General on the bridge

Kumparan – October 30, 2018
General on the bridge

President Joko Widodo (left) announced Saturday that all vehicles will be free to use the 5.4 kilometre Suramadu (Surabaya-Madura) toll bridge connecting the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya and Madura Island without charge claiming the move would help spur economic development on the island.

The announcement however immediately drew criticism for being another pork barrel scheme aimed at boosting votes for Widodo in the 2019 presidential election from traditionally conservative Madura, which is seen as a electoral strong-hold for rival presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto.

Critics have also accused Widodo of seeking to benefit trusted advisor and Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs former TNI General Luhut Binsar Panjaitan (right) who allegedly has extensive business interests on the Island.