TEMPO.CO, Cianjur - President Joko Widodo or Jokowi said the current situation had forced him to speak up. “It’s time for me to speak,” said Jokowi at Wana Wisata Pokland, Haurwangi, Cianjur regency, West Java, Friday, February 8.
The president, who used to resort to silence when dealing with allegations against him, said it was now necessary for him to come up with explanations. “I’ve tried to be silent thus far, but now it cannot be set aside as it may turn into defamation,” Jokowi said, adding that he was not driven by anger.
Before thousands of people participating in an event of social forest in Cianjur, Jokowi talks about him being defamed all this time. “I have been accused of involvement in PKI (the now-defunct Indonesian Communist Party), criminalizing ulemas.”
According to Jokowi, there are thousands of ulemas in the country. “If one is incriminated in a legal case, for example, he must be sentenced, and that’s not criminalization.”
Jokowi said he had also been accused frequently of being anti-Islam, whereas he was the one signing the Santri (Islamic boarding school students) Day. “Who signed the Santri Day? I have to say this now, but that does not mean I’m mad.”
The president added he had also been often accused of being a henchman for foreign parties, whereas state energy company Pertamina under his administration managed to take over the Mahakam Block, which had been under foreign control for 50 years, in 2015—the same went for the Rokan Block , which was controlled by Chevron for 90 years.
Jokowi added the government also acquired the majority shares of Freeport, which had been run by a US company for 40 years, in 2018. “That was not an easy task. If so, the previous government should have done it,” he said.
Jokowi appealed to the public not to get caught in defamation, hoaxes, and lies. “Be careful! Use your mind and be rational. As Cak Lontong says: Think! Think! Think!” the President said, mentioning a comedian and his catchphrase.
DEDEN ABDUL AZIZ (CONTRIBUTOR)