Jakarta, IO – Budiman Sudjatmiko, a politician publicly affiliated with the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan – “PDI-P”), student activist in the 1990’s, former Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, recently surprised everyone by openly expressing his support of Prabowo Subianto, General Chairman of the Great Indonesia Party (Partai Gerakan Indonesia Raya – “Gerindra”), in the latter’s bid for the presidency in the upcoming Elections on Valentine’s Day 2024.
Budiman proudly declared that he supports Prabowo because of the ideas he espoused in his book, Paradoks Indonesia (“The Indonesian Paradox”): “25 years ago, Mr. Prabowo performed his duties to the State, while my friends and I performed our duties to History. In the past, we were forced to be on opposing sides. However, after a quarter century has passed, I became inspired after reading the Paradox Indonesia book that he wrote – given to me by the author himself,” Budiman stated in his declaration of the establishment of the PrabowoBudiman United (Prabowo-Budiman Bersatu – “Prabu”) volunteer group in Semarang, Central Java, on Friday, 18 August.
The ideas Prabowo wrote in his book have the same spirit as the ideas that activists have fought for, especially in terms of Indonesia’s sovereignty. “Therefore, it is high time for us – for duty to the State and duty to History – to be united. This is why I understand what Mr. Prabowo Subianto was thinking. If I do not love this thinking, I would be betraying myself, betraying my own aspirations as a youthful warrior,” Budiman said.
Budiman’s support of Prabowo does not mean that he is resigning from the PDI-P. “I will not be resigning. If I resign right now, I would not have any opportunity to explain my argument for declaring this support (to a political opponent),” he declared to the press on Monday, 21 August.
To justify his support of Prabowo, Budiman quoted the words of his own Party General Chairwoman, Mrs. Megawati Soekarnoputri, to the effect that a criterion for good leadership is strategic thinking. “Yes, I have a perfectly valid argument for my action. For years, I have listened to Madam General Chairwoman’s lectures, speeches, and opinions concerning the specifications for leadership. Didn’t Madam Mega always say that Indonesia needs a leader who has strategic vision?” he said.
“This is what Madam Mega declared when she was awarded the title of Honorary Lecturer in the University of Defense a few years back. It was about strategic leadership, as well as the challenges that all Parties face, that should guide them in their contestation during the 2024 Presidential Elections. When I reviewed these qualifications with my reason, I found that out of the three candidates for the presidency present so far, I mostly found the qualifications inherent in Mr. Prabowo,” he declared. (rp)