Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander Gen. Moeldoko rebuffed Singaporean media reports on his lavish watch collection and claimed that he only purchased knockoff watches to satisfy his curiosity about watch technology.
“In the market, this watch could fetch for more than Rp 1 billion [US$85,984], but I bought it for only Rp 5 million,” Moeldoko said after a meeting with the Philippines’ armed forces chief, Gen. Emmanuel T. Bautista, in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Moeldoko was responding to foreign media reports about his penchant for collecting expensive watches. One of the watches was a limited edition Richard Mille he wore during an interview with a Singaporean news channel.
Moeldoko later went on to explain the philosophical value of his passion for luxury watches.
“A country can move forward if it is innovative. Every time I look at this watch, it reminds me of innovation. So, I don’t mean to show off,” he said while displaying his Richard Mille watch to reporters.
The first report about Moeldoko’s luxury watch appeared on Singapore-based lifestyle website themillenary.com. In a photo that accompanies the article, the army general was seen wearing a Richard Mille RM 011 Felipe Massa Flyback Chronograph “Black Kite” during his recent interview with the Singapore-based Channel News Asia.
The 30-piece limited edition watch for North and South American retailers, fetches at around $100,000.
Another website, mothership.sg, has posted photographs of Moeldoko wearing four expensive watches on separate occasions.
When asked whether his watch was an original, Moeldoko allowed scores of journalists to take a closer look at the watch and said: “Do you think this is an original?”
One of the reporters said, “But, this looks heavy, sir”. To the question, Moeldoko responded by throwing the watch on the floor.
As his aide picked up the watch, which apparently remained intact, Meoldoko left the building with a chuckle.
Moeldoko, a former Army chief of staff, was sworn in as TNI chief in August last year. Prior to that promotion, Moeldoko had total combined wealth of Rp 32 billion and $450,000, including ten plots of land and a cattle farm.
Moeldoko is in the spotlight following a Channel News Asia report on the naming of a warship after two Indonesian marines who bombed the MacDonald House in Singapore in 1965.
The report states that Moeldoko issued an apology for naming the warship, Usman-Harun, which was named after Usman bin Haji Muhammad Ali and Harun bin Said, the two Indonesian marines who were executed in 1968 for the deadly bombing, during Indonesia’s confrontation with the Federation of Malaysia — of which Singapore was a part of.
Moeldoko clarified his statement, saying that during the interview, he was expressing his regret that the name was final and would not be changed.