Bali punk rock icon Jerinx named anti-narcotics ambassador

Jerinx, whose real name is I Gede Ari Astina, wearing a red shirt at the center of this shot, attended an event hosted by BNN on Nov. 3. Screengrab: BNN Provinsi Bali/Facebook
Jerinx, whose real name is I Gede Ari Astina, wearing a red shirt at the center of this shot, attended an event hosted by BNN on Nov. 3. Screengrab: BNN Provinsi Bali/Facebook

It was only a matter of time before one of Bali’s most controversial figures, Jerinx, graced Indonesian headlines once more. This time he’s back in the news after being named an anti-narcotics ambassador for the province. 

Gede Sugianyar Dwi Putra, who heads the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) in Bali, announced today that the 43-year-old punk rocker, whose real name is I Gede Ari Astina, will help his office raise awareness on the dangers of using drugs. 

“Certainly to educate existing messages [to the public] on the dangers of drugs, and also encouraging rehabilitation, when we do it through Jerinx, it would surely be more trusted by his followers,” Sugianyar said. 

It is no doubt that Jerinx has got his own legion of loyal fans, who had supported him through a phase of championing conspiracy theories during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and later stuck by him throughout his controversial conviction for hate speech. 

The drummer of Superman Is Dead was released from prison in June and has since returned to the public scene. On Instagram, his new account has over 113,000 followers, while he had more than a million on his previous handle. 

While some, fairly or otherwise, might associate drug use with punk rock, Jerinx has indeed kept a clean image from narcotics throughout his career.

Of the anti-drugs ambassadorship, Jerinx said: “I also want my work to contribute to a positive value to all who listens, and that those who listen can live healthily, cleanly.” 

According to Jerinx, he will be collaborating with BNN on many different programs that might include virtual events and campaigns, as well as visits to local schools and college campuses that include giving performances and raising awareness.

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