Jakarta’s Gubernatorial Hopefuls Make Their Case
Ronna Nirmala & Lenny Tristia Tambun
Campaigning ahead of the Jakarta gubernatorial election continued on Monday after a weekend of massive rallies, with the contenders for incumbent Fauzi Bowo’s seat promising people-oriented programs, better community representation and improved support for the disabled.
Faisal Basri, one of the two independent candidates, told residents during a visit of several East Jakarta neighborhoods that his campaign so far had been about “getting across our concepts, because our goal if elected is not to make ourselves look good.”
Faisal, an economist, said the role of a competent governor was to understand and accommodate the needs of his constituents by working in their best interests.
“This is something that the residents of Jakarta haven’t enjoyed in a long time. We’re here to represent the people once again,” he said.
Separately, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the running mate for Solo Mayor Joko Widodo, also addressed the issue of better community representation.
Basuki, popularly known as Ahok, proposed letting the heads of neighborhood units (RT) and community units (RW) serve as city councilors because of their better understanding of the issues that residents faced on a daily basis.
By allowing these local leaders a greater say in public policies, the city administration’s programs could be tailored to serve the people more efficiently.
Over in South Jakarta, meanwhile, Hidayat Nur Wahid, the candidate from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), visited the Wisma Cheshire Foundation for the disabled.
He expressed concern that the foundation, which was set up in 1974 to provide vocational training for the disabled, was not receiving the kind of attention that it deserved from the Jakarta administration, and he promised to increase its funding by 300 percent if elected.
“I asked the foundation managers about the support they were getting from the city. I was truly saddened to hear one of them say that they only got Rp 3,000 [32 cents] a day for each person at the foundation,” he said.
“This is nowhere near enough for meeting the needs of the disabled here.”
Hidayat added that the election notwithstanding, he would still bring the issue of funding for the foundation to the attention of Social Affairs Minister Salim Segaf Al Jufri, a fellow PKS official.