Shades were thrown, witty comebacks were shot.

  14 January 2017 12:03

The first official Jakarta gubernatorial debate ended at 10 p.m. on Friday. The three candidates, Agus Yudhoyono - Sylviana Murni, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama - Djarot Saiful, and Anis Baswedan - Sandiaga Uno, shared the stage to deliver their vision and strategies for the capital’s socio-economic development. They were also given the chance to ask one another regarding their respective stance on issues such as eviction and law enforcement.

We've gathered some of our favourite remarks from last night’s battle of wits.

On integrity and the Pharaoh

Anies Baswedan: Integrity is not only about honesty. Even the Pharaoh could be honest in reporting what he's done. Integrity is also about taking sides with our values. In this case, the reclamation. We will side with the public who have been rejecting it.

On how to help the less fortunate

Anies Baswedan: The first pair is giving away the fish, the second provides fishing hooks. But the pond doesn't even exist! We will be preparing the pond.

Agus Yudhoyono: Our cash assistance program has a measurable budget. It will cost Rp650 billion, it's nothing compared to Jakarta's Rp70 trillion annual budget. What's the point of giving the hook if there are no fishes to catch. This is not a unique progam since Brazil and the United States have done something similar before.

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama: Well, the first pair said they'll give out Rp 400,000 a month. How is that enough? We've been giving highschoolers Rp600,000, and if they managed to enter state universities, they'll get Rp18 million a year. But we don't use cash, we use cards to better monitor their usage. We also provide cheap chickens, bus fare for the poor.

On forced eviction 

Anies Baswedan: We dont want to eliminate the poor, we want to eliminate poverty. We will conduct urban renewal, not empy these sites. We will not do anything that contradicts justice. If we move people, we will take care of their rights.

Agus Yudhoyono: We assure you that we will build Jakarta without any evictions. Evictions have been proven to increasing poverty as people lost everything in the process. [...] There are ways to make Jakarta more beautiful without having to hurt its people. Buildings are just the body. The people are the soul of Jakarta.

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama: Sometimes I wonder when I read the news. They say they want to rebuild [the neighborhood] or build a floating kampung. I dont understand, the river used to be 30 meters wide and now is only five meters wide, how are you going to build something without first tearing down the existing one. They're trying to be governor.. but please educate the people. We also want to win, but we want our people to be smart.

On making cash assistance disbursment work

Agus Yudhoyono: This is the problem with our leaders. They're always suspicious towards their own people. They always ask how to prevent people from getting thrown into jail [for corruption regarding the program]. Why dont they ask what will happen if it works? We need to believe that we have good intentions.

Bonus round: clap-worthy jabs from the candidates

Anies Baswedan: We have no ties to the city's past. We are offering novelty. We've had a leader for 10 years who allowed the omission of wrongdoings to happen. Trust us, we are not part of that.

Also Anies Baswedan: Bu Sylvi's answers are interesting, but unrelated to my question.

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama: Dont say we're only focusing on dead buildings. Yes, they are buildings, but they have been analized socially to take care of people. Dont say we just have to build humans. It's like what a teacher would say when they teach. [...] But then again, the third pair's style is like teachers, isnt it?

And the best shade winner goes to...

Sylviana Murni: Assalamualaikum, Mr. Minister. Oops. Mr. Anies.


What's your favorite part from last night?



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