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Jakarta Post

Supporters back Ahok despite suspect status

  • Callistasia Anggun Wijaya
    Callistasia Anggun Wijaya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, November 17, 2016   /  02:32 pm
Supporters back Ahok despite suspect status Strong support — Singer Aura Kasih (third right) visits Rumah Lembang, the campaign headquarters of Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama (center), on Nov. 17 to offer moral support to the incumbent candidate who has been named a suspect in a blasphemy case ahead of next year’s gubernatorial election. (JP/Callistasia Anggun Wijaya)

Hundreds of supporters of Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama flocked on Thursday to his campaign team headquarters, Rumah Lembang, in Menteng, Central Jakarta, to offer moral support to the incumbent, who has been named a suspect in a blasphemy case.

The supporters — including several celebrities, such as singer Aura Kasih, actress Luna Maya, comedian Edric Tjandra, presenter Koes Hendratmo and Sonia Wibisono, a doctor who is also a TV presenter — appeared at Rumah Lembang to wait for Ahok at 8 a.m.

“I don't like racist people. Indonesia is a country with religious diversity upheld by its slogan Bhinneka Tunggal Ika [Unity in Diversity]. I support Pak Ahok and I hope the mental revolution can come true," Aura said at Rumah Lembang on Thursday. 

On Wednesday, the National Police named Ahok a suspect for alleged blasphemy following a statement that cited a verse from the Quran, made in front of local residents in Thousand Islands regency on Sept. 27.

Meanwhile, Luna said she was surprised at the police’s decision to name Ahok a suspect, praising him as a governor who was successful in developing Jakarta.  

“Let's vote for a leader who can represent all of us, instead of only one group, because we have Bhinneka Tunggal Ika. Let's not talk about SARA [matters pertaining to tribal affiliations, religion, race and societal groups],” she said. 

During the event, several residents expressed their support for Ahok, conveyed complaints about problems in the city and took the opportunity to pose for pictures with the governor. To bolster the moral support for Ahok, they also sang “Maju Tak Gentar” (Press on Bravely). (ebf)

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