Said Iqbal now says Ahok was ‘a better protector of the people’ than new Jakarta governor Baswedan

Source – November 2, 2017
KSPI president Said Iqbal in Jakarta - Januar 19, 2016 (Kompas)
KSPI president Said Iqbal in Jakarta - Januar 19, 2016 (Kompas)

David Oliver Purba, Jakarta – Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) president Said Iqbal says that former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama or Ahok had far more courage in setting the provincial minimum wage (UMP) than the current Jakarta governor and deputy governor, Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno.

“It turns out that Ahok had far more courage and was a better protector of the people in setting the UMP compared with [the new Jakarta governor and deputy governor] Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno who prefer to make loose promises”, said Iqbal in a written statement received by on Thursday November 2.

Iqbal said that in determining the Jakarta UMP for 2016, Ahok did not use calculations based on Government Regulation Number 78/2015 on Wages (PP No 78). Ahok instead raised the 2016 UMP by 14.8 percent, yet if he had used the PP No 78 the increase would have been only around 10.8 percent.

Ahok, according to Iqbal, used the PP No 78 when setting the 2017 Jakarta UMP at 3.3 million rupiah a month. Baswedan also used the PP No 78 when setting the 2018 UMP which became 3.6 million rupiah, an increase of around 8.71 percent.

Setting the UMP, he continued, should not be based on PP No 78 but Law Number 13/2003 on Labour (UU No 13/2003).

The calculation of the UMP according to PP No 78 is based on inflation and economic growth, while the calculation of the UMP according to UU No 13/2003 is based on the reasonable living cost index (KHL), inflation and economic growth.

If it was based on this formulation, said Iqbal, a reasonable UMP for Jakarta would be 3.9 million.

“So (Anies-Sandi) lied and broke their own promises in the political contract which they both officially signed with workers that make up the Jakarta Labour Coalition”, said Iqbal.

Baswedan and Uno signed a political contract with workers during the 2017 Jakarta regional election. In the political contract it stated that there was an agreement that Baswedan and Uno would not set the Jakarta UMP based on PP No 78.

On the other hand, Iqbal said that Ahok and Baswedan both prioritise the interests of employers rather than workers.


KSPI president Said Iqbal, who supported former Special Forces (Kopassus) commander retired General Prabowo Subianto’s failed 2014 presidential bid, also supported the Prabowo backed Baswedan-Uno ticket in the 2017 Jakarta regional elections. In late 2016 the KSPI leadership setup a coalition of workers in the form of the Indonesian Labour Movement (GPI) and the Indonesian Muslim Workers’ Movement (GMPI) in order to take part the anti-Ahok demonstrations by hard-line Muslim groups known as the Defend Islam Actions, which eventually saw Ahok being charged and later jailed for blasphemy and loosing the election to Baswedan.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was Said Iqbal: Ternyata Ahok Jauh Lebih Ksatria Ketimbang Anies-Sandi.]