Fadli Zon sees Bahar bin Smith`s Insult to President as Criticism

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  • House of Representatives deputy speaker Fadli Zon. Tempo/Danang Firmanto

    House of Representatives deputy speaker Fadli Zon. Tempo/Danang Firmanto

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Deputy Chairman of the country’s opposition party Gerindra, Fadli Zon, said that he is not condoning the actions done by Bahar bin Smith, but rather defending the freedom of speech of the individual that comes from his electoral district.

    “I am not defending [Bahar]. I know him personally, Bahar comes from my electoral district from the Bogor District,” said Fadli at the Parliamentary complex on Monday, December 3.

    Previously, Fadli Zon said that the legal proceedings following Bahar bin Smith’s public insult toward President Jokowi could be considered as the perfect form of tyranny the government had ever practiced.

    Meanwhile, vice presidential hopeful Sandiaga Uno said that every single individual must be able to control what they say especially in the midst of a heated political year. Uno called for everyone to maintain a peaceful environment.

    Fadli Zon said that the legal proceeding of Bahar bin Smith could cause issues in Indonesia’s democracy and questions the fine line between criticism and hate speech in the current democracy.

    Bahar bin Smith previously insulted the president in a public event and was reported to the Jakarta Metro Police headquarters days after the incident. He was scheduled to be questioned on Monday but failed to appear, but will be summoned again on Thursday.