Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama poses with actress Astrid Tiar at his Rumah Lembang campaign headquarters in Central Jakarta in this Nov. 18, 2016 file photo. (Antara Photo/Hafidz Mubarak A.)

Ahok Emphasizes Social Justice, Not Cash Handouts, to Improve Jakartans' Lives


DECEMBER 05, 2016

Jakarta. Incumbent Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama said direct financial aid would not comprehensively solve the social problems in Jakarta and that social justice is the key to improving people's lives.

Speaking at his Rumah Lembang campaign headquarters in Central Jakarta on Monday (05/12), Ahok said social justice tends to teach people to spend and give money with sincerity, and that cash handouts do not achieve that.


Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, one of Ahok's opponents in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election, declared recently that if elected, he would follow the example of his father, former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, whose government routinely handed out cash grants to the poor.

Ahok said he would never support social aid in terms of handing out cash to his constituents.

"A public servant's job is to administer social justice. In the climate of this gubernatorial election, promising direct financial aid is not right," Ahok said, implying that this could be considered money politics.

The city administration already launched the Jakarta Smart Card, which provides children from poor households with free access to education until senior high school. This system greatly reduces opportunities for misuse, such as exchanging benefits for cash.

Ahok said he would introduce a new system in the future, called the Jakarta One Card, which would provide people with state assistance in times of major catastrophes.

The governor also highlighted his policy related to low-cost apartments, or rusun, which provide residents with a complete package of services.

"In the rusun, people can learn anything, sing, dance or take English lessons. I want to encourage young people living in the rusun to be more confident," he said. "So please tell your friends and colleagues to choose me in the election so that I can administer social justice."