The Jakarta Post
Presidential candidates Prabowo Subianto and Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo focused almost specifically on the issue of welfare when they discussed foreign policy and national security in their third debate at the Holiday Inn in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, on Sunday evening.
Prabowo said the key to a country creating good foreign policies was based on the welfare of its people. He said that if many Indonesians were living in poverty while most of the country's assets were falling in the hands of foreign owners, it was unlikely that Indonesia would be able to focus on foreign relations.
Emphasizing the importance of people's welfare, Prabowo said that despite the effectiveness of dialogue, Indonesia needed to build its hard power, including the military ' one of the keys to gaining respect from other countries.
Prabowo went on to say that many countries relied on sea routes that passed Indonesian borders and in this regard the issue of maritime security had become essential.
'If I'm elected in the July 9 presidential election, I will focus first and foremost on the welfare of our people,' said Prabowo.
The third debate began at 7:45 p.m., or 15 minutes later than the initial schedule. University of Indonesia international law expert Hikmahanto Juwana moderated the debate, which was broadcast live on ANTV and TVOne.
On foreign policy, Jokowi said he and his running mate, Jusuf Kalla, would set four things as priorities, namely protecting Indonesian citizens, safeguarding natural and maritime resources, maintaining regional security and supporting Palestine to become a sovereign country and a United Nations (UN) member state.
He said stronger relations between governments, business players and people were essential for ensuring that targets could be achieved.
Jokowi further said that if elected, he would focus on improving the welfare of military personnel and modernizing the defense industry, especially 'cyber and hybrid defense'.
Citing an example, Jokowi said illegal fishing in Indonesian waters had caused Rp 300 trillion (US$25 billion) in state losses. 'To protect the country's natural resources, drones should be set up to monitor illegal fishing activities, as well as illegal logging, in three different points in Indonesia,' he said. (fss/ebf)
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