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Jakarta Post

PKB chairman pokes fun at Luhut for 'failing' to prevent Gus Dur's downfall

  • Safrin La Batu

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, March 27, 2017   /   10:37 am
PKB chairman pokes fun at Luhut for 'failing' to prevent Gus Dur's downfall Luhut Pandjaitan (Antara/Puspa Perwitasari)

A funny moment occurred when Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan visited the National Awakening Party’s (PKB) headquarters in Central Jakarta to give a speech in a training program for the party’s politicians on Sunday.

PKB chairman Muhaimin Iskandar praised the political dexterity of Luhut, who is among the closest aides of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. He said that if Luhut had possessed it earlier he could've prevented the downfall of PKB founder and former president Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid.  

The late Gus Dur, an old friend of Luhut who also appointed him to his Cabinet, was impeached by the House of Representatives in 2001 in the wake of corruption allegations surrounding the State Logistics Agency (Bulog).  

“Imagine if Pak Luhut’s political prowess had come at the time when Gus Dur was still president, he would not have been impeached,” Muhaimin said, triggering laughter among the more than 150 people participating in the training, including Luhut.

(Read also: Radicalism has dangerous effect on economy)

 The retired Army general replied by jokingly raising his fist toward Muhaimin who was speaking at the podium.

Pak Luhut’s power came out only recently. Just like a hero [in movies] who wins at last,” Muhaimin said.

“That left only us [PKB] defending Gus Dur, which succeeded in keeping him in power for 22 months. But, that’s not bad,” he added, triggering more laughter.

Luhut served as industry and trade minister when Gus Dur was in office from October 1999 to July 2001. (wit)