Senior minister Mahfud MD panned for tweeting about sinetron instead of, you know, talking about things that matter | Sentra Berita Jakarta

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Since it began airing in October of last year, Ikatan Cinta (The Bind of Love) has become one of the most popular sinetron (Indonesian soap operas) and a pop culture phenomenon in the country. Anyone, including senior ministers, should have the right to watch and talk about Ikatan Cinta, but, as we’re about to see, timing is everything.

Coordinating Minister for Legal, Political, and Security Affairs (and nearly candidate for vice president) Mahfud MD last night tweeted that he has gotten the chance to catch up on Ikatan Cinta due to the ongoing Emergency Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (Emergency PPKM) protocol. As someone with a background in legal affairs, Mahfud went on to give his two cents on the seemingly impossible storyline ⁠— the very thing that sinetrons are infamous for.

To give you a heads up on what Ikatan Cinta is about, please read carefully: Andin (Amanda Manopo) and her younger sister Elsa (Glenca Chysara) fell in love with the same guy, Nino (Evan Sanders). The relationship of the sisters, who never really got along to begin with, went down the drain after Elsa found out that Nino wanted to marry Andin. 

Elsa, who’s the apple of their mother’s eyes, launched evil plans to thwart their wedding plans, though Andin and Nino later tied the knot anyway. One thing led to another and Elsa became pregnant with Roy’s child (who’s Roy? Exactly), but she murdered him because he didn’t want to take responsibility for the child. Elsa accused Andin of the murder because she was at the scene when it happened. Andin gets imprisoned, and Elsa was finally able to marry Nino.

Andin gave birth to her and Nino’s child, who was named Nindi, in jail, but Nino didn’t want to claim the baby as his, thinking that she was Roy’s. TL;DR: Elsa gave the child away to an orphanage, Andin got out of prison four years later, and Roy’s younger brother Aldebaran (Arya Saloka) made a move to her to avenge the murder. Andin and Aldebaran somehow got married and adopted Nindi, and the story has revolved around their blooming relationship since then.

Now that you’re caught up with the story, enter Mahfud with his expertise in law:

“PPKM gave me a chance to watch the Ikatan Cinta sinetron. It’s thrilling, though it’s a bit all over the place. But the writers’ legal knowledge is inadequate. Sarah who admitted and asked to be punished for killing Roy was immediately arrested. Confession in criminal law is not strong enough evidence,” Mahfud’s tweet reads.

“Roy’s killer was Elsa. Sarah, Elsa’s mother, admitted as his murderer and asked to be punished for the sake of protecting Elsa. In criminal law, people can’t just admit something and be arrested. If that’s the case, there could be so many people committing crimes and then order [pay] someone to admit as the perpetrator so that the actual suspect can be free,” he wrote in another tweet.

Given the fact that Indonesia is currently facing its worst coronavirus outbreak yet, is it really surprising that Mahfud is now being castigated for his apparent inability to read the room? 

Wow, it must be nice to still be able to watch sinetron, still receiving salary as usual, still being able to eat and sleep well while on the other hand the people are struggling, they don’t have money to eat, they can’t earn money because they’re being hindered by the tyranny in the country that was said to have everything.

Another user replied using a video of Social Affairs Minister Tri Rismaharini, popularly known as Risma, who famously gave a scolding at a ceremony in 2017. In the video, she said: “Don’t laugh! Come here!”

Seeing minister [Mahfud MD] tweeting about Ikatan Cinta. Me:

@LaporCOVID19, a civil society coalition that has been crowdsourcing COVID-19 information across the country during the pandemic, also joined in to respond to the Mahfud’s tweet. 

How many episodes have you watched? Good to hear, we have reached the second episode of The Bind of the Pandemic in Indonesia.

The devastating state Indonesia finds itself in amid the latest outbreak is already so disheartening, but the tweet, which, lest we forget, came from one of the country’s top officials, takes the cake among recent political gaffes. Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised, given that the same official compared the coronavirus to wives last year. 

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