It’s not yet a sure thing, but there are strong indications that Gerindra chairman Prabowo Subianto is planning to run against President Joko Widodo again in 2019 and that he’ll get his party’s nomination. Gerindra deputy chairman Fadli Zon says he’s sure Prabowo will win and become Indonesia’s next president. And he thinks he’ll be bigly great for our country’s future.
If that phrase sounds familiar to you, you might remember another politician saying something similar once or twice:
It’s not surprising that Fadli would adopt The Donald’s campaign rhetoric. After meeting with the then Republican candidate for president in New York in May 2015 (during a visit to Trump Tower followed by an infamous appearance at one of his press conferences), Fadli seems to have become a big fan of the (shudder) current US president.
He didn’t just congratulate President Trump on his upset(ting) win. Fadli told reporters he was happy for The Donald’s victory and that he had always believed the celebrity businessman would become the next US president. He’s also said that Trump could be good for Indonesia’s economy, citing the Trump’s resort developments in Java and Bali as evidence he could bring more investment from the US to Indonesia.
But how could he have been happy about Trump’s win, considering all of the Republican’s disturbing talk about implementing a ban on Muslims entering the US during his campaign?
“That was just campaign rhetoric, his governmental policies will definitely be different,” Fadli told Tempo on January 19, just eleven days before Trump signed executive order banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations from temporarily entering the US (which many argue is effectively a “Muslim ban” like he promised on the campaign trail).
We’ve searched the Indonesian media extensively since Trump’s travel ban was enacted and have not seen a single mention of Fadli denouncing the US president for his anti-Muslim executive order (the only time he seems to have mentioned Trump recently was to argue that Gerindra-backed Jakarta gubernatorial candidate Anies Baswedan would win next week’s election despite his seemingly poor poll numbers).
And his “Make Indonesia Great Again” tweet seems to suggest he’s still a fan of Trump’s rhetoric.
It’s interesting then, that Fadli would not speak out against Trump’s ban and continued anti-Muslim rhetoric, which many consider a terrible insult to the followers of Islam.
Because he certainly didn’t hesitate to condemn another politician who allegedly insulted Islam.
That’s right. Not only did Fadli join protesters during the November 4 rally to demand that Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama (whom he’s long had beef with) be jailed for his alleged blasphemy against Islam…
… he even wrote something about Ahok recently, which he titled “Poem for the Blasphemer”
The poem makes references to the blasphemer destroying diversity, disrupting religious harmony and being a traitor to Pancasila.
Perhaps somebody else wants to write “Sajak Sang Munafik” (Poem for the Hypocrite)?