Popular Instagram celebrity Keanu Angelo AKA Keanu Agl recently got flak over a fashion faux pas during a visit to Pekanbaru, the capital of Riau Province, last Saturday.
Keanu attended the launching event of a local souvenir store along with fellow Instagram celebrities, Fadil Jaidi and Arif Muhammad AKA Mak Betty. In a photo that has been circulating since, Keanu appeared to be wearing a yellow t-shirt, a pair of black short shorts, a white face mask, and a white Tanjak Melayu — a Malay traditional hat.
A lecturer in Riau University, Zulwisman, said that the 22-year-old instaceleb’s outfit was inappropriate and degrading to the Malay Riau customs.
“Tanjak is intended not only as a fashion item, but it’s worn by the Malay Riau people to show their identity. Malay people should dress according to the custom and religious teachings, not like that,” Zulwisman said yesterday.
“I saw that the backlash from the people in Riau was appropriate, [though we don’t know for sure] if it was intentional or just mere ignorance. Because the use of Tanjak must be in accordance with the place and occasion.”
Zulwisman said the event organizer should also take responsibility for their negligence in putting on the tanjak on Keanu.
The matter appears to have been resolved, however, as the Pekanbaru chapter of the Malay Traditional Board (LAM) said that they have forgiven Keanu and the organizers for the event.
“They have admitted that they’re willing to learn about the Malay traditions moving forward. We have forgiven them, this is the meeting that brought greater wisdom rather than minor problems,” Datuk Sri Muspidauan, chairman of LAM’s daily executive board, said on Tuesday.
Sri Muspidauan also urged young people to respect the rules and customs of various heritage and cultural accessories.
A representative from the event said organizers were “more focused on the implementation of health protocols during the event” rather than minding Keanu’s attire, who reportedly got interested in the tanjak and immediately put it on without knowing the customs associated with the headdress.
Popular gossip account Lambe Turah also posted a number of screenshots of articles on Keanu published by local publications in Riau, noting that the matter caused a great deal of outrage in the region before LAM declared it resolved.
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Keanu, real name Muhammad Miftahul Huda, also responded in the comments section of the post.
“Alhamdulillah (Praise God),” he wrote about the resolution.