Questions are being asked about whether or not the rule of law applies equally to all citizens after President Joko Widodo attended a glitzy celebrity wedding when it has been so difficult for regular Joes and Janes (or Jokos and Jumintens, as it were) to celebrate their unions during the pandemic.
On Saturday, President Jokowi was among hundreds of esteemed guests, including other politicians and celebrities, at the wedding of YouTuber Atta Halilintar and actress Aurel Hermansyah, which was held at the glamorous Raffles Hotel in Jakarta.
Not only that, the head of state served as the witness to the wedding's sacred vows, as documented by the State Secretariat in a tweet.
Presiden Joko Widodo dan Ibu Negara Iriana Hadiri Akad Nikah Aurel dan Atta: https://t.co/FQ47ZipuSu. Foto: Lukas – BPMI Setpres pic.twitter.com/LzgrhWzyO9 – Sekretariat Negara (@KemensetnegRI) April 3, 2021
That tweet has invited massive scorn from netizens, some of whom reposted old viral videos and news clippings showing authorities clamping down harshly on people holding wedding receptions due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Melihat ini kasihan dibentak-2 sambil tangannya di pinggang, padahal dibilangin secara santun jg pasti akan mengerti. Apakah mas Anang kemarin sempat diginikan juga sama petugas ?pic.twitter.com/XvQVXPFIrv – Del'v. (@Delv44142652) April 4, 2021. Hmm pic.twitter.com/MkAOLC3cUk – MayaFarrell21 (@MayaFarrell21) April 4, 2021
Some, including musician Fiersa Besari, said Jokowi's attendance speaks loudly to how the rule of law applies in Indonesia.
Banyak paradoks di negeri ini. Mudik dilarang, tapi destinasi wisata buka serempak. Penutupan jalan raya, tapi malah macet di sana-sini. Izin resepsi masyarakat dipersulit, tapi pernikahan seleb dihadiri langsung oleh pemimpin negara. Ah, tapi saya tahu apa. Cuma rakyat jelata – Fiersa Besari (@FiersaBesari) April 3, 2021
There are many paradoxes in this country. Mudik (Eid homecoming) is banned, but tourist destinations are opening in unison. They shut major roads, but there are traffic jams everywhere. They make it difficult for regular people to obtain permission to hold wedding receptions, but a celebrity wedding is attended by state officials. Ah, what do I know? I'm just a commoner.
Terima kasih Atta-Aurel telah menunjukkan kepada rakyat tentang posisi hukum dan keadilan di negeri ini. – Farrah Salim (@SalimFarrah) April 4, 2021
Thank you Atta and Aurel for showing the people where they stand in the eyes of the law and justice in this nation.
Of course, there were memes, including our absolute favorite in which the wedding was reimagined with a Western context. The Presidential Palace has not issued any statements responding to the backlash.