Prabowo Subianto, the prominent Indonesian presidential candidate, recently addressed his stance on geopolitics, emphasizing that he holds no anti-Western sentiments. Speaking at an event hosted by Indonesia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Jakarta on Friday (12/1/2024), Prabowo expressed his genuine affection for the West while acknowledging occasional disappointments in the West’s treatment of Indonesia.
“I am not anti-West. I actually really love the West. But sometimes the West doesn’t love us. That is the issue,” Prabowo conveyed, shedding light on the complexities in Indonesia’s relations with Western nations.
In a surprising revelation, the Defense Minister openly admitted his fondness for Burger King, a popular American brand in Indonesia. “I like eating Burger King. I like it. Sometimes they [the West] don’t care about us,” Prabowo remarked, subtly linking his personal preferences to broader geopolitical considerations.
Prabowo argued that Indonesia should not overly rely on the West for its food security. Reflecting on the past, he mentioned Indonesia’s strong food management during President Soeharto’s era until the intervention of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “At that time, we gave up to the IMF. We believed that they loved us, but there is no love between the relations of states. What exists is their interest,” Prabowo asserted.
President Soeharto, who was Prabowo’s father-in-law, faced a downfall in 1998 due to corruption during his regime, leading to a reformation led by students. Prabowo’s concerns about foreign influence in domestic affairs echo the historical backdrop of Indonesia’s political landscape.
Highlighting his vision for food security, Prabowo outlined the establishment of food estates in Indonesia as a strategic approach. Drawing inspiration from Ibnu Sutowo, a former minister during Soeharto’s era, Prabowo aims to emulate successful models from the past.
However, his proposed food estate program has faced criticism from Anies Baswedan, who questions its feasibility. Ibnu Sutowo, a figure mentioned by Prabowo, was dismissed by President Soeharto for alleged involvement in massive corruption during his tenure as the director of Pertamina, a state-owned oil company.
As Prabowo navigates the complexities of geopolitics and domestic policies, his statements and proposals are subject to scrutiny and debate, underscoring the intricacies of Indonesia’s political landscape in the 21st century.