"I have invited them here just to have lunch. I have no other interests," the president noted in his welcome speech to the drivers.
On the occasion, the president also recalled his experiences when he first came to Jakarta and had to use several means of public transportation to travel from Klender in East Jakarta to Kuningan in South Jakarta.
"During the period between 1985 and 1988 in Jakarta, every morning at 6 a.m. local time, I had to change means of public transportation thrice. I remember it well. In 1985, I rode a metromini (public transport minibus)," he recollected.
Jokowi, as the president is also called, reminded the drivers that now, the competition was stiff and urged them to not clash with each other.
"Everywhere, there is always competition. So, ojek (motorbike taxi riders who wait for customers at certain locations) and Gojek (hailing-ride service) must not fight with each other," he emphasized.
On the occasion, the president also held a dialog with public transport drivers and ojek riders.
The ojek riders and public transport drivers, who were invited to the palace, expressed their happiness and gratitude for this gesture by the president.
"I felt very proud. As a street boy, I felt honored. It was difficult to describe the feelings. I was also confused. I was very happy," Rofiq, a Gojek rider, stated.
He claimed to have been a taxi driver and then an ojek rider before joining the Gojek group, which serves customers through an internet application.
"I earned an additional income after joining Gojek. It helps me a lot," he affirmed.
Rofiqs friend, Muksin, shared his viewpoint, saying he indeed felt immense pride to be able to enter the palace.
"I was very happy. This was the first time I have entered the palace," he noted.
Napitupulu, a pick-up public transport driver, remarked that the invitation was a great honor for him and a symbol of appreciation for public transport drivers.
The presidential office has invited around 100 ojek and Gojek riders and minibus public transport and taxi drivers to a luncheon with the president.(*)