RI House Speaker Controversial 'Yes' to Donald Trump's Question, Jakarta - Indonesian House Speaker, Setya Novanto and his Deputy, Fadli Zon have inevitably stirred growing pejorative speculations among statesmen of House of Representatives back home which Washington Post dubbed as ‘unexpected spectacle’ following their ‘highly’ and unforeseen presence on Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign held in the afternoon of 3 September 2015.

Setya Novanto, who was present at that time along with a number of legislators under his ruling, did not only aggravate a large portion of the House of Representatives members through its ‘controversial’ presence during a New York press conference held by renowned real estate property developer currently competing against Democratic candidates, Donald Trump, but also exacerbate the Indonesian population’s discontentment by making hasty statements or quick answers to Mr. Trump’s arguably ‘tricky’ questions that members of House of Representatives condemn as ‘unethical because it could be perceived as an explicit endorsement by Indonesia of Mr. Trump’s Presidential bid’, as The Sunday Time concluded in its 6th of September newspaper issue.

There was nothing unusual about Mr. Trump’s campaign as focus was placed mostly on the recently signed pledge which confirms Trump’s refusal of being a third party in the Republican candidacy and decision to allow democratic party candidates to prevail with no intervention should the verdict present likeliness of him positioned as a third party.
Citing from Newsweek, Trump approached visiting speaker Setya Novanto and went to fervently ask his guest a simple question that may have a deeper meaning deemed imperative for Indonesia- US relations.

‘Yes’ Response

Just moments before wrapping up the session, the atmosphere surprisingly turned into one populated by raising questions among attendees as the Republican- backed candidate ushered back to a man he claimed to be the Speaker of the House in Indonesia, Setya Novanto.

Mr. Trump made a surprising gesture as he beckoned Setya Novanto to come forward closer the podium and introduced him to everyone who was there to witness Trump’s campaign.

“The Indonesian House Speaker, Setya Novanto, one of the most powerful man and a great man and hiw whole group is here to see me today,” Trump announced as cited in CBS.

He then continued with another statement which ended with an answer by Novanto that the general population now consider as ambiguously ‘controversial’,

“We would do great things for The United States, is that correct?” Trump fervently asked to Novanto who stood beside him.

“Yes”, Novanto answered with no hesitation as he nodded gesturing the furtherance of his approval,
“Do they like me in Indonesia?” Trump continued with a simple yet precarious question.

The population back home was immediately angered as Novanto, again answered in the most approving way stating, “yes, highly”.

And Trump ended the conference as he said “thank you Indonesia” and walked back marking the finishing sentence of his campaign that day which was held at his building situated in New York.

Creating Tumult

Colleagues and other members of the House of Representatives determined to launch an ethics probe against Mr. Setya Novanto along with his Deputy Fadli Zon. The Board of Court Honor (MKD) from the House of Representatives earlier today assures the likeliness of probe on the violation of political ethics of Setya Novanto and Fadli Zon.

“Whether or not there is a report concerning that particular matter, we will definitely investigate into the case more seriously. MKD will have this matter discussed in the meeting held at 1 pm,” Member of MKD, Sarifuddin Suding said earlier today prior to the meeting held at the Parliament building, Senayan, Jakarta, Monday (7/9/2015).

An Indonesian Muslim living in New York, Imam Shamsi went to vent his discontentment regarding the matter through his long and detailed remarks he posted on Facebook.

“I am truly disappointed to know that Indonesian House Speaker met with Donald Trump during his Presidential Campaign. The wrong timing that inevitably led many into thinking that Setya Novanto’s presence has something to do with it,” he wrote it through his personal account marked as Imam Shamsi Ali.

“First of all, it is unethical for him to be there especially with him playing a role as Indonesian house Speaker. He represents the country and it is equally unethical for a country with no actual American rights to look like it supports one candidate by attending the campaign. Secondly, Novanto was only shortly introduced before the press conference ended. It surely underestimates the nation as a whole as in the eyes of Indonesian population, he was just there momentarily and did not contribute much to prove otherwise,” he explained.

“Thirdly, it gives people the idea of our politicians exploiting privileges to go abroad only top shop, tour around the visited cities, instead of performing their duty. Fourthly, Donald Trump is generally viewed to be a racist and anti- immigrant, which includes not a big fan of Islam. As the Speaker of the House, Novanto should have been extra careful in holding or attending meetings with a man with these characters. Do not let the meetings held justify his racist character,” he further explained.

“Please do spread this message to everyone who is as concern as myself in this particular subject. Our country is currently facing economic problems especially with Rupiah weakens overtime. Our politicians should have been more sensitive towards this issue instead of using the budget to do things that would not contribute to the improvement of the population’s welfare,” he concluded his initial posting.

Another form of rejection has also been presented through petition held via A Setiawan Abadi uploaded such petition to the site on Sunday 6 September 2015. The petition has already collected supporters of more than 1.180 people. The petition is proposing for the removal of Setya Novanto and Fadli Zon rom their current posts.


Setya Novanto’s unexpected presence in New York inevitably invited questions and spur curiosity among politicians in Uncle Sam’s land with scores of foreign media presenting the same question.

“Meeting held on the 26th floor of Trump Plaza at approximately 13.00,”Fadli informs, Friday 4 September 2015.

“We went to discuss economic affairs which was deepened to discussion on Trump investment in Indonesia. Ethically, we should appreciate anyone who is willing to invest in our country despite currently uncertain economic climate,” he continued.

The 30 minutes meeting was held prior to Trump’s press conference and so Fadli makes necessary clarification suggesting the fact that the Indonesian House Representatives presence was in no way linked to the campaign and that they were there during the conference because they were invited to witness Trump’s campaign.

“The US election is none of our business. Why establish involvement when we have no voice over it. The American people are the ones holding the key answer as to whom fits Presidential criterion, we are simply happy to have any American President that is nice to us. Both Obama and Trump are good friends to us Indonesia,” he said fervently.

DPR Spokesperson, Nurul Arifin also made necessary clarification regarding House Speaker along with his Deputy’s presence in New York as she claims that, “ Our House Speaker also went to have bilateral meetings with other Parliament members from many countries such as Japan, Czech Republic, Germany, Sudan, Croatia, Finland and Iran as to strengthen the relationship.”

House Speaker trip along with his entourage continues as they head for Los Angeles and Washington DC in the days that follow. (Akp/Ein)



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