Said Iqbal accuses Anies Baswedan campaign team members of meddling in union

CNN Indonesia – August 4, 2023
Anies Baswedan Team 8 member Sudirman Said – Undated (CNN)

Jakarta – Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) President Said Iqbal is furious with a member of Anies Baswedan's Team 8 election campaign team, Sudirman Said, for meddling (mengobok-obok – to ruin, upset, tip over, turn upside down) in the KSPI.

Iqbal claims to have received a report from his members about Sudirman disrupting the KSPI.

"I ask Sudirman Said, Doctor Rohman, who are [members of] Anies' success team not to meddle in the KSPI, because you are meddling with the elite, not [just union] members. I think that these members, who you are meddling with, are KSPI elite", said Iqbal during a Labour Party video conference in Jakarta on Friday August 4.

Iqbal was alluding to Sudirman's attendance at an event held in Tegal, Central Java. He believes that Sudirman's actions are an open declaration of war against his organisation.

"Pak [Mr] Sudirman Said and Doctor Rohman, so I was rather surprised, he came to an event in Tegal, I consider this an open war against the Labour Party", he said.

Iqbal is asking Baswedan to remind his team to hold to ethics in politics. He also threatened that if it continues the Labour Party would not declare its support for Baswedan as a presidential candidate (capres).

"So, Pak Anies, tell your volunteer team to be more polite and courteous and not to play people off against each other, we could be left choosing from the other two capres", he said.

Iqbal warned them that the organisation he heads has a huge base of mass support. He also asked that Baswedan's volunteers stop creating an uproar in the KSPI.

"We have a membership base that is strong, don't attack us, don't underestimate us, don't disrupt things, don't meddle in things, especially meddling in the KSPI, meddling in the KSPI, someone of Sudirman Said's stature interfering. Don't, okay, I'm warning you don't, moreover be negative. Sudirman Said is interfering to be point of meddling in the KSPI", he said.

Sudirman meanwhile says that he did not intend to cause internal disruption in the trade unions, especially the KSPI. He said that he respects the political position of all the trade unions.

"There was absolutely no intent to disturb the our working friends' organisational sovereignty. We respect the political position of all organisations including the National Trade Union (SPN)", said Sudirman when contacted by CNN Indonesia on Friday.

Sudirman claims he was only invited to attend the SPN declaration event to support Baswedan in the 2024 presidential elections.

"We were invited and attended the final session of the special national coordinating meeting to receive the SPN's position statement. My presence was only to receive the position statement which I passed on to Pak Anies Baswedan", he said.

Based on documents received by CNN Indonesia, the SPN's Central Leadership Board (DPP) has declared its support for Baswedan, the presidential candidate being backed by the Coalition for Change and Unity (KPP). The declaration was held at the Plaza Hotel in Tegal on Thursday August 3.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Said Iqbal Geram ke Tim 8 Anies: Sudirman Said Jangan Obok-obok KSPI".]