Supporters of Indonesian preacher Abdul Somad Batubara staged protests in Jakarta and Medan on Friday (May 20), a few days after Somad was denied entry into Singapore due to his history of extremist teachings.
This also came a day after Somad's supporters spammed Singapore President Halimah Yacob and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's social media accounts to show their displeasures.
According to CNN Indonesia, Somad's supporters held a protest outside the office of the Singapore Consulate-General in Medan on Friday (May 20).
Prior to that, about 250 protestors gathered at Medan Grand Mosque, reported The Straits Times.
Pictures and videos of the protest were posted online, showing many protestors holding up placards and banners.
Aksi save Uas di Pekanbaru, Medan, dll pic.twitter.com/CKGkIwZ6HT
— Ustadz Abdul Somad (@UasAbdulSomad) May 20, 2022
The placards and banners mostly criticised Singapore's decision to ban Somad from entering the country.
Aksi Bela Ustadz Abdul Somad di #Medan Jumat 20 Mei 2022
"Ustadz Somad Di Lawan, Beginilah Jadinya .." pic.twitter.com/qUwHUvXJSl
— jeanis (@selebmedsos) May 20, 2022
- "Singapore = Zionist Israel"
- "Singapore villains lair"
- "If Singapore doesn't apologise, we will break our diplomatic ties"
Meanwhile, on the same day in Jakarta, ST reported that about 50 men and women were protesting in front of the Singapore Embassy there.
Similarly, they held up placards and banners to criticise Singapore authorities.
One of the banners that the protestors was holding stated, according to ST:
"Stop Islamophobia. Singapore apologise within 2x24 hours to the Indonesian people. Don't harass our ulama (cleric)."
Won't stop trying to visit Singapore
In a YouTube video on May 18, Somad, who is from Riau province, said that Singapore is a "Malay land" as it was part of the Temasek Malay Kingdom, making it is "similar" to Riau.
"To say that I'm tired of going to Singapore is the same as saying I'm tired of going to Minangkabau. Singapore is a Malay land. My grandmother has brothers, children and grandchildren who live in Singapore."
Smad also said that his intention to visit Singapore was to have family members "get to know their ancestors".
He added that he will not give up trying to visit Singapore.
Singapore government closely monitoring situation
Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement today, noting that Indonesian law enforcement personnel have been deployed to maintain safety and security in response to the demonstrations in Jakarta and Medan.
"The Ministry of Home Affairs of Singapore had issued a statement on 17 May 2022 setting out Singapore’s position on the matter. A visitor’s entry into Singapore is neither automatic nor a right. Each case is assessed on its own merits. The Singapore Government takes a serious view of any persons who advocate violence and/or espouse extremist and segregationist teachings."
"The Singapore Government is closely monitoring the situation at our overseas missions in Indonesia,” added the MFA.
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Top images via Abdul Somad/Twitter.