Maulana – Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan claims he was surprised to hear that the Indonesian government is often accused of being communist.
Panjaitan then asked his friend Prabowo Subianto – who is also the Defense Minister – about this. He asked for Prabowo's opinion on why the government is often accused of being pro-communist.
"I like talking with Pak [Mr] Prabowo, 'Woh, what's with this, we're not communist, where are the communists?'. We're confused", said Panjaitan during a Retired Army Generals Association (PPAD) National Meeting in Sentul, Bogor, on Friday August 5.
Panjaitan explained that Indonesia's relationship with China is limited to trade cooperation. According to Pandjaitan, the cooperation built with China is because the country doesn't dictate too much.
According to Panjaitan, China is prepared to sell the best technology. China, he said, is also not reluctant to transfer technology that they control to Indonesia.
Panjaitan also explained that cooperation with Russia is only in the area of trade. Indonesia has not established cooperation in relation to the application of communist ideology.
"I only just found out the other day in Russia that apparently Putin isn't from the Communist Party. Pak Try [Sutrisno, a former general and vice president during the Suharto era]. He's from the Russian United Party", he said.
Panjaitan asserted that the Indonesian government has not just opened itself up to investment from China but has begun to sound out cooperation with investors from western countries, including the United States.
"Ford already signed up last week, America is already here. Tesla is still in process", he asserted.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Saat Luhut Tanya Prabowo tentang Indonesia Kerap Dituduh Komunis".]