TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The independent election monitoring committee (KIPP) urged Gerindra Party Chairman Prabowo Subianto to retract his public solicitation for people to accept grafts prior to the regional elections in the form of daily staple foods package or sembako.
“[Prabowo’s words] are really regrettable, as a national figure to speak such statement,” said KIPP Secretary General Kaka Suminta on Saturday, June 23. “Prabowo needs to retract his statement,” he continued.
Kaka argued that Prabowo’s statement has enormously harmed the country’s democracy and the elections by urging people to accept money politics that is supposed to be one of many real threats and is still persistently fought against.
“If he urged people to accept (grafts), it will be the same as justifying the existence of money politics,” said Kaka Suminta.
Prabowo Subianto’s controversial suggestion was delivered in a video uploaded to his Facebook page on Thursday, June 21. The former special forces command (Kopassus) Commander said that receiving sembako and bribe money is basically the people’s right and is ensured that the money used to bribe the people are the ones taken from the people.
“It’s impossible that the money used to bribe people are [legally earned money]. It must originate from the Indonesian people, which is why I suggest people accepting the bribe money during sembako distribution since it’s the people’s right [to do so],” said Prabowo in the video.
Despite suggesting people to receive bribe money from candidates of regional or general elections, Prabowo contradicted his earlier statement by encouraging people to not be influenced by external elements before considering voting for a certain candidate.