According to CNN Indonesia, netizens deemed Mr Gibran’s actions to be disrespectful to Mr Mahfud who is much older and also holding a top post in government.
Mr Mahfud, 66, is currently serving as Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, whereas Mr Gibran, 36, has only been in the bureaucracy for close to three years as mayor of Surakarta City. It was a position that had previously been held by his father, Mr Widodo, from July 2005 to October 2012.
X users criticised Mr Gibran for trying too hard to be “savage” during the debate. They reportedly said that he fell short and appeared “songong”, which is an Indonesian slang for rude. Both “savage” and “songong” later popped up as trending topics on X.
Netizens also said that Mr Gibran’s gimmick was cringe, reported CNN Indonesia.
X users backing up Mr Mahfud called Mr Gibran’s questions a trap that was intended to challenge the minister’s knowledge on greenflation.
When asked about his gesture after the debate, Mr Gibran said that he would let the viewers decide whether or not his actions were offensive, adding that he only intended to discuss and exchange ideas with Mr Mahfud, according to Detik.
Source: Channel News Asia