Jakarta governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama, right, campaigns in Lenteng Agung, South Jakarta, on Oct. 31. (Antara Photo/Hafidz Mubarak A.)

Crowdfunding for Ahok-Djarot Campaign Earns Rp 18 Billion


DECEMBER 08, 2016

Jakarta. Crowdfunding for Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, who is running for re-election in the Jakarta gubernatorial election next year, and his running mate Djarot Saiful Hidayat, has so far earned them an impressive Rp 18 billion ($1.35 million) with more than 4,000 residents donating their money to the pair as of Dec. 6.

Ahok said he is optimistic about winning the election next year, having seen the public's enthusiasm for his crowdfunding appeal.

"I suppose if you've shown yourself to be honest, not corrupt and impartial, the people will support you. They won't hesitate to donate their hard-earned money to you, either," Basuki said on Thursday (08/12).

He said the crowdfunding money will be used to pay for banners, posters and other promotional materials during his campaign.

The crowdfunding campaign, according to Basuki, is different to traditional political campaigning in Indonesia in that it involves more ordinary members of the public than politicians.

The normal way would be for the candidates to get their campaign fund from private sponsors, which would then oblige them, or their party backers, to "pay them back" if they get elected.

"With this crowdfunding, the only people we will have to answer to if we're elected for a second term would be the ordinary people of Jakarta," Basuki said.

Djarot said he was surprised by the number of people signing on for the crowdfunding program. According to him, the donators did not just come from the middle-class or the upper-class, but also included poorer residents of Jakarta.

"This is just like what happened when I went to Semanan [a subdistrict of West Jakarta]. The residents there spontaneously emptied their wallets for us and we got Rp 570,000 in no time at all. This is outstanding. Thank you," Djarot said.

"This crowdfunding success will also help change people's mind. Contesting a regional election doesn't always have to break the bank," he added.

According to Djarot, the success of the crowdfunding campaign also showed that the Jakarta public still trusts Ahok and himself to continue as their leaders.

"In any case, the amount of money is not the most important thing. What matters most to us is the people's willingness to help us and their sincerity," Djarot said.