Jakarta. Indonesian singer Sigit Purnomo Syamsuddin Said, or Pasha, became the latest celebrity inaugurated as a local leader, following in the footsteps of actor Zumi Zola, who recently won the Jambi provincial election.
Pasha, frontman for pop band Ungu, was inaugurated as deputy mayor of Palu in Central Sulawesi on Wednesday (17/02). The 36-year-old singer, who was the running mate for bureaucrat Hidayat, won the mayoral election against three other candidate pairs with 54,895 votes (36.78 percent) last December.
In previous interviews, Pasha promised to focus on his duties as deputy mayor but said he would not leave the band.
"Whatever his contributions, it could be songs or anything, he stays with Ungu," band manager Rudi Wanandar said previously.
Pasha is not the only celebrity-turned-local leader. Former model and actor Zumi Zola was inaugurated as Jambi governor by President Joko Widodo at the State Palace on Friday last week.
Zumi, the former district head of Tanjung Jabung Timur, and his running mate Fachrori Umar won the provincial election with 968,497 votes or 60.25 percent of the vote. The pair was supported by the National Awakening Party (PKB), National Mandate Party (PAN), National Democratic Party (Nasdem), People's Conscience Party (Hanura) and Star Crescent Party (PBB).
He is the second generation of his family to be in politics, with his father, Zulkifli Nurdin, having served as Jambi governor for two terms between 2000 and 2010.
Zumi first rose to fame after starring in a number of local television dramas in 2005. Two years later he left his career in show biz to pursue a master's degree in business management in London.
More to Come
More celebrities are meanwhile expected to participate in local elections.
Ahmad Dhani, frontman for the band Dewa, has indicated that he will be a candidate in next year's Jakarta provincial election with the PKB's support. The Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) is also considering Dhani as a potential candidate to defeat incumbent Basuki Tjahaja Purnama.
"Dhani has talents that not many others have. Apart from being a musician, Dhani is also a Nadhlatul Ulama member and he has a vision for the development of Jakarta. He’s popular, yes, but he has to prove that he is electable [before we endorse him]," said Abdul Aziz, head of the Jakarta Ansor Youth Movement (GP Ansor).
He said the 49-year-old musician is an appropriate figure to consolidate PKB voters in the capital.
Dhani started his political safari by visiting the Kalijodo red-light district in North Jakarta on Monday. The rock star criticized Governor Basuki for his inhumane approach in demolishing the area, saying there was no need for such heavily armed personnel.
Dhani hit international headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2014, when he donned a military outfit similar to that of SS officer Heinrich Himmler in a Nazi-themed election advertisement for presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, who heads Gerindra.
The campaign advertisement featured Dhani and three Indonesian Idol contestants — Husein, Nowela and Virzha — covering Queen's "We Will Rock You," with the lyrics "who will awaken Indonesia from its misery if not us? Prabowo-Hatta!"
The rock star also made headlines after his son, who was 13 years old at the time, lost control of a sports car and crashed into a minivan on the Jagorawi toll road south of the capital in the early hours of Sept. 8, 2013 — killing seven people.
It later emerged that the child had been given the vehicle by his father for his birthday. The boy was acquitted and Dhani was never prosecuted for the incident.