Jakarta. Public hysteria over the Jakarta gubernatorial election does not just affect the ordinary voters, but also local and international celebrities — many of whom have been talking enthusiastically about the election on social media even though they do not even have the right to vote on Wednesday (15/02).
On Twitter and Instagram, celebrities and other public figures have not only posted content to encourage Jakartans to vote, but also to endorse the candidates they support themselves.
Singer Anang Hermansyah and his wife Ashanty — who happen to support different candidates in the election — have been posting so many messages of support for their men of choice that many do not even realize the residents of Tangerang are not even entitled to vote in Jakarta.
On her Instagram page, Ashanty posted a photo collage of her family supporting the different candidates. Ashanty is a supporter of current Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama and his deputy Djarot Saiful Hidayat while her husband is a supporter of Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono — the son of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono — and Sylviana Murni.
Ashanty encouraged her followers to not get carried away by petty arguments on the religious or family backgrounds of the candidates.
She posted the same message on Twitter, pointing out that she and her husband never traded insults with each other just because they support different candidates in the election.
disaat sy dan suami berbeda pilihan pilgub ini, tapi kami ngga saling menjelekan. semua nya punya kelebihan kekurangan, kita berhak memilih -Ashanty Hermansyah (@ashantysiddik) February 13, 2017Dance music superstar Steve Aoki meanwhile gave his wholehearted endorsement for Ahok and Djarot on Twitter and encouraged Jakartans to vote for them.
Sending love to my Jakartan friends & fans. Its an honor to get to vote for your leaders. Best of luck to @basuki_btp! #VoteAhok–Just Hold Aoki (@steveaoki) February 15, 2017Another endorsement for Ahok-Djarot came from AS Roma midfielder, Radja Nainggolan. The Belgian, whose father is Indonesian, wished a "special good luck" for Ahok in the election.
For Indonesia : good luck w/ the governor's election!Vote wisely! Since I've been 2x to Jakarta, a special good luck for Mr. @basuki_btp ! -Radja Nainggolan (@OfficialRadja) February 14, 2017Aside from celebs, musicians and sportsmen, a high-profile Muslim figure from Australia also offered his opinion on the Jakarta election.
Iraqi born preacher and educator Shaikh M. Tawhidi, a Shi'a Imam from the Islamic Association of South Australia, said on Twitter he stands in support of Ahok against the relentless attack he has had to face from radical Muslim groups in Indonesia.
The imam was referring to Ahok's blasphemy case and the unrelenting demand from radical groups such as the Islamic Defenders Font (FPI) to jail the Christian governor of Chinese descent.
Tawhidi uploaded a photo of himself talking to Ahok on Twitter. He did not provide details on when and where the photo was taken.
I stand in support of Governor Ahok against all radical Muslims in Indonesia #voteahok pic.twitter.com/CSNvzidmZQ -Shaikh M. Tawhidi (@Tawhidicom) February 15, 2017Two hours before he uploaded the photo, Tawhidi also tweeted that he personally knows Ahok, who he claimed is "more of a man of God than any Muslim opposition rioting outside his office."
I personally know Gov. Ahok and i can safely say he is more of a man of God than any Muslim opposition rioting outside his office. -Shaikh M. Tawhidi (@Tawhidicom) February 15, 2017According to his profile on Huffington Post, Tawhidi, who has been labeled as the "Imam of Peace," has close relations with Indonesia.
In 2013-2014, he founded a television channel called Imam Ali TV in Indonesia. Then in 2015, he also founded the Hawza of Sayyida Zainab of Indonesia seminary in Jakarta.