The Semarang State University (Unnes) Student Executive Council (BEM) has joined in criticising the administration of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Vice President Ma'ruf Amin.
Last week, the government was criticised by the University of Indonesia (UI) BEM and the Gajah Mada University BEM. The UI BEM called Widodo the "King of Lip Service" while the UGM BEM called him the "(Most) New Order President", referring to the New Order regime of former president Suharto.
Now however, the Unnes BEM is not only criticising Widodo, but also Ma'ruf Amin and House of Representatives (DPR) speaker Puan Maharani – the daughter of Megawati Sukarnoputri, the chairperson of Widodo's ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).
In a posting on the Instagram account @bemkmunnes on the evening of Tuesday July 6, they referred to Amin as the "King of Silent" and Maharani as the "Queen of Ghosting".
And it was not without reason that the Unnes BEM criticised the Widodo-Amin administration and Maharani on social media.
In their explanation, Unnes BEM said that Amin should be helping President Widodo in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic because the spread of the virus is now out of control and over the last week the number of new daily cases has reached 20,000.
"Ma'ruf Amin as the vice president, during the pandemic, should fill the roles left empty and unable to be carried out by the president", explained the Unnes BEM.
"Not instead nullifying his public existence and never giving answers that are simple, understandable and clear in response to the multi-dimensional problems facing the nation and the country, especially during the pandemic", they added.
Unnes BEM explained that in general the public sees Amin as being absent and silent.
Moreover when Amin has on several occasions given a response in public, the impression is that he is legitimising government policies with arguments and claims that are very much based on religion and identity politics, namely the Islamic religion.
"This was apparent in his political statements legitimising [under Islamic law] the BPJS [Social Security Management Agency] and communal obligation in Muslim legal doctrine on implementing Covid-19 vaccinations", said the Unnes BEM.
In their criticism of Maharani meanwhile, the Unnes BEM explained that as the speaker of the DPR she has played a vital role in enacting legislation.
But however, on several occasions the DPR has enacted legislation which harms the ordinary people such as revisions to the Corruption Eradication Commission Law (RUU KPK) and the Omnibus Job Creation Law.
"Puan Maharani is a symbol of the DPR. As the DPR speaker Puan has played a quite vital role in enacting legislation during this period, especially during the pandemic, legislation which has not followed a people orientated paradigm and has not sided with vulnerable groups (the RUU KPK, the Coal and Minerals Law, the Omnibus Law and so forth) as well as never enacting the RUU PKS [Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence] which is actually quite urgent and needs to be enacted", explained the Unnes BEM.
Furthermore, the Unnes BEM also criticised Widodo, even referring to him as incompetent in carrying out his duties as the head of state.
"Jokowi is incompetent in carrying out his duties as president and reneges on his political promises. This can easily be seen by making a comparison between his promises and the facts under the leadership of President Jokowi", wrote the Unnes BEM.
"For example, on the issue of the state debt, commitment to democracy and dealing with the pandemic. Although it appears that the government is carrying out its duties as maximally as possible, the facts show that things are often contradictive and paradoxical", said the Unnes BEM in closing.
According to an article by CNN Indonesia on the same day, the Unnes BEM Instagram account disappeared a short time after the criticisms were posted. Unnes BEM spokesperson Wahyu Suryono Pratama said that the Instagram account @bemkmunnes was deactivated by irresponsible parties. "Yes, it's been suspended. The official Unnes BEM Instagram account has been deactivated and all of the postings deleted", Pratama told CNN Indonesia on Wednesday July 7. See Akun Instagram BEM Unnes Hilang usai Sentil Ma'ruf dan Puan.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "BEM Unnes: Ma'ruf King of Silent, Puan Queen of Ghosting".]