Joko Widowo, popularly known as Jokowi, said that the government must play a role to overcome the mud flow disaster and the associated social problems that it had caused. He pointed out that the government in the past was unable to play an active role in providing assistance.
"I have personally seen what the Lapindo mudflow is like, and I have also heard and understood the problems of the people. In view of that, the state must be present there," he reiterated.
Jokowi, who is currently the governor of Jakarta, noted that the state must be present to represent the sovereignty of the people, and if the government is absent, it means it has forgotten the people.
"Therefore, I will sign a political contract with the victims," he added.
The contract contains, among other aspects, the governments commitment to help the victims with regard to their health, education, poverty eradication, and compensation.
Jokowi arrived at the location of the commemoration event at around 4 p.m. and received a warm welcome by the people who were waiting for him since 8 a.m.
On the occasion, Jokowi also received a handful of mud as a symbolic gesture from four people covered in mud to remind him that the mud problem will continue to persist if he was later elected as president.
(Reporting by Indra Setiawan/KR-IDS/INE/KR-BSR/H-YH)