The plan to build a statue of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) as part of an effort to boost tourism in the region has been met with a mixed response from various political figures.
The Democratic Party’s advocacy and legal division head Ferdinand Hutahaean said the construction of such a statue would be counterproductive as the funds could be allocated to bolster existing tourism programs in the region instead.
“[The Jokowi] statue would be a sensitive symbol. I’m worried that it would face the same fate as the statue of [former Iraqi dictator] Saddam Hussein, which was eventually destroyed,” he said on Monday, as quoted by tempo.co, adding that the Tourism Ministry should reconsider its plans to build the statue.
Meanwhile, the Prosperous Justice Party’s (PKS) Hidayat Nur Wahid said the statue should not be considered a priority as it would only serve as a tribute to a figure who had already passed.
“I doubt Jokowi would be comfortable with a statue of himself,” he said.
However, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) secretary general Hasto Kristiyanto said the statue represented a collective appreciation of the President’s accomplishments from the people of NTB.
“The people [of NTB] would like to thank the President for his accomplishments,” Hasto said.
The plan to build a statue of Jokowi in Belu regency was originally proposed by the NTB administration to Tourism Minister Arief Yahya during the Fulan Fehan Festival in the region last Saturday