Indonesia needs strong defence capability: Prabowo

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Presidential candidate number 02 Prabowo Subianto said Indonesia's defence remains weak due to budget constraint despite the fact that having a strong defence was important for the country to enable it to safeguard its wealth.

During the fourth round of presidential debate taking place at the Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta, on Saturday evening, he applied an offensive strategy in debating the security and defence issues while incumbent President Joko Widodo repeatedly echoed his strong belief in the Indonesian defence capability in securing the country's wealth and territorial integrity.

In defending his argument, Prabowo Subianto quoted a Greek wise word as saying that "the strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must". Therefore, increasing the defence budget was a must, and the corruption cases which had become a serious hurdle for so long should be eradicated, he said.

Meanwhile, Joko Widodo highlighted an integrated deployment of troops outside Java as part of its government's defence-related policies. "I have ordered the Defence Minister and Indonesian Military Chief to create the Army Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad) Division III," he said.

According to the incumbent president seeking re-election in the upcoming presidential race, due to be held on April 17, the integrated deployment of military troops was conducted in such strategic peripheral areas as the western part of Natuna Island in Riau Islands Province, Morotai in North Maluku Province, and Biak in Papua Province.

By having the integrated deployment of military forces to those peripheral regions, and placing the airborne surveillance radar in 19 areas and maritime surveillance radar in 11 areas, Indonesia's territorial sovereignty could be safeguarded, he said.

The fourth round of presidential debate, broadcast live and live-streamed by several TV channels, including SCTV and Indosiar, was witnessed by several hundreds of invitees.

During the fourth debate, both Prabowo Subianto and incumbent President Joko Widodo not only shed light on their views and perspectives but also debated wholeheartedly on select topics. Nine penalists -- Zakiyuddin, J. Haryatmoko S. J., Erwan Agus Purwanto, Valina Singka Subekti, Al Araf, Apolo Safanpo, Dadang Tri Sasongko, I Basis Eko Soesilo, and Kusnanto Anggoro -- prepared and drafted the questionnaire for the fourth debate.

The General Elections Commission (KPU) has organized five rounds of the presidential debates for the Joko Widodo-Ma'ruf Amin and Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno pairs for the 2019 presidential elections.

The first and second presidential debates were organized on January 17 and February 17, 2019, respectively, during which the two presidential candidates spoke in depth on their views and perspectives concerning issues of law, corruption, terrorism, environment, and infrastructure.

The third debate, organized on Mar 17, drew focus on educational, employment, health, as well as social and cultural issues. Apart from convening the presidential debates, the KPU has also allowed the presidential and vice presidential candidate pairs to hold open campaign trails during the period between Mar 24 and Apr 13.

With sufficient information that some 192 million eligible voters are expected to offer greater clarity on the two pairs' capacity and capability so that they are expected to be able to cast their votes rationally.

Regardless of which pair is the winner in the upcoming presidential election, Indonesia is certain to bear witness to a new and capable president and vice president.

Source: ANTARA News

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