JAKARTA: President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said he was disappointed to learn that Saudi Arabia invested US$65bil (RM285bil) in China, almost ten times the 89tril rupiah (RM30mil) pledged to Indonesia, despite the President's "special treatment" of Saudi's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud during his visit to Indonesia last month.
"[Saudi's] investment in Indonesia is big, but I am surprised that when the King came to China, he signed [contracts over] 870 trillion rupiah," Jokowi said during his visit to the Buntet Pesantren (Islamic boarding school) in Cirebon, West Java, on Thursday.
"I even held up the umbrella for the King, but we got a smaller amount. I am a little bit disappointed, just a little," the President added.
Jokowi was referring to King Salman's visit to the Bogor State Palace in West Java on March 1, when heavy downpour welcomed the Saudi's entourage. Jokowi helped hold up the umbrella for the king in an act that received praise from the public.
In general, the treatment to the king's visit was considered special. Jokowi himself greeted King Salman upon his arrival at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in East Jakarta. Not to mention the police's and military's cavalry, all of which is rarely seen during visits by any other state guest.
Jokowi promised to make phone calls to the King and the deputy crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, to further discuss investment.
The king's visit received a nationwide enthusiastic response. It was considered historical, as King Salman was the first Saudi king to visit Indonesia in 47 years. – The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network