A man who achieved viral infamy for his vehemently anti-mask stance has been made an ambassador to promote health protocols, since Indonesian authorities love to punish people that way for some reason.
Police in the East Java capital of Surabaya this week summoned a man for questioning, after a video showing him mocking masked mall visitors circulated widely.
In a video that appears to be a compilation of Instagram stories, the bespectacled maskless man – identified as Putu Aribowo – called out people who were wearing face masks while carrying his infant son at a mall.
"[We] don't wear face masks, son, look at these stupid people," Putu said to his son and the camera. "Why are you all so stupid. So many dumb people wearing face masks."
Putu also wrote, "What's the use of your face masks? If you're afraid of the virus, build a bunker, don't go to the mall" in one of his posts.
As has become the norm in the aftermath of outrageous viral videos, Putu apologized to the public after he was summoned by the East Java Police on Monday.
"The words I said were totally inappropriate. I regret this. I apologize to all Indonesian citizens who saw my Instagram stories, especially the residents of Surabaya. To all people who have obeyed the health protocols. I will obey the health protocols, especially wearing face masks," Putu said.
Putu, who said that he still doesn't believe that COVID-19 is real (even after more than a year since the viral disease was first confirmed on Indonesian soil), said that he just wanted to post his "opinion" about the use of face masks.
Putu was slapped with a IDR150,000 fine (US$10.40) and ordered to perform mandatory social work at a government-owned social shelter in Surabaya for a day.
Despite his anti-mask stance, local authorities have also appointed Putu as a health protocols ambassador, for which he is expected to raise awareness on precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Putu is the latest in a growing list of Indonesians who were unironically made ambassadors representing the things they violated. Some of the most notable "appointees" by authorities include actress Dewi Persik, who was made an ambassador for traffic safety for driving on a forbidden lane, and dangdut singer Zaskia Gotik, who was made an ambassador for Pancasila after she insulted the state symbol.