Citing his achievements in Jakarta, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) presidential hopeful Joko "Jokowi" Widodo charmed his audience during a public lecture arranged by the University of Manado (Unima), a move apparently aimed to counter criticism over his lack of experience.
Speaking before university lecturers and students on Saturday, the Jakarta governor boldly defended himself from criticism, saying that he lacked the experience needed to be a president because he had not yet been one.
"Many say that I have no experience. I haven't because I have never been one. But I have experience of being a mayor to bigger and a governor," Jokowi said.
"We need a comprehensively monitored management in order to grow this country big," the former Surakarta mayor emphasised, which was quickly followed by shouts and applause from the audience.
He also highlighted his attempt to improve Indonesia using the country's abundant resources in agriculture and energy.
"For instance, it's time for us to re-establish educational programs to nurture knowledge and skills in those sectors. We need to invest money in research," Jokowi explained.
Besides speaking in the public lecture, Jokowi also privately met representatives from the local Christian Synod council during his three day visit to North Sulawesi and South Sulawesi accompanied by PDI-P deputy secretary generals Ahmad Basarah and Erico Sotarduga and Marwan Jafar from the National Awakening Party (PKB), a party that will soon officially join the PDI-P coalition after the NasDem Party.
Jokowi will next depart for Makassar to meet local Muslim leaders.