Pong Hardjatmo spray-painting Gedung DPR

Posted by David Khoirul

Ever seen an actor doing a crazy thing? Pong Harjatmo, an Indonesian veteran actor, did it: spray-painting the roof of the House of Representatives or Gedung DPR in Jakarta to protest government inaction on various issues. He was then arrested on Friday by security officers.

Pong, 68, managed to spray the words "honest," "fair" and "firm" on the roof of the House complex in Jakarta before he was detained by three security officers at around noon.

"Neither the DPR [House] nor the government has ever solved a problem, like the Bank Century scandal and the gas cylinder explosions. Now, so many legislators are truants," said Pong, who has starred in more than 50movies since the 1970s.

He also lashed out at lawmakers for appearing to be "immune to media and public criticism." "Neither printed words nor broadcast news affects these legislators. Something needs to be done," Pong told reporters on Friday after he was arrested.

He said he had not intended to permanently damage state property when he spray-painted the House's roof. "Just repaint it and it'll be okay," he said.

Pong also refuted claims that the protest was an attempt to shore up his waning public profile. "I'm sick and tired of popularity. I had enough of it a long time ago," he said.

House Deputy Speaker Priyo Budi Santoso, a member of the Golkar Party, said the House welcomed any public expression of opinions and suggestions, but that the public should not resort to vandalism. "The House's doors are wide open. But why should [Pong] be resorting to graffiti? He should not act this way. These are state symbols," Priyo said, adding that there is no need for people to climb roofs in order to be heard.

"I think the motive is only to draw our attention. But it was done in a wrong way," he said. Meanwhile, National Awakening Party (PKB) member Abdul Malik Haramain -one of many lawmakers criticized by the public for being chronically absent in plenary sessions -said he did not object to attempts by the public to voice their opinions or criticisms.

(Via The Jakarta Globe)


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