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Seafood menus: Kudu-kudu fish and lobster

Lobster. (photo: Pramitha Hendra)

IO – For residents of Jakarta and surrounding areas who want to eat kudu-kudu, now there is no need to go as far as Makassar. In the Kelapa Gading region, North Jakarta there is a restaurant that serves the food. The name of the restaurant is Samudera Rasa, located on Jalan Boulevard Raya Blok QF 1 No 01. 

The restaurant, which was founded in 2010, has no doubt when it comes to seafood. The food processed at this restaurant has its own characteristics, differing from those in other seafood restaurants, including the menu of this flour-fried kudu-kudu. The menu became one of the mainstays of Samudera Rasa for fish. 

Samudera Rasa brings in the fish from Makassar, because that is where this type of fish lives. The outer skin is rough but it has soft flesh and is not filled with bones. Processed by Samudera’s chiefs, it is guaranteed to taste quite delicious. 

“People say that the meat of the kudu-kudu fish looks like that of chicken and some say it looks like crab meat,” said the owner of Samudera Rasa Restaurant, Robby Yahya, Tuesday (10/29/2019). 

To prepare it, a piece of kudu-kudu meat is wrapped in fried flour. and the meat is placed in the body with the fish head still intact: only the skin is fried. Even though it is fried, the fish skin cannot be eaten, because it’s too tough. The savor is increasingly felt if the meat of the kudu-kudu is smeared with sauce. The kudu-kudu menu is sold at IDR 280/gram. 

Not only is there fried kudu-kudu, but there are also many more mainstay menus of Samudera Rasa Restaurant, which must be tested, one of which is the lobster menu. There are two lobster menus served: Black Lobster Signature and Lobster Signature. 

“Black Signature Lobster and Lobster Signature are different, where the Signature relies more on garlic while the Black Signature prioritizes black pepper,” Robby said. 

It is guaranteed that the lobster served in this restaurant is free from any fishy smell. Because before cooking, the lobsters are cleaned with water and marinated in lime juice, salt, and pepper. 

After cleaning, the lobster is put into the liquid seasoning in which there is cornstarch mixed with flour, salt, sliced garlic, broth, and water. Next, the lobster is submerged to be evenly cooked. 

“When the color is browner, the water content decreases, the skin color becomes reddish,” he explained. 

Next, onion slices are stir-fried. Here, the onion serves to impart a fragrant flavor; then there are sliced leeks. Ground black pepper is added, and it is stir-fried for 5 minutes. 

Soy sauce, seasoning, and salt sharpen the savor. Finally, add the lobster that has been fried, stirring evenly. Remove and serve. 

The price of the lobster menu is around IDR 240 thousand. Curious? Hurry now to plan your meal at Samudera Rasa Restaurant. (Pramitha Hendra)

Product highlights in the 2019 Kerinci Expo

A painting made from powdered tea is another special attraction for visitors. (photo: Pramitha Hendra)

IO – The Kerinci Expo is a show of local products for all residents in the Kerinci Regency. Starting from Kerinci’s mainstay products, coffee and tea, now its natural attractions are also exhibited. This expo can help improve Kerinci’s products to become more salable, as they get ready to be marketed to local and even international destinations. 

The district government of Kerinci continues to push forward the potential of Kerinci’s local products to broaden potential markets. One way is through events like this for all the people in Kerinci, held in the PTPN6 Kayu Aro for four days on November 3-6, 2019. 

To open broader possibilities, Kerinci Expo presented 36 stands consisting of all local government offices, Statistics Indonesia (BPS), museums, representatives from 12 sub-districts, and interestingly present were also some startups in the culinary and tourism fields. In the exhibition, a row of potential local products was seen, including Kerinci’s superior products that have been known for a long time by the world market: coffee, tea, and cinnamon. 

Even more interesting, it turns out that the region is capable of producing coffee, tea and cinnamon derivatives that have the opportunity to be marketed outside the region. Snacks and handicrafts derived from tea and coffee by-products also have high-quality artistic value. And no less cool is some areas offering natural tourist attractions. 

“The exhibition was attended by 12 sub-districts in Kerinci. By displaying exhibits of superior products represented by all districts and villages it is expected that the district government can support their quest to produce quality products while helping to market them outside the region to the global market,” explained the Regent of Kerinci, Adirozal, Sunday (3/11/2019) when met in the middle of the Kerinci Expo cast. 

Adirozal added that apart from all the sub-districts, regional agencies and stakeholders were also present at this Expo. And the Kerinci Regency Government must raise the economic potential of the community. “There are also important service stands or institutions that can take advantage of this event for socialization to the public,” continued Adirozal. 

The same thing was emphasized by Deputy Regent of Kerinci Ami Taher, who said that every district and village in Kerinci had a lot of economic potential that still needed to be introduced. Now it can be seen that there are communities that can process tea and coffee by-products into handicrafts such as photo illustrations, ashtrays, food coverings, to lampshades. 

“Kerinci residents have produced creative and innovative products ranging from batik, crafts, and foods,” she said. 

Therefore, the Kerinci Regency Government will continue to hold expos regularly and further assist residents in creating products that can be further developed. Kerinci Expo is a series of activities of the 2019 Kerinci Festival, which will be held simultaneously on Sunday (11/04/2019). 

The Festival has been put into the Calendar of Events of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy since 2017. (Pramitha Hendra)

RIP Afridza Syach Munandar: Dreamed of racing in MotoGP

Afridza Syach Munandar. (photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – Indonesia’s motorcycle racing world grieves. Young racer Afridza Syach Munandar (20 years of age) has died after an accident in the Asia Talent Cup in Sepang Circuit, Malaysia, on Saturday November 2. 

Afridza was part of an accident on the corner in the tenth lap of the race. He lost control and crashed into the rear wheel of another racer. Afridza then lost his balance and fell in the middle of the track. 

After being carried off the track, the Astra Honda Racing School 2017 graduate temporarily showed signs of life, lifting his right hand. However, his condition worsened and he was brought to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital via helicopter. Unfortunately, Afridza couldn’t be helped, and passed away at the hospital. Indonesia has lost one of its racers with the most potential, one who could have taken part in MotoGP in the future. 

Condolences were offered by several world-class racers. World champion Marc Marquez gave his, writing, “Sad day for motorcycling. Afridza Munandar has passed away this afternoon after an accident in the Asian Talent Cup race! RIP Afridza,” through his Instagram account. 

Marc’s younger brother, Alex, who became champion of Moto2, also sent his condolences. “Rest in Peace! We will race for you tomorrow,” wrote Alex. 

Maverick Viñales, who won the race in Sepang, also wrote about Afridza. “I want to dedicate this win to the boy who died yesterday. He was my favorite in Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup. I offer my condolences to his family,” he said. 

Afridza had done well in the Asian Talent Cup. He was able to keep close to other Asian racers and could have even won. Afridza won two ATC races and had collected 142 points, trailing only 27 points behind Takuyama Matsuyama (Japan) who is on top of the current ATF 2019 standings. 

In domestic races, Afridza also performed well. The August 13, 1999, Tasikmalaya-born racer’s potential was apparent ever since he joined the Astra Motor Racing (ART) team. Together with ART, Afridza was able to become the West Java MP5 general champion and MP6 general champion. 

In 2015, Afridza took second place in the series V class MP3 MP national championship, after participating in a course in Astra Honda Racing School (AHRS). The year after, Afridza was able to win a silver medal in West Java National Sports Week (PON) 2016 and became the national champion in MP3 and MP4. 

Afridza had also once stood atop of the Oneprix moped class 4 stroke 150cc Tuned Up Injection tournament standings. In fact, he had won the tournament twice. 

Unfortunately, Afridza’s dream of taking part in MotoGP are no more. He will however still be remembered as one of Indonesia’s best motorcycle racers. 

Goodbye, Afridza! Now that you have passed the finish line of life, you can rest in peace. (rp) 

Hasani Abdulgani: Happy to share his sports marketing knowledge

Hasani Abdulgani is a member of PSSI’s Executive Committee. (photo: IO/RP)

IO, Jakarta – There aren’t many sports marketing books in Indonesia. Amidst this rarity, Hasani Abdulgani has launched his first book: Sport Marketing. Indonesia Market and Beyond (Asian Games, Piala Presiden dan Sport Tourism). The book was launched in Gramedia Book Store, Grand Indonesia, Jakarta, on Wednesday October 30. 

“This book was created, starting from a meeting with Erick Thohir around 2001. That meeting took me to the sports marketing world,” said Hasani, who was born in Aceh and had worked for the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in New York. “When talking to Mr. Erick in New York about sports, our vision turned out to be the same. I was asked to return to Indonesia and was entrusted to take care of Mahaka Sports,” he recalls. 

His journey with Mahaka Sports didn’t begin well. “We took a turn for the better after creating the Crushbone program, a mixture of basketball in a cage from a collaboration with DJ music,” said Hasani. The event, which was sponsored by a cigarette company, grew from only taking place in one city to taking place in tens of cities around Indonesia. 

Hasani and Mahaka Sport then received an opportunity to manage the Piala Presiden (President Cup) football tournament. He was subsequently chosen to become the marketing director of the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC) during Asian Games 2018 Jakarta-Palembang. 

“Indonesia has a large potential in industry and sports marketing,” said Hasani. According to several studies, Indonesia has one of the fourth-largest sports industry potentials in Asia. 

“Our sports industry even surpasses two other popular industries: film and music. The football industry sits at eighth with a total market reaching IDR 3 trillion a season. The market value and value of the broadcasting rights of Indonesian clubs, leagues, and its national football teams are high in the Southeast Asian region,” he said. 

Sports market value isn’t only determined by sports marketing, as sports marketers work at the lower levels. Sports market value is created by various things, including achievements, athlete’s stardom, media broadcasts, trust built through the system, regulations, law enforcement, ethics, sponsorships, government support and audience. 

“Sports must be developed with a business logic or industry logic which orients towards quality and valuable sports products in the eyes of the market. This is because in the end, sports market value is a reflection of the quality and achievements of athletes, clubs, national teams, and sports event management,” said Hasani. Indonesia’s large sports market hasn’t been as fruitful as it could be because of several elements in the sports business which haven’t worked as a system, which is synergism and of quality. During this time, sports marketers play a strategic role in moving the elements in the sports business. 

“Sports marketing must be able to drive all elements to think and work in a business corridor and be profit oriented.” 

Hasani is happy he has been able put his knowledge about sports marketing in a book. “If I die, I have already shared the knowledge I have and everyone can read it. Hopefully, what I have written is useful for Indonesia,” he said. 

Hasani can’t stay away from the sports world. Not long after the launching of his book, he was chosen to become a member of the executive committee of the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) in a PSSI Extraordinary Congress in Jakarta, Saturday, November 2. “Hopefully I can hold the mandate,” he said. 

Andien: Releases Belahan Jantungku

Andien Aisyah. (photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – Singer Andien Aisyah has tried launching something other than an album. She has just released a book titled Belahan Jantungku (Part of My Heart). The book is about Andien’s journey as a women and mother. 

“During the beginning of my pregnancy, my curiosity grew. I became moved to contact several people who could enlighten me on all the worries I had,” said Andien as quoted by Antara. Andien invited experts in child health, inner childhood, and gentle birthing in helping her write her book. The experts included Reza Gunawan, Najeela Shihab, Nia Umar, Tantan Kuswandi, Fonda Kuswandi, Dr. Ratih Ayu Wulandari, Irene Mongkar, Gobin Vashdev and Yusa Azis. 

Andien believed they had played an important role since she was first pregnant with her first child, Anaku Askara Biru or Kawa. 

“As Kawa grew in my womb, I was met with good people who helped me carry out my pregnancy. They were people who received me well when I asked them to be sources for this book,” she said. 

Reza was one of the first people Andien contacted after learning she was pregnant. 

Reza is a holistic practitioner and gentle birth activist who shared the basics of gentle birthing with Andien. 

Najeela Shihab is an educational activist, who is part of a place where Andien shares her thoughts on anti-harassment and campaigns on the movement of women supporting women. 

Andien’s husband, Irfan “Ippe” Wahyudi, also contributed to the book. 

“I chose to contribute in the book because I believe in the spirit of togetherness in childcare. Perhaps those reading the book consist mostly of women but there’s nothing wrong if a father or prospective father wants to read this book,” said Ippe. 

“Hopefully, my writing in this book can make couples even more cohesive and supportive of each other.” 

The book will be available this November. (rp)

RIP Alfin Lestaluhu: Beautiful Azan voice now gone

Alfin Lestaluhu passes away from encephalitis. (photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – No one knows how long they will live. Young or old, if the time comes, we must go. 

Indonesia’s football world grieves as Football Association of Indonesia’s (PSSI) U-16 young defender, Alfin Lestaluhu has passed away on Thursday, October 31. Alfin died from encephalitis with hypoalbuminemia in Harapan Kita Hospital, Jakarta. He will be buried in his home village Tulehu, Ambon. 

Indonesian football is truly at a loss. Alfin was one of Indonesia’s best hopes for their appearance during the U-20 World Cup which they will host in 2021. 

Alfin Lestaluhu was one of the Ambon earthquake victims, which took place at 07:39 WIB on Thursday, September 26 and had a strength of 5.6 on the Richter scale. 

“A player who always performed his best without compromise and was always ready to be played whenever, whether 90 minutes, 45 minutes, or one minute,” wrote the coach Bima Sakti through his social media account. 

He knew Alfin as a player who was always passionate in training and in games. “‘Ready coach’, that is something Alfin said to me and I will always remember. There are many beautiful memories inside and outside the field with Alfin. His voice during the Azan was very beautiful,” wrote Bima. 

Alfin was known as a player who was brave and willing to take risks. “What was most surprising during penalties against Vietnam in the AFF Cup 2019 in Chonburi, Thailand, right after the whistle ended and was continued into penalties, Alfin was the first player to come to me and say, ‘I want and am ready to take a penalty coach’.” 

Bima went on to choose Alfin as one of the penalty takers. However, he failed to convert the penalty and immediately apologized. “Although he failed and immediately apologized to me without speaking much, he immediately hugged me, ‘It’s okay Alfin, thank you for being brave enough to take the penalty’,” said Bima. 

Goodbye, Alfin! Have a good time in heaven! (rp) 

Nadiem Makarim: “Teachers know what is most relevant for their students”

Minister of Education and Culture Nadiem Makarim says that The President wants a curriculum that stimulates students’ competence, instead of mere memorization of information. (photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Minister of Education and Culture Nadiem Makarim has repeated the directives given to him by President Joko Widodo (“Joko­wi”) concerning the latest curricula for formal education. The President wants a curriculum that stimulates students’ competence, instead of mere memorization of information. “As per the President’s directives, the change in the curriculum is not just about change in content. The important thing is simplifi­cation of the curriculum, and the method to explain the lessons must also be different,” he said in his of­fice in Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, Central Jakarta, on Wednesday (06/11/2019).

Nadiem stated that this direc­tive is a huge mass of homework for him, and that it will take quite some time for him before he can satisfy this request. Jokowi’s request needs to be considered thoroughly before being implemented. He said that he needs the help of teachers, “As they are the ones who face the students daily and know what these students need to learn. We need to consider the curriculum properly, and the teachers’ insight is invaluable,” he said.

Nadiem reiterates that his frame­work for perfecting the national ed­ucational system, both in terms of simplification of mechanisms and the change of overall curriculum, refers to the teachers’ need to be able to teach properly. He stated that teachers know best what their students need. “What is my frame­work, my basis for making all sorts of improvements, whether the sim­plification or any other changes in the curriculum? Again, I refer to teachers again. What kind of curric­ulum is the most useful for teach­ers? That’s the key really, because teachers know what is most relevant for their students, how best to teach, etc.,” he said. (des)

Sofyan Basir freed, to ICW’s disappointment

Former President Director of PT PLN (Persero) Sofyan Basir is the third convict ever freed by the Corruption Court so far. (photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Former President Direc­tor of PT PLN (Persero) Sofyan Basir was the third convict ever freed by the Corruption Court so far. He was the first to be freed by the Corruption Court of Jakarta, while the other two were freed in Bandung and Pekan­baru.

The first convict to be freed was the former Mayor of Bekasi Mochtar Mohammad in the IDR 1.6-billion bribery of member of the Regional House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah – “DPRD”) of Bekasi. Other than this charge of bribery, Mochtar was also charged with the misuse of IDR 639 million’s worth of meal budget to influence of­ficials in order to get them to validate the 2010 Regional Budget. He also gave out IDR 500 million in bribes in order to win the 2010 Adipura Award, as well as bribing Audit Board (Badan Pemeriksa Keuangan – “BPK”) audi­tors at IDR 400 million in order to get his books declared “fair without exception”.

The Corruption Court of Bandung of the District Court of Bandung de­clared Mochtar Mohamad was not legally and validly proven to have perpetrated the crime of corruption, released him from all charges, and rehabilitated his dignity and reputa­tion on 11 October 2011. However, the Corruption Eradication Commis­sion (Komisi Pemberantasan Korup­si – “KPK”) applied for a cessation, causing the Supreme Court to correct this judgment on 7 March 2012 and declare that Mochtar was proven to have perpetrated corrupt act, and to sentence him 6 years’ imprisonment minus 6 months’ detainment, plus a fine of IDR 300 million and IDR 639 million in compensations.

Second, the Regent of Rokan Hulu Suparman was charged with corrup­tion in the discussion of the Revised Regional Budget of the Province of Riau 2014 and the Regional Budget of Riau 2015. In its charges, KPK’s Prosecutor stated that Suparman and his partner, Johar Firdaus, then the Speaker of the DPRD of Riau 2009- 2014, actively planned and requested commission to Governor Annas Maa­mun when discussing the Regional Budget. However, out of the IDR 1.2 billion agreed, only IDR 900 million was passed. The money was divided into 40 envelopes containing IDR 50 million, two envelopes containing IDR 40 million, six envelopes containing IDR 25 million, and 31 envelopes containing IDR 20 million. Johar has separately received IDR 155 million of the IDR 200 million promised to him.

On 23 February 2017, Corruption Court of Pekanbaru at the District Court of Pekanbaru released Supar­man and Johar. On 8 November 2017, the Supreme Court corrected this verdict and stated that the two are validly and legally proven to have performed corruption jointly. The Panel of Cessation then sentenced each to 6 years of imprisonment mi­nus 6 months’ detainment, and a fine of IDR 200 million. They have also lost the right to be elected into a public office for 5 years since the end of their primary sentence.

Third, Sofyan Basir was freed by the Corruption Court of Jakarta from charges of unlawful assistance in the agreement relating to the RIAU- 1 Mine Pit Steam-powered Electricity Generator (Pembangkit Listrik Tenaga Uap Mulut Tambang RIAU-1 – “PLTU MT RIAU-1”) Project on 4 Novem­ber 2019. “We declare that convict Sofyan Basir is not legally and validly proven guilty as in the first and sec­ond charges of the Prosecutor,” said Chairman of the Panel of Judges of the Corruption Court of Jakarta, Har­iono, on Monday (04/11/2019).

KPK’s Public Prosecutor requested that Sofyan be sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment minus 3 months’ detainment, plus a fine of IDR 200 million for having facilitated bribes in relation to the procurement of In­dependent Power Producer (IPP) for the PLTU MT RIAU-1 Project. He was specifically charged with the facili­tation of meetings between Member of Commission VII of the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”) Eni Maulani Saragih, Functional Group (Golongan Karya – “Golkar”) Party politician Idrus Mar­ham, and entrepreneur Johannes Budisutrisno Kotjo.

Sofyan was declared innocent of violation of Article 12 letter “a” in conjunction with Article 15 of Corrup�­tion Crime Eradication Law, in con­junction with Article 56 Paragraph 2 of the Criminal Law, and violation of Article 11 in conjunction with Article 15 of Corruption Crime Eradication Law in conjunction with Article 56 Paragraph 2 KUHP. He was not prov­en to have facilitated the receipt of bribes from entrepreneur Johanes Budisutrisno Kotjo to former mem­ber of the DPR Eni Maulani Saragih and former Minister of Social Affairs Idrus Marham.

The presiding judge, Hariono, has also requested that Sofyan be tak­en out of KPK’s detention house. He read out the order of the verdict at the hearing in the Corruption Court of Jakarta, Jalan Bungur Besar Raya, Central Jakarta, on Monday (04/11/2019). KPK stated that it is still considering whether to accept the verdict or submit a cessation request.

Meanwhile, Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) expressed disappoint­ment over the judgment that releases former PT PLN President Sofyan Ba­sir from charges of corruption in the PLTU Riau-1 Project, as his name was frequently mentioned in the hearings of the previous convicts in the case. The statement was made by ICW re­searcher Kurnia Ramadhana at the ICW Office, Kalibata, South Jakarta, on Monday (04/11/2019).

Kurnia connected the verdict of Sofyan’s freedom with the polemic relating to the new KPK Law, which is considered to have constitutionally weakened KPK. Furthermore, “Such overturning of charges in corruption cases is a further weakening of KPK. The institution is already weakened by law, and corruption convicts are also given light sentences and even freed,” he said.

Kurnia hopes that KPK would quickly submit the verdict for cessa­tion at the Supreme Court: “Let us encourage KPK’s Prosecution to press for cessation MA. We believe that the evidence brought by KPK to the court is solid. Furthermore, the oth­er convicts in the case – Eni Saragih and Idrus Marham – have both been found guilty,” he said. (des)

PDIP: “Politics should develop Indonesia instead of being a thorn in one’s side”

For the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan – “PDIP”), the priority scale for socializing has moved downwards after Jokowi’s Second Term Cabinet is established,” PDIP’s General Secretary Hasto Kristiyanto states in Ismail Marzuki Park, Jakarta, on Saturday (02/11/2019). (photo: PDIP. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Once the Indonesia Onwards Coalition is established, leaving the Democrat Party, the National Mandate Party (Partai Amanat Nasional – “PAN”), and the Prosperous Justice Party (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera – “PKS”) out­side of the Government, the pri­mary focus of the party coalition will be to provide support for Joko Widodo-Ma’ruf Amin’s regime. Nev­ertheless, all political parties have an inherent right to fraternize with the opposing parties. “All parties have the sovereignty to meet with anyone they please. However, for the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indone­sia Perjuangan – “PDIP”), the prior­ity scale for socializing has moved downwards after Jokowi’s Second Term Cabinet is established,” said PDIP’s General Secretary Hasto Kristiyanto stated in Ismail Mar­zuki Park, Jakarta, on Saturday (02/11/2019).

Hasto refused to respond to the maneuver made by the National Democrat (“NasDem”) Party, which held a meeting with PKS last week. PDIP will not follow in NasDem’s footstep of maneuvering towards political elites. He stated that PDIP cadres will move out and meet with constituents in order to introduce President Jokowi’s programs only. “We cannot interfere with what oth­er parties do. However, it would be painful if they (cadres) turn out to be a thorn in our side. How could the elites want to hurt each other? Absolutely not. These elites want to show that politics is something related to idealism: politics should help develop Indonesia to become better, more advanced. Therefore, politics should not be filled with things whose purpose is contrary to the good nature of politics itself,” he said.

Hasto stated that the meeting shows that each party has its own strategies, its own methods in get­ting ahead according to their polit­ical directions. “However, for PDIP, politicking is about maintaining an ideological identity focused on the people, the nation, and the devel­opment of a prosperous and fair community,” he said.

Political observer Faizal As­segaf stated through his Twitter account @faizalassegaf that PDIP is upset because of the meeting between Nasdem and PKS. Ac­cording to him, PDIP’s stance as a party is different from that of the President’s, who maintained a re­laxed reaction to the meeting. This is because Jokowi is sure that the meeting will not cause his coalition to crack. As his Tweet on Sunday (03/11/2019) said, “PDIP gets up­set. Unlike @jokowi who is relaxed in responding to Surya Paloh’s maneuver, and Jokowi even stated that the NasDem-PKS meeting does not “weaken the pro-government coalition”.”  (Dan)

LSI: “Airlangga stronger than Bamsoet”

Airlangga Hartarto, the Coordinating Minister of Economy and Golkar’s Incumbent General Chairman. (photo: Golkar Doc.)

IO, Jakarta – The appointment of candidacy for the Functional Group (Golongan Karya – “Golkar”) Party General Chairmanship will be made in the National Assembly (Musyawarah National – “Munas”) to be held at the end of the year. The current campaign has been heating up again recently. It cooled down earlier when one of the fierce rivals, Bambang Soesatyo (Bamsoet), was elected as the Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat – “MPR”) of RI, while the other, Airlang­ga Hartarto, was appointed as the Co­ordinating Minister of Economy. The Munas, which will be properly held next month, is now being prepared by the Plenary Meeting held on Tuesday (05/11/2019) night at the Office of the Central Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat – “DPP”) of Golkar Par­ty in Slipi, West Jakarta.

Golkar’s Incumbent General Chairman Airlangga Hartarto presid­ed over a friendly Plenary Meeting. All attending Golkar cadres were given the chance to speak out in the meet­ing. The Plenary Meeting was held for about two hours, from 19.51 WIB to 21.35 WIB. It decided that the Nation­al Leadership Meeting (Rapat Pimpinan Nasional – “Rapimnas”) will be held on 14-15 November 2019, while the Munas will be held on 4-6 December 2019. Golkar Party’s Primary Deputy Coordinator Bambang Soesatyo did not attend the Plenary Meeting.

Primary Deputy Coordinator Bam­soet later on reiterated that he is un­able to refuse the insistence of cadres in the regions who wish him to present himself in the candidacy for General Chairmanship, and not for personal interest.

“This is not about Bamsoet person­ally. This is about the wider interest of the Golkar Party. I cannot refuse the insistence of the regions who are hungry for change, who want the Party to be managed properly according to the Articles of Association and Memo­randum of Association, to return to its greatness as the fighter for and protec­tor of the people’s prosperity,” he said.

Bamsoet further stated that he wel­comes Airlangga Hartarto if the latter wishes to put himself up as General Chairman Candidate, that Airlangga is not the only person who has the right to submit themselves for the candida­cy. “Mr. Airlangga or any other Golkar Party cadres who satisfy requirements for the position of Golkar Party General Chairman is welcome to submit them­selves for candidacy; I support them by not standing in their way. What is most important is that we prioritize fair play and being a gentleman,” he said.

Bamsoet stated that he has not yet decided whether or not he will put himself up for candidacy, but he will make his announcement on the issue soon. “I still have not decided whether I will put myself up for candidacy or not, because we have not even decid­ed when Golkar Party’s Munas will be held. I will make the announcement whether I will apply for candidacy or not at a later date,” he said.

Golkar cadre Nusron Wahid cor­roborated Bamsoet’s statement that he has the mandate of regional cadres for his candidacy. Nusron stated that Bamsoet would not deny this man­date: “Mr. Bamsoet only discharged the mandate given to him by the Re­gional Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Daerah – “DPD”) 1 and DPD 2 to go forth. Mr. Bamsoet as a cadre cannot possibly deny and betray the insistence and mandate from the low­er-level candidates,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lingkaran Survei In­donesia (LSI)’s Director Djayadi Han­an stated that Airlangga Hartarto’s chance to be re-elected as Golkar’s General Chairman is very strong, that he has great advantage over his oppo­nent. Furthermore, Airlangga’s current position as the Coordinating Minister of the Economy gives him even more advantage, as Djayadi interpreted it to be a blessing from President Joko Widodo. “The ministerial position is Jokowi’s blessing. Or at least, I believe that is how the management of Gol­kar in general will interpret it – that Mr. Airlangga is the person considered to be a better fit for Golkar’s General Chairmanship,” he said.

Djayadi further notes the support of the Trikarya community of Airlangga is a further source of strength. Fur­thermore, support also came from a number of DPD 2 in several regions. The Head of DPP Golkar’s Committee for the Mobilization of Opinion and Me­dia, Ace Hasan Syadzily, admitted this support: “We are optimistic that Mr. Airlangga will win the General Chair­man Elections in December 2019. We have recorded at least 92% of our vot­ing cadres stating that they support Airlangga,” he said in the Parliamen­tary Complex.

Djayadi predicts that Airlangga will finally be unanimously named General Chairman again, but in view of current development that Bambang Soesatyo is named the challenger, the Munas will be hot with much debate. “I suspect that there are already internal agree­ments in place between Mr. Bambang Soesatyo’s Faction and Mr. Airlangga Hartarto’s Faction,” he said (Dan)

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