After getting injured in hit-and-run, Indonesian police chief shows grace, forgives driver

South Sumatra Regional Police Chief Zulkarnain Adinegara. Photo: Zulkarnain Adinegara / Facebook
South Sumatra Regional Police Chief Zulkarnain Adinegara. Photo: Zulkarnain Adinegara / Facebook

Indonesian law can be very severe, but that doesn’t mean all Indonesian police officers are unforgiving. In a truly awe-inspiring display of chillness, South Sumatra’s regional police chief, Inspector General Zulkarnain Adinegara, forgave an online ojek (motorcycle taxi) driver who committed a hit-and-run on him while he was riding his bike on Saturday.

The accident, which happened while Zulkarnain was riding a bicycle along with other senior police officers in the city of Palembang, sent the police chief to the hospital with a broken collar bone. The driver behind the accident, a 54-year-old online motorcycle taxi driver named Yongky Sagita, fled the scene of the accident in fear (not even realizing that his victim was the region’s top cop).

Yongky, who was carrying a passenger at the time, said that he had wanted to stop but was terrified of being beaten by an angry mob (which is not an unreasonable fear as those involved in accidents here are often attacked and sometimes even killed by mobs that suddenly form at the scene). After he dropped off his passenger, Yongky said he contacted his ride-hailing company, Grab, to inform them of the incident and surrender himself to the police.

After Yongky learned that his victim was the regional police chief, he asked for permission to go visit Zulkarnain at the hospital. He went along with his wife and begged the chief for his forgiveness.

Incredibly, Zulkarnain, who had to have surgery to help mend his collarbone, did indeed forgive Yongky and even chose not to press any charges against the driver.

“I forgive you from my body and my soul, no problem,” Zulkarnain told Yongky, as quoted by Kompas.

The police chief is an avid bicyclist and said he had been knocked down many times before, but he always managed to get back up. He also said that, even though he understood why Yongky would run away, he said people should always try to help those they’ve injured.

Our deepest respect to police chief Zulkarnain, he is truly a credit to the police force and an example to all of us who want to try and be more forgiving and less angry in this new year.

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