Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto has apologized for his remarks on “Boyolali faces” that has sparked people’s outrage, especially in the Central Java regency of Boyolali.
In a short video uploaded by spokesman for the Prabowo-Sandiaga Uno campaign, Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak, onto his Twitter account, Prabowo said he did not mean to offend Boyolali residents. Instead, he was only joking by saying that the faces of Boyolali people were not that of rich people.
“I did not mean it as a negative thing. If my remark offended some people, I apologize,” said the Gerindra Party chairman. He added that he wanted to underline the country’s inequality through his remark.
Prabowo has pledged on several occasions to address inequality and injustice in the country if elected president.
The controversial remark was made during his speech at the opening of his campaign team office in Boyolali last week.
Prabowo said there were a lot of fancy international hotels with names many people “probably can’t even pronounce” in Jakarta.
Later, he said: “If you try to enter [these hotels], you will probably be kicked out. Your faces are not that of rich people, your faces are just like that of the Boyolali people. Right?”
The audience laughed at the remark but a clip of the speech that was uploaded on YouTube went viral on Friday, eliciting negative reactions from many netizens.
Thousands of Boyolali residents staged a protest on Sunday, demanding an apology from Prabowo.