Jakarta. “Do not ever doubt the Vice President’s nationalism. He has been proven contributing in defending the Indonesian sovereignty, NKRI,” said the Vice President’s spokesperson Husain Abdullah in Jakarta this afternoon. He stated this in reply to the spreading comments in social media regarding the Vice President who did not raise her hand during the flag raising ceremony during the Independence Day commemoration at the Merdeka Palace this morning.

Mr Abdullah further explained Mr Jusuf Kalla, popularly known as JK, remained standing still at the ceremony to give salute. “This is similar to what our first vice president Mohammad Hatta did as he accompanied President Soekarno during the Independence Day Proclamation in 1945,” he said.

What JK did, he added, is in line with what stipulated in the Government Regulation No. 40 of 1958 regarding the Indonesian National Flag. Article 20 of the regulation stipulates that “During the flag-raising or flag-lowering ceremony, all the people attending give salute to the flag by standing firmly and keeping silence while directing their faces towards the flag until the conclusion of the ceremony. Those in uniform of a certain organization give salute in a way decided by the organization. Those not in uniforms give salute by straightening their arms downward while putting their hands with closed fingers on their thighs. All head covers shall be detached except for Muslim cap kopiah, headband, turban and headscarf or female cap worn according to certain religious norms or customs.

When becoming a ceremony inspector, Mr Abdullah explained, JK would certainly raise his hand to give salute. “This happened when JK became a ceremony inspector in the National Heroes Day ceremony on 10 November last year,” he said.