A member of the Regional People's Representative Council (DPRD) in Palembang, South Sumatra may be booted out of his party and face criminal charges after he was filmed assaulting a woman at a gas station.
A video has emerged showing Gerindra Party politician M. Syukri Zein beating a civilian in plain sight of numerous other motorists who were queuing at a gas station. The incident reportedly occurred on Aug. 5.
Weeks later, after the video went viral online, Syukri appeared in a press conference yesterday in which he apologized for his conduct. "I personally deeply apologize to the public, and I have also apologized profusely to [the victim]," Syukri said.
Syukri explained that he was angry at the victim for blocking his access to the non-subsidized Pertamax fuel lane. At the time, the woman was in her car queuing for the government-subsidized, 90-octane Pertalite fuel.
Separately, the woman yesterday gave a different account of the event. According to her, Syukri tried to aggressively cut in line in front of her but she managed to squeeze him out. He then got out of his vehicle and screamed obscenities towards her and her mother, who was also in the car.
The woman then got out of the car and the beating ensued. "He punched me in the arm, and then the head, my lips, and he twisted my finger," she said.
The woman reported Syukri to the local police, who have launched an investigation. Under the Criminal Code (KUHP), assault is punishable by up to two years and eight months in prison.
Gerindra's Palembang chapter has strongly condemned Syukri's arrogance, and says that it is considering the harshest of sanctions against him. Pending a decision by the party's central executive board, Syukri may face expulsion from the party.
"It must be stressed that [Gerindra Chairman] Prabowo Subianto does not tolerate arrogance and forbidden actions like this," Gerindra Palembang Branch Executive Board Chairman Akbar Alvaro said.