Given that more than 900,000 Facebook users have now joined the online group supporting two embattled commissioners of Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), it was probably a risky idea to post a status message supporting their nemesis.
But one Facebook user, who identified himself as 23-year-old Evan Brimob — in reference to the elite Mobile Brigade police unit — did exactly that. “The police do not need the people. But the people need the police. Go Indonesian police, swallow those geckos alive,” he posted, referring to the derogatory term coined by the National Police’s chief of detectives, Chief Coms. Gen. Susno Duadji, to describe the antigraft agency.
Not surprisingly, a virtual uproar ensued. One user called Helmy Satria, who had a gecko for a profile picture, said Evan’s message was arrogant. Hundreds of other angry comments soon followed.
Another user by the name of Maquis Spanish threatened to file a complaint with the police over Evan’s remarks.
This led to an outpouring of chain mail and blog postings regarding the subject. Some of the messages urged people to visit the National Police Commission Web site to report him for defamation.
An Evan Brimob fan page on the social network had reached 1,400 members, most of them posting critical comments, far outnumbered by a the “Indonesia hates Evan Brimob” page with 6,615 members.
National Police spokesperson Insp. Gen. Nanan Sukarna told reporters on Thursday that regardless of whether Evan was a member of Brimob or not, Indonesia was a democratic country that ensured freedom of speech.