Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) reminded that politics should not divide the nation. Therefore, he asked political parties to strengthen their collaboration in all aspects of the nation's life for the sake of national unity, integrity, and progress.

"In politics, cooperation is mandatory. Do not let the politics divide us," he said at the opening of the National Mandate Party's (PAN's) workshop and meeting for winning the 2024 General Elections in Semarang, Central Java Province, on Sunday.

He then asked those attending about why Central Java was chosen to be the place for holding their party's national coordination meeting. He suspected that the reason was related to PAN's endeavor to make it closer to Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, whose name is often mentioned as one of the 2024 presidential candidates

"So last night I was wondering, why is the meeting being held in Central Java. Now I know the answer. The party wants to approach Governor Pranowo and also all mayors and district heads," he added.

According to President Jokowi, PAN has taken a right step by forming a coalition because a cooperation in politics is very important to foster the nation's unity and integrity.

"Once again, cooperation and coalition are important. Do not choose the wrong allies. The most important thing is to strengthen our national collaboration to maintain our unity," he emphasized.

The head of state then gave an example saying that during eight years of his administration under a solid with works with coalesced political parties, many positive changes have occurred in Indonesia's national development.

“Let me show you what the shift is like. In the past, development was always Java-centric. Nearly 70 percent of the infrastructure facilities were built in Java. Then we shift (the infrastructure development model) to become an Indonesia-centric," he explained.

This mode of Indonesia-centricity has enabled the infrastructure development, which has already spent a budget of Rp3,309 trillion, to be evenly distributed, he added.

"The shift has occurred because the infrastructure facilities, such as toll roads and airports, have been completed and available outside Java. They connect with industrial estates, plantation areas, agricultural areas, and tourism areas. Therefore, investment is also shifted outside Java," he remarked.

He informed that in the past, the ratio of development in Java and outside Java was 70 to 30 percent. Currently, 53 percent of the development had already taken place outside Java.

"Please keep in mind. We are a big country with a population of some 282 million people who live on 17,000 thousand islands. We cannot concentrate only on Java. This is the shift that I emphasizes," he said.

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Translator: Rangga Pandu A J, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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