Basuki More Popular Than Joko, Poll Finds 

In many ways, Indonesia and its electorate are liberalising at a rapid pace, beyond Malaysia. It’s amazing that a non-Muslim, Chinese politician can poll at 98.3% popularity in Jakarta, and be a lead contender for governorship. Malaysians can learn a lot from Jakarta, in putting policy above race and religion. 

(Jakarta Globe) – Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo may have stolen the spotlight from senior politicians eyeing the presidency in 2014, but his deputy, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, has proven to be a more popular figure in addressing Jakarta’s chronic woes, according to the results of a survey released on Thursday.

Basuki rated favorably with 98.3 percent of the 8,280 respondents polled by the Indonesia Network Election Survey, slightly ahead of Joko, who got 96.9 percent.

“In our findings, the public sees Basuki as the one who has been doing most of the work in solving Jakarta’s issues, as well as the person who is moving fast in working on the problems such as the Pluit dam and the relocation of street vendors in Tanah Abang market, among others,” Sutisna, the head of data for INES, said at a press conference to announce the findings.

He added that the respondents were all people eligible to vote in the 2014 elections, in which most polls paint Joko as the firm favorite ahead of other more established political figures.

Among those overshadowed by Joko is Prabowo Subianto, the co-founder and chief patron of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), of which Basuki is a member.

The latter’s recent high profile and growing popularity has fueled speculation that his no-nonsense leadership style that has led to tangible results may be engineered by Gerindra to undermine Joko and thus boost Prabowo’s chances at winning the presidency next year.

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