Lies and unicorns: Round up of the second Indonesian presidential debate, in memes

A meme from the second Indonesian presidential debate. Photo: Twitter
A meme from the second Indonesian presidential debate. Photo: Twitter

Indonesia’s presidential candidates, incumbent President Joko Widodo and his challenger Prabowo Subianto, went head-to-head in the second presidential debate — the first without the VP candidates — last night as they were grilled on issues related to food, energy, natural resources, the environment and infrastructure.

While determining the winner of the debate is an entirely subjective affair, in true Indonesian netizen spirit, both candidate’s supporters quickly got to work by claiming victory for their side by putting together some dank memes.

In one trending hashtag from this morning, #JokowiBohongLagi (Jokowi lies again), Prabowo’s supporters pounced on the president when he made claims that don’t appear to be backed by facts, such as when he said there have been no forest fires in Indonesia for the past three years (there were actually 370 recorded forest fires in 2018 alone).

The forgotten hero wkwkwkwkkwkwk He actually forgot about his own staged appearance after a forest fire. Strange!

Some also disproved of Jokowi’s claim that his administration has lowered corn imports to 180,000 tons in 2018, while official data showed the government actually lowered it to 731,000 tons.

And then, still under the same hashtag, some went into conspiracy theory mode by accusing Jokowi of wearing an earpiece and using a pen-shaped communicator during the debate.

Conversely, Jokowi’s camp is claiming victory for the much-coveted millennials’ vote in what has probably become the most dissected moment of last night’s debate. At one point, Jokowi asked Prabowo what infrastructure he would like to build to support Indonesia’s unicorns (start-up companies valued at US$1 billion or more). Prabowo then clarified the term with Jokowi before answering, which many of the latter’s supporters took as his lack of understanding on the issue, giving birth to the popular hashtag #02GagapUnicorn (02 — Prabowo’s designated candidate number — stutters about unicorns)

Unicorn ambassador of Indonesia

The moment was so overplayed that the Gerindra party, which Prabowo chairs, defended its leader on Twitter.

It’s not that [Prabowo] doesn’t know what unicorns are, but Prabowo wanted to clarify the question, because [Jokowi’s] pronunciation of the word unicorn wasn’t heard clearly.

Meanwhile, some of Jokowi’s facial reactions to Prabowo’s claims have become memes on their own:

Jokowi after you give him false data

Who do you think won last night’s debate? More importantly, what memes would you use to describe the clash? Hit us with your best memes in the comments here or on our Facebook page.

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