The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has stressed that the government is not involved in the production of Esemka cars, which increased Jokowi’s popularity in 2012 when he the Surakarta mayor in Central Java.
“Esemka is developed fully by the industry without any involvement of the government in the production,” the Jokowi stated on his Instagram account @jokowi on Thursday.
President Jokowi’s comment on the cars was likely in response to public debate, following a report stating that several of the cars would be released this month based on a remark by Jokowi’s running mate Ma’ruf Amin.
“In October, there will be the launch of the Esemka national car, which was introduced by Pak Jokowi. There will be mass production,” Ma’ruf said on Sept. 29, when speaking at an Islamic boarding school in Jember, East Java, as reported by tribunnews.com.
Politicians from opposition parties criticized the timing of the launch of the Esemka car, months before the presidential election, claiming it was a move to boost the popularity of the President.
Jokowi explained that the Esemka car had been designed by a vocational school (SMK) in Surakarta with help from technicians working in the automotive industry. He stressed that the duty of the government was to encourage that the cars passed emission tests and to assure that they were roadworthy. (bbn)