TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has defended Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto against criticism in light of the latter’s frequent visits overseas. The President said that his minister went abroad for state duties, instead of traveling.
“So if people question why Pak Defense Minister (Menhan) departs to a country, that is for defense diplomacy, not just traveling,” said the state head when opening the leadership meeting of the Defense Ministry, Indonesian Military (TNI), and National Police at the Defense Ministry building, Jakarta, Thursday, January 23.
According to him, people who criticized Prabowo did not understand the diplomacy of defense affairs.
The President said that Prabowo’s visit to several countries aimed at reviewing the quality of military weapons that Indonesia could purchase, adding that the visits were under his approval.
“We have discussed it with Pak Menhan, and that's not only once or twice. Many people do not know this,” he said.
Prabowo Subianto recently under criticism for his visits abroad voiced by the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) executive board chairman Mardani Ali Sera. Mardani said the minister’s move did not reflect President Jokowi’s order during the annual speech on August 16, 2019, that calling on all ministers to reduce overseas visits.