PM Lee meets Indonesia's presidential hopeful Prabowo

Mr Prabowo Subianto is in Singapore for The Economist's "The World in 2019" Gala dinner.
Mr Prabowo Subianto is in Singapore for The Economist's "The World in 2019" Gala dinner.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/LEE HSIEN LOONG

JAKARTA - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday (Nov 26) met Indonesia's presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto, who is in Singapore for The Economist's "The World in 2019" Gala dinner.

Mr Lee in a Facebook post noted that Mr Prabowo, the founder and chairman of Indonesia's Gerindra Party, has been busy campaigning around Indonesia.

"We discussed how Singapore and Indonesia can strengthen our strong ties and take our relationship forward," he said. "I wished him all the best and an enjoyable stay in Singapore."

For the April 2019 presidential elections, Mr Prabowo, 67, will face off once more with his opponent in the 2014 polls, President Joko Widodo.

The two presidential hopefuls, along with their vice-presidential picks, have been in Singapore for various events over the past month.

Mr Prabowo's running mate Sandiaga Uno in October spoke on Indonesia's future economy at an ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute event.

Mr Joko had just a few weeks earlier attended the Asean Summit and related meetings, while his partner Ma'ruf Amin had been in town in October to deliver the RSIS Distinguished Public Lecture.

Mr Lee had met Dr Ma'aruf, the chairman of the Indonesia Ulama Council, ahead of the talk, and posted on Facebook: "I wished him a successful lecture tomorrow and all the best for his campaign preparations."

Mr Prabowo, a retired army general, will speak at Tuesday's dinner. It will also feature Malaysian politican Nurul Izzah and Mr Anthony Tan, the co-founder of ride-hailing firm Grab.

Mr Prabowo's campaign team's director of foreign affairs Irawan Ronodipuro said Mr Prabowo was invited to give his views on advancing Indonesia and boosting its economic growth.

"The international decision-making community wants to know more about Prabowo's strategic views on making Indonesia a sovereign country that can contribute to the global economy," he said.

Mr Prabowo will speak about Indonesia's natural wealth at the dinner, said Mr Irawan, adding that one focus is how Indonesia is able to produce bioenergy to meet global needs by reprocessing 10 million hectares of degraded land.