IO, Jakarta – After Great Indonesia Movement (Gerakan Indonesia Raya – “Gerindra”) Party General Chairman Prabowo Subianto met with Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan – “PDIP”) General Chairman and President Elect Joko Widodo at Lebak Bulus MRT station recently, our national political map took a sudden turn. After all, it is only natural that the winner of the elections would become part of the Government’s coalition, while the loser becomes the opposition. It is not surprising that when Prabowo Subianto met again with President Jokowi at the Palace on Friday (11/10/2019), rumors spread that Gerindra might be entering the Government coalition – especially since Jokowi admits that his meeting with Prabowo was to discuss this possibility. “It is not yet finalized, but we have talked a lot about the possibility for Gerindra Party entering our coalition,” Jokowi said.
Actually, the meeting between these two national figures was more focused on reintegrating and reuniting the people in order to save Indonesia. As Prabowo said after his meeting with Jokowi, the meeting was warm and full of laughter. Gerindra stated that it is ready to assist the Government if needed. In fact, in order to encourage the growth of the economy, Prabowo expressed optimism that Indonesia may rise. As we all know, economic growth in Jokowi’s era is stuck at 5%. “We have given optimistic ideas and we are sure that Indonesia can grow into the double digits. We are sure that Indonesia can rise, and we are ready to assist as needed,” Prabowo said.
If close collaboration is not required, Prabowo stated that his party will remain outside of the Government as a balancer. “If we are not to participate in the cabinet, we will remain loyal outside as a check and balances, because in Indonesia actually there is no such thing as opposition,” he said. “We are still Red and White above all.”
The night after he met with Jokowi, Prabowo received a visit from the leadership of the People’s Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat – “MPR”). They invited him to attend the inauguration of the President Elect and Vice President on Sunday, 20 October. “If invited, I must go,” he said firmly.
Prabowo’s recent meetings with Megawati and Jokowi have apparently encourage several party chairmen to meet with him, among others the National Democrat (Nasdem) Party General Chairman Surya Paloh, National Awakening Party (Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa – “PKB”) General Chairman Muhaimin Iskandar (“Cak Imin”), and Functional Group (Golongan Karya – “Golkar”) General Chairman Airlangga Hartarto. As a former soldier with a deep respect for the country’s high officials, Prabowo chose to meet the party general chairmen in their respective offices. Prabowo met them in succession from Sunday to Tuesday, 13-15 October 2019. Present with him during the meeting were Cak Imin Gerindra General Secretary Ahmad Muzani, Gerindra Deputy General Chairman Sugiono, Edi Prabowo, and Sufmi Dasco Ahmad.
Even though he has not confirmed whether Gerindra’s intent on joining the Jokowi-Amin Government coalition, Cak Imin has given his blessing for Gerindra to be accepted as a member. “As long as it’s cooperation for the people’s sake, we are ready to do it with anyone, anywhere,” he said at the PKB’s Central Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat – “DPP”) office in Central Jakarta on Monday (14/10/2019) night. Cak Imin even compared Gerindra to a makmum masbuk, a follower who arrived late after joint prayers started. “You know that in salat we have imam or leader and makmum or follower, and that makmum who comes in late for prayers but before it ends are called makmum masbuk,” he said.
Cak Imin stated that his meeting with Prabowo was not merely socializing, but also to discuss many things related to the future of national development – both economic and political. PKB and Gerindra are committed to work together, in order to ensure that political parties are beneficial to the interest of the people, the country, and the nation. “Mr. Prabowo earlier stated that he is ready to support, uphold, and bring success to the Government, whether from within or outside of the cabinet. But the point is, the important thing is unity, togetherness, and synergy for the success of development efforts,” he said.
Meanwhile, Prabowo reiterates that his visit to DPP PKB is for a bigger interest of the nation. “We must avoid disruptions, especially physical ones. That is my will. I will fight as hard as possible to avoid disruptions,” Prabowo stated. “As for whether Gerindra will be part of Jokowi’s opposition or coalition, that’s the President’s prerogative, please stop, there will be time for that later. I have told you many times, we are ready whenever we are needed. But even from outside, we are ready to assist, ready to support.”
The day before he went to PKB DPP, Prabowo met with the General Chairman of the National Mandate Party (Partai Amanat Nasional – “PAN”) and the general chairman of Nasdem Surya Paloh in Surya’s home in Permata Hijau, South Jakarta. Prabowo and Surya’s meeting generated three agreements, one of them being the need to amend the Constitution of 1945. Finally, Prabowo reiterated that he will be meeting with all political figures, when he left Surya’s residence.
Similar to PKB, Nasdem is fine if Gerindra wants to take part in a Jokowi Government coalition. “How is there a problem for me? This means that within the spirit of the Constitution, the spirit of national interest, we are certain if Mr. Prabowo should join the Government coalition, it would be for the best. We have faith, what is the trouble?” he said.
Meanwhile, Golkar General Chairman Airlangga Hartarto stated that Golkar and Gerindra have many similarities; therefore, the opportunity for Golkar and Gerindra to cooperate in the Parliament is wide open. “Golkar and Gerindra have many things in common: Both start with a “G,” both have the same pentagonal emblem. However, in another context (coalition), that would be Mr. Jokowi’s domain,” Airlangga said after he ended his meeting with Gerindra Prabowo General Chairman at Golkar DPP’s office in Jakarta on Tuesday (15/10/2019).
On this occasion, Prabowo welcomes offers from Golkar and other parties, including joining the Government coalition. However, he also mentioned the danger of oligarchy in Indonesia. He believes that any national political figure should not be too settled, in order to prevent them from being oligarchs.
Above all, Prabowo reiterates that he agrees with Airlangga that maintaining the integrity of the state and nation is a priority. He stated that good communication with party elites would also help stabilize the country, which is something that the Government should not take lightly. He does not want Indonesia to break into pieces like many countries have historically suffered, because of internal instability. “In the case of differences, friction, things that do not agree with each other among many groups – leaders must always work to resolve them. If any institution is insufficient, let us improve it all together,” he said.
On the other hand, Prabowo requests that all political parties should compete in providing ideas that can protect the people. Political parties must have the purpose of providing prosperity and justice for the people. “I think that’s the purpose of all political parties, and political systems do require the presence of strong and competitive parties. Yes, we are competing, but in a familial and friendly way,” he said.
Vice Chairman of Gerindra’s Branch Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Cabang – “DPC”) in Bogor, Ryanti Suryawan, requests that the meeting between Prabowo and Jokowi and other party elites should not be interpreted as a betrayal towards Prabowo’s voters during the presidential elections. This is an idealistic step he took to prove that he cares more about the integrity and unity of the nation than his own reputation. Failing to do this would actually be bad for Prabowo’s own political survival and the continued harmony in the country. “This is something that the general public should understand. It is a hard decision for Prabowo to make, and not a few would be disappointed with this step. However, please understand that Prabowo is thinking about the nation as well. It is possible that President Jokowi realizes that Prabowo has important ideas that he can contribute to the Government in the future, because no matter what, Prabowo and Jokowi are the best sons of the nation right now. Indonesia needs ideas from both in order to recover and improve,” Ryanti said. (Dan)