IDNAround – Kaesang Pangarep, the youngest son of President Joko Widodo, officially became a member of the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) on Saturday, with a clear goal of assisting “the party of the youth” in securing seats in the House of Representatives in next year’s general elections.
Kaesang’s decision to join PSI has sparked controversy, as his father and older brother, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, are both affiliated with the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). Nevertheless, Kaesang remains determined to support PSI, a party that predominantly represents the younger generation.
“PSI is a remarkable party, but unfortunately it did not secure a place in the House,” he said in a press conference held at his residence in Solo, Central Java, after welcoming PSI executives. “Let’s take a look at the Move Forward Party in Thailand, composed of young individuals, which managed to succeed in the elections. If they can do it in Thailand, we can do the same in Indonesia.”
PSI made its debut in the 2019 elections but fell short of the 4 percent popular vote threshold required to win a House seat. Nonetheless, the party did secure seats in local legislative councils, particularly in major cities like Jakarta and Medan.
Kaesang, previously recognized as a restaurant businessman, said that his family supports his decision to engage in politics, viewing it as the first step in his political career with PSI, with the shared aim of making Indonesia a stronger nation.
The 28-year-old stressed the importance of youth involvement in elections, aligning with PSI’s stance that the younger generation should actively participate in shaping the nation’s future.
“The younger generation has often played a passive role in elections. We want them to be more active because the future of our nation rests in their hands,” Kaesang said.
When asked why he chose not to follow in the footsteps of his father and brother by joining PDI-P or other political parties, Kaesang pointed out that PSI’s focus on youth-related issues and its commitment to integrity, competence, and nation-building spirit make it particularly appealing to him.
“It is a party of the youth, dedicated to advancing Indonesia into a better nation,” he said.
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