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Jakarta Post

Rethinking dual citizenship

  • Editorial board

    Jakarta

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Thu, February 25 2021   /  01:00 am
Former US president Barack Obama delivers his speech in the 4th Indonesian Diaspora Congress in Jakarta on July 1, 2017.(JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

The number of Indonesians living and working abroad has grown so large that we cannot afford to ignore their potential contributions to their homeland. Granted, some have taken the citizenship of their adopted country, mostly for practical purposes, including ease of travel. Indonesia does not allow dual citizenship, so some have given up their Indonesian citizenship to comply with the law while others have kept both their Indonesian and foreign passports. Beyond their passports, however, they are Indonesians through and through. It is therefore unfortunate to see the harsh responses to the news that the regent-elect of Sabu Raijua in East Nusa Tenggara province, Orient Riwu Kowe, holds an American passport. Orient and running mate Thobias Uly beat two other pairs in the 2020 regional election by winning 48 percent of the vote. Orient’s victory had been confirmed and he wo...