Radhiyya Indra, Jakarta – The head of a Tangerang market who resigned over a viral TikTok clip showing him with piles of money has claimed that the video was "an accident" and that the money is his.
The head of a regency-owned market in Tangerang, Banten, resigned on Wednesday after a TikTok video clip showing him with a pile of money went viral and caused a public outcry.
In the 15-second video clip, Syaefunnur Maszah, the president director of regency-owned Niaga Kerta Raharja Market in Tangerang is seen sitting on a sofa, holding a spoon and fork while perched over a plate of banded Rp 100,000 banknotes spilling onto a table.
Each band contains Rp 10 million (US$695.20).
The camera then pans to show a copy of the Kompas daily newspaper on the table with a front-page headline referring to the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).
The video went viral and drew a backlash from social media users who noted the official's lack of sensitivity during the pandemic and accused him of "immorality".
"I am sorry about that, I regret it and it really was an accident," Syaefunnur said on Wednesday, as quoted by Detik.com.
He also claimed that money in the video was his own money. "I'm not a sick man, the money is my money and that can be checked, there is a regular audit every year," he told the online media portal.
Syaefunnur said the TikTok video was taken at his residence "for fun" on Sept. 15, 2020, and that he had initially sent the clip to a colleague at Niaga Kerta Raharja to remind him that money was "hot".
"I admit there can be multiple interpretations like, 'What is this cocky behavior?' [...] If it was now, I probably wouldn't have done it," he said.
Syaefunnur added that he had sent a formal resignation letter to the Tangerang administration.
"I have discussed it and with all due consideration, I submitted my resignation to the regent and the regency secretary as a form of public education, and it was not easy," he said.
Tangerang Regent Ahmed Zaki Iskandar also apologized for the incident. "I accept his responsible move to resign, punish himself and accept his guilt," Zaki said on Wednesday, as quoted by Kompas.com.
The regent also confirmed that he had accepted Syaefunnur's resignation, effective as of Feb. 2.
Meanwhile, the Indonesia Ombudsman's assistant to the Banten province representative, Harri Widiarsa, said he had requested the Tangerang regent to call in a team from the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK) to investigate Syaefunnur.
"Investigate [him] immediately, including his financial transaction flow, with the PPATK. There should be no gray area in enforcing discipline in the Tangerang regency administration," Harri said in a written statement, as quoted by Kompas.com.