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Indonesian 2019 General Election: Who Will Be The Future Leader?

Bibit Santoso1* and Maman A Djauhari2

1Graduate School, University College of Governance Science (STIP Abdi Negara) Jl. Lenteng Agung 7-A, Jakarta 12630, Indonesia

2Centre for Research in Statistics and Data Analysis, Tjahaja Bina Statistika Indonesia Ltd.P. Jl. Kanayakan A-15, Bandung 40135, Indonesia

*Corresponding Author:
Bibit Santoso
Graduate SchoolUniversity College of Governance Science (STIP Abdi Negara) Jl.
Lenteng Agung 7-A Jakarta 12630
Tel: 087788755575
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: Feb 15, 2019; Accepted date: Feb 15, 2019; Published date: Mar 06, 2019

Citation: Santoso B, Djauhari MA. Indonesian 2019 General Election: Who Will Be The Future Leader? Global Media Journal 2019, 17:32.

Copyright: © 2019 Santoso B, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Affinity analysis; Battle for democracy; Democratic survey; Paper ballots; Pareto’s law; Presidential election

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This paper aims to listen and understand the Indonesian people’s voice about who is the President that they need for the period 2019-2024. For this purpose, an opinion survey method called People NEWS is used. This is a very democratic survey method where respondents have 100% freedom to express what they want to say. Important results including the criteria of the next President they need, and national development issues that the next President must face, will be reported. In this research, respondents are limited into two groups of people; Indonesian elites and Indonesian scholars. This is an unprecedented research where people formulate the criteria of their national leader.


Our-World-in-Data [1] has just released the world population cartogram and reported that per 19/09/2018, the population of Indonesia is 266.8 million. Among them, 145 million are in Java Island. It is now the most populous island in the world. Therefore, every political player understands how dominant Java Island is in determining the political temperature, social color and behavior, economic growth, and generally the future of Indonesia.

Next year, the Indonesian people will celebrate the biggest democracy party in the country. They will undergo 2019 General Election (GE2019) to choose a pair of President and Vice President for the period 2019-2024. This GE will be the first in modern Indonesia where Islamic scholars (ulama) take part in political practice. Their position as spiritual leader is the most powerful informal leader. This unprecedented situation is an indication that under the current administration social cohesiveness in Indonesia is not as flourish as expected. Very recently, a group of people from a certain region rejects the visit of another group from another region. The unity of Indonesia, one of the five ways of life, is in danger. In the last three years, peace and harmony are seemingly being moving away from Indonesian society. We can see, for example, social media which seemingly become a media of anti-social; hate speeches can be found easily almost everywhere and every time.

That situation will make GE2019 a very important event. The future of Indonesian harmony will certainly depend on the future national leader who will be the future President? The one who understands most the Indonesian people’s voice and follow-up their voice in appropriate actions will have the highest probability to win the GE2019. Particularly, according to demographical data, the pair of Presidential candidate who pays special attention on catching Javalanders’ voice will have the chance to win this GE. Here, Javalander refers to Indonesian citizen who lives in Java Island.

Culturally, there are two types of Indonesian people’s voice, say, rational-based voice and emotional-based voice. The first type is embraced especially by well educated people where mostly live in urban areas or big cities. For this group, national leaders who are of high intelligence with good scientific based are needed. This requirement can clearly be seen in ILC (Indonesia Lawyer Club) weekly program of a private Indonesian TV channel. Meanwhile, although we feel unfortunate to say, the second type can be found especially in the traditional community. This type of voice is representing people’s feeling or taste. We understand a French proverb that says “le goût et la couleur on ne peut pas discuter.” However, this people’s voice is very potential in GE2019. These people live mostly in rural areas and are predominant in number [2]. On the other hand, according to the age group, millennial generation (born between 1980 and 2000) is another determinant group. IDN Times [3] has reported that in 2015, more than 35% of Indonesia citizens were between 15-34 years old. This generation is characterized by their life style which is based on technology especially internet, pop music, and other entertainment.

Since the last few months, two kinds of political aspiration reveal. The first launched aspiration was announced by a group of people who want to change the President in 2019. This is then followed by the second aspiration which wants to continue the President ship of the incumbent. This polarization is an unprecedented phenomenon in the history of modern Indonesia. This is what Appiah [4] calls identity polarization which could trigger unexpected clash between groups. On the other hand, this polarization will make democracy in Indonesia more and more flourish as long as the current administration is able to play nicely its role in leadership.

In GE2019, two pairs of candidate for President-Vice President will be in the tournament; Joko Widodo-Ma’ruf Amin (J-M) and Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno (P-S). Joko Widodo is the current President. It is too early to say the most probable winner. GE is like a random walk process. The winner is still uncertain. Which one will be the national leader in 2019-2024? Nobody knows. Both pairs have their own strength and weaknesses. To make it clear, we conduct a research to understand the people’s voice about the criteria of the President that they need for the period 2019-2024.

This paper presents our research results where two groups of people are studied. First, is a group of Indonesia elites consisting of army and police generals, from 1 star until 4 stars generals. The second group consists of Indonesian scholars. To facilitate the readers, the rest of the paper will be organized as follows. In the next section, we begin our discussion with the methodology used in this research. Here, we adopt the socalled People NEWS method of survey. Later on, in Section 3, we present the results of our survey followed by a discussion. This paper is closed with concluding remarks in Section 4.


How do we listen and understand the voice of Indonesian elites and Indonesian scholars? What method of survey do we use? What is the sample size? How do we analyze the collected survey data? These are among the most important and crucial problems that we discuss in this section. In what follows we start our discussion with People NEWS method of survey followed by survey sampling technique and finally by method of data analysis.

People NEWS method of survey

“People NEWS” is a method of opinion survey introduced by Djauhari [5] during his tenure at Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia. Here, NEWS stands for Needs, Expectations, Wants, and Satisfaction.

Since then, it has been successfully used to help Malaysian government offices to understand their people’s voice. This method has many advantages such as showed in Asrah and Djauhari [6] that use it for AirAsia marketing purpose to understand customer needs, expectations, wants and satisfaction.

Respondents are invited to answer and give as much opinion as they can. However, the time to answer to these questions is limited as suggested by psychologist colleagues. This limited time is required to catch the people’s ideas at the highest level of consciousness.

In this research, our concern is on the people’s needs. More specifically, we want to understand the criteria of the President that they need for the period 2019-2024. The time given to the respondents to answer is no more than 1 minute. This is the question:


Soon in 2019 we will carry out the Presidential Election. We believe that you already have the criteria of the President that you need for the period 2019-2024. Could you please write down as many criteria as possible in no more than 1 minute?

Thank you.

This method has a special feature; respondents have 100% freedom to express what they think and want to say. Thus, it is very democratic.

In addition, if respondent’s opinion given via traditional questionnaire is a pseudo-opinion (i.e., guided opinion) and not true opinion, this is not the case when it is given via People NEWS questionnaire. The only challenging problem of this method is in data analysis. Data issued from this questionnaire is in the form of text. Thus, we are facing the problem of texts analysis.

Survey sampling

As mentioned earlier, our respondents consist of Indonesian elites and Indonesian scholars. Here, Indonesian elite refers to military and police generals, from Brigadier General until Four Stars General. Meanwhile Indonesian scholar consists of university academic staff, including Professors, and professionals from industry. They are chosen randomly from all over Indonesia.

The sample size for Indonesian elites is 20 and that for Indonesian scholars is 57. Since each of our respondents is an expert in his/her own field, these sample sizes is more than enough.

Hayes [7] has specifically mentioned a rule of thumb that for the group of experts, sample size 12 is enough. Then, on-line survey was conducted during 1 week.

Pareto analysis

From 20 respondents of Indonesian elites we come up with 308 voices and from 57 Indonesian scholars we get 302 voices. It seemingly makes sense that in average each respondent in the first group gives more voices than that in the second group.

In general, respondents in the first group have more field experiences than those in the second. These voices are in the form of texts; words or short phrases.

To analysis these texts, an affinity analysis (e.g., market basket analysis to understand the purchase behavior of customers) as suggested in Montgomery [8] and Karthiyayini, Balasubramanian [9] is used to classify the texts. Each class consists of similar words and phrases.

After having classified the texts, Pareto analysis is used to summarize the data and to order the class in terms of its importance.

More specifically, see Juran, Tague, Evans and Lindsay, and Montgomery [8,10-12], this analysis is to separate the vital few from the trivial many in national leadership and development issues.

Results and Discussion

Among 308 voices (texts) broadcasted by elites and 302 by scholars, some are the same, some are similar and some are synonymous. By using affinity analysis, through brainstorming, these texts are classified where two texts in the same class have similar meaning.

Finally, we come up with 72 classes for the group of elites and 49 classes for scholars. Each set of classes consists of Emotional-based Voice and Rational-based Voice.

Emotional-based voice

According to the elites, the people need a national leader who understands and is able to follow-up with real actions these 10 emotional-based voices (listed in order of importance) (Table 1).

Table 1: 10 emotional-based voices.

No. Voices
1 People are put at the highest priority
2 People feel loved
3 People feel nurtured
4 People feel understood
5 Feeling the suffering of the poor
6 Spend his body and soul for the people
7 Commit to the people
8 Motivator for the people
9 Practicing simple life
10 Behaving like ordinary people

One of them, “People are put at the highest priority,” reveals as one of the top five in terms of order of importance among 308 voices given by the elites.

It is then at the top five loudest vice.

On the other hand, according to the scholars, the President that people need has the following emotional-based criteria (Table 2).

Table 2: Emotional-based criteria.

No. Voices
1 Religious
2 Behaving like ordinary people
3 Supported by Islamic scholars (ulama)
4 Modern appearance
5 Willing to listen to Islamic scholars

It is worth noting that both groups of people have different but complementary requirement. If the group of elites stresses on people’s interest, the second group is on the behavior of the candidate of the next President.

Rational-based voice

Indonesian elites who involved in this research agreed that besides emotional-based voices, there are 13 rational-based voices which become the criteria of future President. In order of importance, these criteria are Integrity, Character, Managerial Competence, Self-efficacy, Assertiveness, Personality, Loyalty towards PNS (People, Nation and State), Visionary, Intelligence, Sincere enthusiasm, Empowerment, Charisma, and Others (Make Indonesia becomes a developed country).

The relative importance of these criteria is displayed in in terms of bar chart in Figure 1.


Figure 1: Bar chart of leadership criteria given by Indonesian elites.

Their numerical representations are diagrammatically given in the radar chart in Figure 2.


Figure 2: Radar chart of leadership criteria given by Indonesian elites.

The highest priority of people’s need is “Integrity” This is the first criterion that the candidate of future President must fulfill. It catches around 19.16% of the whole criteria. The next need is “Character” (16.23%) and followed by “Managerial Competence” (13.31%), “Self-efficacy” (12.99%), “Assertiveness” (8.44%), “Personality” (8.12%), “Loyalty towards PNS” (6.17%), “Visionary” (5.84%), “Intelligence” (5.19%), “Sincere enthusiasm” (2.60%), “Empowerment” (1.30%), and “Charisma” (0.65%). These 13 criteria cover all 8 leadership criteria presented in Fries [13], i.e.: Sincere enthusiasm, Integrity, Great communication skills, Loyalty, Decisiveness, Managerial competence, Empowerment, and Charisma. In this study, “Great communication skills” and “Decisiveness” are included in “Intelligence” and “Assertiveness,” respectively. See also Judge et al. and Ilies et al. [14,15] for other models of leadership criteria.

These are the criteria given by the elites. Interestingly, these criteria are those given by the scholars but in different order of importance. For the scholars, the order of importance is “Integrity” (22.52%) as the most important followed by “Intelligence” (17.88%), “Loyalty towards PNS” (12.58%), “Character” (11.26%), “Managerial competence” (10.93), “Self-efficacy” (8.94), “Personality” (5.63%), “Empowerment” (4.30%), “Assertiveness” (1.99%), “Visionary” (1.99%), “Charisma” (1.32%), and Sincere-enthusiasm” (0.66%).

Results issued from Pareto analysis

Finally, according to Pareto’s law, based on data from the group of elites we come up with the following remarks. If the President candidate focuses on fulfilling the six first criteria, he has high chance to be the winner. These criteria catch 78% of the whole voices. As can be seen from Figure 3, ordered by its importance, these 7 criteria are:


Figure 3: Pareto diagram of leadership criteria given by Indonesian elites.

• Integrity,

• Character

• Managerial Competence

• Self-efficacy,

• Assertiveness, and

• Personality

On the other hand, based on data from the group of scholars, Pareto analysis gives us this result. The following five criteria which already catch 75% of the voices must be taken into special consideration. These are:

• Integrity,

• Intelligence,

• Loyalty towards PNS,

• Character, and

• Managerial competence.

Four of them are also given by the first group, i.e.:

• Integrity,

• Character,

• Managerial competence, and

• Loyalty towards PNS.

Meanwhile, Assertiveness and Personality are only in the first group, and Intelligence is only in the second group. We see that both groups give slightly different views. Thus, the best way is to consider the two views as complementary to each other.

In addition to the above results, Indonesian scholars give highlights to the inner personal strength of the candidates and to their program that must be fulfilled once they become the President of Indonesia for the period 2019-2024. According to them, inner personal strength, the President they need must be the one who has inner beauty (39.01%), and is capable (30.04%). Furthermore, in terms of national development program, they agreed that the next President must be the one who focuses on the development of people welfare (39.74%), economic (20.51%), and political issues (19.23%). These three development sectors cover 79.49% of the scholars’ voice.

Concluding Remarks

From the above research results we can draw some important points that must be taken into special consideration by the two pairs of President-Vice President candidates.

During their campaign, emotional touch such as people feeling, behaving like ordinary people, fatherhood, and religiosity, is very important in order to win the GE2019.

During the Presidential interview, the one who can convince the people that his program on national development such as master the development of people welfare, economic affairs, and political issues, is realistic will certainly have a good chance to win the game.

The next President that Indonesian people need for the period 2019-2024 is the one who is world class President and able to bring Indonesia becomes a developed and harmonious country.

Integrity, intelligence, loyal towards PNS, character, managerial competence, and self-efficacy are the most important characteristic that the next President must have.

Assertiveness, personality and intelligence are also among the characteristics to be possessed by the next President that Indonesian people need.

It is worth noting that the above remarks are drawn under the assumption that GE2019 will be democratically and smoothly undergone. In fact, GE is a great battle for democracy. One of the most important problems in all elections is to respect and protect democracy, even in USA, by ensuring that the electronic and internet system used by GE Committee is absolutely secured. But, it is almost uncontrollable. This is the reason, as reported in Nature Briefing dated 7 September 2018, why US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has rejected its use in all elections. They warn that: “No Internet technology is safe, secure or reliable for voting. It recommends that all elections use human-readable paper ballots, and that voting machines that don’t produce a paper printout be removed immediately.” In this regards, Ledford [16] wrote “paper ballots that can be tallied by hand are the most secure way to conduct an election.” This warning is not only addressed to USA but all countries and governments, including Indonesia, who eager to respect and protect democracy. The details are in The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine [17].


The authors are very grateful to the Editor and anonymous referees for their valuable comments and suggestions that led to the final version of this presentation. Special thanks go to their respective institutions for providing research facilities.


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