​Jokowi’s speechwriter apologizes for the president mistakenly referring to Blitar as Soekarno’s birthplace

Piye iki toh Mas Joko?

Any Indonesian history buff should know that our first president and founding father Soekarno was born in Surabaya on June 6, 1901. But nobody told President Jokowi’s speechwriter that.

During a speech he made on Pancasila Day on June 1, President Jokowi referred to Blitar, East Java, as the birthplace of Soekarno. Needless to say, Jokowi was criticized for the mistake.

But the speechwriter from the President’s Public Communications Team at the State Palace, Sukardi Rinakit, stepped up to take the blame.

“The error was fully my mistake and I take responsibility for it. When the president was putting together the speech, he asked me about Blitar and I said Soekarno was born and buried in Blitar. President Jokowi at the time asked me to double check because he thought Soekarno was born in Surabaya,” Sukardi wrote in a written statement, as picked up by Okezone today. 

Sukardi added that he referred to a Dutch website that erroneously wrote down Blitar, not Surabaya, as Soekarno’s place of birth.

Sukardi apologized for the mistake, particularly to Soekarno’s family who was present to hear Jokowi’s speech, including former President Megawati Soekarnoputri and Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Puan Maharani. Maybe he should’ve consulted them about Soekarno’s birthplace?

President Soekarno was born in Surabaya on June 6, 1901. He died in Jakarta on June 21, 1970, and buried in Blitar soon after.

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