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Jakarta Post

Canisius College alumni declare support for Jokowi-Ma’ruf pair

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, February 3, 2019   /   04:18 pm
Canisius College alumni declare support for Jokowi-Ma’ruf pair Presidential candidate Joko Widodo makes a statement during the first presidential debate on Jan. 18. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

Prominent alumni of Canisius College in Jakarta have declared support for the Joko “Jokowi” Widodo-Ma’ruf Amin pair and vowed to fight against the spread of hoaxes and fake news in campaigning for the incumbent president and his running mate.

Among the alumni are Ginandjar Kartasasmita, Airlangga Hartarto, Wimar Witoelar, Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, Prof. Harijono Djojodiharjo, Akbar Tanjung, Sofyan Wanandi and J. Wishenda.

The declaration event was held at Gedung Joeang 45 museum in Central Jakarta on Sunday. It was also attended by senior members of the Jokowi campaign such as Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto,

Alumni from other Jakarta schools, such as Pangudi Luhur, SMAN 7 high school, SMAN 3 high school, De Britto College and SMAN 6 high school, also attended the political event. 

"Only leaders who can serve the people are able to advance Indonesia further. And Pak Jokowi has proven his ability to do that," said Irlan Suud, the head of the declaration committee.

"The reason [voters] should vote for Jokowi is that we are already experienced. Kanisius alumni like Agus Gumiwang and I participate in the control of the government, so it is only natural [for us to choose Jokowi]," said Airlangga, the current industry minister and Golkar party chairman.

To help Jokowi win the election in the capital, the group introduced the slogan #JokowikanJakarta (#MakeJakartaJokowi) and vowed to combat fake news targeting the sitting President.

“Elections are won in the ballot box, not with noise and fake news,” said Kanisius College alumnus Wimar Witoelar.

Wimar is the founder of Intermatrix Communications and former spokesperson during the Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid era.

He said voters should maintain a “sane mind” and focus on the quality of the candidates instead of the hoaxes revolving around them.

President Jokowi claimed he had been a victim of hoaxes and smear campaigns targeting his faith, his background and policies after he was elected president in 2014.

Jokowi has often been portrayed as anti-Islam and being connected to the now-defunct Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). The President has repeatedly denied the accusations.

Earlier this year, the General Elections Commission (KPU) reported several people for spreading false online information that seven containers of ballots from China had been found in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta. The ballots, they falsely claimed, had been pierced for Jokowi.  

A 2018 study by IT news portal Daily Social indicated that 57 percent of Indonesian internet users received false information via messenger applications, prompting Facebook and WhatsApp to use encryptions and limit the forwarding of messages.

Several online initiatives have helped to fight the spread of fake news, including the hashtag #AkuSiapBersikap (I’mReadytoTakeAStand), Facebook group Forum Anti Fitnah, Hasut dan Hoax (Forum Against Defamation, Sedition and Hoaxes) and fact-check systems like the website and the Hoax Buster app on the Google PlayStore. (mai)