Indonesia’s Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) legislator Arifanto (aka Arifinto) was caught red handed on camera watching a pronographic clip when the House of Representatives was in session recently. Arifanto claimed that he simply clicked on an email link on his tablet computer and was directed to a pornographic site. But Muhammad Irfan, the photographer from Media Indonesia who photographed Arifanto viewing the pornographic site said that Arifanto selected the video clip not from an email link, but from an existing folder in his tablet computer. Now Arifanto has resigned, but not before porn star Vicky Vette sent a cheeky tweet that caused him some embarrassment.
“Photographs Cannot Lie”
The House of Representatives was in session. There was a heated debate over a controversial plan to build a new House building. During the heat of the debate, lawmakers from 2 parties staged a walkout in protest against the new building. Arifanto wasn’t following the debate. But he was feeling hot for a different reason – he was watching a pornographic clip from his tablet computer.
A sharp-eye photographer from Media Indonesia spotted Arifainto fiddling with his tablet computer. Out of curiosity, photographer Mohammad Irfan decided to use his camera’s viewfinder to see what Arifanto was doing with his tablet computer. Mohammad Irfan said: “I was surprised when I noticed through my camera’s viewfinder that there was a picture of a naked woman on Arifanto’s tablet screen.”
When Mohammad Irfan published his photo, an embarrassed Arifanto offered this explanation – some unknown person had sent him an email with a link. When he clicked on the link, he was taken to a pornographic site. Mohammad Irfan said: “Photographs cannot lie. The pictures, taken by me, show that the video was not from an Internet link.” Indeed photographs taken by Mohammad Irfan (he took around 60 shots) show clearly that there were at least 6 folders on his tablet computer. Each of these folders had thumbnail pornographic pictures.
Arifanto said that he “opened the video through a link sent via email and deleted it only seconds after noticing it was porn.” But according to data stored on Mohammad Irfan’s photographs, Arifinto was viewing the pornographic pictures for 2½ minutes from the first to the last frame.
Vicky Vette: “I Am Super Happy”
Adding confusion to the situation was porn star Vicky Vette who posted a tweet saying: “I am super happy Mr. Arifanto got my email. I sent him my best pictures.” But when Indonesian reporters followed this up, Vicky Vette again tweeted: “Indonesian reporters, we have a thing on Twitter called sarcasm, look it up.” So did Vicky Vette really send Arifanto an annonymous email with a link to her porn site? On Twitter, below a provocative picture of herself, Vicky Vette tweeted: “I did NOT send this pic to Mr. Arifanto.”
Vicky Vette is no stranger to Indonesia. When Tifatul Sembiring who is Indonesia’s Minister for Information and Communications was caught on television shaking hands with Michelle Obama during a recent visit by President Barack Obama to Indonesia despite his stand of not shaking hands with females, Vicky Vette sent a series of tweets as follows:
“Hmmm, I wanna get ‘handy’ with Indo’s Information Minister too!”
“Come to the USA and shake anything you want .”
“Do you like it fast, slow, with a firm grip or maybe both hands?”
“You can touch me in public anytime you want cutie.”
“Night cutie… please have sweet dreams ”
At the height of the Peterporn sex scandal, Vicky Vette tweeted: “If Ariel Peterporn & Luna Maya come to the USA I’ll shoot another sex tape with both of them…wonder if that would be a hit in Indonesia.”
Poengky Indarti, executive director of Impasial, the Indonesian human rights watchdog said: “A representative for the people opens a porn site during a plenary session. We are disappointed. If he said it was because he was bored, okay, that’s human. But what he did only showed that he merely had a dirty mind. We are disappointed with that kind of behavior from a legislator. He should be dismissed. A House member with such an immoral mind is undeserving.”
Then referring to the Peterporn sex videos scandal, Poengky Indarti said: “Firm measures were taken against Ariel. A representative of the people who obviously did this kind of thing when he should have been thinking about the fate of the people who are rejecting the planned new office building at the House complex” should face stern action from the House of Representatives.
House of Representatives speaker Pramono Anung said: “This matter really smeared the image of the House. Once a person is chosen to become a legislator, their behavior, especially those under the public eye, must be controlled.”
Referring to the police probe into the incident, Nurdiman Munir, deputy chairman of the House Honorary Council said: “The act was clearly an ethical violation. We must investigate it and not necessarily wait for an official report.”
But what about the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS)? How did it react to this? Abdul Hakim, PKS faction secretary said: “The faction will leave it to the Shariah Council.” Then he added that the Shariah Council would be meeting soon to discuss this matter and to determine what actions should be taken against Arifanto.
The National Police
The National Police, which successfully prosecuted Nazril Irham aka Ariel over the Peterporn sex videos is now reviewing the conduct of Arifanto. Sr. Comr. Boy Rafli Amar said: “We will study if the conduct is part of privacy or not.” But then he added that for the time being, the matter is in the hands of the House Ethics Council. He added: “They have their own internal mechanisms.”
But Arifanto does have a supporter in Minsiter Tifatul Sembiring, who said: “Those transmitting and distributing porn contents are subject to the law, those downloading are not.” He also said that Arifinto had “unintentionally” downloaded the porn video, ignoring the evidence of photographer Mohammad Irfan. Both Minister Tifatul Sembiring and Arifanto are from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).
On Arifanto’s Facebook page, one typical sarcastic comment appeared: “Tsk, tsk, tsk. Aren’t you ashamed? Watch the video in private, not in a public space.” Another asked cheekily: “Hello Uncle, please email me the video.”
Arifanto finally resigned, saying: “As a pioneer in my party, I am drawn to take responsibility for my actions for the sake of the continuity and good image of my party. I would also like to apologize to all PKS cadres and lawmakers. My decision is made clearly on my own. It does not involve any intervention and pressure from anybody. I will also continue to introspect and work to improve the quality of my personality by seeking input from ulema, donating to the poor, and any other good gestures during my life in this world.”
Commenting on Arifanto’s resignation, House of Representatives speaker Pramono Anung said: “I think Arifinto’s resignation will be good for his party and the House’s image.”
Think About It
Although Arifanto has resigned from the House of Representatives, the question is whether he will be charged for crime under the 2008 Anti-Pornography Law, which the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and Minster Tifatul Sembiring have been championing all this while. Article 5 of this law states that the maximum sentence for those lending or downloading pornographic content is 4 years in prison and RP 2 billion ($232,000) fine. If no action is taken against Arifanto under the 2008 Anti Pornography Law, then should Ariel be released from prison?
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