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Ministry retracts call to play national anthem before movies

Jakarta Post - February 1, 2019

Gemma Holliani Cahya, Jakarta – The Youth and Sports Ministry withdrew on Friday a circular that was issued to encourage cinemas to play the national anthem before screening movies, only two days after Minister Imam Nahrawi signed the draft.

"We have revoked it. The decision was made based on various considerations, including strong resistance. This [plan] has created commotion," the ministry's secretary, Gatot S. Dewa Broto, told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

Previously, a picture of the signed draft circulated on social media.

"To boost nationalism and to create young generations who love their country, we hereby urge cinema managers across Indonesia to play the national anthem, 'Indonesia Raya', before screening movies," the circular read.

The circular was forwarded to the Office of the Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister, the Communications and Information Ministry and the Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf).

A picture of the signed draft went viral on the internet and quickly attracted responses from social media users.

"Was research done, Sir, on whether singing 'Indonesia Raya' before a movie screening would strengthen nationalism?" Yahya Muhamad said on his twitter account @yayagisawa.

"If I arrive late at the cinema and miss the national anthem, will I be punished [like at school]?" @riki_khotama responded on his Instagram account.

"The essence of nationalism does not come from a song. It's our action when we see oppression or helping those in distress," @od_drii, another Instagram user, said.

The ministry's cancellation of the circular has further aggravated social media users, who quickly judged the ministry for flip-flopping and not thoroughly studying the issue before issuing the circular.

"Before you make a decision, you have to study it first. You only ended up as laughingstock," Twitter user Didie Soeharto said.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/02/01/ministry-retracts-call-to-play-national-anthem-before-movies.html