Indonesia votes: Ending poverty in East Java is Khofifah Indar Parawansa’s goal as governor

Ms Khofifah Indar Parawansa, who was born and bred in East Java's capital Surabaya, knows well what the people of the province needs, and she plans to tackle the problems - ranging from unemployment to the rising cost of living - over her five-year t
Ms Khofifah Indar Parawansa, who was born and bred in East Java's capital Surabaya, knows well what the people of the province needs, and she plans to tackle the problems - ranging from unemployment to the rising cost of living - over her five-year term as governor.

East Java is shaping up as a stronghold for President Joko Widodo in his bid for re-election at the April 17 polls in Indonesia. Helming the province are his former social affairs minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa and Golkar party rising star Emil Dardak. The newly sworn-in governor and her deputy speak to The Straits Times about what constituents can expect from their first term in office.

Ms Khofifah Indar Parawansa, 53, has the honour of being the first woman to be elected East Java governor, following last year's regional polls in which she and her running mate Emil Dardak garnered 53.5 per cent of the votes.

At their swearing-in ceremony last month, Indonesian President Joko Widodo set the task for the duo in simple terms - "as fast as possible, step on the gas to serve the people".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 09, 2019, with the headline 'Ending poverty in East Java her goal as governor'. Print Edition | Subscribe