City councilor faces 1-year imprisonment for holding dangdut bash

The COVID-19 pandemic is evidently not a strong enough deterrent for some dangdut enthusiasts, as a concert held by Wasmad Edi Susilo, Deputy Chairman of Tegal City Council (DPRD) saw thousands turn up last week. Photo: Istimewa
The COVID-19 pandemic is evidently not a strong enough deterrent for some dangdut enthusiasts, as a concert held by Wasmad Edi Susilo, Deputy Chairman of Tegal City Council (DPRD) saw thousands turn up last week. Photo: Istimewa

Such is the draw of dangdut in Indonesia that a city councilor broke the law by holding a concert last week. Despite his political position, the councilor will at least be made an example of with the police announcing a criminal charge against him.

In case you missed it, deputy chairman of the Tegal City Council Wasmad Edi Susilo held a dangdut concert last Wednesday, which drew a crowd in the thousands with health precautions mostly ignored. 

Wasmad initially applied for a permit to hold a wedding and khitanan (circumcision party) event for his children, which initially included a simple dangdut performance on a much smaller scale to entertain his guests. Authorities revoked the permit on the day of the event when they saw that it became a full on concert, but there was an insufficient number of police officers on duty to disperse the bash.

Following a police enquiry, Wasmad was today charged with violation of the law on health quarantine, which is punishable by up to one year in prison.

“[Wasmad] did not heed the warning given by officers [to stop the concert],” Tegal City Police Chief Rita Wulandari Wibowo said.

Wasmad is not being detained as his alleged offense is considered to be a minor one, and, as such, it wouldn’t be surprising if he ends up getting a mere slap on the wrist in the end.

At the very least, it’s good to see the authorities taking some semblance of a firm stance against health protocol violators in a country rife with them.

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