Foke Tells Jakarta Fire Victims to Move to Solo if They Support Jokowi

By webadmin on 01:28 pm Aug 09, 2012
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Kunardy Lie is now chief country officer for Deutsche Bank in Indonesia. (Photo Courtesy of Deutsche Bank)

Lenny Tristia Tambun & Camelia Pasandaran

Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo may be in hot water over a seemingly off-the-cuff statement made during a meeting with the hundreds left homeless by Monday’s massive blaze in Central Jakarta.

During a visit with the victims of Monday’s fire in Karet Tengsin, Fauzi told the now-homeless residents that they should consider rebuilding their homes elsewhere if he didn’t have their support in his election campaign.

“Who will you vote for?” Fauzi asked the victims. “If you’re voting for Jokowi, [then] just build [your new houses] in Solo.”

His statement was caught on tape by a reporter from BeritaSatu TV and uploaded to YouTube.

Fauzi will face Joko on a ballot on Sept. 20 after the two topped voting in the first round on July 11.

During
his visit to the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday, Fauzi declined to comment
on the video, saying he did what he had to do to help the residents.

“I
don’t want to give a comment. What I have done is just part of my
inspection to know the condition of residents hit by a disaster,” he
said.

Thousands of people became homeless when more than 400
homes were heavily damaged on Monday evening in a blaze in the densely
populated Karet Tengsin.

Joko said he had seen the video of
Fauzi on Wednesday night. He asked all parties to be sympathetic when
dealing with people who had just lost their homes. “We should be
empathetic as they are all in trouble. We should just help them,” he
said.

An election monitoring group said on Thursday that Fauzi’s comment was in violation of election regulations.

“There
are three violations in this case,” said Jeirry Sumampow, coordinator
of the Indonesian Voters Committee. “The first is that he was
campaigning before the campaign period. Second, he abused his power as
he visited the victims as the governor but campaigned for himself during
the visit. The third is he said something bad about the other
candidate.”

Ramdansyah, head of the Jakarta Election Supervisory
Committee (Panwaslu Jakarta), said they needed to investigate the
allegations before deciding whether to take action.

“Did he
really campaign before the campaigning schedule?” Ramdansyah said. “The
candidates might [in the course of their] daily activities make
political statements. [That is allowed] as long as they did not ask
[citizens] to vote for them or tell them about their mission or vision.”

Fauzi’s statement could be considered an ethical violation, but
there was little Panwaslu Jakarta could do about it, Ramdansyah said.