King of Lip Service too polite for Jokowi, Father of Oligarchy more fitting: BEM

CNN Indonesia – July 3, 2021
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo – Undated (Instagram)

Jakarta – Jentera Indonesia School of Law (STH) Student Executive Council (BEM) Chairperson Renie Aryandani says that the nickname "The King of Lip Service" alias "The King of Bragging" for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is still too polite.

The statement was made following Widodo's response to criticism by the University of Indonesia (UI) BEM in which he addressed the issue of being polite and the proper way to do things.

"I myself think, the nickname The King of Lip Service is in fact too polite if compared with what Pak [Mr] Jokowi has been responsible for", said Aryandani during an event organised by Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) on Friday June 2.

"The realisation of his sweet promises has been weakening corruption eradication, ignoring human rights violations, or even in fact becoming an actor of human rights violations himself just in order exploit natural resources and labour", he added.

Aryandani believes that Widodo's policies are for nothing more than providing benefits to the oligarchy. He cited several ways, even though they are unjust, which are pursued to achieve this.

Based on this, he declared that Widodo is the "Father of the Indonesian Oligarchy".

"The president already knows, has already been told, but when he lets it keep happening, why shouldn't we give him another nickname. [Indonesia's founding president] Sukarno was the Father of Proclamation, [former president] Suharto was the Father of Development, it's not wrong if we give president Jokowi the nickname the Father of the Indonesian Oligarchy", he explained.

He then touched on the curbing of democracy which has occurred in various sectors simply to safeguard the interests of the oligarchy.

"For the interests of the oligarchy, democracy has in fact been curbed in various sectors such as for traditional communities, workers, farmers, vulnerable minority groups, students and so forth. They have in fact been gagged and encircled by security forces such as the TNI [Indonesian military] and the Polri [Indonesian police", he added.

Widodo's accomplices

Aryandani said that society, especially students, must not close their eyes to Widodo's accomplices even though they have given a green light to people to express their aspirations and criticisms.

"Whether they be in the form of government influencers, those yearning to be commissioners, officials holding dual positions, or whoever they may be, we must always be careful and safeguard the breath of our struggle", he said.

According to Aryandani, the current government feels very comfortable when there is no oversight from the public and because of this he is asking that a critical attitude be maintained.

Earlier, Widodo responded in a relaxed manner to criticism by the UI BEM who nicknamed him the "The King of Lip Service". Widodo said he understood that the criticism is part of freedom of expression and asked the campus authorities not to obstruct this.

"Yeah, I think this is a form of expression by students and this is a democratic country. So this kind of criticism is allowed. Universities don't need to obstruct students expressing themselves", said Widodo in a recorded video broadcast on the Presidential Secretariat YouTube channel on Tuesday June 29.

Nevertheless, Widodo emphasised that Indonesia has a proper way of doing things and a culture of politeness. (ryn/bmw)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Julukan The King of Lip Service Jokowi Dinilai Terlalu Sopan".]