Risyad Tri Setiaputra, 27, is registered as a Jakarta resident. Currently residing in Glasgow, in the United Kingdom, he has kept a close eye on every development in the heated Jakarta gubernatorial race through the internet. For Risyad, casting his vote in the Feb. 15 election is important because it will determine the future of the Indonesian capital. “Jakarta is developing now. It would be a pity if the ongoing development faced challenges because of the election result,” Risyad told The Jakarta Post via instant messaging service on Saturday. Going home only to vote, however, is certainly not an option for him. Risyad is originally from Kalimalang, East Jakarta, thousands of kilometers away from the biggest city in Scotland where he has been pursuing his master’s degree. Risyad said he would stay in Glasgow until he finished his course in October.
According to Risyad, a student at Glasgow Caledonian University, the Indonesian Students Association (PPI) UK had consulted the Indonesian Embassy in London on how Indonesians living abroad could participate in the regional elections, which will be held simultaneously in Jakarta and 100 other provinces, regencies, and cities in Indonesia on Feb. 15.
The embassy said it only set up polling facilities during presidential and legislative elections.
“Master’s students will mostly stay in the UK, while PhD students could possibly return to Indonesia because they have longer study times and hence more spare time,” said Risyad, who cast his vote in the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial election.