A debate has erupted online after Indonesian President Joko Widodo was seen wearing an expensive pair of Nike sneakers during a working visit to West Java last week.
Critics pointed out that the president was wearing the Nike LunarEpic Flyknit running shoes during one of his frequent field visits, at a time when many Indonesians are complaining about rising prices.
“Is this what you call man of the people? Showing off 2.8 million shoes when people are being burdened by rising electricity cost,” says a meme circulating on social media.
2.8 million Indonesian rupiah is equal to around 200 US dollars.
Jokowi said he chose to wear the sneakers because they were light and that he wanted to look different.
“It’s so that people don’t see me as boring,” he said.
Kaesang Pangarep, one of Jokowi’s sons who often pokes fun at his father’s critics in his blog, said he chose the Nike sneakers for his father because they were comfortable.
“Mobility during snap inspections (by the president) is important and besides, I chose the model because the colour is beautiful,” he said in a video review of the footwear posted on YouTube.