Indonesia: Veteran actor stages parliament protest

Indonesia's Parliament building. This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons

“Jujur, Adil, Tegas.” In the English language it means “Honest, Fair, Firm.” These were the words written in red paint by veteran movie actor Pong Harjatmo on the roof of the parliament building of Indonesia as a sign of protest against what he described as inefficient democratic and legislative system of the country.

A few days before the 68-year old actor climbed the 100-meter-tall parliament building, a report was published which exposed the declining attendance record of members of the House of Representatives. This explains why many netizens are somewhat sympathetic to the intentions and actions of Pong.

Multibrand hopes the lazy members of Congress would realize that many people in Indonesia are already “sick and tired” about their poor performance

I have not heard about him for more than a decade, and today I was surprised about the protest he made against the members of the House of Representatives by climbing the roof of the House building.

I hope that what Pong did today would make members of the House aware that people are sick and tired about their performances many of whom are very lazy to attend meetings, love to sleep during meetings, involve in crimes, etc

Here are some comments on Facebook

Rice Guy D this man should be commended not condemned..saya pikir
Mico Roy Siswanto This is just an example of kind vandalism…
Andre Purvance Pong for President!
Agus Jemat Don't say you are contemporary & street art artist if you never do what mr. Pong Harjatmo do today
Eton Sahertia Good job, wake them up Mr. Pong :)

sounds of gibberish notes that Pong showed the young people how to effectively protest instead of ranting on Twitter and Facebook

Pong slap youth of the nation in da face and showed us how to make a point (rather than stupid protest or meaningless rant in twitter or facebook account). This old timer really know how to strike (even when the iron is not hot) and really stands in what he believe (he even said that he will repeat his action in other government building

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not I totally agree to Pong action (OK, I support it 10000000000%, U go old timer! Though I think other method could be implemented before we go anarchy on the street). What I think most people missed from this controversy is the message, the substance, and the very reason of the action.

Jakarta Journo's Armando Siahaan praises Pong

Thanks to the oh-so-divine power of the digital world, the news spread like an airborne virus. My immediate reaction upon hearing the news ran something along the lines of: “How did a 68-year-old man manage to get up there in the first place?”

If we examine the gutsy and witty act further, Pong’s decision to spray paint the green dome that bears a resemblance to a turtle’s shell turned out to be a brilliant stunt.

Intentionally or not, it was an eye-opening, symbolic criticism that shouted: “You lawmakers work as slow as turtles!”

Some members of Congress and security officers recognize the right of Pong to air his opinion but reminded the actor to express it “politely” and not through acts of vandalism. Pong was not charged in the courts but he was advised not to repeat the protest stunt.

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