See More on Facebook

Politics

Incumbent Jokowi woos voters in rival Prabowo’s stronghold

Incumbent presidential candidate Joko Widodo and running mate Ma’ruf Amin join the carnival parade in Tangerang Banten.


Written by

Updated: April 8, 2019

Indonesia’s incumbent presidential candidate Joko Widodo called for unity among voters as he and running mate Ma’ruf Amin rallied thousands of supporters in a multicultural carnival parade in Tangerang, Banten province on Sunday (April 7).

At the start of the afternoon rally, Mr Joko and Mr Ma’ruf, who is a cleric, climbed on board a horse-drawn carriage and led the parade as a sea of supporters cheered from the side of the road. Mr Joko tossed campaign shirts right and left.

Lending a carnival air were performers of traditional Javanese Reog Ponorogo dance, Chinese Lion dance and Indonesian traditional martial art Pencak Silat.

Mr Joko’s rally was in stark contrast to that held by his rival, Prabowo Subianto, earlier in the day. While Jokowi celebrated diversity with cultural performances and music ranging from pop to the traditional, Mr Prabowo’s fans, many of them conservative clerics, chanted “Allahu Akbar (God is great)”.

Mr Joko is putting extra effort in campaigning in Banten, a stronghold of former army general Prabowo. Banten was part of West Java province before it was split in 2000 into a separate province. As with the rest of West Java, religion plays a very important role in Banten society and politicians can easily play the religious card, according to observers.

But Banten is also a province with a sizeable population of ethnic Chinese, especially in the area called Teluk Naga, or Dragon Bay.

The April 17 polls will be a rematch between Mr Joko and Prabowo, who lost in 2014 by a margin of six per cent nationwide.

In Banten, however, which is home to 8.1 million of the total 192.8 million voters in Indonesia’s 34 provinces, Mr Prabowo won about 57 per cent of the votes to Mr Joko’s 43 per cent.

In his address to the crowd in Tangerang, Mr Joko emphasised the need for unity among voters of different political views and backgrounds, saying democracy should bring about joy, as every eligible citizen had the right to choose a leader.

Urging voters to look at each candidate’s experience and track record, Mr Joko promised if he were reelected to expand programmes to help the poor and less well-off deal with economic problems, and gain better access to education.

He said graduates of high schools and vocational schools from lower income families who had good marks would gain government scholarships to enrol in university. Employees who are laid off would be able to upgrade their skills through government-sponsored training programmes.

Housewives from lower income households would also get special cards to buy rice, sugar and cooking oil at heavily subsidised prices.

One supporter at the rally, Mr Guy Zen, an automotive spare part seller, brought a broom to symbolise Mr Joko’s strong commitment to fight corruption.

He also admires Mr Joko’s commitment in promoting pluralism. “The two candidates have said they are pro pluralism, but Jokowi has proven it,” he told The Straits Times.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Politics

Communist Party of China calls for efforts to deepen reform and expand opening-up

Political Bureau stresses importance of winning three critical battles in 2020. The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee called on Friday for solid efforts to deepen reform and expand opening-up, amid tensions in the external environment, to ensure that the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects will be attained next year. The general trend of China’s economy in maintaining stable and long-term positive operation remains unchanged, according to a statement released after the bureau’s meeting, presided over by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee. China will keep its economic growth within a reasonable range in 2020, with more “forwarding-looking, targeted and effective” policies, the statement said. The nation will pursue a policy framework that allows macro policies to be stable, micro policies


By China Daily
December 9, 2019

Politics

India’s exit from 16-nation regional trade pact moves closer to reality

Japan intends to continue efforts to persuade India to remain in the RCEP. TOKYO (The Japan News/ANN) – The withdrawal of India from the negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership free trade deal (RCEP) which have involved 16 countries including Japan, China, South Korea and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is seemingly coming closer to reality. Japan intends to continue efforts to persuade India to remain in the initial 16-country framework for the agreement of the regional trade talks. However, as there is still strong opposition to the RCEP within India, it remains to be seen whether the negotiations will go smoothly. At a press conference after a Cabinet meeting on Friday, Economy, Trade and


By The Japan News
December 9, 2019

Politics

Huawei asks US court to overturn ban

The company is suing the FCC, the latest in a series of legal tussles. The legal battle between Huawei Technologies Co and United States government intensified on Thursday. The Chinese tech heavyweight announced a legal challenge to the US Federal Communications Commission, seeking to overturn the latter’s order that bans telecom carriers from buying the company’s equipment via federal subsidies. The move is the latest push by the world’s largest telecom equipment maker to pursue fair competition and treatment amid a slate of restrictions from Washington. Analysts said the FCC ban would have very limited impact on Huawei’s financial performance, but labeling the company as a national security threat would cause far-reaching reputational harm. In a petition filed in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday, Huawei asked the court to declare the FCC order un


By China Daily
December 6, 2019

Politics

Chinese FM to visit India this month for boundary talks

The talks were to be held in September but had to be postponed as the two sides could not find a suitable date for the meeting. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is expected to visit India later this month to hold boundary talks with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, sources said on Wednesday. Wang, who is also a State Councillor, and Doval are the designated Special Representatives (SRs) of the two countries for the boundary talks. The talks were to be held in September but had to be postponed as the two sides could not find a suitable date for the meeting. Besides holding boundary talks with the NSA, Wang, a trusted lieutenant of Chinese President Xi Jinping, will meet External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. He will also call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


By The Statesman
December 5, 2019

Politics

Najib to take the stand today

The former premier is accused of malfeasance. Today is the day that Malaysians will see, for the first in the country’s history, a former prime minister take the stand to answer charges against him in a court of law. Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pic), 66, will testify from the witness box as the first defence witness to rebut his seven charges of misappropriating RM42mil in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali. According to his co-counsel Harvinderjit Singh, Najib will be called as the first witness on the opening day of the defence’s proceedings. Najib will be first questioned by his defence during examination-in-chief before being cross-examined by the prosecution. On Nov 11, Justice Mohd Nazlan ordered Najib to enter his defence on three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT), three charges of money laundering and on


By The Star
December 3, 2019

Politics

New parties face drubbing in by-elections as Nepalis continue to vote along party lines

“They failed to convince the voters as to what they would bring to the table if they were given a chance”. Nepalis once again displayed traditional voting patterns as they continued to choose the established parties—Nepal Communist Party and the Nepali Congress—while casting their ballots in Saturday’s by-election, as they snubbed newer parties like Sajha and Bibeksheel. Despite their untiring efforts, focussing primarily on Kaski Constituency-2 in a bid to get a seat in the federal Parliament, both Sajha and Bibeksheel, cut no ice with voters. Both parties have had to fight hard to even secure their deposits, as candidates must garner at least 10 percent of the total votes cast to get back their deposit; a failure to do so is considered humiliating. By-elections were held on Saturday for 52 positions, including a vacant seat in the House of Representatives, three provincial assembly seats


By The Kathmandu Post
December 2, 2019