Published on February 22nd, 2015 | by Kurtis Hughes1
Indonesians criticise Abbott through social media campaign
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has received an overwhelming amount of criticism on twitter overnight as a result of his statements on Wednesday. His comments, which linked the $1 billion tsunami aid to the Australian clemency campaign for Bali Nine duo Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan prompted an Indonesian social media campaign. Many Indonesians affected by the Boxing Day tsunami were offended by Abbott’s remarks.
The social media campaign reveals the growing contempt surrounding Abbott’s comments through photos of coin collections which are tagged as #CoinForAbbott, #CoinForAustralia and #KoinUntukAustralia. The images aim to symbolise the act of Indonesians paying Australia back for their aid during the Boxing Day tsunami.
— Iwan Rasta™ (@rastajovi) February 21, 2015
The social media campaign originated within the Indonesian province of Aceh, which was the hardest hit by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, killing more than 100,000 people in the area alone.
An Indonesian media outlet by the name of Tempo spoke to Muhammad Riza, a victim of the tsunami who stated that “[if the aid] weren’t sincere, then the community will give it back”.
— junita christan (@junitachristan) February 20, 2015
Comments such as this depict the nations’ anger towards Abbott’s speech, in which he stated, “Lets not forget that a few years ago when Indonesia was struck by the Indian Ocean tsunami, Australia sent a billion dollars worth of assistance”
The Pedestrian reported that Abbot’s comments were widely interpreted as a ‘threat’ to Indonesian aid if clemency was not achieved.
— KOTASUBANG.com (@kotaSUBANG) February 20, 2015
The Guardian has revealed that Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop was urgently prompted to contact Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo in order to explain Abbott’s comments.
Joko Widodo is reportedly content with the explanation provided by Bishop. Widodo also revealed that a formal rebuke to Abbott’s comments is being drafted by his government.