Press Statement of President of the Republic of Indonesia during Inspection of Light Rail Transit (LRT) at Dukuh Atas Station, South Jakarta, DKI Jakarta Province, August 3, 2023

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 3 Agustus 2023
Category: Press Statement @en
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Journalist
Sir, could you give me your thoughts after trying out the LRT service again?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Yes, this morning I took the LRT test ride with several celebrities, including Mas Ari Lasso, Mba Yuni Shara, Desta, Nirina, Indy, Aurel, Ola, Sari, Widi, Prisia, Pak Lukman, Chelsea. I remember them all.

Journalist
Sir, you did not mention Cak Longtong?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
He is fine not to be mentioned.

We tried out the LRT service again. There were still adjustments in the system that needed improvement. I have checked it earlier at several stations, it is fixed already. One more inspection, insyaAllah, the LRT can run in operations next month. The most important thing is, we prioritize safety and security.

Journalist
What’s the exact date for the inauguration, Sir?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Most likely, insyaAllah, it will be August 26th.

Journalist
What about the certificates and permits, Sir? We all know that the security certificatehas not been issued yet.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Well, these technical issues will fall under the LRT’s responsibility.

Journalist
Will the operation be inaugurated concurrently with the fast train?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
No. We will probably give it another test ride in September. Once everything is set, it will be put into operation. The sooner the better. As we all know, we fight against traffic congestion daily, not to mention air pollution. Thus, we expect shifts in mobility behavior from private vehicles to modes of mass transportation. We grapple with the losses amounting to 100 trillion per year due to traffic congestion in the Greater Jakarta (Jabodetabek) and Bandung. 100 trillion per year. We need to tackle the issue since macro-economically it caused such huge losses to the country. There should be subsidies. Well, that is the Government’s obligation to serve the public.

Journalist
Are you optimistic that the public will be attracted to use LRT?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
To that end, the Public Service Obligation (PSO) is crucial, be it airport train, TransJakarta, commuter line train (KRL), train, light rail transit (LRT), mass rapid transit (MRT), or fast train. All services must provide subsidies because it simply can shift people from using private vehicles to mass transportation modes.

Journalist
Is the subsidy calculation already in progress, Sir? What is the estimated amount for it?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Certainly. Minister of Transportation will do the calculation. It is not the President’s task anyway.

Journalist
May we ask another question, Sir? Regarding Freeport’s lawsuit against Indonesia. Do you think there will be further steps from the Government, Sir?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Yes, that is just fine. The thing is, the downstream program is not going to stop. We focus on the downstream of nickel, and we move to copper, bauxite, and so on. Anyone, any country, or even internal organization cannot stop our desire for industrialization, for downstream exports of raw materials to semi-finished goods or finished goods. We expect more added value in the country.

Journalist
Sir, but Pak Faisal Basri has criticized this downstream strategy. His assessment is that the program might not be effective since it would be more profitable for other countries. Any thoughts on this, Sir?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Well, how was the calculation for that? Let’s do the math. For instance, nickel. When weexport raw materials, it would only cost 17 trillion per year. Once it enters the industrial downstream, it reaches 510 trillion.

Just imagine, the state revenue could be sourced from taxes. The taxes from 17 trillion and the taxes from 510 trillion,which one is bigger? From the downstream, we can receive VAT, corporate income tax, employee income tax, corporate income tax, royalties, export duties, and non-tax state revenue. All in one. Please, do the math. Between the amount of 17 trillion and 510 trillion, which one has a bigger amount?

Journalist
But, Sir, the its contribution to GDP keeps decreasing in industrialization; therefore the people called this “de-industrialization”. What do you think about that?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Well, the logic is not like that. I have mentioned the numbers.  What does it mean? The contribution to the GDP of the economy must be bigger, right? So, where’s the logic?

Journalist
Sir, any thoughts on Sambo’s verdict?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
I respect the decision. We must respect it.

Journalist
Sir, as conveyed by Pak Ahmad Muzani, are you considering abolishing the public school enrollment (PPDB) policy?

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
I am. We will study the related matter thoroughly. Thank you.

(RIF/LW)

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