Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan attended the Great 212 Reunion at the National Monument in Central Jakarta on the morning of Monday December 2. Baswedan, who wore an official government uniform, arrived at around 6 am.
The crowd greeted Baswedan's arrival with shouts of "President, president".
In his greetings, Baswedan gave salutations to People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Deputy Chairperson Hidayat Nur Wahid, Alumni Brotherhood (PA) 212 General Chairperson Slamet Maarif, National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema Council's Fatwa (GNPF-MUI) Chairperson Yusuf Martak and Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) Chairperson Ahmad Sobri Lubis along with other ulama (Islamic leaders) who were present at the 212 reunion.
"[Welcome] dear MPR Deputy Chairperson Hidayat Nur Wahid. PA 212 Chairperson Slamet Maarif, Yusuf Martak, Sobri Lubis, habib [Islamic scholars from the Sayyid community] and ulama who have gathered here this morning. And the participants of the 212 great reunion", said Baswedan.
Baswedan's opening speech was greeted with a round of applause.
"We are blessed for the umpteenth time, this is the fourth occasion... hundreds of thousands from all corners [of the country], the message being sent is that this is entirely peaceful, safe and sheltered like before", said Baswedan.
"Many were worried... but the message being conveyed is that all is peaceful", repeated Baswedan.
Baswedan also took the opportunity to give a message to the participants of the 212 reunion to safeguard the unity of the nation and the state.
"I have only one message, the Indonesian nation is often praised because of its diversity. Actually what is unique in Indonesia is not just diversity. Look at India, China, Papua New Guinea. What's unique about Indonesia? What is unique is Indonesia's unity. What exists here is a reflection of Indonesia's unity", said Baswedan. (nrk/mik)
Along with the GNPF-MUI, the 212 Alumni Brotherhood (PA 212) was born out of the 2016-17 demonstrations against former Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama. Since then it has struggled to maintain its relevance and while insisting that it is a purely religious movement to "defend Islam", it openly aligned itself with the political coalition supporting Prabowo Subianto's failed presidential election bid. In December 2018 for example, the PA 212 held one of its so-called "212 reunion" which was attended by Prabowo and key leaders of his coalition parties.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Anies Diteriaki 'Presiden' Saat Beri Sambutan di Reuni 212".]