The Jakarta Post
Netizens are praising President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Gerindra Party leader Prabowo Subianto after photos of the rival politicians embracing each other in a group hug with an Indonesian athlete went viral on the web.
Hanifan Yudani Kusuma, who won a gold medal in the final of the men’s Class C (55 kilograms to 60 kg) pencat silat event on Wednesday, forced Jokowi and Prabowo into a group hug when he went to their VVIP seats to greet them after his victory.
The moment sent the audience and officials in the VVIP seats, including Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Puan Maharani and Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri, into a frenzy.
Political bigwigs, including Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle leader Megawati Soekarnoputri (left), President Joko Widodo (second left), presidential contender Prabowo Subianto (third left) and Megawati's daughter Puan Maharani watch a pencak silat match during the Asian Games in Jakarta on Wednesday. Prabowo attended the event in his capacity as the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI) chairman. (Biro Pers Setpres/Laily Rachev )
The moment also made some netizens, who are excited about Indonesia’s stellar performance in the Games, brim with hope that Indonesia was more united than one might think despite years of bitter political enmity between supporters of Prabowo and Jokowi, derogatorily known as Jokowers and Prabowers.
Other photos showing the “bromance” between Jokowi and Prabowo before the pencak silat matches began to spread online.
The first is a photo of Prabowo, who attended the sporting event as the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI) chairman, greeting Jokowi in an embrace as he arrived at the venue and the second photo is when the two the political rivals were chatting as they walked into the venue with Prabowo’s hand holding Jokowi’s arm.
The hashtag #WowoSayangWiwi (#WowoLovesWiwi) trended on Twitter in response to the rare moment in Indonesian politics.
“Find a guy who looks at you like how Wowo [Prabowo] looks at Wiwi [Jokowi],” a Twitter user @rachellycaa tweeted, along with the photo of Prabowo and Jokowi chatting with each other.
Another user, @BanyuSadewa, also tweeted a love quote of the photo and the hashtag, saying “We fall in love with people we can’t have”.
Meanwhile, @iqrmtoen poked fun at streaming service Netflix’s hit teen dramedy, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and modified it to “To all the Presidents I’ve Loved Before” with the hashtag.
The hashtag allegedly came from a user, Bonar Sinaga, the owner of Twitter handle @VeritasArdentur, when he started tweeting the hashtag and said that he would give a user with the funniest reply a prize of Rp 100,000 (US$6.81) worth of phone credit.
Ini mesti ditambah dan dimodifikasi nih stakesnya.— Fortis Est Veritas (@VeritasArdentur) August 29, 2018
Twitkan foto ini dengan hashtag: #WowoSayangWiwi
Mensyen ke gw
Kasi captions yang lucu.
Yang menurut gw paling lucu, hadiah pulsa 100rb.
Yang diretweet paling banyak jam 12 siang besok, hadiah pulsa 500rb. pic.twitter.com/BxFu1OTky3
He later upped his stake and offered Rp 500,000 worth of phone credit to a user who has the most retweets by 12 p.m. on Thursday, when a friend of his said that nobody would participate if the prize was only Rp 100,000. The prized then managed to get the hashtag as a trending topic on Wednesday.
Bonar told The Jakarta Post that he started the “competition” just for fun.
“I feel as if Twitter has become toxic lately so I want to make it fun again,” he said, referring to the fact that many accounts have started to bring each other down with political tweets as the presidential election nears.
Jokowi and Prabowo will face each other again in the 2019 presidential election after previously facing off in the 2014 presidential election. (ris/ahw)