M Guruh Nuary, Jakarta – The 212 Reunion is over and proceeded in an orderly fashion. Presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto however has criticised the media over its coverage of the event at the National Monument (Monas) on December 2.
Prabowo highlighted the reports on the number of people attending the event and strongly criticised the media.
“We were viewed with distain, we weren’t deemed worthy, because it was said that we don’t have any money. They covered everything up. The evidence, almost no media was willing to report that there were more than 11 million people who gathered [at the event], this has never before happened in the world”, said Prabowo in a speech at the commemoration of International Disabilities Day at the Grand Sahid Hotel in Jakarta on Wednesday December 5.
Prabowo said that the 212 Reunion was the first time that millions of people gathered without being paid by anyone and said he was surprised over why many of the big media outlets failed to cover the event.
“They paid for themselves and their friends and they wanted to help the ordinary people around them. I don’t think this has ever happened before. But what’s amazing it was well known media, big name media outlets, media which claim to be objective, responsible for defending democracy, yet in fact they must also take responsibility, they are part of an effort to manipulate democracy”, said Prabowo.
The chairperson of the Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) said that there is a massive effort to manipulate democracy. The method, he said, was with money. Prabowo again criticised the press.
“They think that with lots of money, money obtained from questionable practices, crude money from those that get it from stealing ordinary Indonesian’s money, with this money they want to bribe all [social] layers in the Indonesian nation. All layers [of society]. Parpol [political parties] are willing to be bought, government officials everywhere are willing to be bought, they want to lie to the people, they want to brain wash the people with a press which continuously lies about the truth”, he continued.
Prabowo continued his criticism by relating how every morning he receives newspapers from eight media outlets. The former Kopassus (Special Forces) commander claimed that he only looks at the newspapers to find out the latest lies which is being published.
“Ladies and gentlemen, every day I get around five to eight newspapers that arrive at my place, I want to see, what more lies there are, what more lies there are, only that, I just want to see that. What lies do they want to print? And the culmination of this was last Sunday, when they exposed themselves before the Indonesian people. The tens of millions that they didn’t want to report, they betrayed their duty as reporters, their duty as journalists”, said Prabowo.
“I say, ‘Hey to the media that the other day didn’t want to say there were tens of millions of people or at least several million there, you no longer have the right bear the title of journalists. Go ahead and print [the news], you are free to go here and there. I do not recognise you as journalists. There’s no need for me to suggest to you that you respect them anymore, they’re just lackeys, people who want to destroy the Republic of Indonesia’”, concluded Prabowo.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Kritik Prabowo untuk Media Pasca-Reuni 212”.]