Cover Story / March 2019

Throwing Her Hat into the Political Ring

Liliana, who serves as commissioner and director in several subsidiaries of her husband Hary Tanoesoedibjo’s MNC Group, including PT Rajawali Citra Television Indonesia (RCTI), PT Global Land Development, PT Star Media Nusantara and PT UGB, wants to do more for Indonesia than merely focusing on business. She acknowledges that her role as businesswoman benefits society, such as job creation for example, but she believes she can make an even greater contribution to society as politician.

The businesswoman and socialite says that while the goal of any company is to make a profit and create value for its shareholders, the role of a politician presents a much wider perspective, such as looking for ways to benefit the nation and improve people’s welfare.

“Politicians can make laws that positively impact the lives of the country’s people, while businesspeople only work for shareholders,” she says, hastening to add that for a politician to make a positive contribution to society, it requires setting aside self-interest and acting for the common good.

“Politicians should have strong empathy, passion and compassion. Through politics, I will have the opportunity to participate, along with others, in making substantial changes for the benefit of so many and for the nation as a whole,” she says.

To realize this dream, Liliana took the bold step to become actively involved in politics. As such, she is a founding member of her husband’s Indonesian Unity Party (Perindo), established in February 2015. She serves as chairwoman of Kartini Perindo, the women’s wing of the party, which requires her to travel to various parts of the country to introduce Perindo’s mission to potential voters and drum up support for the party in the April 17 legislative election.

Liliana is running for a House of Representatives seat in Jakarta, against Wiryanti Sukamdani, candidate for the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), former television journalist Putra Nababan and Hidayat Nur Wahid of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

She has vowed to fight for women’s rights if elected, as she believes it takes a woman to truly understand the burning issues fellow women are facing in society. She also wants to tackle the scourge of domestic violence, which severely impacts the lives of many women in Indonesia. Citing data from the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan), she says there were about 350,000 reported cases of domestic violence against women last year alone, and that this demands urgent action.

Liliana further plans to take steps to improve access to education and health care for children, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds, while she also seeks to root out all forms of exploitation. “We not only want all women and children to feel safe, loved, respected and cared for, but also to have access to equal opportunities in all fields,” she says.

As chairwoman of Kartini Perindo, Liliana has already helped thousands of low-income earners and disadvantaged people across the country receive treatment for various medical conditions.

Liliana, born in Surabaya, East Java, on March 15, 1967, married Hary when she was only 19 years old and he 21. She says, like any other couple, they have had ups and downs in their marriage over the years, but that this had brought them closer together. The mother of five, who has graduated from reputable fashion and beauty schools in Canada, says she has always had the freedom to pursue her dreams and passions.

The couple further encourage their children, Angela, Valencia, Jessica, Clarissa and Warren, to be actively engaged in social causes. Three of the daughters, Angela, Valencia and Jessica, have followed in their parents’ footsteps by running as legislative candidates for Perindo in various regions in the upcoming election.