TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Legal Aid Institute for the Press (LBH Pers) director Ade Wahyudi affirmed that the cover illustration of Tempo Magazine’s September 16-22 edition which depicted President Jokowi did not violate any regulation.
“In my opinion, [the illustration] is still tolerable. It’s still okay. There is no insult at all. It should be responded well actually,” said Ade to Tempo, Tuesday, September 17.
The illustration of the President in the Indonesian magazine’s cover has a shadow of a long-nosed figure sparked public debates. Some thought it could be reported to the police as a form of insult to the President.
According to Ade, LBH Pers considered the cover as a reasonable journalistic product. At present, Jokowi has been in the public limelight for backing the revisions of the Corruption Eradication Commission or KPK Law No. 30/2002.
Jokowi was deemed inconsistent with his promises to strengthen KPK and eradicate corruption. Several civil groups assessed the draft bill proposed by the House of Representatives (DPR) aimed to weaken the anti-graft body.
“In my imagination, Tempo grabbed the phenomenon and transferred it into a depiction in the cover [that looks like] Pinocchio. In the context of democracy, it is tolerable,” Ade remarked.
He reminded the public that Jokowi is a president voted by society, not a king’s son in a kingdom-based country. This means Jokowi as a state leader must not be immune to criticism.
Ade went on to say that this case will likely recur in the future if the draft of the revised Criminal Code (KUHP) is passed. The draft noted points regarding insults to the president.
“If the KUHP revision is ratified, the debate will be similar to this [case]. There will be more cases like this, this is an insult, this is criticism. It means this creates multiple interpretations.”
Previously, a pro-Jokowi group dubbed Jokowi Mania (JokMa) visited Press Council to report Tempo for its magazine’s cover illustration. However, the meeting ended as a mere discussion.