The official Instagram account of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, previously known as Ahok, uploaded a picture late on Wednesday, announcing his release from prison.
“Tomorrow [Jan. 24] Tjahaja is coming home,” read the post on Instagram account @basukibtp, showing a silhouette photo of the former Jakarta governor, who now wants to be called BTP, while walking through a dark alley. The account is managed by his media team.
An Instagram post by @basukibtp, an official account handled by Basuki Tjahaja Purnama's team. (Instagram.com/basukibtp)
The post immediately received a flood of warm wishes from his supporters on the platform. As of 9 a.m., more than 18,300 Instagram users had reacted to the post.
“Today, Jan. 24, BTP, welcome back. You have finished your duty, champion. We wait for your [next work]. We are sure you won’t stay still. Your next job will even be greater than the Ahok era. Stay a true fighter to be an example for the young wherever and whenever you are, BTP. God will work through you even greater,” @heppy_rgwrote.
“Welcome back Pak @BTP we really miss you and are happy to see you again,” @lennytaagustinanapitupuluwrote.
Read also: What's next for Ahok?
His successor, Anies Baswedan, has also congratulated him, citing that his former rival in the 2017 gubernatorial election would be treated as any regular Jakarta resident.
"We, at the city administration, are ready to dispense services for him just like for any other citizen. By the time he is active as a Jakarta citizen, arranging paperwork, we will give him the same treatment," Anies told reporters.
Anies defeated Ahok in the runoff of the election after bagging 57.96 percent of the vote, leaving Ahok with only 42.04 percent. Analysts have attributed Anies’s landslide win to a rise in conservative voters who were offended by a statement Ahok made involving a passage from the Quran, which the North Jakarta District Court found to be blasphemous. The court sentenced Ahok to two years in prison.
Former Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) chairman Ma'ruf Amin, now the running mate of incumbent President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in the upcoming April presidential election, also gave a remark about Ahok’s release, citing that Ahok deserved to have his freedom as he had fully served his prison term.
"There's nothing special about it. He has served a prison term as ordered by the court and that is a good thing," Ma'ruf said in Tuban, East Java, on Wednesday as quoted by Antara. (dmr)