Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo — commonly known as Jokowi — called on Indonesia’s civil servants to live a “humble life” and avoid flaunting their wealth, especially on social media.
This is the first time Jokowi commented on the recent issue of public officials showing off their extravagant lifestyles which have caused consternation among the Indonesian public.
Several government personnel had been removed from their postings due to public dissatisfaction.
“Don’t show off your wealth.”
“I understand the public disappointment towards the government… it is reasonable for them to be disappointed,” Jokowi said in a speech at the presidential palace last Thursday (Mar. 2), reported CNN Indonesia.
“[The people] believe the public service has been poor, and the government officials are behaving arrogantly, flexing their power and wealth, and are hedonistic,” he added.
“I want us and everyone below us to stress this don’t show off your power. Don’t show off your wealth, especially by posting on Instagram and other social media platforms. For members of the bureaucracy, this is really inappropriate,” Jokowi stressed.
He called for every member of the ministries and head of institutions to discipline their subordinates and to tell them what can and cannot be done.
Questioned the source of mid-level government officials’ wealth
Indonesians began questioning the source of mid-level government officials’ wealth after a video of a tax official’s son attacking another teen, resulting in a coma, went viral on social media.
The son, Mario Dandy Satriyo, was caught allegedly punching, kicking, and stamping on the head of a 17-year-old teen in the viral video, Aljazeera reported.
The victim was the ex-boyfriend of Satriyo’s current girlfriend, David. He has been in a coma since the attack.
According to Detik, Satriyo allegedly attacked David after hearing slanderous complaints about the victim from his girlfriend.
Since the video went viral, Indonesian internet users referred to Satriyo’s past social media posts showing off his wealth, such as driving a Harley Davidson motorcycle and Jeep Wrangler SUV.
These posts prompt the public to question how his family was able to afford these expensive vehicles on a civil servant’s pay.
Satriyo’s father, tax official Rafael Alun Trisambodo, had since been suspended. An investigation into his wealth is being carried out by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
Trisambodo is revealed to have RP56.1 billion (S$5 million) in personal assets, though he is suspected to have more, Jakarta Globe reported.
“Hedonistic officials” saga
A few other officials have been subjected to public scrutiny since Trisambodo’s source of wealth was put in the spotlight.
Indonesia’s finance minister Sri Mulyani ordered the tax directorate general’s “big bike club”, a group of officials who enjoy riding motorbikes, to disband after a photo of one of its chiefs on one of the group’s tours gained traction, BBC reported.
According to CNBC Indonesia, Yogyakarta customs office head, Eko Darmanto, had also been removed from his post after he was accused of flaunting his wealth on social media.
The “hedonistic officials” saga began shortly after the country’s former internal affairs chief, Fedry Sambo, was sentenced to death after being found guilty of the premeditated murder of his subordinate, Nofriansyah Yosua Hutabarant.
Yosua’s lawyer claimed Yosua had been murdered to prevent him from exposing corruption, causing the public to question Sambo’s source of wealth.
Top image via Presiden Jokowi Widodo/Facebook