Man with special needs racially abused in viral video, culprit arrested

The alleged culprit of racial abuse against a man with special needs in Jakarta. Photo: Video screengrab
The alleged culprit of racial abuse against a man with special needs in Jakarta. Photo: Video screengrab

The South Jakarta Police this afternoon arrested a man for allegedly racially abusing a man with special needs recently, video of which went viral in Indonesia.

The video, which was reportedly taken in Tanah Kusir, South Jakarta, shows the victim, who appears to be of Chinese descent, being intimidated by the culprit in public. It’s not clear what sparked the incident, but the culprit, who was holding a brick in one hand, was aggressively spewing racist abuse toward the victim throughout the short clip.

“You want to be eaten alive, huh? Indonesia until death. NKRI (The Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia) until death. Natuna is Indonesia’s, so you listen well, Chinese. Say hello to your president, I know that your president is paid by the Chinese, that Chinese president dog,” the abuser said, possibly in reference to viral hoaxes that Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo is secretly pro-China and pro-communist.

The South Jakarta Police said the alleged culprit, who is identified as a 33-year-old man with the initial A, was apprehended this afternoon.

“He’s being interrogated,” South Jakarta Police Chief Budi Sartono told Detik today.

It’s not yet known what charges, if any, A could face.

Indonesia’s Chinese community, which account for 1.2% of the total population according to the 2010 census, is often a target of discrimination in the archipelago nation. Anti-Chinese sentiment reached its peak in 1998 when wealthy Chinese business owners were blamed for the country’s economic crisis, culminating in violent riots which saw Chinese property and businesses targeted and over 100 women sexually assaulted.

In 1967, under the New Order regime, President Soeharto banned the politically correct words Tiongkok and Tionghoa to describe Indonesians of Chinese descent, only allowing them to be referred to by the derogatory term Cina. In 2014, President Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono reversed the decades-old racist policy.

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