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About 60.9% of Indonesian voters in Singapore voted for presidential front runner Prabowo

Straits Times - February 23, 2024

Hariz Baharudin, Jakarta – About 60.9 per cent of Indonesian voters in Singapore voted for the archipelago's Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto as their new president, a slightly higher proportion than ongoing national counts.

Mr Prabowo is on course to win the election by a wide margin, leading with about 58.89 per cent of the total number of votes, election commission results showed on Feb 23.

Slightly more than three-quarters of all votes have been counted.

The final result is not expected until March, but early indications point to the former military leader succeeding popular outgoing leader Joko Widodo.

Mr Prabowo's running mate is Solo Mayor Gibran Rakabuming Raka, who is the elder son of Mr Widodo.

In an Instagram post on Feb 23, the Indonesian Overseas Election Committee in Singapore said 31,676 valid ballots were counted from Singapore, with 532 votes found to be invalid.

About half of eligible voters voted by post, while others turned up at the embassy in Chatsworth Road on Feb 11 to vote directly.

The majority of these voters chose Mr Prabowo, who garnered 60.94 per cent of the vote.

Some 205 million Indonesians were eligible to vote in the Feb 14 election, but it is not known yet how many of them voted.

The results from Singapore showed a departure from the national results in relation to Mr Prabowo's rivals.

Former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan received 10.78 per cent of the votes from Singapore, while former Central Java governor Ganjar Pranowo 28.28 per cent.

In comparison, the national count showed that Mr Anies obtained about 24.06 per cent while Mr Ganjar around 17.05 per cent.

Mr Dedi Dinarto, lead Indonesia analyst at Singapore-based public policy advisory firm Global Counsel, said Mr Prabowo's commanding lead is primarily due to his use of TikTok as a campaign platform.

"This resonated particularly well with Indonesian migrant workers in Singapore, who constitute the largest voting bloc here," he said.

Results from Singapore for Indonesia's legislative election differed from the ongoing national counts as well.

Almost a quarter of all voters in Singapore, or 24.93 per cent, chose Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which is the ruling party and which backed Mr Widodo in previous elections.

The party was favoured the most in the 29,617 valid ballots.

Real count tallies as at Feb 23 showed that the PDI-P is also in the lead but with a smaller margin, at about 16.78 per cent. This is based on 62.09 per cent of actual ballots counted.

The PDI-P had backed Mr Ganjar for his presidential candidacy, while Mr Prabowo was supported by his own Gerindra Party.

Gerindra received 16.89 per cent of the votes from voters in Singapore.

In the ongoing real national count tally, the party obtained 13.42 per cent.

Notably, the youth-centric Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), which is chaired by Mr Widodo's younger son, Mr Kaesang Pangarep, did better in Singapore than in the national counts.

The party received about 14.65 per cent of the votes, significantly higher than the real count tally it has of slightly more than 2.5 per cent.

Mr Kaesang studied in Singapore, and his networks with Indonesians there could be a driving factor for PSI's popularity, Mr Dedi said.

He added that the party's good performance also stems from the influence of its founder, Mr Jeffrie Geovanie, who resides in Singapore and is well-known among Indonesians there.

Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/about-609-of-indonesian-voters-in-singapore-voted-for-presidential-frontrunner-prabow