Jokowi’s son faces blasphemy probe

Indonesia’s police are probing an allegation of blasphemy against the youngest son of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono said Kaesang Pangarep, 22, would be summoned for questioning after receiving an allegation about a video he uploaded to YouTube in May.

The video was entitled “Ask daddy for a project”, in reference to politician’s children who seek business favours. It included criticism of Muslims who declared they would refuse funeral rites for those who supported non-Muslim leaders. The allegation was made during Jakarta’s recent gubernatorial election that saw the ethnically Chinese, Christian incumbent, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama or Ahok, lose to a Muslim challenger.

Indonesia’s strict blasphemy law is often used to attack minorities and political opponents.

Ahok is serving a two-year prison sentence for blasphemy after being sentenced in May.

Kaesang is with his father in Germany for the G20 summit.

Jokowi has not had an official pay rise in the past 16 years, making him one of the lowest-paid leaders among the world’s largest economies.

He is making Rp30.2 million (US$2,268) a month or about US$27,200 a year, according to presidential spokesperson Bey Machmudin. An official allowance doubled that wage, Bey said.

Donald Trump is reportedly paid US$400,000 annually, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel makes more than $299,000 a year.

Mexico and Turkey pay their presidents annual salaries of US$148,000 and US$197,400 respectively. Jokowi earns more than China’s Xi Jinping, whose official salary is an unfeasible US$22,000 while India’s Narendra Modi is apparently paid US$30,000 a year.

The world leader with the highest official pay is Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Liong, whose wage is US$1.7 million a year.

Widodo has called on the Indonesian diaspora to promote “Wonderful Indonesia” campaign and help promote tourism and investment.

“The president hopes the Indonesian diaspora will assist the government in increasing exports and attracting foreign investment to the country,” Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said.

Retno said Indonesians in other countries were a powerful asset.

“With the [Standard and Poor’s] investment grade, it will be easier to attract foreign investors to Indonesia … The ‘Wonderful Indonesia’ tagline will be spread by the Indonesian diaspora,” Retno said.

Islamic protests in Jakarta in November 2016. Picture credit: Wikimedia