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Jokowi’s presence at lavish wedding sparks controversy amid Covid-19 borders

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JAKARTA A lavish wedding of one of Indonesia’s biggest YouTube stars, Mr. Atta Halilintar, which cost 100 billion rupees ($ 9.2 million), courted controversy, with questions as to why President Joko Widodo was at the event amid the Covid-19 pandemic that has hampered many public functions.

The nationally televised wedding was also attended by Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and a large number of members of the House of Representatives.

Mr Widodo sat down with six other distinguished guests, including his wife, Iriana, while the newlyweds sat next to them. Mr. Prabowo was seated at the other end of the table.

Mr Atta, who has 27 million YouTube subscribers and is said to earn 1.6 million US dollars (S $ 2 million) a month, married singer and model Aurel Hermansyah last Saturday.

According to Atta, the two senior officials were invited as witnesses to their wedding. “We want this happy moment to be seen by great personalities in our country,” Atta said at a press conference at the Raffles Jakarta hotel.

“We want to show that we are serious about our marriage. So my side of the family is represented by Mr. Jokowi, and Aurel’s family side is represented by Mr. Prabowo,” he said. , using the popular name of President Widodo.

Popular writer and singer Fiersa Besari got the ball rolling when he appeared to criticize Mr Widodo’s presence at the wedding, especially as the government officially banned the annual mudik (exodus to the towns of origin) just before Hari Raya Puasa next month.

“It’s a land of paradoxes,” Mr. Besari tweeted. “Mudik is banned but vacation destinations open together. Roads are closed, but traffic jams are everywhere. People are not allowed to organize weddings, but a celebrity’s wedding is personally attended by the head of the country.”

The former Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti, herself very active on social networks, replied to Mr. Besari by showering him with crying emojis before declaring “sad to read your tweet”.

Public health expert Irma Hidayana said of Mr Widodo: “It would have been better to spend time visiting hospitals to check their readiness, or doing impromptu inspections at the Ministry of Health for ensure they are ready to distribute the vaccine. There are so many things on his bucket list. “

Ms Aurel’s parents, Mr Anang Hermansyah and Ms Krisdayanti, were both popular singers who entered politics and became members of the House.

Ms Krisdayanti said on her YouTube account that people “should not overreact” to the presence of the president and Mr Prabowo.

But Mr. Wisnu Prasetya Utomo, media observer and lecturer at Gadjah Mada University, said: “For a year people had to sacrifice their marriages or even be dispersed by the security forces. Suddenly we see the president and senior officials at a big wedding. What we are seeing is one rule for the elite and the celebrities, and another for the common people. “

THE JAKARTA POST / ASIA NEWS NETWORK



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