Jakarta – Presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto says he is deeply moved by the support given to him by the Indonesian Metal Trade Workers Federation (FSPMI) in the 2019 presidential election.
Prabowo revealed this when he attended the FSPMI's 20th anniversary at the Sports Mall in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta, on Wednesday February 6. "I feel proud, honored and feel very proud, very moved by your faith in me. Your militancy, your courage and your dedication", said Prabowo.
Prabowo explained that from the beginning labour groups have supported him as a presidential candidate. This support was also declared on International Labour Day on May 1 last year at the Senayan Sports Arena in Jakarta.
At the time, said Prabowo, there were not yet any political parties which had given their support for him to step forward as a presidential candidate.
"I still remember May 1, 2018 at the Senayan Sports Arena, there were not yet any parties which supported me. But worker friends, worker allies still declared [their support] and asked me to step forward as a presidential candidate for the Republic of Indonesia in 2019", he said.
Prabowo's remarks were greeted by cheers and applause from the thousands of workers present who called out the name of the chairperson of the Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra).
Present at the event were FSPMI president Said Iqbal, economics expert Rizal Ramli and Gerindra deputy chairperson Sugiono.
Said Iqbal and the FSPMI, which is affiliated with the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI), also supported Prabowo's failed 2014 presidential bid and later came behind the Prabowo backed Anies Baswedan-Sandiaga Uno ticket in the religiously and ethnically divisive 2017 Jakarta elections. This included taking part in protests by hard-line Islamic forces seeking to oust incumbent Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama – and ethnic Chinese Christian – who lost the election to Baswedan and was subsequently jailed on trumped up blasphemy charges. On May 1 last year Iqbal and the KSPI again declared their support for Prabowo although other trade unions came out in support of incumbent President Joko Widodo or declared that they would not support either candidates.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Capres 02 Prabowo Subianto Dapat Dukungan Elemen Buruh. Sampaikan Apresiasi".]