Despite the clear and unambiguous defeat that Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama suffered in last week’s runoff election against Anies Baswedan (unofficial quick count results put Anies ahead by about 16% of the vote), there is no doubt that Ahok had a strong base of steadfast supporters (he basically maintained the same percentage of votes from the first round of the election) who were devastated by his loss.
Today, those supporters made their feelings of gratitude and sympathy for the defeated Ahok seen and heard very clearly. The first way they did that was by flooding Jakarta City Hall with traditional flower boards (the kind you usually see at weddings and grand openings) with messages of love and thanks for Ahok and his Vice Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat – over 1,000 of them in fact, which seems to be some kind of record.
— Patricia Manurung (@patty_yoi) April 26, 2017
The hashtag #GombalinAhok (which translates to something like praising or sweet talking Ahok) has also been trending on Twitter all morning.
People noticed some of the flower boards included amusing messages of support, such as this one which says it’s from Universitas Indonesia’s Faculty of Law 1993 (except for those that are intolerant).
This one comes from UI’s 1990 and 1991 English Literature Alumni (except friends of FZ – presumably meaning Fadli Zon).
This one from an arisan group says, “It’s like the pain of seeing your boyfriend going out with your friend, that’s how we feel.”
Rasanya Sakit Seperti Pacar Ditikung Teman
Salah Satu Karangan Bunga Di Balaikota pic.twitter.com/7BL4chZ49M
— Jakarta (@haloJakarta) April 26, 2017
Ahok and Djarot also received this cake decorated with a Finding Nemo theme (in reference to Ahok referencing the Pixar film during his defense statement in court at yesterday’s session of his blasphemy trial).
Ahok Dapat Kue Ikan Nemo dari Pengunjung di Balai Kota https://t.co/vtqtXBlEpg
— TEMPO.CO (@tempodotco) April 26, 2017
Perhaps even more moving than all of the flowers and presents was the pandemonium of supporters who came out to greet Ahok at City Hall this morning, singing “Indonesia Raya” and almost crushing him in their enthusiasm to shake his hand and get a photo.
Semua ingin bertemu Si Nemo pagi ini Balai Kotq pic.twitter.com/Hhjciw9BXR
— Mohamad Guntur Romli (@GunRomli) April 26, 2017
— TriAndry.com (@TriAndry) April 26, 2017
Seeing this, it is hard to believe Ahok has lost the election pic.twitter.com/Xg0YBonOzF
— Yenni Kwok (@yennikwok) April 26, 2017
Seeing this kind of response to Ahok, it is indeed hard to imagine that he lost last week’s election. And as gracious and polite as Ahok was with his fans this morning, we have to wonder if part of him was thinking to himself, “Why couldn’t you have shown me this kind of support a week ago, or a month ago?”