PEOPLE with grand titles, great wealth or in powerful positions do not impress me as much as ordinary folk, who are courteous, kind and rich in spirit.
Leaders who are crazy for power and popularity are likely to be cursed, and those holding or have held the highest office in governments or organisations are not spared.
Therefore, it is refreshing to learn that the Indonesian first family shuns excessive displays of their wealth.
President Joko Widodo’s family shuns excessive displays of wealth.
Joko Widodo is now the president of Indonesia but he remains unassuming as ever and prefers to be called by his nickname, Jokowi.
While serving as Jakarta governor, his wife Iriana, 51, was never seen wearing or carrying branded items, and stayed away from social gatherings and product launches.
Eldest son Gibran Rakabuming Raka, 27, chose to remain in the family hometown of Surakarta in Central Java, and was busy serving customers on Sunday before Monday’s inauguration.
He drives a Mazda hatchback, bought from proceeds of his catering and wedding planning business, which he wishes to continue and hopes for no changes to his lifestyle.
Youngest son Kaesang Pangarep, 18, said no one at school saw him differently and he hoped that that would remain.
Jokowi’s mother, Sujiatmi Notomihardjo, 71, flew from Surakarta on economy class for the inauguration ceremony and patiently queued for check-in and security inspection, without needing any privileged treatment.
The modesty of Jokowi and his family is bound to earn the highest respect from people around the world and elevate the image of Indonesia by several notches.
They are truly a distinguished first family. Y.S. Chan, Kuala Lumpur NST Opinion Letters 28/10/2014