The Indonesian Voters Institute (LPI) on Monday named Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo and five others as public figures who actively promote pluralism in the country.
“According to me, pluralism and differences are gifts,” the governor said after receiving the title. “We should not question [pluralism]: instead it should be strengthened, not diminished.”
Joko cited the example of his decision to maintain Jasmine Susan Zulkifli as the urban ward chief of the Lenteng Agung ward despite some members of the public calling for her ouster for her being a female and a Christian.
“If I give in just once, others will demand the same, and this can spread to our whole motherland, especially since it has been in the media’s spotlight,” he said.
The other recipients included the chairperson of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) Megawati Sukarnoputri, Prabowo Subianto, founder and patron of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party, National Democrat Party (NasDem) chairman Surya Paloh, chief patron of the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura) Hary Tanoesoedibjo and Ali Masykur Musa, a member of the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK).
Ali said that pluralism was a must for Indonesia and vowed to continue his fight to maintain its presence in the country.
“No one can disturb this, because there will be no Indonesia without pluralism,” Ali said.
LPI is a pro-democracy non-governmental organization lead by Bony Hargens. The Jakarta Globe