After working for seven months as a member of city council, Ahok got a lot of support from his people in Belitung. The people encouraged him to join as a candidate in East Belitung Regent election in 2005. Ahok maintained his campaign way, which was by serving the people. He also gave his personal mobile phone number to the people, the same number he used to communicate with his family. In this way he was able to understand and experience the situation and the necessities of the people. With his uncommon campaign way at that time, which was without political money, he became a Regent of East Belitung 2005-2010 with 37.13 percent of the votes.
Having experience as an entrepreneur and also a legislator who understood the financial system and the bureaucratic culture, in a short time as a Regent he was able to carry out free health care, free education up to high school level, and improved the public services. As a Regent, he was known as an anti-bribe person among political opponents, entrepreneurs, and the poor people. He cut the development cost involving contractors up to twenty percent. Therefore, he had much money to improve the people’s welfare.
The people throughout Bangka Belitung heard about Ahok’s work so that they wanted Ahok to be a Governor of Bangka Belitung province in 2007. Unfortunately, he could not win the election. He failed to become the Governor because of the data manipulation during the counting process. In 2009, Ahok became a candidate from Golkar party in legislative election. After struggling for a “hot” seat in the House of Representatives, finally Ahok became one of its members.
While in the House, he worked on the commission II. Friends and foes knew him as a simple person, talkative, and easily accessible by the public. He created a new standard for other members of the House of Representatives in anti-corruption, transparency and professionalism. He was a pioneer in the House in reporting working activities such as the process of discussing law and various working visits. All reports could be accessed through his website. His expert staffs did not only provide the data or the materials for making a law, but also actively collected information about the people needs. He also struggled for improving the recruitment system of regional heads. He wanted to prevent corruption in the election and also gave the opportunity for idealistic individuals to be the regional heads.