Members of Germany’s Indonesian student association ridiculed House lawmakers visiting Berlin on Monday, calling the politicians “country bumpkins” and the trip a waste of state funds.
Indonesian lawmakers from the House of Representatives’ Commission I — which oversees defense and foreign affairs — were attending an event at the Indonesian Embassy in Berlin that was attended by members of the Indonesian Student Association (PPI) and the Germany branch of the Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU).
The forum was interrupted when two members of the PPI stood and addressed the assembled dignitaries.
“I’ve seen that some of you [brought] along your family members,
although you claim this to be a working visit. Hopefully you [didn't] use a
single cent of the state money [to finance the family members’ trip],” an unidentified
PPI member said in Indonesian to the lawmakers.
“We saw you coming here
in a pack like some country bumpkins coming to Jakarta; excited and
all… Hope you won’t get the embassy staffers worked up when it’s not
even part of their job to serve you and your families,” he added.
A different PPI member urged the lawmakers to publish the cost of the trip on the House’s Web site. The students estimated the cost of the trip totaled Rp 3.1 billion ($337,900) in state funds.
The two organizations then stood up and left the embassy. The Indonesian lawmakers remained behind, looking nervous.
By Wednesday, the whole thing was posted on YouTube.
It was not clear why the lawmakers were visiting Indonesians in Berlin, but House members often say trips like this are necessary for comparative studies and impromptu inspections.