Jakarta – University of Indonesia (UI) lecturer Ade Armando has been reported to the police for allegedly circulating an insulting meme of Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan on Facebook.
A Jakarta representative in the Regional Representatives Council (DPD), Fahira Idris, reported Ade to the police for allegedly editing Anies' picture to resemble Joker, a supervillain character from DC Comics recently featured in a movie.
Fahira reported Ade's Facebook account to the Jakarta Police, accusing him of violating the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law for editing and distributing the picture.
She said she stumbled upon the parody picture of Anies when she was at her office on Friday. "The original photo that Ade allegedly uploaded on his Facebook account belongs to the Jakarta Administration or the public," Fahira said.
The disputed meme, which was still visible on Ade's Facebook account on Saturday, shows a tampered version of Anies' official photo as governor so that his face has Joker makeup and a leer.
The text on the meme reads "evil governor is born from a fired minister," in apparent criticism of the recent budgeting scandal in the Jakarta administration that forced two officials to resign.
Anies served as education minister before he was elected as governor in 2017.
Ade admitted posting the meme, out of his concern about the problems in the Jakarta administration that had seen agencies proposing billions of rupiah for small items such as glue and pens.
He, however, denied editing the picture, saying that he only reshared the parody photo from other social media users.
"I didn't make that meme. However, I shared it because it [the meme] represents what I want to say to Anies and the public," Ade said as quoted by kompas.com on Saturday.
The lecturer also said he was ready to face the legal process. "I am ready to be investigated. I'm not guilty. Especially if I'm accused of editing his [Anies] picture," Ade said.
Jakarta Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Argo Yuwono said the police had accepted Fahira's report. He said the police would question the relevant individuals, including Ade, but have yet to schedule the questioning. "We are still clarifying the report," he said. (dpk)