Here at Coconuts, we are always in awe of Indonesian netizens’ ingenuity when it comes to meme-making.
The meme floodgates opened up recently after a controversy involving an official in Central Java surfaced, in which she allegedly had photos of herself stuck on bottles of hand sanitizers distributed for donation.
Klaten Regent Sri Mulyani is the official in the middle of the controversy. Earlier this week, a Twitter post showed a photo of the regent stuck onto bottles of hand sanitizer, which were distributed in the regency as part of a COVID-19 countermeasures aid from the Social Affairs Ministry (Kemensos).
Bupati Klaten Seharusnya Malu
Semalam kita diramaikan oleh beredarnya foto handsanitizer bersticker “Bantuan Bupati Klaten” dan ketika stickernya dilepas ternyata itu bantuan dari KEMENSOS? Lalu bagaimana anggaran pengadaan handsanitizer oleh Pemda? #BupatiKlatenMemalukan pic.twitter.com/I0hvVFnulf
— Aku (@mahasiswaYUJIEM) April 27, 2020
“The Klaten regent should be ashamed. Last night we were surprised by the circulation of hand sanitizers labeled ‘aid from Klaten regent’ but when the sticker was peeled off, it turned out it was aid from Kemensos? Then how about the budget for the procurement of hand sanitizers by the local government?” a user wrote, ending the tweet with the hashtag #BupatiKlatenMemalukan (Klaten regent is embarrassing).
The case soon turned into a hot discussion on Twitter, with former KPK (Corruption Eradication Commission) deputy chairman Laode M Syarif among those weighing in on the matter.
Jika gambar ini betul:
Ini CONTOH yg mengambil KESEMPATAN KAMPANYE di tengah WABAH COVID-19.
Contoh CONFLICT OF INTEREST akut & bupati TANPA RASA MALU.
— Laode M Syarif (@LaodeMSyarif) April 26, 2020
“If the photos are correct, this is an example of taking advantage by campaigning amid the COVID-19 pandemic. An example of acute conflict of interest and a shameless regent. The aid from Kemensos was plastered with photos of herself,” Laode tweeted.
The #BupatiKlatenMemalukan hashtag briefly topped Indonesia’s trending topic on Twitter, as many learned that Sri Mulyani actually loves featuring herself on many products, such as school books, face masks, and even a bag of rice.
Masih lagi dengan beras yang diproduksi oleh ATP (Agro Techno Park) Klaten yang mana aadalah program kerja sama dengan BATAN. Apakah pantas hasil dari panen dibranding seorang Bupati? Apakah ini bisa disebut korupsi atau kolusi? #BupatiKlatenMemalukan pic.twitter.com/FUuuL5Dhgd
— Aku (@mahasiswaYUJIEM) April 27, 2020
The hashtag then took a satirical turn, with many netizens taking a dig at Sri Mulyani’s apparent penchant for self-promotion by imposing her photo onto different pop culture items.
Logo Starbucks di Klaten. pic.twitter.com/u2ZJVcIUVg
— Kamal (@kamalbukankemal) April 28, 2020
Starbucks logo in Klaten
Klaten Fried Chicken yeet! pic.twitter.com/ypFuC1shKu
— memelord (@memefess) April 28, 2020
orang klaten kalo nonton blade runner pic.twitter.com/m3N0Suodvt
— Nazgûl-chan (@radtherandom) April 28, 2020
Klaten people when they watch Blade Runner 
Everywhere i go.. pic.twitter.com/lNE8ufb4t3
— WatchmenID (@WatchmenID) April 28, 2020
udah lama ga maen gta v pic.twitter.com/Ag7joZxxYB
— i̶z̶z̶y̶ (⚬⃔⚬ℕ⚬⃔⚬) (@vngnc) April 28, 2020
It’s been long since the last time I played Grand Theft Auto (GTA) V
Jokes aside, Sri Mulyani took to Twitter on Monday to apologize, citing “technical errors” for the hand sanitizers and noting that she also donated some, which, in her mind, justifies plastering the bottles with her face.
Kpd seluruh netizen,
Saya sampaikan terimakasih atas saran, kritik dan masukannya
Berkaitan dgn bantuan handsanitizer kpd masyarakat,
Saya sampaikan permohonan maaf atas kesalahan yg terjadi di teknis lapangan.
— Yani Sunarno (@YaniSunarno) April 27, 2020
“It was a mistake made during the labeling process or the distribution. Because [the hand sanitizers] from Kemensos only amounted to around 1,000, but the ones that we provided, not from the regional government, numbered in the tens of thousands so maybe all the items got labeled,” Sri Mulyani told reporters in Klaten on Monday, as quoted by Detik.
Arif Fathurohman, who heads the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) in Klaten regency, told Detik on Monday that what Sri Mulyani did with the hand sanitizers would violate campaign laws. However, the agency says it has not found any campaigning breaches thus far as Sri Mulyani has not been officially nominated for reelection when her current term ends in 2021.