4 years (accused) a stooge: President Jokowi says he’s had enough, hits back at foreign puppet accusations

President Joko Widodo. AFP file photo / ROMEO GACAD
President Joko Widodo. AFP file photo / ROMEO GACAD

Among many unsubstantiated rumors that have dogged President Joko Widodo throughout his first term in office — and his ongoing election campaign — are accusations that he’s secretly a member of the defunct Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and a Chinese-Christian. Another that is very popular among his haters is the accusation that he, his administration, and that his political party, PDI-P, are “antek asing” (foreigners’ stooges).

Jokowi has often complained about the hoaxes his opponents perpetuate about him, but, in line with his recent offensive charge leading up to April’s election, he hit back aggressively at the foreign stooge accusations during a campaign event yesterday.

“For four years, President Jokowi has been accused of being a foreigners’ stooge. Four years!” Jokowi said during a speech, referring to himself in the third person, as quoted by Kompas.

“I have been quiet. But now is the time for me to speak up.”

Jokowi then went on to list his and his administration’s achievements in nationalizing state assets, such as the reacquisition of operational rights for the Mahakam oil block from French oil and gas company Total after 50 years.

“In 2015 we took it 100% and I gave it to [state-owned oil company] Pertamina. But I never said anything,” he said.

Jokowi also pointed out that the nationalization of the Rokan oil block and Indonesia wrestling majority control of the Grasberg copper mine from US miner Freeport McMoRan both occurred during his time in office.

“Do they think reclaiming huge assets like that is easy? If it was easy, they would have been reclaimed a long time ago,” he said.

Last week, Jokowi also hit back at accusations that he was a tool of foreign powers by suggesting that his challenger, Prabowo Subianto, was using foreign political consultants to implement a “Russian propaganda” attack model, built on hoaxes and misinformation, to defeat him in the election.

President Jokowi and his running mate, Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Chairman Ma’ruf Amin, are enjoying healthy double digit leads over challengers Prabowo and his running mate Sandiaga Uno in the majority of polls leading up to April’s election, save for a few outliers.

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