This is The Way How The Governor of Jakarta Refused to Comment When Urged Not to Issue Building Permit for the New U.S. Embassy in Jakarta

Wearing a black muslim cap and a white long-sleeve collarless muslim shirt and sarong as syal, Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo finally met dozens of delegates from Islamic organizations who had been waiting for around 1.5 hours, on Friday (22/2) afternoon in the Governor’s Office of Greater Area of Jakarta.

Then, the chairman of the delegation, Muhammad Ismail Yusanto stated the purpose of their arrival. “We represent various Islamic organizations to ask Mr. Jokowi not to issue the building permit for the new U.S. Embassy,” said the spokesman of Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia.

Ismail warned that the governor not only looks at the construction of the U.S. embassy and the technical perpective of the administration alone. However, the building of the new embassy must be seen from the political perspectives as well.

According to Ismail, the greater the American embassy — which  can accommodate 16 thousand staff — the more capability the U.S has to carry out their imperialism missions.

Thus, continued Ismail, currently Jokowi has an important role. “To protect the country, we will support Jokowi to cancel the building permit,” he said.

Jokowi replied: “So, what can I say? We haven’t received any application for the building permit.”

The Chairman of Building Supervision and Control (P2B) in Jakarta, Putu Indiana, agreed on his boss statement. “The U.S. Embassy has not applied the building permit to the governor, now it is still under the proses of the Department of Tourism to relocate Syahrir building. So, we will not issue any permit if the Department of Tourism and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have not given permission.”

“But, we have received information from the Chairman of Department of Architecture that the three stages to obtain the permit have passed all of requirements,” said Ismail.

Putu then explained, the fulfillment of the requirement is only related to technical consultation, and they need further requirements, including those from the two departments as mentioned above. Putu also stressed: “We are in only in the technical office, which simply deal with technical matter, if met, we have no argument not to give permission.”

Understanding what the delegates want, Putu then left the question for Jokowi to answer. “Out of technical matters are under the authority of the governor.” Then, the delegates turned to Jokowi.

“Yes… we will send a letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs, and submit your objections, ” replied Jokowi.

The Chairman of the Presidium of the Mer-C (Medical Emergency Rescue Committee) Joserizal Jurnalis said. “Mr. Jokowi, don’t you usually carry out a public test for something related to big problems?” asked Joserizal.

Spontaneously, Jokowi replied: “If a public test is held, then the room will be full of people, they will reject all.”


Then, Ismail replied: “Well, it could be an argument that people do not agree!”

The Chairman of Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia Central Boar, Rokhmat S Labib, then reminded on the continuing sin for people who helped construct  the building used for the headquarters of the U.S colonial state of inteligence. “If Mr. Jokowi builds a mosque, it is a charity,  but if he builds  the U.S. the sin will continue to flow ,” Rokhmat warned.

However, Putu reminded that he is only in charge of technical implementation, final decision is made by Jokowi. Then, Rokhmat asked firmness of Jokowi to refuse the building permit. “I would like to receive assurance of  Jokowi’s refusal!” he said.

The governor just smiled. Later, the Leader of Ma’had Daarul Muwahhid, KH Shoffar Mawardi, in a very serious faces said: “We come here to convey something that the government has never concerned about,  whereas it deals with afterlife and the nation,  Mr. Jokowi.”

As if trying to figure out that Jokowi does not want to firmly reject the building permit because of the pressure from America, Ismail commented: “If Mr. Jokowi got pressures, leave it to us, we will help you from behind.”

Still, Jokowi smiled, not wanted to say whether to publish or to reject the building permit. Abu Bilal, the representative of Jamaat Ansharu Tawhid,  then expresed his fear of Allah’s punishment will be greater if the American embassy is enlarged.

“Mr. Jokowi should be thankful and grateful, because this is our real work to build Jakarta, build this nation, in order to avoid a greater punishment from Allah.”

Jokowi kept smiling. Rokhmat who felt that his question was stil left unanswered, said. “What is your statement, that is something we want to hear!”

Afterwards, in a rather sullen facial expression, Jokowi answered “They haven’t applied for the building permit to me yet!”. He, then asked them to wait and see the steps he will make.

On that occasion, among the delegations were Mukhlis Abdullah (from Muhammadiyah) and Prof Dr Musjby (from International Moslem Brotherhood), while among the local government official was Zainal Mustafa.

Outside the building, while listening to the speeches, around 400 people carried banners and posters to refuse the building of the U.S. Embassy. [] Joko Prasetyo



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