Kalla on the Offensive as Prabowo Fields Human Rights Question at Debate

By Dessy Sagita on 11:44 pm Jun 09, 2014
Category News, Politics

Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, second from left, vice presidential candidate Hatta Rajasa, left, presidential candidate Joko Widodo, second from fright, and vice presidential candidate Jusuf Kalla, right, take part in the presidential debate in Jakarta on June 9, 2014. (Reuters Photo/Supri)

Jakarta. The first presidential debate of the 2014 election campaign ended on Monday amid hysteria from both camps’ supporters and an extraordinary attack by Jusuf Kalla against Prabowo Subianto’s human rights record.

Prabowo Subianto and Hatta Rajasa laid out their version for a “constructive democracy,” raising the living standards of millions of Indonesians, while Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla trumpeted a steadier line, pushing their credentials as reformers toward clean government. Joko citing his creation of transparent catalogues for procurement in his capacity as Jakarta governor — Kalla reminding the audience of his credentials as a peacemaker in conflict zones.

Corruption and clean governance were themes throughout the debate, but Prabowo, in particular, looked to enlarge the conversation with some thrusting rhetoric about Indonesia’s supposed subservience — including references to the number of women working abroad as domestic helpers and more general comments to the effect that the country was deserving of greater respect.

Joko seemed content to keep his focus on the need for reforms to improve the bureaucracy and  reduce corruption — and of his record in fighting for pluralism.

“I don’t want to revisit this issue actually, but if you remember Lenteng Agung subdistrict head, Susan, I received protests but said [the decision] was final and cannot be challenged,” he said referring to the Christian ward of Lenteng Agung, South Jakarta.

The surprise of the night came from Kalla, who took his gloves off to question Prabowo’s human rights record.

“I know where you’re going with this Pak,” Prabowo began.

“I am the staunchest human rights defender in this country,” he told hundreds of spectators in Balai Sarbini, adding that as a soldier he had done his best to protect Indonesia’s sovereignty by following his superiors’ orders.

Hatta was also attacked by Kalla.

“Legal certainty must guarantee that discrimination should be eliminated and democracy should guarantee the whole country regardless of their background and religion,” Hatta said.

“Leaders need to obey the law before speaking about legal certainty,” Kalla responded, in an apparent jibe at the five-month probation handed down to Hatta’s son for a traffic accident that killed two people, including an 18-month-old child.

  • Greenbug

    Prabowo-Hatta team seems more aggressive and on the offensive in this first debate but I think viewers would subscribe to Jokowi-Kalla’s frank straight talk…

    • Blade

      Clearly Joko team won the night hands down …it was almost a sucker punch…

  • Soetomo

    Kalla wasn’t so interested in human rights when he ran with Wiranto in 2009… What a fraud.

    • Blade

      please list wiranto crimes?

      • Mustafa

        Wiranto played a role in facilitating severe human rights violations by the Indonesian army and Jakarta-backed militias, during Indonesia’s withdrawal from the occupied territory of East Timor in 1999.
        Both the United Nations and domestic groups have gathered evidence on this, but he continues to deny the charges. In January 2000, an Indonesian commission placed general responsibility for these injustices on Wiranto

        more than 2,000 East Timorese were killed in violence under his watch, as well as 500,000 forced into displacement.


        Indonesian commission 2000


        There is a lot of evidence being ignored on the deeds of many here and a huge pile of denial or ignorance

    • Valkyrie1604

      S…….shows how much you know about politicians.

  • Juli

    When i watched President Debate Candidate last night, i think all candidat is good. Prabowo concern about agriculture sector and Jokowi focus with how to make a good governance. Jokowi said he can make a center system for another places and all provience in Indonesia. I hope Jokowi can do that if people vote Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla for Indonesia President.

    • 1998remembered

      so what about Prabs clearly instability under pressure? Was that good? The last time he was in a position of authority and under pressure the allegedly threw away the acme good soldier handbook and then ran away to Jordon

      Prab and Hatta looked lame to me and far from suitable
      Joko looked better but still not perfect

  • Juli

    My be all candidate is good. Indonesia people can understand what must do for President elction July,9 after Presidential Debate Candidates last night. We hope the best for Indonesia.

    • JohnGalt

      Juli, I am sorry but why would you hope for the best for Indonesia. Hope is what the corrupt and elitists feed you and manipulate to their own benefit. Hope is what will break your heart when yet again a president and his coalition voted into power on the strength of what is said rather than done.

      Rather than hoping for the best, it might be an idea to demand accountability. You are, I take it an Indonesian citizen and are therefore entitled to an accountable clean and well structured and responsive government. This is not something you should hope for but should be demanded as your inalienable right as a citizen.

      One only needs to look at the make up of one candidate over the other. One has the full support of the old guard Suharto cronies and power hungry greedy elitists that show their arrogance in stating the the people need to be educated about democracy and that it should be guided, treated as ignorant by elitists crooks and sociopaths. Whilst the other candidates are supported by technocrats, intelligent individuals and parties, and are willing to implement an accountable and clean governance.

      This is not really a very difficult choice. You have on one hand the Status Quo where corruption and elitism runs rampant and provincial governments will be allowed to rob and steal from the country and ignore central government with impunity and on the other hand a candidate that wants to implement the use of relevant electronic technology to insure good governance and control finical accountability.

      On these single points alone, there is a choice between hope and disappointment or concrete action to insure your country is led by a new breed of people focused on good governance and an end to the atrocities. Atrocities carried out by the black crows clinging desperately to the left overs of power from the Suharto days in order to continue to ruin the country and maintain a nation where 50% of the population live below the poverty line.

      Juli, hope will bring nothing but heartache and bitter disappointment. Action in changing for a better future insures that hope plays no part in the certainty of the growth and development of 240 million people.

      You have really little choice. One is the terminal old guard filled with corruption and vicious criminals that have absolutely no interest in what your hopes and aspirations are, and the other who takes those hopes and aspirations and turns them into realities and provides what you are entitled to as a national of this country.

      • Valkyrie1604

        John….it’s getting better….well done!

  • Educate the masses

    John Galt’s exellent comment should be printed on billboards 10 metres high and erected all over the country, with a slight amendment

    To the People of Indonesia

    “You have, really, a clear choice. One is the terminal old guard filled with
    corruption and vicious criminals that have absolutely no interest in
    what your hopes and aspirations are, and the other is one who takes those hopes
    and aspirations and turns them into the realities that will provide what you are
    entitled to as a national of this country.”

    and in case you still don’t understand – VOTE JOKOWI on 9 July

  • Alex

    the vote is obvious: vote for (1) corruption, intolerance and crime or (2) for Tolerance clean politics and responsibility. i must not write here which teams stand for what.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Budi Joko

    We should not forget, that Hatta was minister of transportation during the time when Adam Air planes crashed and Indonesian airlines were blacklisted in EU. Result of investigation showed shocking negligence at Adam Air, lack of controls that lead to deaths.