Indonesia is facing its last lap of campaign before presidential election. The two runners for the position are Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto. Several earlier surveys showed a landslide advantage to Joko Widodo, but the increasing trend of Prabowo Subianto’s electability made the last few weeks especially tense.
In terms of social media, a lot of ways have been done to get the heart of the people. Jokowi’s volunteers’ videos can be found in several variants, but two of the most talked about are: the song “Bersatu Padu Coblos Nomor Dua” (United we stand to vote for number two – Jokowi’s presidential candidate number -) made by @killthedj, Indonesia’s culturally-infused Hip-hop Rapper, and its several versions (such as a music video, a lyric video, and a live version video); and the video of a song made by Slank (one of Indonesia’s top band) titled “Salam Dua Jari” (Two Finger Salute).
We can’t have too many creative campaigns. That might be one of the factors that finally inspired Ahmad Dhani (a top musician/music producer in Indonesia) to join in and create a presidential campaign song.
The video included several people other than himself, they are the winners of the latest season of Indonesian Idol, an Indonesian rendition of the Idol franchise: Virzha, Husein, and Nowela. The song is simply titled “PRABOWO-HATTA”. The song is incredibly catchy, and incredibly similar (if not the same) to Queen’s “We Will Rock You”. Brian May (Queen’s Guitarist) puts up a response in his twitter account, saying that this is “totally unauthorised by us”, expressing his disagreement towards the usage of the song.
But that’s not even close to the end of the problem.
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A German online media “Der Spiegel” expressed its dislike towards the video not because of the song itself, but rather due to the poor wardrobe choice. The clothes being worn by Ahmad Dhani looked a lot like Hitler’s NAZI uniform (complete with the two badges on the collar and the red cloth on the chest pocket), which, needs not to be told, is one of the world’s worst known fascist and war criminal ever known, and this reflects badly especially for the Germans.
Also, a property of a golden Garuda statue (a mythical bird which is Indonesia’s country emblem and also Prabowo-Hatta’s presidential campaign logo) is being held by Ahmad Dhani, further showing similarities to NAZI’s golden eagle logo. Besides Der Spiegel, there an Israeli media also expressed their disapproval to the images being used (most Israeli people are Jewish, the race being “cleansed” by Hitler and NAZI).
Dhani remained silent for several days before finally speaking up to address these matters. Contrary to what people thinks, he didn’t budge at all and stood by his initial statement, that it is an expression of art, and he even referred to the people who called him a fascist (or supporting fascism) as “Awam” (commoners). In his later tweets, he even “challenged” Der Spiegel’s journalist.
“Der Spiegel did a hit and run… the journalist ran away… meet me if you dare!”
“These stupid foreign journalists know nothing about journalism. I’ll be waiting for you all if you dare.. Indonesian journalists have to teach them about answering rights”
“Stupid foreign journalists have to be taught about freedom of art… if i want to wear Pocong or Kuntilanak (Indonesian local ghosts), it’s the right of an artist!”
Needless to say, this video reaped a lot of negative responses. However, Fadli Zon (the spokeperson of Prabowo-Hatta and also an Indonesian Legislative member) said that “the song is good, covering “We Will Rock You”. It is so cool and creative that our opposing side makes such a big fuss about it”.
Agreeing that this matter has become a little too much, Google decided to take it down from YouTube.