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Jokowi stresses civility, eastern values following UGM student protest

Jakarta Post - December 12, 2023

Jakarta – Responding to criticism recently voiced by Gadjah Mada University (UGM) students, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo stressed on Monday the need for civility and the courteous expression of opinions, emphasizing respect and adherence to traditional values.

"I need to remind everyone that we [need to employ] etiquette that adheres to eastern culture," said the President, as quoted by Kompas, referring to the general culture of respect and politeness to one's seniors, which is common in Indonesia.

On Friday, a large protest banner was prominently displayed near the UGM campus traffic circle in Yogyakarta, bearing the message "Awarding the Most Embarrassing UGM Alumnus Nomination" with Jokowi's image divided into two, one side adorned with a crown and the other a farmer's hat.

Ari Dwipayana, coordinator of the presidential expert staff, acknowledged in response to the banner, that criticism and praise are inherent elements of a democratic society but added that in a democracy appreciation and faith in government entities are also considered standard practices.

Gielbran M Noor, head of UGM's student executive board, outlined three reasons behind the decision to call Jokowi "the most embarrassing" alumnus. First, the democracy index experienced a significant decline throughout President Jokowi's leadership, second, there have been constitutional setbacks during Jokowi's tenure and last, the President's efforts to establish a political dynasty.

"All these factors collectively justify Jokowi being crowned the most embarrassing alumnus, as he has failed to uphold the values expected from a UGM alumnus," said Gielbran.

During a public discussion, Gielbran went as far as presenting recognition for the "award" in the form of a certificate, given to a student wearing a mask resembling President Jokowi's face.

"There is no more opportune moment than now to declare him the most embarrassing UGM alumnus," said Gielbran.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2023/12/12/jokowi-stresses-civility-eastern-values-following-ugm-student-protest.htm