TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Incumbent President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and his former strong contender in the recent presidential elections, Prabowo Subianto, have given Indonesians food for thought regarding the criticality of promoting solid reconciliation for a better Indonesia (RI).
Their meeting at the Merdeka Palace on Friday brought to light their staunch commitment to bolstering what they had set to walk down the path of reconciliation on July 13, 2019.
During that time, for the foremost instant after fiercely campaigning during the 2019 Presidential Elections that had resulted in this nation bearing witness to a phenomenon of a divided society, they met at the MRT Station of Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta.
The duo then continued their conversation while boarding Jakarta's new MRT. They also had lunch at a restaurant in a shopping mall in the Senayan area. Following his meeting with Jokowi, Prabowo also visited Megawati Soekarnoputri at her residence on July 24.
The political maneuvers made by the two camps are in keeping with their common goal to promote reconciliation among Indonesians, who have witnessed a divisive society triggered by their tough rivalry in the recent elections.
On Friday, Jokowi, who will be sworn in as Indonesia's president for the 2019-2024 term on Oct. 20, again met with this Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party chief patron at the Merdeka Palace, Central Jakarta.
At the meeting, widely covered by journalists from various mainstream media and news portals, they shared a common perspective on the pressing need for security and political stability in Indonesia.
These two figures laid emphasis on ensuring security and political stability for the sake of Indonesia's ongoing economic growth and development amid a trend of global economic slowdown.
"We, of course, need security and political stability, as well as preparedness for enabling us to cope with the impact of the global economic slowdown," President Jokowi told journalists at a press briefing held shortly after the meeting.
Both Jokowi and Prabowo are fully aware of Indonesia's current security and political condition. A day before they met, for instance, the country's top security minister, Wiranto, was stabbed by a man in Pandeglang District, Banten Province.
Over the past two months, a spate of violence broke out in several parts of the provinces of Papua and West Papua following the Surabaya incident on August 16 that fueled resentment and fury among native Papuans.
The rioting in Wamena on Sept 23 has emerged as the most lethal of this wave of violence, causing misery to scores of Indonesians.
The incident claimed the lives of 33 innocent civilians, including a senior medical doctor, who had served the native Papuans living in remote areas for 15 years.
This riot left several thousand survivors with no choice but to abandon their torched and destroyed properties behind and take refuge. Several of them, originally from provinces, including West Sumatra, South Sulawesi, East Java, and Banten, have also returned to their hometowns.
Furthermore, the armed Papuan rebels also pose security threats to both security forces and innocent civilians in the two provinces amid ongoing campaigns of hoaxes and propaganda launched by Benny Wenda and his anti-Indonesian groups.
Last but not the least, in the midst of the global economic slowdown, the ongoing trade war between the United States and China poses another grave challenge that elicits prompt and apt action from the Indonesian government.
In the face of such domestic and global challenges, Jokowi's meeting with Prabowo, held four days before the Great Indonesia Movement's (Gerindra's) national meeting kicked off, holds significance for the interests of the nation and state.
Subianto's spokesman, Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak, confirmed that an announcement will be made on Oct 17 on Gerindra's decision to either join the Joko Widodo-Ma'ruf Amin administration or stay out.
"Mr. Prabowo's official stance on becoming the government's critical partner or internal partner will be decided during Gerindra's national meeting on October 15-17," Simanjuntak noted on Wednesday.
Prabowo, who lost the recent presidential elections, has appealed to Gerindra's executives across Indonesia to hold the national meeting in Hambalang, West Java Province, on October 15-17, to deliberate on the party's official stance.
Simanjuntak stated that Prabowo will lend a ear to the perspectives and opinions of Gerindra's executives at the meeting and incorporate their views in the party's final decision.
Speaking in connection with Jokowi's meeting with Prabowo at the Merdeka Palace on Friday, Chairman of the Gerindra Central Executive Board Ahmad Riza Patria hinted that Prabowo had vowed to assist the Jokowi-Ma'ruf Amin administration regardless of whether Gerindra will become the government’s critical or internal partner.
Speaking at a dialog portraying the theme of "Map of Real Politics in the Aftermath of 'Fiesta' at Parliament," he echoed Gerindra's steady commitment to playing the role of a critical partner of the government if it chose to not join it.
Patria said he would never question his party's decision if it were later decided to remain outside the Jokowi-Amin administration since contributing to the nation was of utmost importance for Gerindra.
However, Patria was neither keen to see his party become a troublemaker after joining the government nor remain a mere critic without offering solutions.
"Thus, what is good is giving all the best strength and compete for offering the best contribution to the interests of the nation and state," Patria stated.