JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A picture of a rice sack issued by the Agriculture Ministry has gone viral as social media users mistook the model pictured on the sack for Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
Twitter user @Jokoedy6 posted pictures of the rice sacks, claiming that the man shown carrying a bundle of rice stalks on the packaging was in fact the Indonesian leader. He also accused Joko, better known by his nickname Jokowi, of unfairly promoting himself ahead of the country's presidential election next year.
"The Agriculture Ministry's rice has Jokowi as its logo," he tweeted on Tuesday. "If he doesn't break the rules, Jokowi cannot win. To win, he needs to cheat and act corruptly." As of the time of writing, the post had been retweeted 425 times and liked 527 times.
Several other netizens chimed in to criticise what they perceived as Joko's misuse of government facilities.
"[Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman] should be punished for the rice sacks with Jokowi's picture," @ati_suria said. "It is over the line, shameless, (a) misuse of authority."
The ministry, however, said the man pictured is in fact a ministry employee, not the President.
"The model in the photo is Agus Faizal, the driver of the Agriculture Ministry's procurement bureau head," ministry spokesman Kuntoro Boga Andri told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday (Sept 26), adding that the picture had been taken in 2016, when the ministry launched its Toko Tani Indonesia programme.
"The rice itself is produced by a farmer's cooperative under the guidance of the Agriculture Ministry which sells directly to Toko Tani Indonesia to cut the supply chain and provide fair prices to farmers and consumers."