Jakarta – The Labour Party considers it normal for Indonesian police chief (Kapolri) General Listyo Sigit Prabowo to have attended the commemoration of the May Day Fiesta 2022 at the Bung Karno Sports Stadium (GBK) in Jakarta on Saturday May 14.
"It's normal, the Kapolri attending a May Day commemoration. The large number of participants who came from various regions across three provinces was the logical reason", said Labour Party Victory and Attendance Strategic Studies Division head Said Salahudin in an official explanation on Sunday May 15.
Salahudin also believes that Prabowo gave greetings to the event because he did indeed want to express his appreciation to the workers who maintained security and order at the event despite the presence of tens of thousands of people.
"He also attended in the framework of conveying International Labour Day greetings as well as explaining workers' contribution to Indonesian economic development, particularly from the aspect of security", said Salahudin.
Related to this, he also interpreted the police chief's attendance as a form of respect for labour leaders such as Labour Party President and Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) President Said Iqbal and Confederation of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI) President Andi Gani Nena Wea, who showed their commitment by limiting the number of participants at the May Day Fiesta.
Around 65,000 workers attended the event yesterday. This is less than the initial estimate of 170,000 workers due to a request from the police and the Covid-19 Task Force.
During the event Prabowo also gave a speech. Not only that, he also led workers in singing the patriotic song For You My Country (Bagimu Negeri).
"Perhaps in order to express our love for our country, may I be allowed to lead our friends in singing one of our patriotic songs? If you agree, let us all stand up", said Prabowo before the mass of workers.
The workers then stood up and sang, with the song For You My Country reverberated across the GBK Stadium.
In his speech, Prabowo said that workers are playing an important role in the national economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic over the last two years. He said that Indonesia's economy is currently beginning to recover with a growth rate of 5 percent.
According to Prabowo, this economic growth rate is far higher that many advanced countries. He also asserted that this economic growth cannot be separated from the role of workers. Representing the government, he expressed his thanks to the workers. (pop/has)
Because May Day this year fell on the first day of the Lebaran holidays following the Islamic fasting month, when millions of people return to their hometowns, peak trade unions groups behind the Labour Party such as the KSPI and the KSBSI opted to hold major rallies on May 14. A smaller rally by the same groups was held in front of the General Elections Commission (KPU) building in Central Jakarta on May 1.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Partai Buruh Nilai Wajar Kapolri Hadiri May Day Fiesta 2022".]