Jokowi fumes over pork barrel accusation on subdistrict fund
Marguerite Afra Sapiie
The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has finally grown tired of accusations that his administration's plan to disburse funds to subdistricts across the country was a political move ahead of his reelection bid next year.
Speaking at an event where he was distributing land certificates in South Jakarta, Jokowi railed against the accusations surrounding the funds, which will be allocated to subdistricts to repair infrastructure such as roads and drainage systems.
"This is the government's commitment to the people, not for anyone else, so don't equate this issue to politics," he said on Tuesday. "Too much things are being equated to politics, while there is so much more to life than politics such as social issues, the economy and culture."
Opposition politicians said Jokowi's subdistrict funds plan was political, with Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) senior politician Hidayat Nur Wahid asking why the government had made the move months prior to the presidential election.
Jokowi warned the public to be careful about politicians who tried to influence them with their remarks. "Be careful, there are many good politicians but there are also many foolish politicians."
The funds will be disbursed to every subdistrict in the country, including ones located in cities. It will be drawn from the 2019 state budget (APBN) through the general allocation fund (DAU) scheme.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani had approved the funds and said the amount would be Rp 3 trillion (US$197 million), according to kontan.co.id. The amount, the minister added, would be taken from the Rp 73 trillion village fund.
According to the Home Ministry, there were 8,545 subdistricts across the country and each would receive around Rp 350 million. (wit)
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