Issues of the day: Fauzi makes offensive remark to fire victims
Paper Edition | Page: 8
Aug. 9, Online
A video of Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo’s visit to fire victims in Karet Tengsin, Central Jakarta, on Tuesday sparked angry comments over his off-the-cuff remark to the evacuees staying at the public cemetery.
TV news channel footage uploaded on YouTube showed Fauzi, who is running against Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in the September runoff election, questioning the victims’ choice in the election.
“Now, who will you choose? If [you] choose Jokowi, you’d better build [homes] in Solo,” he said, referring to the popular name of Surakarta, the city where Jokowi currently serves as mayor.
Dozens of victims, who were staying in temporary makeshift shelters at the Karet Bivak public cemetery, chuckled.
“Of course [we will choose] you,” one victim said.
At least 1,695 people lost their homes when a fire blazed through a crowded residential area near Jl. Sudirman on Monday. The fire burned down 405 houses and 200 kiosks.
Perhaps he felt that it was only a joke, but for fire victims, who lost their houses and their things, it is in very bad taste.
It hurt their feelings. It showed the governor has no sympathy and couldn’t feel what the victims felt. He only cares about his own popularity.
Nofian Al Elzas
What a pathetic and insensitive man Fauzi is. If he had been a good governor, aware of the needs of the city and its ordinary inhabitants, incidents such as this fire would not have occurred.
Walter John Gomm
It seems Fauzi is trying hard to get reelected. He has spent huge amount of money to the first round: several times more than Jokowi.
As Jokowi said: “To fight against Fauzi is to fight a giant!”
However, it is the Jakartans who will decide. Either they are aware of what leadership Jakarta really needs or just happy with the small amount of cash they might receive to elect Fauzi.
Even if his intention was purely to joke, to comment like that at that time was just downright ugly and unprofessional.
People really need help, not just comments. Fauzi only cares about his own position.