Indonesia's new First Family stays cool, won't parade wealth

Indonesia's new First Family stays cool, won't parade wealth
There is no indication that the children of new Indonesian president Joko Widodo, (from left) Gibran Rakabuming, 27, Kahiyang Ayu, 23 and Kaesang Pangarep, 18, will take the path of luxurious living as the children of outgoing president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has.

The children of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono may have no reservations about showing off their luxurious lifestyles, but the children of Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, who will be sworn in as President on Monday, are on the other side of the fence.

Although they are far younger than the Yudhoyonos, there is no indication that they are fond of the latest Apple iPhone, Land Rover SUVs or high-end fashion, despite the fact that their parents can certainly afford such things.

As a businessman, Gibran Rakabuming, Jokowi's eldest child, could afford to take the path of luxurious living if he chose to.

But he opts to remain humble, driving a Mazda hatchback bought from the proceeds of his catering and wedding-planning business in the family hometown of Surakarta, Central Java.

Instead of worrying about what to wear for his father's presidential inauguration ceremony on Monday, Gibran chose to stay in Surakarta until the last moment to deal with clients who had ordered his catering services for the weekend.

While his mother and two siblings have been in Jakarta since last week to prepare for the ceremony, Gibran said a mounting workload at weekends had made it impossible for him to leave the city earlier than Sunday evening.

"I have a company to take care of. I will be able to leave the city only once my catering jobs are done," Gibran, who recently turned 27, told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

Gibran, who, at first glance, shares all his father's traits, will have to adapt to a set of strict state protocols as a member of the First Family, which is subject to around-the-clock security provided by the Presidential Security Detail (Paspampres).

He will surely be approached by a horde of business brokers and politicians vying to use him to secure state projects and business licenses.

Gibran, however, is expecting to see his daily activities unaffected, although he realises that he will need to make some adjustments, including to the presence of Paspampres personnel. "I hope nothing changes," he said.

"I just want to manage my business and daily activities as usual just like when my father served as mayor and governor."

Despite the massive media coverage, Jokowi has been able to keep his closest family members away from the public spotlight.

The former Surakarta mayor and Jakarta governor was rarely seen in public with their children - Gibran, daughter Kahiyang Ayu, 23, and youngest son Kaesang Pangarep, 18 - during his presidential campaign earlier this year.

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