Backlash as President Jokowi attends celebrity wedding amid pandemic

President Joko Widodo being a witness of the sacred vows at the wedding of celebrities Atta Halilintar and Aurel Hermansyah in Jakarta on April 3, 2021. Photo: Twitter/@KemensetnegRI
President Joko Widodo being a witness of the sacred vows at the wedding of celebrities Atta Halilintar and Aurel Hermansyah in Jakarta on April 3, 2021. Photo: Twitter/@KemensetnegRI

Questions are being asked about whether or not the rule of law applies equally to all citizens after President Joko Widodo attended a glitzy celebrity wedding when it has been so difficult for regular Joes and Janes (or Jokos and Jumintens, as it were) to celebrate their unions during the pandemic.

On Saturday, President Jokowi was among hundreds of esteemed guests, including other politicians and celebrities, at the wedding of YouTuber Atta Halilintar and actress Aurel Hermansyah, which was held at the glamorous Raffles Hotel in Jakarta.

Not only that, the head of state served as the witness to the wedding’s sacred vows, as documented by the State Secretariat in a tweet.

That tweet has invited massive scorn from netizens, some of whom reposted old viral videos and news clippings showing authorities clamping down harshly on people holding wedding receptions due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Some, including musician Fiersa Besari, said Jokowi’s attendance speaks loudly to how the rule of law applies in Indonesia.

There are many paradoxes in this country. Mudik (Eid homecoming) is banned, but tourist destinations are opening in unison. They shut major roads, but there are traffic jams everywhere. They make it difficult for regular people to obtain permission to hold wedding receptions, but a celebrity wedding is attended by state officials. 

Ah, what do I know? I’m just a commoner.

Thank you Atta and Aurel for showing the people where they stand in the eyes of the law and justice in this nation.

Of course, there were memes, including our absolute favorite in which the wedding was reimagined with a Western context.

The Presidential Palace has not issued any statements responding to the backlash.

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