[By Jakarta Globe on 11:43 am August 3, 2013]
“Don’t wait for 2019, because that would be too late. Now is the right time to go forward,” economic expert Faisal Basri said in Jakarta on Thursday.
Faisal said his status as a former competitor to Joko in the gubernatorial election did not prevent him from recognizing that Joko was the best choice to lead Indonesia from among the current crop of presidential hopefuls.
According to Faisal, the limited supply of human resources to support Joko’s programs for the capital city was among one of the biggest challenges faced by the administration. By contrast, said Faisal, upon being elected president, Joko would have the opportunity to assemble a cabinet of 30 individuals whom he believed could best assist him to improve the nation.
Echoing Faisal’s opinions is Ahmad Syafii Ma’arif, the former leader of Muhammadiyah, the second-largest Islamic organization in the country.
After a closed meeting with the governor on Thursday, Syafii said he had expressed his support and admiration of the governor’s current leadership of the country’s capital.
“I told him [Joko], if you can be successful in Jakarta, then lead this nation,” he said as quoted by Tempo.co.
According to Syafii, Joko fulfills all prerequisites to run as Indonesia’s top leader in the upcoming election. However, he maintained that it would be best if the governor proved himself through his work in Jakarta before making the transition to national politics.
Joko has continued to top various polls related to the presidential election, surging ahead of many big names including former Army general Prabowo Subianto and even Megawati Sukarnoputri, the chairwoman of the Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), of which Joko is a member.
However, the governor has remained reticent, refusing to discuss the presidency, let alone make claims that he is ready for the “big time.”
In response to the recent polls, Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama said he fully supported of the idea of Joko running for president.
“He deserves it. He is a decision maker and he has no conflicting interests,” Basuki said on Friday as quoted by Tempo.co.
“Today the public no longer believes in leadership. Joko is a trustworthy man in everything that he does. Because once a distrusted person leads, how can the public be managed?”
Faisal Basri is currently senior lecturer at the Faculty of Economics, University of Indonesia and Chief of Advisory Board of Indonesia Research & Strategic Analysis (IRSA). His area of expertise and discipline covers Economics, Political Economy, and Economic Development.
His prior engagement includes Economic Adviser to the President of Republic of Indonesia on economic affairs (2000); Head of the Department of Economics and Development Studies, Faculty of Economics at the University of Indonesia (1995-98); and Director of Institute for Economic and Social Research at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Indonesia (1993-1995), the Commissioner of the Supervisory Commission for Business Competition (2000-2006); Rector, Perbanas Business School (1999-2003).
He was the founder of the National Mandate Party where he was served in the Party as the first Secretary General and then the Deputy Chairman responsible for research and development. He quit the Party in January 2001. He has actively been involved in several NGOs, among others is The Indonesian Movement.
Faisal Basri was educated at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Indonesia where he received his BA in 1985 and graduated with an MA in economics from Vanderbilt University, USA, in 1988.