JAKARTA — President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) criticized politicians who have so far spread fear on Friday saying that the feast of democracy should have been welcomed with happiness instead of fear. He referred to the parliamentary and presidential elections to be held in the country in April next year.
He said that are at present, a lot of politicians are good at influencing people but unfortunately in their political activities they tend to disregard ethics and civility. He was speaking on the occasion of land certificate distribution to people in the district of Tegal, Central Java.
“Just look at their fearmongering propaganda. They spread fear and worries. Firstly, they cause fear. Secondly, they create uncertainty. Indeed, people are being led there. Thirdly, people will then become uncertain,” he said.
President Jokowi, who would seek reelection in the vote next year, described the unethical political behavior of fearmongering as politics of “genderuwo”, referring to mythical spirits in the Javanese tradition.
“Such methods are unethical political methods. How could they scare their own people? That means genderuwo, fearmongering,” he said as quoted in a press release from the deputy for protocol, the press and media of the Presidential Secretariat, Bey Machmudin.
Jokowi called on politicians to immediately leave the political method behind and set a good example of politics to the people and bring joy to the feast. He said under the atmosphere of joy, it is expected that people would be able to choose their future leader with clear minds and rationally.
He emphasized that the joy of democracy could only be created through civility, which is also the character of the nation, adding that a political practice that ignores civility must be avoided.
“We must lead people to maturity through civil ways. That is why I have frequently called for ‘hijrah’ from speaking hatred to truth, from pessimism to optimism and from noise calls to brotherhood and unity,” he said.