Rhoma Irama: (Kompas/Irfan Maullana)
The Jakarta election
supervisor has begun investigating a sermon by popular dangdut singer Rhoma
Irama, who is alleged to have conducted negative campaigning.
chairman of the Jakarta Election Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu), said the
committee had obtained a seven-minute video showing the
sermon from the Jakarta
branch of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPID). Rhoma is known as “the
king of dangdut”, Indian-influenced popular music.
was also seeking witnesses, he said.
“Later, we will
conduct a reconstruction of the event to gather all the facts and we will
summon [Rhoma],” he said on Wednesday, as quoted by kompas.com.
made the sermon on Sunday evening before a tarawih prayer (Ramadhan evening prayer) at Al Isra Mosque in
Tanjung Duren, West Jakarta. Incumbent Jakarta
Governor Fauzi Bowo, also a gubernatorial candidate, was among the
“Islam is a perfect
religion. Choosing a leader is not merely a political matter, but also a matter
of worship. Choose [leaders] who share the same faith with most Jakartans,” Rhoma
told the congregation.
Rhoma could be
charged under the 2004 Regional Administration Law, which stipulates against
campaigning outside determined schedules, campaigning based on ethnic,
racial, religious and intergroup differences (known locally by its Indonesian
acronym, SARA) and campaigning in places of worship.
confident-sounding Rhoma said he was ready to be questioned by the supervisory
“I am prepared
to be summoned by them. Based on my faith, I did nothing wrong. A mosque is not
only a place to pray, but also to discuss social matters,” he told The Jakarta Post Digital over the phone.
head of media for Fauzi’s campaign team, said they did not initiate the event;
thus, they had no responsibility regarding the sermon’s content.
“Fauzi was only
invited to the tarawih,” he told the Post on Wednesday.
He added that Rhoma
had joined performances during Fauzi's campaign, but he was not a campaign team