President Jokowi Clarifies Rumors Against Him
President Joko Jokowi Widodo clarified three defamatory allegations against him after he remained silence for the past four years.
Let me clear the allegations, the President said in the Opening of the 51st Muhammadiyah’s Tanwir (enlightenment) Meeting, at Balai Raya Semarak, Bengkulu Regional Governments Building, on Friday (15/2).
The three allegations are; first, that he is a foreign stooge; he is a member of now-defunct Indonesian Communist Party (PKI); and that the current administration is criminalizing ulemas (Islamic religious leaders).
Regarding allegation on foreign stooge, President Jokowi answered that the Mahakam block was previously operated by Frances Total E&P Indonesie and Japans Inpex Corporation and now it has been taken over fully by the Government under his administration and was handed over to the State-owned Oil and Gas Company Pertamina.
In addition, the Rokan block which has been managed by American multinational energy corporation, Chevron, for 90 years is now 100 percent operated by Pertamina. In addition, the state-owned mining holding company PT Inalum holds 51.23 percent stake in PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), a subsidiary of US mining giant Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold, in December 2018.
However, rumors saying that I am a foreign stooge have been spreading during the past 4.5 years. It is a groundless allegation, the President stated.
The President also reminded people that taking over the management of Indonesian natural resources which have been managed by foreign companies is not easy. He went on to say that political intrigue of national and international interests involved in the process to take over Freeport.
If the task was easy, it would not take four years to negotiate; it can be done in a month or two, President said, adding that the it took four years for the Government to negotiate because oil refinery operated by Chevron is the largest oil field in Indonesia, while Freeport is one of the largest copper and gold mines in the world.
Fortunately, the President continued, oil reserve in Rokan block is still massive and so are copper and gold deposits in Freeport. Therefore, Indonesia still earns much after the takeover, he said.
On that occasion, President also clarified allegation that he is a member of PKI and explained that the PKI was banned in 1965-1966, while he was born in 1961. That means he was four back then. Is it possible for a toddler to join the party?, he said.
President Jokowi said that he allowed everyone to check his background regarding this issue and mentioned that there are pictures of him and PKIs chairman DN Aidit in 1955 circulating on social media. I was not born in 1955 yet, how could I stand in the same photo with him?, President said, while reminding the people that ahead of political fiesta, this kind of slander will continue to spread.
President Jokowi also brought up issues on ulema criminalization. He clarified it by stating that Indonesia a nation based on the rule of Law and everyone regardless of their jobs and status is equal before the law. The President considered criminalization is arresting someone without reasons when the person is not guilty. However, if the person is found guilty, they must face the charges. If you find any criminalization case, please let me know, the President said. (FID/JAY/ES)
Translated by : Rany Anjany Subachrum
Edited by : Muhardi
Proofread by : M. Ersan Pamungkas