Between Jokowi, Kaesang, and the Toads in Papua

Do you still remember about the tweets between Jokowi, toads and Kaesang in Papua some time ago? It was started with a tweet from President Jokowi, who was visiting Papua and wrote “Pianemo Raja Ampat Island, very beautiful. A small paradise in Papua -Jkw” on his @jokowi account who was then responded by Kaesang, the youngest child of the number one person in Indonesia, which led to a buzz in the digital world.

All of a sudden, Kaesang who is currently studying in Singapore commented, “Dad, I don’t mean to be impolite but if you’re looking for tadpoles, that’s not the right place, ” he wrote on his account, @kaesangp.

Jokowi Papuan Tweet
President Jokowi (left) arm wrestling with his son Kaesang (right). Via

Most Indonesian netizens are easily excited about something, and this tweet between father and son became viral on social media. There are those who responded with jokes, but not a few who commented sarcastically. Kaesang is considered impolite to his father who is a president. Like a hot ball, the Jokowi’s haters and supporters live up this moment. There were even hashtags on Jokowi-Kaesang that has become a trending topic.

Apart from the hubbub of the netizens who were responding these tweets, the communication between this father and son in social media that is so fluid -if viewed in their capacity as president, and the president’s family- has become a new phenomenon in the world of state bureaucracy which was previously seen as rigid, self-reserved, and out of reach by civilians.

Besides these incidents of toads in Papua, previously, Jokowi was once caught joking around in a meeting with politicians, such as when he was invited to the 4th Congress Meeting of Democrat Party in Surabaya, East Java. Jokowi asked the Head of Democrat, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) to award a Democrat cadre, Ruhut Sitompul. Jokowi, who wore black suit with a red tie, told Ruhut to continue ‘terrorizing’ him via SMS and telephone. Apparently, Ruhut asked Jokowi to attend the congress at the Shangri-La Hotel, Surabaya.

“Mr. SBY, please give Mr. Ruhut an award,” said Jokowi in Surabaya, on Tuesday (12/5).

According to Jokowi, Ruhut called and sent short messages up to three times while he was on a working visit in some areas of eastern Indonesia. “He called me three times, when I was still in Jayapura, in Merauke, in Papua New Guinea, plus an SMS,” said Jokowi, greeted with laughter from the cadres of Democrat.

Jokowi’s fascination for joking is also shared by his family, as said by Kaesang, quoted from, he said that his father would have preferred to joke and watch a movie if he’s not busy. Jokowi’s jokes which he considered as “not funny” would still create laughter in the family. “We’re just feeling sorry for him. He’s tired. Then he tried to make a joke, but no-one’s laughing. So, in the end we forced ourselves to laugh,” said Kaesang, that invoked the audience’s laughter (in Mata Najwa on Metro TV).

So, Papua’s matters are not always intense with issues of separatist movements that unsettle the Papuans who love their homeland. It also have humor stories, such as between the president and his son.


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