A cash assistance program planned by Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono was criticized by his two contenders in the Jakarta gubernatorial election, Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama and Anies Baswedan, during the first official candidate debate on Friday.
Agus earlier expressed his intention to channel Rp 1 billion (US$75,075) per year to every community unit (RW) in the capital and grant temporary direct cash assistance (BLS) funds of Rp 400,000 per month to poor families in the city.
“The poverty rate in Jakarta is still quite high with 128,000 poor families. We offer the temporary direct cash assistance. Remember, it is just temporary,” Agus said.
Agus also announced a program to grant Rp 50 million to each small and medium enterprise in the city.
The incumbent governor showed his disapproval with the program proposed by Agus.
“We don’t agree with direct cash assistance, because it won’t educate residents,” Ahok said, criticizing the cash method that could easily lead to misuse.
The third contender for the governor post, Anies, said Agus’ proposal was not the answer to economic problems in the city.
The program also would do little to instil a “sense of pride” in residents, he added.
“Candidate pair one only provides the fish. Candidate pair two provides the hook. We will provide the pond,” Anies said, referring to the governor and deputy governor candidate pairings of Agus-Sylviana and Ahok-Djarot respectively.
The pond, Anies explained, meant more job opportunities for residents.
Sandiaga Uno and himself would focus on creating more job vacancies in the city to combat poverty, Anies said.
Agus responded by saying that the people who opposed his idea were heartless, because, according to the constitution, the leader should assist people in need.
He also said that direct cash assistance had been implemented in several developed countries.
With such assistance, the administration would be able to help residents in need, he said.