Prabowo Clarifies Commitment to Democracy

By N Mark Castro

Prabowo-PresidenkuIndonesian Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto responds to inquiries regarding his perceived anti-democratic statements made earlier. In this post, Prabowo said:

“I think sometimes or many times my comments have been taken out of context, or not in the complete version. I was asked in that session; that was a session concerning culture. I was asked by the delegation, a senior cultural figure in Indonesian society. He asked me what my opinion was, because in our national ideology – Pancasila – the wording of the clause to describe our version of democracy, we call it kerakyatan[meaning government by the people, for the people] – in the version kerakyatan is guided by what we call hikmah melalui permusyaratan perwakilan [short hand interpretation for a reference for the Fourth Principle of Pancasiila], consultative discussions by representation.

“So the direction of the question was, that many in Indonesian social and cultural leaders feel that basically our version of democracy should emphasise more on consultative consensus building through representation, so basically the essence is that democracy in our original constitution actually is more in line with Westminster Parliamentary democracy. This was the general direction of their thought.

“It’s not democracy versus authoritarian government. I sort of sense where you want to lead this question. Because I am being created as somebody who is anti-democracy. That I want authoritarian government. I want to go back to the New Order! (laughs and applause from audience). Please be assured. I am a democrat (applause). I believe in democracy. I was a soldier. I was a professional soldier. And I swore an oath to the Indonesian constitution to protect the constitution of the Republic. So I always uphold the constitutional power. That’s why I’m in politics. I’ve been politics already for what – nearly ten years? This is my third general election. So I do it the hard way. I don’t go assemble tanks and take over Parliament House, no haha (laughs from audience; more applause).

The confusion could have been avoided altogether if a more cohesive message was delivered and if his communications team were quick to respond on potential issues that could have been misconstrued.

With the presidential elections shaping up to be a much closer fight than anticipated, and with the momentum siding towards presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, it is all the more imperative that the entire team deliver —




Come July 9, a little over 150 million registered voters across 17,000 islands in the Republic of Indonesia will vote for its president. Congratulations for demonstrating a strong commitment towards democracy and upholding the unity in diversity.

Vote Wisely.



About Asmartrock

N. Mark Castro is the Southeast Asia Director of JUMP DIGITAL Asia, which is an internationally-awarded and fully integrated digital marketing agency with 5 out of 10 offices in the ASEAN region. He is also the Secretary General of the Philippine Business Club Indonesia, managing and assisting the traffic of investments between the Philippines and Indonesia. He shuttles between Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Singapore, Cambodia, and Australia. The views posted here are his own and do not in any way reflect the views of the companies he represents.

Posted on July 1, 2014, in General, Politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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