Getting prestigious awards for being the mayor of Surakarta is not necessarily an indication that Jakarta gubernatorial candidate Joko "Jokowi" Widodo would be the right pick for Jakarta’s top job, according to Burhanuddin Muhtadi, a political analyst from the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI).
Jokowi, who is the mayor of Surakarta in Central Java, was recently singled out as the sole remaining Indonesian mayor among a shortlist of 25 mayors from around the globe who may win the World Mayor Prize, an award given by the World Mayors’ Foundation to those mayors who have made outstanding contributions to their communities.
On June 11, Jokowi also received an e-Government Indonesia Award from the Communications and Information Ministry, which is given to leaders that use technology to better serve the public.
Neither of these awards offers any proof that he would be the best choice for Jakarta governor.
"Being the mayor of a city like Surakarta and a city like Jakarta are two completely different things," Burhanuddin told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday over the phone.
"The populations and the scale [of the cities] are different; the complexities are different and the problems are different."
In terms of population, Burhanuddin noted that Jakarta is a city of 10 million people that tends to increase to 12 million during daily peak hours. In 2010, the Surakarta Central Statistics Agency (BPS) showed that Surakarta, commonly known as Solo, had a population of 499,337.
Then there are Jakarta's chronic flooding and traffic congestion, which make administering Jakarta a whole different ball game.
"At the same time, I think these awards will be valuable capital for Jokowi's campaign. They will certainly help him in the upcoming election," Burhanuddin told the Post.
Jokowi and running mate Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who is a former East Belitung regent, are one of six tickets running for the offices of governor and deputy governor on July 11.
The other tickets are incumbent Governor Fauzi Bowo and running mate Nachrowi Ramli; Hidayat Nurwahid and economist Didik J. Rachbini; South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin and retired general Nono Sampono; economist Faisal Basri and entrepreneur Biem Benjamin; and retired general Hendardji Soepandji and politician Ahmad Riza Patria. (png/swd)