BTP, or the ex-Jakarta governor formerly known as Ahok, speaks to the camera in one of the vlogs on his YouTube channel, 'Call Me BTP.' (JG Screenshot)

Former Jakarta Governor BTP Explains Why He Rejoins PDI-P, Throws Shade on New Political Parties


APRIL 14, 2019

Jakarta. BTP, the acronym for Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the ex-Jakarta governor formerly known as Ahok, uploaded another vlog on YouTube on Saturday (13/04) to explain why he decided to rejoin the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) straight after his release from the Mako Brimob prison, where he spent two years on blasphemy charges.

The barely five-minute video, titled "Why I Chose PDI Perjuangan" is uploaded on the ex-governor's "Panggil Saya BTP" ("Call Me BTP") YouTube channel. In the video, BTP also urged his supporters to vote for PDI-P candidates in Wednesday's legislative election.

"PDI-P is the only trustworthy party in this election. If you believe in me, vote for PDI-P. Help us get 30 percent [of the votes]. I myself will work hard to help PDI-P get over that target," BTP said.

BTP said the 2019 elections are no longer just about a power struggle, but also an ideological one. He revealed that one of the main reasons why he had rejoined PDI-P was because the party has been a stout defender of Pancasila, Indonesia's national ideology.

"This election is not just about securing DPR [House of Representative] seats. But also about defending our ideology, the Pancasila, and also our 1945 Constitution, our 'Bhinneka Tunggal Ika' ['Unity in Diversity'] motto and ultimately the unity of our country," BTP said in the video. 

BTP said he had taken note of emerging new parties in this year's election, which reminded him of the time he had joined the New Indonesia Association Party (PIB) in 2004, at the start of his fast-rising but ultimately turbulent political career. 

"At that time, I thought the new political parties were 'cleaner' and more efficient. The days of the old, massive political parties were over. That was me in 2004," BTP said.

"But then what happened? The only thing we managed to do was take votes from PDI-P," BTP said. 

PIB won fewer than 1 percent of the votes in the 2004 election.

"I don't want to repeat my mistake [of joining a new party]. This is the time for us to get PDI-P that 30 percent of the votes," BTP said.

In an apparent dig at the current new political parties, BTP quoted Abraham Lincoln in the video, "If you want to test someone's character, give him power."

"If people keep yelling about things, that [means] they have never felt power, they've never been tested," BTP said.

According to him, if President Jokowi wins his much anticipated re-election, the next government should have the support of a strong nationalist party. 

"Even though I'm a nobody now, not in politics anymore, I can't be anything anymore, let's get PDI-P over that 30 percent barrier, for the sake of our children," BTP said. 


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