Maritime Affairs Coordinating Minister, Luhut Pandjaitan, has defended Joko Widodo’s ability to speak English, especially when recalling the events of the G20 summit in Japan last week.
“If his English isn’t that good, then Ivanka Trump and every other world leader would not have conversed with the president,” Luhut posted on his Facebook page.
Luhut also said that the president has a strong Javanese accent. As a Bataknese with a strong accent himself, he urged Indonesians to embrace their cultural identity. “I’m a proud Indonesian, and I’m proud of my Batak dialect,” he added.
The minister also compared Jokowi’s English to other leaders who speak with strong accents. “There is no need to belittle someone merely for how heavily accented their English is,” Luhut stated. As Indonesia’s popularity rises among the G20 members, 17 countries have requested a bilateral meeting with Indonesia. According to Luhut, Turkey’s president, Erdogan regularly chats with President Jokowi, especially regarding current issues in the Middle East.