Anies mends ties with Luhut after reclamation dispute
The Jakarta Post
Following a row over the Jakarta Bay reclamation project, Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan and Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan met on Tuesday at a national church convention in Pulogebang, East Jakarta.
Pledging to stop the reclamation project during his campaign, which he said deprived the livelihood of fishermen, Anies’ plans faced a hurdle when the central government lifted the suspension on the projects that were marred by environmental violations.
The governor has since softened his stance by establishing a special body to manage the reclamation projects as mandated by Presidential Decree No. 52/1995 on Jakarta’s northern coast reclamation, the legal basis that started the projects under the administration of former president Soeharto.
At the 2018 National Convention of the Congregation of Batak Protestant Churches (HKBP), Luhut reminisced about when he and Anies were members of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s election campaign in 2014.
“That’s life. I used to be with Pak Anies on the campaign team. That’s the mystery of life, as any religious person should believe that there are mysteries from God that we do not expect,” Luhut said at the Sopo Marpingkir Batak Protestant Church. The minister attended the event in place of the President, who could not attend.
Luhut said the Batak people, like himself, do not hold grudges.
Anies, who is touted as a contender for the presidential election in 2019 against Jokowi, responded to Luhut’s friendly gesture.
“Batak people are known as travelers. If there was life on the moon, there might be a HKBP church there,” he said. (ami/wit)
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