Jakarta. Former president Megawati Soekarnoputri said on Wednesday she was very concerned with people shouting insults at President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and calling him with abusive names.
The chairwoman of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) also said the name-calling strategy was so ugly she often cried.
"Take a look at Mr. Jokowi, I often cry myself. He’s losing weight because his thoughts are on us, on his people,” Megawati said during a virtual ceremony to kick off the construction of a Balinese Hindu shrine from Jakarta.
“But still some people call Jokowi a frog. Those people are both immoral and cowards in my opinion," she added.
Megawati, whose party helped Jokowi win the presidency in 2014 and 2019 elections, argued that she is not against criticisms but they must be within moral and ethical values.
"I just want those people to meet Mr. Jokowi politely, tell him where he fails and -- according to their mind -- what to do to avoid failure," Megawati said.
A group of University of Indonesia students stirred outrage among Jokowi supporters earlier this year after posting memes calling the president “the king of lip service” for what they said a failure to deliver promises made during the presidential campaign.
On Saturday, police launched investigation into a graffiti depicting the president with a text box reading “404: not found” right on the eyes painted on a wall in Tangerang, Banten. The mural has since been covered with black paint.