Channel NewsAsia

Widodo's family remain calm despite intense Indonesia presidential race

Indonesian presidential candidate Joko Widodo looks set to secure victory in his hometown of Solo in Central Java. Amid the intense campaign, Mr Widodo's family has remained calm.

SOLO: Indonesian presidential candidate Joko Widodo looks set to secure victory in his hometown of Solo in Central Java.

Despite the intense presidential campaign, Mr Widodo's family has betrayed few signs of anxiety.

While his family is hoping he can win well beyond Solo and become the next president of Indonesia, they are also hoping that Mr Widodo will not change.

71-year-old Sudjiatmi Noto-Mihardjo, Mr Widodo’s mother, said: "I advised him when he became an adult and started working.

“I imbued in him the values of honesty and sincerity. Honest people everywhere are at peace with their lives, and are not restless.”

But Mr Widodo's presidential race has been far from peaceful.

His campaign has been rocked by slurs describing him as a non-Muslim of Chinese descent, a sensitive issue in multi-cultural Indonesia where the president is still expected to be from the majority Muslim population.

There were also allegations that Mr Widodo's mother was an activist with the banned Indonesian Communist Party.

Despite all this, Mdm Sudjiatmi has remained calm.

She said: "I don't feel sad. Let those people say what they want. What is important is, it is not true. I told (Mr Widodo) not to reply, not to fight back, and not to be emotional about it. I reminded him to let them say what they want. I'm not worried, I don't have ill feelings, I'm sincere."

While many are hoping Mr Widodo, also known as Jokowi, can bring change to Indonesia, some in his family hope some things remain the same.

Titik Ritawati, Mr Widodo’s youngest sister, said: "I hope Jokowi will always be Jokowi - humble, hardworking, religious.

“I especially hope he will continue to serve the community, serving the people. These should not change."

Mr Widodo’s family told Channel NewsAsia they only hope that whatever the outcome, peace will prevail in Indonesia.

Solo is often seen as Indonesia's barometer of social change and stability. During the 1998 riots, the city was engulfed in flames.

For the upcoming presidential elections, the people of Solo have been careful not to let any disturbances happen, especially as one of its home boys is running for president.  

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