Abdul Qowi Bastian
Just a month after incumbent Jakarta governor Fauzi Bowo told Jakarta fire victims to move to Solo if they picked Solo Mayor Jokowi over him, Nachrowi Ramli, Fauzi’s running mate, made an equally controversial statement on Monday, telling Betawi people to leave the capital if they don’t choose Betawi candidates.
Nachrowi, who is the head of the Betawi Community Consultative Body (Bamus Betawi), issued the statement during a gathering organized by the city-run body, which was attended by members of the Betawi community, the native ethnic group in Jakarta.
“Let me remind you again; there’s no other choice. Betawi people can please leave [Jakarta] if they don’t pick Betawi candidates,” said Nachrowi, as quoted by kompas.com.
But Nachrowi, who is also the head of the Jakarta chapter of the Democratic Party, specified that Monday’s event, called “Lebaran Betawi,” was not intended for campaigning purposes.
Both Fauzi and Nachrowi are indigenous Betawi people, and Fauzi in particular has long boasted about his Betawi roots since he first campaigned for governor in 2007.
The pair will face off Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, the mayor of the Central Java town of Solo, and his running mate Basuki T. “Ahok” Purnama in the election runoff scheduled for Sept. 20.
Fauzi came under fire last month when he told fire victims in Karet Tengsin, Central Jakarta, to move to Solo if they picked Jokowi over him.
“Who will you vote for?” Fauzi asked the victims. “If you vote for Jokowi, [then] just build [your new houses] in Solo,” the incumbent said during a visit to then homeless Karet Tengsin residents in early August.
Fauzi, who also attended the Monday’s Lebaran Betawi gathering, spoke at length about his achievements during his five-year tenure. He said his accomplishments could clearly be felt, and included free basic education, reduced poverty, successful flood management and a growing per capita income among residents.
“If you go to Singapore, the health services are similar to Puskesmas [community health centers] in Jakarta,” Fauzi said on Monday about what he called Jakarta’s improved health services .