The Jakarta Post
A music video featuring various state officials and regional heads encouraging citizens to stay at home ahead of the Idul Fitri holidays has been met with a less-than-enthusiastic response from the public, with many Indonesian netizens criticizing the video’s “tone-deaf” nature amid the current COVID-19 outbreak.
The 55-second video, titled “Jangan Mudik, Nggak Mudik Tetap Asyik” (“Don’t Go on Mudik, Have Fun without Mudik”), was posted on the Manpower Ministry’s official Twitter page on Monday.
The video was part of a public service announcement campaign initiated by Emtek media group aiming to urge the public not to participate in the customary Idul Fitri mudik (exodus) in a bid to flatten the curve of coronavirus infection.
Throughout the short clip, a number of state officials – including Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi – took turns singing an upbeat song whose lyrics serve as a plea for the public to refrain from visiting their relatives during Idul Fitri, which will be observed on Sunday.
Another version of the video was posted on the ministry’s official Instagram page, this time featuring several regional heads – West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo and Bogor Mayor Bima Arya Sugiarto – singing along to the song in tandem with the ministers.
Social media users have responded to the video with no shortage of sarcastic quips and memes meant to poke fun at the officials’ musical performance, as well as the quality of the original song.
Gara2 lagu gak enak ini, masyarakat indonesia jadi beneran gak mood mudik— Yth Bpk Antono (@pakantono) May 19, 2020
“Because of this bad song, Indonesians will definitely not be in a good enough mood to go on mudik,” Twitter user @pakantono wrote.
Meanwhile, another user @ayolho likened the apparent lack of musical harmony among the officials in the video to the suboptimal coordination between state institutions during the pandemic.
“Is the lack of musical harmony supposed to reflect the asynchronous communication between state departments?” they tweeted.
Similarly, singer Teuku Adifitrian, aka Tompi, also took to Twitter to voice his frustration over the video.
Ini pada ngapain sih bapak2 ibu2 yg terhormat? Bukannya gak menghargai, tp tolong dikerjakan yg proper— dr tompi spBP (@dr_tompi) May 18, 2020
“What are these distinguished ladies and gentlemen doing? It’s not that I don’t respect them, but please do your job properly,” he wrote on his Twitter page @dr_tompi.
Similarly, a separate music video titled “Ora Mudik Ora Popo” (“No Mudik No Worries”) featuring several notable officials including Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko and Presidential Advisory Board chairman Wiranto was also panned by YouTube users, highlighting public distrust in government officials during the health emergency.
“Let’s not participate in mudik, or else they will release yet another song,” said one user in the comments section.
The government has previously issued conflicting statements regarding mudik. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had merely advised the public not to participate in the annual tradition before eventually outright banning it last month.
Jokowi also took flak for saying that those who had returned to their home regions by taking advantage of the government’s lax policy ahead of the Islamic holiday did not count as Idul Fitri holidaymakers.
Furthermore, the implementation of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in several regions including capital Jakarta was called into question following reports that Soekarno-Hatta International Airport Terminal 2 was packed with Idul Fitri holidaymakers waiting for flights back to their home regions.
Minister Budi previously reopened all air, land and sea transportation services despite ongoing physical distancing efforts, saying the measure was necessary for the national economy to survive.
Amid growing frustration over the government’s handling of the crisis, the hashtag #IndonesiaTerserah (WhateverIndonesia) trended on Twitter over the weekend, with several health workers conveying their pessimism regarding the situation.
Social media personality @TheRapUp uploaded a music video in which he rapped about the country’s cavalier attitude toward the pandemic, while making multiple references to the now-popular #IndonesiaTerserah in the hook.
“Three months at home, making TikTok [videos], is it all for naught?” he rapped in the video which has garnered over 21,000 retweets and 32,000 likes at the time of writing.