The Jakarta Post
Social media is abuzz with protests after Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama jokingly said on Monday that jinn might be behind the disappearance of AirAsia flight QZ8501, which went missing en route from Surabaya, East Java to Singapore with 162 people on board.
The plane was officially declared missing at 7:55 a.m. on Sunday, with its last known position between Tanjung Pandan in Bangka-Belitung province and Pontianak in West Kalimantan.
Ahok said that he often flew to his hometown in Bangka-Belitung and had never experienced any anomalies.
"So far everything has been okay [when flying to the province]," said Ahok.
However, he later joked about the waters around the province that are said to be plagued with mystical phenomena, which some believe may have caused trouble for the ill-fated plane.
"There are many jinn there," he said, laughing.
Columnist Lynda Ibrahim lambasted Ahok's statement on her Twitter account @lyndaibrahim. "TV interviews without empathy. City governor jokes around heartlessly while the world is zooming in on the country."
Twitter user @elfizal commented, "Ahok deserves a punch".
Ahok is widely known as an unpretentious leader who regularly makes wisecracks. (ren)(++++)
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