Minister Luhut won't reveal big data supporting election postponement to public

Detik News – March 16, 2022
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan – Undated (Istimewa)

Eva Safitri, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has spoken out about the big data which he claims shows that 110 million social media users want the 2024 elections postponed.

He claims the data really does exist, but does not want to reveal it to the public. "Yes, of course it exists, how could I be lying. Yes but no way, what's the point in revealing it [to the public]?", said Panjaitan at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Jakarta on Tuesday March 15.

Pandjaitan also did not explain any further about the big data, saying only that technology is currently developing rapidly. "It's like this, technology now is developing rapidly, yes, so that is all that I can say", he said.

Pandjaitan then revealed the reasons why he has raised the discourse on postponing the 2024 legislative and presidential elections. He said that he has received a number of complaints from the public about holding the elections in 2024.

"In my case, I just look at what ordinary people are saying, as I've already conveyed, why are the ordinary people asking, as I have grasped it, yeah, I may be correct or I may not be correct, 'Right now everything's calm and peaceful, right', and second 'why spend so much money', right, many feel like that about the pilpres [presidential election], wanting to waste all that money now. 'Please later on okay, we're still busy with Covid-19, right, the situation's still like this' and so on, that's what I get asked. 'Why have we got to rush it?', 'we're tired of kadrun against kadrun' [a political epithet meaning desert lizard for narrow minded people, extremists], like that, that was term before. We want peace and quiet, that's all it actually is", he said.

Pandjaitan said that the proposal to postpone the elections is part of democracy and that it will go through a process at the House of Representatives (DPR) and then the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR).

"It will all go through a process, right, if later the process proceeds as far as the DPR, yes then great, If the DPR doesn't agree then yes, it stops, if the DPR agrees and when it reaches the MPR they don't agree, yes, then it stops, yes, that's what our democracy is like, why get so angry about it? Where's the wrong in it?", he said.

Pandjaitan then responded to the issue of him summoning senior political party leaders over the discourse about postponing the elections. Pandjaitan denies this. "It didn't happen", replied Pandjaitan when asked whether or not he had summoned senior political party leaders.

Luhut's big data

The big data issue was conveyed by Pandjaitan during a #closethedoor podcast on the Deddy Corbuzier YouTube channel on Friday March 11.

During the discussion with Deddy, Pandjaitan explained that the government has big data recording the public's wishes from social media on the 2024 elections.

"Because it's like this, we have big data, I wanted to see, we have big data, and this big data, it covers around 110 million [users], yeah, 110 million, all kinds, Facebook, all kinds [of social media platforms], because the people using Twitter are around 110 million", said Pandjaitan.

Based on this data, Pandjaitan explained, the middle- to lower-classes want a peaceful and clam social and political situation. The public, said Pandjaitan, doesn't want a political uproar and prefers to see the economic situation improve.

"So the middle- and lower[-classes], basically they want peace and quiet, want to talk about the economy, they don't want it to be like before [during the last presidential election]. Before we all got a tooth ache, right with all the kampret [a derogatory term for Prabowo Subianto's supporters], the cebong [a derogatory term for President Joko Widodo's supporters], the kadrun, it gave rise to bad things, right. How could we want a continuation of that", he said.

Still speaking on the big data Pandjaitan claims to have, he said that the Indonesian people are critical about the more than 100 trillion rupiah which will be spent on the 2024 elections. A budget of hundreds and trillions of rupiah in funds has indeed already been submitted by the General Elections Commission (KPU) to the DPR and the government for the elections.

These remarks by Pandjaitan were then widely criticised by many parties who oppose postponing the elections. (eva/haf)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Luhut Ogah Buka Big Data Netizen Dukung Tunda Pemilu: Buat Apa Dibuka?".]