Indonesian ministers make music video discouraging homeward-bound exodus ahead of Hari Raya


JAKARTA - Indonesian ministers have come together to produce a music video discouraging people from flocking back to their hometowns ahead of the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holiday.

Indonesian ministers, including Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi and Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate, took turns to dissuade people from a mudik, as the annual exodus is known, in a 55-second clip titled Jangan Mudik, Nggak Mudik Tetap Asyik (Don't Go on Mudik, It's Still Fun without Mudik).

Each minister sang the line either in Indonesian or Javanese in the clip that has garnered 1.4 million views on Twitter since being posted by the Manpower Ministry on Monday (May 18).

Another version of the clip featuring some regional heads, such as West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil and Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, was also posted on the ministry's official Instagram account on Monday.

While reactions to the clip have been mixed, netizens have been mostly critical in light of the government's policies regarding the pandemic, which has infected 19,189 and killed 1,242 - the highest in South-east Asia.

One of the policies viewed as inconsistent by the public is the decision to reopen all modes of transport on May 7, allowing travel for state and business purposes as well as "essential urgencies", despite the imposition of large-scale social distancing measures in a few regions.

Reports on May 14 showed Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten packed with travellers wanting to fly to their hometowns.

Dr Teuku Adifitrian, who is also a famous jazz singer with the stage name Tompi,commented on the Manpower Minstry's tweet of the video: "What are these distinguished gentlemen and ladies doing? It's not that I don't respect (you), but please do your work properly."

User @rizki_thamrin commented on the ministry's Instagram post: "Indeed, it's fun, Sir. But why are transport modes still free (to operate)?"

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Several Javanese high-profile figures including presidential chief of staff Moeldoko and presidential advisory board chief Wiranto also appeared in another music video titled Ora Mudik Ora Popo (No Mudik, No Worries).

The Indonesian embassy in Singapore also produced a music video of the Indonesian song Rumah Kita (Our Home), featuring Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore Ngurah Swajaya, embassy staff and Indonesians living in Singapore, as a tribute to those in the front line of the battle against the Covid-19.

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