BTV, Cirebon – A vocational school teacher in the West Java town of Cirebon was fired on Tuesday reportedly after he threw a question to Governor Ridwan Kamil about the latter's outfit during a recent video conference with students.
Ridwan posted the footage of the conference on Instagram showing him addressing students of a state junior high school in Tasikmalaya.
In the video, the governor can be seen dressed in a yellow suit. In national politics, the color yellow is mostly associated with the Golkar Party which Ridwan joined in January.
Muhamad Sabil Fadhilah, who taught at Telkom Sekara Kemuning Vocational School, asked the governor in the comment section.
"In this Zoom conference, are you acting as the West Java governor, a political party executive, or yourself?" Sabil wrote in Sundanese. "What do you think?" Ridwan replied and also pinned the conversation.
A few days later, Sabil received a letter from the foundation which runs the vocational school stating that his job as a part-time teacher was terminated effective on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Ridwan denied any intervention that caused Sabil to lose his job. "I didn't do anything. Perhaps somebody reported him or else," Ridwan told reporters during a visit to Kuningan Regency.
"I'm not against criticisms as long as they are delivered in a civilized manner. The fact that the school took that decision is beyond my control. In my opinion, a reprimand should be enough," he added.
The governor said he pinned the conversation to let people know that the question was rude and groundless but stopped short of explaining about the yellow suit.
Sabil meanwhile claimed that the governor contacted the school via Instagram message. "It's not appropriate for a teacher to act like that," the governor's message reads.
The school's Instagram account responded with an apology and a promise to take "stern and measured action" against Sabil.
There's no conversation indicating Ridwan's direct request for the dismissal.
But Sabil claimed the headmaster had acknowledged that his comment on Ridwan's Instagram post was one of the reasons for his dismissal.
The other reason is that Sabil also teaches in a different school, which according to him is also in the process of cutting off his ties.
He said as a private and part-time teacher there's no regulation that limits his job to one school. "The terms 'being fired' really do damage to me. I have no job and teach no school," he said.
He said his Instagram comment was meant as an honest criticism of the governor that schools should be immune from political activities.