Citizen arrested for complaining about flooding to mayor
JAKARTA, Indonesia – A resident of Samarinda, the capital city of East Kalimantan province, was arrested on Saturday, June 18, after sending a complaint about currently flooding disasters via SMS to the city's mayor Syaharie Jaang.
On Monday's front page of Samarinda Pos newspaper, a local media in Kalimantan, the headline read: "[Mayor] Jaang insulted, citizen jailed".
According to Samarinda Pos, the citizen was identified by his initials H.D.
H.D. allegedly wrote to the mayor: "10 years as deputy mayor and 6 years as mayor of Samarinda, yet [Syaharie Jaang] can't solve the flooding [problem]."
The mayor reportedly did not take the criticism well. After receiving the message, Jaang reported H.D. to police, saying he was insulted and defamed by the complaint.
Ironically, the message was not broadcast publicly, and Indonesia's Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE) allows people to report online complaints.
"Jaang reported the citizen, as a deterrent [to others] because his (H.D.'s) method didn't show that he meant well. If he wanted to criticize, that was not the correct way," said Heri, Jaang's personal assistant, as quoted by Samarinda Pos.
Heri also said that H.D. met with Jaang and apologized for his criticism so the charges against H.D. could later be dismissed.
But local police have already imprisoned H.D. and named him a suspect for violating the UU ITE. If he is found guilty, he could face up to 6 years in jail.
Some netizens posted the photo of the frontpage on social media.
Netizen Setiawan Yogy reacted to the report, questioning Indonesia's democracy.
"Don't be a leader if you don't want to be criticized," said another netizen. – Rappler.com