The political ramifications of House Speaker Setya Novanto and Deputy Speaker Fadli Zon’s bizarre and controversial appearance at a political press conference in New York for US Republican presidential candidate contender Donald Trump are still being felt 2 weeks on.
After being accused of misconduct for the appearance, which could have been seen as an endorsement of Trump’s campaign, the criticisms against Setya and Fadli have continued to mount, with many noting the outrageous cost of their taxpayer funded trip to the US.
In the wake of the Trump Fiasco (as it has been dubbed by some media) Prabowo Subianto, failed presidential candidate and chairman of the Gerindra Party (the party to which Fadli Zon belongs) has issued a new circular prohibiting Gerindra members in the House of Representatives to do trips abroad.
Fadli has claimed that not only did Prabowo give his permission for the US trip, he also specifically okayed the meeting with Trump. But Gerindra leader Desmond J Mahesa said that the trip was in defiance of Prabowo, who has said that trips abroad only be taken for essential, lawmaking purposes.
Desmond said the new post-Trump circular was in fact only a reiteration of guidelines previously set down by Prabowo back in 2010.
“The prohibition has always been there. So this is just to remind members again,” Desmond said today as quoted by Tempo.
The previously guidelines were issued during another time of economic and asked party members to suspend all plans, either proposed or already approved, to go on working trips abroad. The new circular said basically the same thing.
Of course Desmond said there were some exceptions to the ban, including the fulfillment of essential state durites and monitoring the Hajj.
But by and large, it looks like the Trump fiasco might actually put a stop to politician’s frivolous trips abroad, at least for Gerindra party members.