Should Anies Return to Jakarta?

THE presidential election is over, although it left many unresolved issues about a process deemed dishonest and fraught with fraud. But let that be a historical note that the 2024 presidential and general elections were the most brutal in the history of the reform era.

Post-presidential election, there has been much discussion about Anies's position—whether he will be inside the government, outside and opposing, or should Anies compete in the Jakarta Special Region gubernatorial election.

According to survey results, Anies's position in the Jakarta gubernatorial race remains at the top, followed by Ahok and Ridwan Kamil.

As reported by, based on a survey conducted by Proximity Indonesia or PT Data Survei Indonesia from May 16-25, 2024, across five regions of Jakarta excluding the Thousand Islands, both through closed and open-ended questions.

Anies Baswedan was the most recognized figure (95.80 percent), Basuki Tjahaja Purnama or Ahok (95.30 percent), Ridwan Kamil (92.10 percent), Eko Patrio (86.40 percent), and Ahmad Sahroni (80 percent). Other figures received percentages below 80 percent.

“In the open-ended question (top of mind) regarding who might run as a candidate for Governor of Jakarta, Anies Baswedan led with 20 percent, Basuki Tjahja Purnama or Ahok (14.7 percent), and Ridwan Kamil (13.6 percent). Other figures received percentages below 10 percent,” said CEO of Proximity Indonesia, Whima Edy Nugroho to reporters in Jakarta (30/5/2024).

Further findings from open-ended questions regarding respondents' choice for the upcoming governor of Jakarta showed Anies Baswedan with 18.50 percent, followed by Ahok at 14 percent, and Ridwan Kamil at 12.50 percent. Other figures received percentages below 5 percent.

In the closed question about support for 21 figures to become the next governor of Jakarta, when each name was asked individually to respondents, Anies Baswedan led with 35.50 percent, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) 26.40 percent, and Ridwan Kamil 18.10 percent. Other names received support below 10 percent.

From my perspective, observing Jakarta's development post-Anies, the city has experienced many setbacks, with initiatives once pioneered by Anies systematically removed by interim Governor Budi, even losing its humanistic stance as the great home of the Indonesian nation. Residents of Kampung Bayam, who had been neglected for decades, were given decent housing in apartments under Anies's tenure, whereas under Budi they were even evicted and forced to leave their homes on the classic pretext of unpaid rent. This incident is a note for me on whether Anies should return to Jakarta.

The communal and tolerant atmosphere of Jakarta under Anies's leadership represents a lost value when Jakarta was led by Governor Budi, with scholarship aid to poor students suddenly halted, certainly causing distress among students from impoverished families threatened with dropout, and the eviction of Kampung Bayam residents from their homes will result in them becoming homeless, even threatening children with dropping out of school. This is a lost value, one which the nation's founders fought for during their struggle for independence—values of peace, justice, intelligence, and order.

Of course, these values are in line with those fought for by the central government, as outlined in the preamble to the 1945 Constitution. Thus, it is inevitable that in alignment with the constitutional mandate, Anies would extend the central government's policies if he were to lead Jakarta again.

In the fight for these values, there is no such thing as a demotion or step down, because Anies is not hunting for power, what he is doing is fighting for these values for the people of Jakarta, which naturally means contending in the Jakarta gubernatorial election and leading Jakarta.

In the struggle for true values, the extent of the territory is not known, but how each individual can be useful to others, the best of people are those who can do good to others. In the context of power, then, how power can be seized in order to implement values of goodness that benefit others.

Being outside of power and in opposition is a good choice, but it cannot directly solve the problems faced by society right now; with power, existing problems can be quickly resolved. The problems of Jakarta students whose scholarships were withdrawn, the eviction of Kampung Bayam residents from their homes, and many other issues plaguing Jakarta, will only be readily addressed with the power when Anies leads Jakarta.

Anies's chances to lead Jakarta are now very open, besides his high electability, there are other variables influencing, PDIP which is reportedly also supporting Anies, certainly, this becomes a moment for PDIP to return to being the party of the common people.

Ultimately, the choice will be returned to Anies, but allow me to write the story of Nu’aim bin Nuh who was assigned by the Prophet to help him build a Madani society in Medina. Nu’aim, with his intelligence and skill, entered the system built by the multinational forces of that time, able to help the Prophet strengthen the Madani society in Medina. Another case is the Treaty of Hudaibiyah, which placed Muhammad at that time on an equal footing with the leaders of Quraysh, even though his position as a prophet was not recognized at the time.

Wasn't it also from Medina that the Prophet was able to open the city of Mecca, known as the event "Fatkul Mekkah?" Be assured that history will repeat itself.

Placing Anies in a position to run humanitarian values to realize a smart, just, peaceful, and prosperous society by making Anies a leader in Jakarta is the realization of the value "khairunnas ‘anfa’uhum lin nass".

Isa Ansori, Columnist and Academician lives in Surabaya