Prabowo contradicts own campaign team on teacher salary hike promise: ‘Where are we going to get the money from?’

Gerindra chairman Prabowo Subianto. Photo: @Prabowo / Instagram
Gerindra chairman Prabowo Subianto. Photo: @Prabowo / Instagram

Presidential candidate and Gerindra chairman Prabowo Subianto is seemingly not on the same wavelength as his campaign team, publicly contradicting them regarding one hotly talked about campaign promise.

On Tuesday, senior members of Prabowo’s campaign team said that if elected, the opposition leader would increase the salary of Indonesian teachers to IDR20 million (US$1,370) to improve the quality of education in Indonesia, and that doing so would not put a strain on the National Budget.

While the promise understandably drew criticism from incumbent President Joko Widodo’s campaign team, who say that such a huge hike is economically unfeasible, Prabowo himself, surprisingly, said that he shares that opinion.

“Increase this, increase that, where are we going to get the money from?” Prabowo said yesterday, as quoted by Suara.

Prabowo added that a salary hike for every teacher in Indonesia would lead to an increase in the country’s debt, of which he claims is compounded by IDR1 trillion per day.

“We are always in debt. Everyday we owe IDR1 trillion. So if I make this promise or that promise, that would mean I’m lying to the people,” he said.

It’s not clear which study that claim — which has been used numerous times by opposition politicians — came from, but it has been evident that ever since President Jokowi took over in 2014, public debt has risen by 40%, leading to promises of economic reforms by Prabowo.

While it’s quite commendable for Prabowo to set the record straight instead of getting people’s hopes up with false promises, question marks will undoubtedly be raised about the lack of harmony and disorganization within his camp.

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