Wedding bells to ring soon for Basuki and girlfriend?

Former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama is seen here in a photo by Antara Foto with his relatives after his release from prison yesterday. Media reports say marriage forms for his wedding have been submitted.
Former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama is seen here in a photo by Antara Foto with his relatives after his release from prison yesterday. Media reports say marriage forms for his wedding have been submitted.PHOTO: REUTERS

A woman seen beside former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama soon after his release from jail has attracted the public's attention.

Ms Puput Nastiti Devi, 21, is a former policewoman.

Media reports say marriage forms have been submitted for their wedding. In fact, rumours about their relationship emerged ahead of Mr Basuki's release.

Ms Puput, who was a junior police officer with the rank of second brigadier, used to be an aide of Madam Veronica Tan, Mr Basuki's former wife of more than 20 years.

Madam Veronica was believed to have often asked Ms Puput to deliver food to Mr Basuki in jail.

Mr Prasetyo Edi Marsudi, head of Jakarta's city council and Mr Basuki's good friend, recently said that the Chinese Christian politician will marry his "girlfriend" in mid-February. "You will witness my marriage, Pras. You will," Mr Prasetyo was quoted as saying by Tribunnews.com, repeating what he said Mr Basuki had told him.

Another close ally of Mr Basuki, former Jakarta deputy governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat, said he had advised Mr Basuki, 52, on the criteria of a new wife. "Yes, (the age gap is big), but it's not a problem. Pak Ahok is now getting younger," he quipped in a recent interview with a television station.

 

In response to the rumours around the impending marriage, Mr Basuki's sister and his lawyer, Ms Fifi Lety Indra, said their family was not aware of the plan.

Ms Puput, a resident of Depok in South Jakarta, joined the police education system in 2015. A national police spokesman said yesterday that Ms Puput had resigned on Jan 9, Detik news reported.

Linda Yulisman

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2019, with the headline 'Wedding bells to ring soon for Basuki and girlfriend?'. Print Edition | Subscribe