Jakarta – Surakarta mayor and vice presidential candidate Gibran Rakabuming Raka presented diplomas at his office on Monday in an effort to counter social media allegations that he had created a false diploma from an Australian university.
Talking to journalists at Surakarta City Hall, he showed academic certificates from the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS), where he obtained his bachelor's degree.
"No [harm done]. I just consider it funny. I feel bad for my parents who have already put their children through school," said Gibran.
There has been a dispute on social media over whether Gibran completed his bachelor's degree at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in Australia. Gibran appears not to have said that he graduated in Australia.
According to media reports, Gibran finished his bachelor's degree at MDIS in 2007 and later joined Insearch, a college program to prepare for admission at UTS.
Gibran said he would buy those who accused his diploma of being fake tickets to Singapore to visit the school where he studied. "If you don't believe it, I will buy you a ticket to Singapore. Come and visit the school," he said.
He claimed that if his diplomas were fake, there would have been questions during his registration as a vice presidential candidate on the ticket of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, the chairman of the Gerindra Party and the country's defense minister.
Gibran also noted that a number of people said he had graduated from a vocational school.
"These days, many people talk about me graduating from a vocational school. So what if I was a vocational school graduate? There's nothing wrong with graduating from a vocational school," he said.
Before attending MDIS, Gibran went to Orchid Park Secondary School, also in Singapore, to finish his high school education.