A meeting between the leaders of Indonesia’s House of Representatives and US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has sparked controversy at home.
House speaker Setya Novanto and his deputy Fadli Zon met Trump at a press conference at Trump Tower in New York City on Thursday.
In a video circulated on the Internet, Trump introduced Setya to his supporters, describing him as one of the most powerful men in Indonesia.
“His whole group is here to see me today. And we will do great things for the United States is that correct?” Trump asked.
“Yes,” Setya said.
“Do they like me in Indonesia?” Trump asked.
“Yes, highly,” the speaker said.
Indonesian netizens criticized the encounter and especially Setya’s responses.
“Does anyone else find it highly inappropriate that a sitting Speaker of the House join a Campaign rally in another country?” Ima Abdulrahim said on Twitter.
“Setya Novanto does NOT represent Indonesians. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” she said.
“They (the speakers) insulted our president but praised an American presidential candidate!” said Adian Napitupulu, a lawmaker from the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle.
“Replace them immediately.”
Fadli defended the meeting, saying Trump just recently invested in hotel development in Indonesia.
“Of course we appreciate businessmen who invest in Indonesia in the current economic climate,” Fadli said was quoted as saying by Metrotvnews.com, referring to the economic slowdown.