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BEM UI Causes Stir For Lampooning Indonesian President Joko Widodo

June 28, 2021, 10.14 PM

DEPOK, - The head office of the University of Indonesia (UI) or Rectorate has summoned members of the university's Student Executive Board or BEM on Sunday, June 27 for uploading a satirical poster of President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo.

The BEM uploaded the poster, which depicted the President as "Jokowi: The King of Lip Service" on its social media accounts the day before.

UI spokesperson Amelita Lusia confirmed the summons, which she stated was a form of counselling from the university, after the meme became a hot topic online. "[BEM UI's] actions had violated a number of regulations," she pointed out.

"The meme depicting a symbol of state like President [Joko Widodo], wearing a crown and the caption ‘Jokowi: The King of Lip Service’, is not the proper way of expressing opinions," Amelita said in a written statement to on Sunday.

Also read: Over 30 Percent of Indonesians Worried by Virtual Police: Kompas Poll 

She added that the students' actions had violated several existing regulations. However, Amelita declined to specify what those violations were.

BEM UI maintained that Jokowi's words contradicted his actions.

These including his longing to be protested, his pledge to revise Indonesia's controversial Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law to fulfill the public's sense of justice, and his promise to strengthen the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

University of Indonesia (UI).Shutterstock/Harismoyo University of Indonesia (UI).

BEM UI chairman, Leon Alvinda Putra admitted that the Rectorate requested that he take down or delete content on the BEM UI account critical to President Jokowi.

“We refused [to delete the uploads],” said Leon to, Monday.

Leon added, that several administrators of BEM UI WhatsApp group have found that their accounts  have been hacked on since last Sunday following the meme criticizing the president.

The UI Rectorate's assertion of the President as a state symbol was not found in Indonesia's 1945 Constitution.

Also read: Indonesian Police Deny Repressing Freedom of Expression

Article 35 of the Constitution clearly stipulated that Indonesia's national flag to be the Red and White (Sang Merah Putih), while Article 36 asserted that Indonesian was the national language of Indonesia.

Article 36A stated that Indonesia's state symbol was the mythical Garuda bird emblazoned with the Pancasila five principles or Garuda Pancasila, while Article 36B asserted that "Indonesia Raya" was the country's national anthem.


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