Bima Yudho Saputro, an Indonesian student in Sydney, may breathe a sigh of relief after police announced that they found no criminal defamation intent in his criticism of his hometown of Lampung.
Bima, who goes by @awbimaxreborn on TikTok, is a student at Macquarie University in Sydney. Last week, he posted a political commentary video that went viral on TikTok, citing poor infrastructure, systemic corruption and nepotism, and poor education to be among the problems holding back progress in Lampung.
A citizen filed a criminal complaint against Bima for defamation on behalf of the Lampung Provincial Government, taking particular issue with the youngster likening the province to Dajjal (Islam's version of the Antichrist).
Reports also emerged that Lampung Governor Arinal Djunaidi personally called Bima's parents – who still live in Lampung – to berate them for raising a petulant child. Arinal has denied the reports.
Today, the Lampung Provincial Police said it would cease investigation in the case as they found no criminal element in Bima's video.
"We asked for statements from six witnesses, comprising three civilians including the complainant, as well as three expert witnesses – one for linguistics and two for crime," Lampung Police spokesman Grand Commissioner Zahwani Pandra Arsyad said in a press conference.
The spokesman stressed that the outcome was not influenced by public pressure at all.
The public has rallied their support for Bima in the saga. Renowned lawyers like Hotman Paris have also thrown their hat in the ring to defend Bima and his family.
Public works seemingly picked up in Lampung following Bima's criticism, though the administration was keen to note that they would have worked hard even if they weren't under the spotlight.