Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo approached members of the public still waiting in line at the National Monument (Monas) square in Central Jakarta on Wednesday for an Idul Fitri open house event at Merdeka Palace after the event had finished.
The open house event ran from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. Jokowi greeted and meet with those still waiting in line under the hot sun before departing from the capital at 1 p.m. for his hometown in Surakarta, Central Java, for an Idul Fitri celebration.
"Minal aidin wal faizin [may you be counted among the returnees and victors]. I'm very sorry [about the queue] because the number of guests in line at the palace was great. However, here there are even more. So, I decided I better come here," he said, as quoted by kompas.com.
The Idul Fitri open house was the second time Jokowi has hosted an Idul Fitri gathering or "open house" in the capital since taking office in late 2014. Last year, he hosted the event at his residence at Bogor Palace.
Although the Idul Fitri open house started at 10 a.m., a large crowd of people had already gathered at Monas by 6 a.m.
Kompas.com reported that the crowd was not well managed although security personnel were seen at the location, with some people cutting in line.
"Oh come on! Don't you cut in line! Please queue at the rear!" the daily reported hearing several people shouting.
Many remained in the 100-meter queue and braved the morning's heat for a chance to meet President Jokowi, who has been declared the winner of the 2019 presidential election.
Priyati arrived early with her husband and children, hoping to meet the President. "I came here at 6 a.m. It was already crowded," said the 22-year-old.
Meanwhile, Martha, 81, who came with her children and grandchildren, said she did not mind waiting in line for the chance to meet the President. (das)