The Muslim-based Prosperous Justice Party’s (PKS) youth wing has said it would oppose a city administration led by Deputy Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, should Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo win the upcoming presidential election and leave City Hall.
The PKS youth wing, comprising the Justice Youth Movement (Gema Keadilan), Justice Front (Garda Keadilan) and PKS Youth Gate (Benteng Muda PKS), said that a recent survey they conducted indicated that 93 percent of respondents were not ready to be led by Ahok, a Christian of Chinese descent.
PKS youth wing leader Renold Darmansyah said the deputy’s attitude was among the main reasons behind their opposition.
“Up to 24 percent of respondents see him as an arrogant person who thinks he is smarter than everybody else,” he said in a statement.
As many as 23 percent of respondents saw Ahok as an unsympathetic person, 17 percent thought Ahok lacked religious ethics and 17 percent considered Ahok a leader who often put blame on others and his subordinates.
“Up to 15 percent of respondents think Ahok takes others’ opinions for granted,” he said.
The survey also found that the respondents were worried Ahok would issue exclusive and sectarian policies once he became governor.
“As many as 16 percent of respondents believe that gambling and prostitution would rise and that Ahok would sideline religious events. Fifteen percent of respondents surveyed were also worried that he would replace Betawi culture with liberal hedonism,” he said.
Meanwhile, an anonymous message recently circulated pointing out several reasons why the public should reject Ahok’s possible governorship. One of these was his stance against having religion included on the identity card (KTP).
In its survey, the PKS youth wing interviewed 1,589 respondents — 300 in person, and the remaining online. The majority of the respondents were aged between 17-40 years old.
Ahok played down the survey, saying he had been oppressed for years.
“I was attacked by PBB [the Crescent Star Party] in East Belitung in 2003. I’ve been treated this way for 10 years so this was nothing,” he said on Wednesday. Ahok was the East Belitung regent before winning election to the House of Representatives.
Ahok, a Gerindra Party politician, also challenged the PKS, saying, “Just wait and see who’s going to get more votes in Jakarta, PKS or Gerindra.”
PKS Jakarta chapter majelis syura (religious council) secretary Igo Ilham said the youth wing’s views did not represent the party.
“This was purely their initiative. They are young and very dynamic. We have to appreciate their willingness to be involved in politics and their effort to voice their concerns,” Igo told The Jakarta Post.
“They have a long way to go to becoming mature politicians and this is part of the process,” he added.
Igo went on to say that it was too early to talk about Ahok’s governorship as the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which declared Jokowi as its presidential candidate, had yet to officially register the nomination with the General Elections Commission (KPU).
“It’s a long way to go. Who knows whose name will actually get submitted to the KPU? It could be the party chairwoman, we never know,” he said.
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