The Jakarta Post
Jakarta gubernatorial candidate Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama remains unperturbed as he attempts to calm his supporters after being named a suspect in a blasphemy case.
After weeks of investigations, the National Police announced Wednesday morning that they had named Ahok a suspect in the case, a move that may jeopardize the incumbent governor’s efforts to seek reelection.
Ahok, who was meeting with local residents at his campaign headquarters in Menteng, Central Jakarta, when the police announced his status, told his visitors not to worry, as he had received “thousands of complaints.”
"I’m [being named] a suspect, just let it be," he said.
Ahok also said the status would not bring him down.
“[If] Ahok is imprisoned, [he is] being mistreated. How great I am,” he said in a sarcastic tone.
(Read also: Ahok named suspect in blasphemy case)
Ahok, a Christian and Indonesian of Chinese descent in the predominantly Muslim country, sparked uproar among Muslim groups and communities after he made a comment on verses in the Quran during his visit to Thousand Islands regency in late September. The police have so far received around a dozen reports regarding the case.
On Nov. 4, over 100,000 people, mostly from various Muslim groups, swarmed Jakarta's streets to demand Ahok's prosecution for alleged blasphemy.
Previously, a number of Muslim figures had accused law enforcers of protecting Ahok. Ahok, who previously served as deputy Jakarta governor, replaced his former boss, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, after the latter won the presidential election in 2014.
National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian, however, strongly denied the accusation and said that the police would continue the legal process. (hwa)
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