Indonesia has relatively huge amount of R&D budget: Jokowi

Indonesia has relatively huge amount of R&D budget: Jokowi

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) during an interview with the press at the Merdeka State Palace in Jakarta, on Saturday, Feb 16, 2019, called on Twitter users in Indonesia to end the hashtag of #uninstallBukalapak," emphasizing that all community members should be wise and mature in their response to any incident. (ANTARAFOTO/PUSPA PERWITASARI)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said that the government has allocated a relatively huge amount of budget for research and development (R&D) programs to support Indonesia`s efforts to achieve advancement in technological innovations.

"The amount of research and development funds has reached Rp26 trillion, but they are placed in several ministries and government agencies," Jokowi said here on Saturday, commenting on Bukalapak CEO Achmad Zaky`s criticism over the R&D budget.

To enable the R&D funds to be properly used for helping Indonesia achieve advancement in technological innovations, Jokowi opined that a big institution that could realize the R&D targets was needed.

"There must be a big institution to enable the targeted R&D programs to be properly achieved. By doing so, innovations will appear in our country," Jokowi, who is seeking reelection in the upcoming presidential elections, noted.

Asked about the private sector`s role in assisting the country`s endeavor to develop the technological innovations, he stated this matter was still discussed, particularly in the attempt to support human resources and innovative development.

"We must encourage and support our e-commerce platforms, including Go-Jek, Traveloka, Tokopedia, and Bukalapak, to develop our economy," he remarked.

The issue of the R&D budget has attracted public attention after Bukalapak founder and CEO, Achmad Zaky, tweeted his comment on Indonesia`s R&D budget, saying that it was smaller than those of several other countries and wrote "May a new president be able to increase it (budget)."

On Friday, the social media platform Twitter was flooded with the hashtag of #uninstallBukalapak in response to Zaky`s controversial tweet that had made several Twitter users unhappy.

The controversy might be linked to the phrase "new president" despite the fact that in the tweet, Zaky also revealed the ranks of countries with huge amount of R&D budget

Zaky has apologized to Jokowi for his recent tweet that triggered outrage among Twitter users, who have accused his tweet of favoring one of the presidential candidates.

Zaky expressed apology and tendered a clarification over his tweet during his meeting with Jokowi at the Merdeka Palace here on Saturday.

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Reporting by Agus Salim
Editing by Rahmad Nasution