Indonesian President Jokowi attends his younger son's graduation ceremony at SUSS

He is attending the ceremony in his private capacity as a proud father.

Syahindah Ishak | Sulaiman Daud | October 09, 2019, 02:12 PM

The Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) hosted not one but two Presidents during its Convocation ceremony on Oct. 9.

President Halimah Yacob presided at the opening ceremony, as the Patron of SUSS.

She was joined by Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, and also Indonesia's President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, who was there to witness the graduation of his younger son, Kaesang Pangarep.

Jokowi has another son and daughter.

Photo courtesy of MCI.

The two leaders reaffirmed the long-standing and excellent relations between Singapore and Indonesia, and welcomed the efforts by both governments to strengthen ties across all sectors, including trade and investments, human resource development, tourism, education and culture.

Jokowi also welcomed President Halimah’s visit to Indonesia in 2020.

Jokowi's business-minded son

The 24-year-old Kaesang earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing with a minor in Communications from SUSS.

Kaesang was also one of the inaugural recipients of the inaugural SUSS-Executive Management Programme Alumni Entrepreneurship Award, given to students with "strong entrepreneurial spirit".

He is one of the only three recipients, which recognised students' "high potential for achieving a positive impact on society".

Photo by Lauren Choo.

At his young age, Kaesang has already founded several different companies:

  • Sang Javas, a t-shirt brand.
  • Sang Pisang, a food franchise.
  • Hompimpagames, a board game company.
  •, a food app.
  • Kaetering, a restaurant app.

His latest venture is Ternakopi, a coffee delivery brand that did well enough to set up 13 stores within a three-month period.

Kaesang managed to sell 8,000 bottles in just three weeks.

He is also an influencer in the truest sense of the word, with 1.6 million followers on his Instagram.

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Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, when asked why he was keen on entrepreneurship, Kaesang said:

"Because my father was a businessman before he entered politics. My brother was also a businessman. They are my mentors. That’s why I’m so keen to enter the business area."

Kaesang also had positive things to say about his experience of studying in a Singaporean university, citing SUSS's "flexibility" of hours as a factor that helped him continue his business activities.

When asked what Indonesian students could learn from Singaporeans and Singapore schools, Kaesang said:

"The way of life because in Singapore, everything is about discipline. It has shaped the way I am."

Photo by Lauren Choo.

Singapore-Indonesia Leaders' Retreat

Jokowi is in Singapore for the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders' Retreat.

On Oct. 8, he met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and other cabinet ministers at the Istana.

PM Lee declared that bilateral relations between Singapore and Indonesia are in “good shape”, and that the relationship is “deep, multi-faceted and forward-looking”.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of MOUs on electronic customs and archival records, and affirmed the strong bilateral ties and economic relations between the two countries.

Jokowi is expected to return to Indonesia later today.

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Top image from Lauren Choo and Ilene Fong.