The Jakarta Post
An online petition calling for the dismissal of Anies Baswedan from his post as Jakarta governor has resurfaced after his controversial approach to last week’s postelection riots.
The petition on change.org calls on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo to dismiss Anies, citing Jakarta’s swelling budget for the Governor’s Team for Accelerated Development (TGUPP) – which supposedly spent millions of rupiah per member on the team of more than 70 –, the return of floods and unlicensed street vendors, neglected Rusunawa (subsidized apartments) and the increase of taxable land values, among other gripes.
The petition was published in July last year with a target of 150,000 signatories, but in the past two weeks it gained at least an additional 100,000 supporters.
The petition has gained 135,531 signatures as of Monday afternoon.
After the riots against the reelection of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo that hit Jakarta form May 21-22 – which Anies claimed had killed eight people and injured some 700 others – the governor was criticized for immediately visiting one of the victims, helping lift up the corpse and later declaring that the city would cover the medical expenses for all victims.
Responding to the petition, Anies said he would not ask for the arrest of the people who criticized him.
“I have never [asked to] arrest people who criticize me,” Anies said on Sunday, wartakota.tribunnews.com reported.
He said that anyone had the right to express their opinion.
“Every citizen has the right to express their opinion, it’s not prohibited,” Anies said, adding that a public figure should be prepared to be scrutinized and should not expect to only be praised. (ami)