Indonesian President Joko Widodo (left) and Vice President Ma'ruf Amin on the steps of the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on October 23, 2019 ( AFP / Adek Berry)

Doctored headline misleads on welfare benefits if Indonesian president wins third term

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Multiple Facebook posts have shared purported screenshots of a news headline that claims Indonesian Vice President Ma'ruf Amin promises social welfare benefits for women if President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, is elected for a third term. But the images have been doctored to superimpose a false headline. Ma'ruf did make comments about card-based welfare benefits -- but it was in 2019, when Jokowi was running for his second term. 

The image was posted to Facebook on March 23, 2022.

The Indonesian-language headline translates to English as "Ma'ruf Amin: If Jokowi is re-elected for a third term, women will just need to pay using a card".

The post's Javanese-language caption reads: "Breaking promise".

Screenshot of the misleading post, taken on May 5, 2022

The image was shared online as senior ministers and several political parties in March 2022 suggested the elections should be delayed and the constitution amended to allow presidents to serve more than two terms, AFP reported.

The image was also shared on Facebook here, here, and here

Unrelated news article

But the claim is false.

A Google reverse image search found that the posts include an edited version of a genuine news article that is unrelated to the claim. 

The genuine report from Okezone, an Indonesian news site, is dated February 22, 2022.

The news article contains the same picture of Ma'ruf and the same reporter's byline as the false post.

But the original headline reads: "Ma'ruf Amin's Message to Religious Organizations: Do Not Go to the Extreme Right or Left".

Below is a screenshot comparison between the false image (left) and the original Okezone report (right): 

Screenshot comparison between the misleading image (L) and the genuine Okezone report (R)

Ma'ruf's statement about religious organisations was also reported by other news media outlets here and here on the same day. 

Online keyword searches found that Ma'ruf said in February 2019 that women would be able to pay for necessities using only a card if Jokowi was re-elected, as reported by local news outlets here and here.

Ma'ruf was Jokowi's vice-presidential candidate at the time.

Jokowi promoted a "three-card" social welfare programme when he campaigned for his second term in the 2019 presidential election.

One of the three, the "Affordable Staple Foods Card", launched in January 2021, grants eligible families subsidised and discounted prices on essential food items. 

As of May 11, 2022, there have been no credible reports that Ma'ruf made the statement in reference to Jokowi running for a third presidential term.

Jokowi has repeatedly denied that he is interested to serve beyond his constitutionally mandated two-term limit, which is set to end in 2024.

As of May 11, 2022, Jokowi has not indicated otherwise. 

AFP has previously debunked posts with doctored news headlines that made misleading claims about the likelihood of Jokowi running for a third presidential term.