Governor Anies Baswedan has reportedly dismissed acting head of Jakarta Tourism Agency Alberto Ali in an ongoing fallout from the provincial government handing Colosseum nightclub the Adikarya Wisata award.
Last week, Colosseum received the award – which recognizes accomplishments in the city's tourism sectors – amid huge controversy. Anies, who campaigned for governor on the back of support from Islamic groups, was roundly criticized for giving an award to a nightclub of ill-repute – where drugs have been found in numerous raids in recent years. The award was rescinded yesterday following backlash against the provincial government.
Yet Alberto, who has only been in the job in an acting capacity for a month and a half, seems to be the only one who has taken the fall over the controversy.
"There is a suspicion that he made an error in carrying out his duty. A suspicion that he made a mistake in giving out the award," Jakarta Employment Agency head Chaidir told CNN Indonesia today.
It's unclear what new position, if any, Alberto now holds. That said, Anies has also reportedly said that all those responsible for giving Colosseum the award will be temporarily suspended.
Gembong Warsono, head of the PDI-P faction in City Hall, criticized Anies' dismissal of Alberto.
"He (Anies) can't wash his hands clean. He signed it, yet someone else got the blame," Gembong said. "He can't blame his subordinates. The final say [in giving the award] belongs to the governor."
Gembong was referring to the fact that Anies' signature was on the award, which he said meant that the governor should shoulder at least some of the blame for the controversy. However, an official at the provincial government has clarified that Anies did not sign the award himself, and that the Tourism Agency pasted a copy of his signature onto the award.
Nevertheless, the hashtag #4niescucitangan (which translates to "Anies washing his hands clean"), containing tweets highly critical of the governor, became the top trending topic on Twitter in Indonesia today following news of Alberto's dismissal.