The Jakarta Post
The Foreign Ministry has denied that a man who voiced his support for presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, the United States, is a government official.
In its official clarification issued on Tuesday, the ministry, through the Permanent Mission of Indonesia in New York, said the man in the viral video was neither a diplomat nor a representative of the Indonesian government.
“The person was a chaperone of an Indonesia-based youth group, which at that time was in New York for a debate competition,” the ministry said in a written statement.
It also said that the competition was not organized by the UN but by the non-governmental organization World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), which is independent of the UN.
The ministry later called on all parties, particularly Indonesians, to respect rules and ethics at the UN premises.
On Monday, a video went viral of a man, later identified by the permanent mission as Tantan Taufiq Lubis, in what appears to be the UN General Assembly hall holding a flyer of Prabowo and running mate Sandiaga Uno and voicing his support for the pair ahead of April’s election.
"From the headquarters of the UN, I would like to convey my support to Prabowo and Sandiaga to become Indonesia's [next] president and vice president for the 2019 to 2024 period," Tantan said in the video.
“Insya Allah [God willing], we have the power to realize ‘Indonesiaganti presiden'. Indonesia, Prabowo is the president,” he continued, referring to the social media hashtag #Indonesiagantipresiden, which translates to Indonesia change president. (ipa)