TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The name Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama has come under the public spotlight after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had summoned candidates to fill his second-term cabinet, which is a list that will be announced on Wednesday, October 23.
Asked about his chances of being picked to fill a position in Jokowi’s new Cabinet, “I could no longer become a government official,” said Ahok on Monday, October 21.
He made it clear that he has not been offered any positions in the midst of Jokowi’s Cabinet-member search. However, Ahok said that he will continue to serve the country throughout his life through other ways such as paying his taxes.
Ahok and the president are widely known to have a good relationship as both once served as Jakarta’s governor and deputy governor. During Jokowi’s presidential inauguration ceremony on Sunday, Ahok was also present in the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) headquarters, sitting behind the president’s family members.
The former Jakarta governor once publicly said that he can no longer become a State Minister as he is considered a ‘defect’ by a group of Indonesians, especially after serving two years behind bars for blasphemy charges.
He also maintained that his divorce with ex-wife Veronica Tan, and him marrying Tan’s former personal aide, Puput Nastiti Devi, had not been received well among several Indonesian demographics.
“I can no longer become a State Minister. I am considered a defect of the republic. I am not wanted anymore in such positions,” said Ahok in accepting the Roosseno Award IX-2019 in Kemang, South Jakarta on July 22, 2019.
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