Ahok should not step down

Recently the Governor of Jakarta Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (otherwise known as Ahok) was threatened by Indonesia’s House of Local Representatives to step down from his position as Governor. The story of why this happened, goes like this:

The way it works in Indonesia is that the Governor would create a budget plan for Jakarta. The budget is then to be approved by the House of Local Representatives (DPRD) before it can be given to the Ministry of Home Affairs. Corruption is very common in the political system and within government but anyone who follows Indonesian current affairs would know that Ahok is immensely repelled by corruptors. Ahok found out that the budget that was approved by the DPRD was in fact not the one he had created. The DPRD, who are rich men and women who own their own businesses and have vested interests in decisions made, altered the document to put in projects that use state budget to make money for their businesses and themselves. Ahok’s rage grew and so he gave the Ministry of Home Affairs, who is supposed approve the budget, his original budget so that the minister may see the difference between the one he and his office originally made, and the one ‘revised’ by the DPRD.

Now the masses (such as you and me) have all claimed that we are against corruption. This could be seen in the ‘Save KPK (Corruption Eradication Commission)’ movement when it was under attack from the National Police. This contradicts the messages that swirl around meeting rooms, cafes and activist headquarters. The nation was split. Though we all advocate for a non-corrupt government it seems as though when it comes down to picking a side, we are still confused.

Ahok has broken the rules, the law, in giving the Ministry of Home Affairs the unapproved budget but I don’t believe he is at the wrong. I have had the luxury of being able to shadow the governor for a week in October last year as part of work experience and from what I can see, he is quite an amazing governor. He has even inspired me to take political science as a major in university. He has a Robin Hood mentality. No he does not steal from the rich and give to the poor but, just like Robin Hood, he would do what he think is right even if it means breaking the law. He has a deep hatred for corruptors, sometimes in his office he would talk about how bad corruption is to his employees just like a grandfather talks about the war to his grandchildren (not slow and boring butfilled with emotions).

Ahok has also left his political party because he felt that the political party was pressuring him to make certain decision he does not necessarily want to make. The head of a faction in Gerindra (Ahok’s former political party) M Taufik just happens to be the Vice Chairman of tthe DPRD. He is currently still angry that Ahok left his political party because then he could not exert his influence over the decisions made for the city of Jakarta. Because the opportunity arrived, he threatened to remove Ahok from his position as Governor which then inspired many petitions to save his position as Governor.

In my opinion Ahok will remain as Governor due to his popularity and that the legal process to remove him from power is a lengthy one and to be perfectly honest, I would much rather have a Governor who occasionally breaks the law to show people the truth than a House of Representatives that try to get rid of those people trying to expose the dirty truths about their corrupt ways. Furthermore, don’t these people have better things to do than try to exact revenge? Jakarta is still in disarray with its pot hole infested roads, bad drainage system and the occasional threat of floods. I believe M Taufik should stop being a child and just get on with his work, the one that the tax payers paid him to do.


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