And the following is the Islam Times interview via Facebook inbox on Monday (3/17/14), with Mr. Hendrajit, Foreign policy analyst who also joined the Indonesian Student Association for International Studies (ISAFIS) in 1986, and one of the initiators of the establishment of the Global Future Institute (GFI) under the auspices of Yayasan Masa Depan (the Global Future Foundation) related to the Jokowi's candidacy.
Islam Times (IT) : Can you tell us a little about the background of Jokowi's political roles that is said to be close to the previous U.S. Ambassador Scot Marciel?
Hendrajit (H) : I have no any information about the Jokowi's proximity to Ambassador Scot Marciel. But if you ask about the Jokowi's relationship with the U.S., there are are at least two indications. Firstly, the existence of a close relationship between Jokowi and the large families of Mochtar and James Riadi. Although Mochtar and James Riadi have represented the business interests of Overseas Chinese, both are more closely with a network of influential people in the U.S.
If James Riadi was very close to former U.S. president Bill Clinton, certainly a political network having a link up with the U.S. Democratic Party, of course, will support the Jokowi's candidacy.
In regard with the Jokowi's connection with the U.S., it could actually be traced back by opening a pile of old news, when Maya Sutoro, half-sister of Obama, visited Indonesia. Although officially Maya came to Indonesia for tours and nostalgia, in accordance with information I heard, Maya had actually been in contact with several important figures in Indonesia. And (about her possible connection) with Jokowi, despite not face to face, Maya reportedly had contact with the Jakarta governor via phone.
That means, there are strong indications that Jokowi is supported by several strategic circles in the U.S. through the Chinese conglomerates that have a closeness with the Americans, as well as several former army generals from the 1970 military academy in which one of its central figures is Luhut Panjaitan.
IT : How is the truth about the Jokowi's relationship with Indonesian businessmen who mostly blacklisted by the Indonesian government, is this true?
H : This issue still needs confirmation and further exploration. But just mapping, some Chinese businessmen ex Jimbaran Group, that grew during the Suharto's era, have now split in two which were once united. Gajah Tunggal group (Sjamsul Nursalim) and some of his business cronies, have now more oriented to the mainland China, including Jo Tong, the Chinese businessman who used to be very close to Soekarno, and has now based in Singapore. While, Mochtar and James Riadi of the Lippo Group, have oriented to America. And these two camps, I think, will fight in the upcoming presidential election. So when Jokowi and Prabowo eventually involve themselves in a head-to-head race, I think, both will likely beome a Proxy War between the U.S. and Chinese in Indonesia. It is interesting indeed.
IT : What has made people so optimistic on the Jokowi's candidady that he could lead Indonesia, could all this be due to the media engineering.
H : (that is) right. The key word is that the Jokowi's only weapon is his popularity. And this figure, for whatever reason, is a new actor on the national political stage. The problem is that his high electability will only be seen from the upcoming legislative election results. I myself suspect, the Jokowi's candidacy by Mega, is only the Jokowi's inauguration as chairman of the national campaign leader of PDIP in the 2014 legislative elections.
The proof is that the decision to nominate Jokowi as presidential hopefel was not made through the party's national leadership meeting (Rapimnas) mechanism. On this stand, Mega was not in line with her own commitment that has so far always obeyed the constitution and legality.
IT : What is about the Jokowi's position and bargaining power in the PDIP body?
H : This is related to my answer to question number three (3). Precisely because Mega realized the Jokowi's popularity and the expectation among the public in order that Mega could soon nominate Jokowi as presidential candidate, she brilliantly nominated Jokowi more quickly than many people thought. But this is logical if viewed as a strategy to increase support for PDIP in the legislative elections, so beyond the range of 14-15 percent that have already become captive voters of PDIP since 2004 which is a solid mass of PDIP, whatever the circumstances.
IT : What is the chance of other candidates, like Prabowo and Wiranto or Ical (Aburizal Bakrie)?
H : Honestly I say, the Jokowi's candidacy by PDIP, will even benefit Prabowo. Because various parties that are not in favor of Jokowi or PDIP, but still hesitate Prabowo, the Jokowi's candidacy will actually lead them to fait accompli to support Prabowo.