Saturday, 22 February 2020

Story of Muslim Legislative Candidate Fransisca Santa Clause

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Fransisca Santa Clause, a legislative candidate of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) in Sleman regency, Yogyakarta. TEMPO/Pribadi Wicaksono

    Fransisca Santa Clause, a legislative candidate of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) in Sleman regency, Yogyakarta. TEMPO/Pribadi Wicaksono

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Thirty three-year old Muslim woman Fransisca Santa Clause suddenly became known after her posters as a legislative candidate for the Sleman Legislative Council (DPRD) went viral on social media.

    The mother of two from Banyuraden, Sleman regency, stepped into the spotlight as her name contradicted her traditionally-Muslim, hijab-wearing appearance. The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the party supporting her candidacy, is also an Islamic party.

    Fransisca recalled a plethora of comments against her from social media users. 

    “Ever since my posters became viral, many expressed their doubts,” said Fransisca to Tempo on Friday. “But I will continue forward, those comments are unimportant and I don't want to think about them,” said the wife of PKS official Ian Eko Setiawan.

    She maintained that the most important thing was that she was supported by her family and the political party in running for councilor. 

    ReadPKS: Letter on Deputy Governor Candidate Awaits Prabowo's Signature

    Fransisca Santa Clause said she was born in a non-Muslim family. Both her parents, Hendro Kasworo and Lusni, are Christians. The youngest of five siblings said that one of her elder sisters chose Christianity while the rest grew as Muslims.

    “I chose to be a Muslim as a kid, following the steps of my elder siblings who embraced Islam,” said the woman who actively engaged in PKS activities since college years. She maintained that PKS was a party without any prejudice against a person’s origin, race, and religion.

    Fransisca said she had no plans to change the name given to her by her parents, who hoped she became a generous and honorable person. “I have no plan yet to change the name. It’s what my parents gave me,” she said. 

    PRIBADI WICAKSONO (CONTRIBUTOR)