Friski Riana, Jakarta – Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (BTP), popular by his nickname Ahok, recalled that he was persuaded to join the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) during his time at the Mako Brimob detention center.
"They sent some members to Mako Brimob to discuss the matter," said BTP as quoted from the February 17-23, 2020 edition of Tempo Magazine.
The former Jakarta governor was considered close to Grace Natalie, the chair of the PSI that nominated him and Djarot Saiful Hidayat in the gubernatorial election.
According to BTP, PSI expected him to help the party gaining 6-7 percent of voters considering his massive supporters. He admitted he was upset and said, "I went to prison and you guys still want to take advantage of me."
The PSI Secretary-General Raja Juli Antoni admitted he had visited BTP in the prison yet denied offering the latter to join the party. Juli assessed that BTP needed strong political support to face the legal process.
After the release, BTP visited the PDIP chair Megawati Soekarnoputri's house on Jalan Teuku Umar, Central Jakarta. At that time, Mega gave him the PDIP membership card directly.
Prior to his official membership, Ahok had expressed a desire to join PDIP that he considered consistent in promoting diversity, such as by nominating him, a Chinese Christian man, in the Jakarta gubernatorial election.