:

  • Beckham: Belilah diriku, Milan!
    Beckham: Buy me, Milan! [lit: “purchase myself”]
  • Kamu lebih baik dari diriku.
    You are better than I.
  • Messi: Timnas Argentina tak tergantung diriku.
    Messi: Argentina’s National Team is not depending on me.
  • Aku ingat dirimu.
    I remember you.
  • Kamu harus menunjukkan kelasmu, ingat jangan terlalu puas dengan dirimu sendiri dan selalu tingkatkan kepercayaan dirimu.
    You must show your class, remember not to be too complacent towards yourself, and always improve your self-esteem.

Note that the full phrase is diri + possessive pronoun + sendiri, as in Dia membela dirinya sendiri ‘He defends himself’, or Ratna memperkenalkan diri sendiri ‘Ratna introduced herself’. The addition of sendiri makes the phrase particularly emphatic.

  • Jadilah dirimu sendiri.
    Become yourself.

For more explanations and samples see Sneddon 2.162-164

Foregrounding -lah

The common position for the subject is to precede the predicate:

  • Kamu bodoh.
    You’re dumb.
  • Rumah itu terbang.
    The house was blown away.

The predicate can be given special emphasis by placing it in initial position. The particle -lah is then usually attached to the predicate:

  • Bodohlah kamu.
  • Terbanglah rumah itu.

Lah- attaches to the first word of the predicate, which may be a negative, temporal marker or modal:

  • Namun karena kami berdua punya cara pandang yang sangat berbeda, jadilah debat kami menjadi debat yang sangat panas.
    Yet, as both of us have very different opinions, it happed that our debate became a very heated debate.


Here is the above text translated into English. Some words are printed in bold. Translate those words into Indonesian.

Let me get straight to the point, if I may. It’s like this, Gus. Once I had an argument with my girlfriend; our argument was trivial – it was about the local elections. Yet, as we both have very different viewpoints, the debate became pretty heated.

I think that amidst the rotten political climate, the most sensible choice is to abstain from voting.

But on the other side, my girlfriend has a completely different opinion. For her, using the right to vote is a way to participate in developing our nation.

It evolved into a strenuous debate. “Don’t you love your own country?” said my girlfriend.

As a result of this debate, my girlfriend ditched me for abstaining, which is not using my right to vote for who is going to become the leader.

Well, Gus Mul, may I kindly ask you for your advice so that the two of us can get together again even though we both have very different thoughts on how to love our homeland and nation.

Frasa yang Berguna

Read the following English phrases and try to guess their meanings in Indonesian. Click “Balik” to check your answer. Then locate the phrases in the text to see them in context.

Kartu Bolak Balik

Review and memorise the following words.

Pekerjaan Rumah (PR)

How do you think Agus Mulyadi will respond to this letter? What will is reaction be? What advise will he give Ipul. Write a few sentences. Incorporate phrases such as menurut saya ‘in my opinion’, saya kira ‘I think’, saya kurang yakin ‘I am not that convinced’ etc.

Mencari Kata

Daftar Kata

diriku I myself, I
diputus be ditched
pacar boyfriend, girlfriend
gara-gara just because
golput non-voter
salam kenal Let me introduce myself (only used in writing)
pada suatu ketika once upon a time
berdebat debate
soal about, regarding
memilih (• pilih) to choose, vote, elect
kepala daerah local leaders
cara pandang point of view, ideology, weltanschauung
di tengah in the midst
busuk rotten, bad
pilihan choice
masuk akal make sense
di lain pihak on the other side
pandangan view, point of view,
bagi for
dirinya herself, himself
memanfaatkan (• manfaat) make use of, utilise, take advantage of
hak pilih the right to vote
membangun build
sama with; by; through (coll. for pada)
tanah air motherland, fatherland
sendiri own
ujung tip, end, result
diputusin (coll.) be ditched
mohon to beg, please
masukan input, feed back, advice
cara way, method
bangsa nation
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