Video does not show 'ex-Jakarta governor sworn in as Indonesia's anti-corruption body chief'

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A video that has been viewed more than one million times in social media posts falsely claiming former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who is popularly known as Ahok, was installed as the new chief of Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). A spokesperson for Ahok told AFP the claim was a "hoax" and as of May 26, 2023, there has been no official announcement indicating he was appointed to the role. The video included visuals and audio that were unrelated to the false claim.

"AHOK IS SWORN IN, HIS MOVING OATH & PROMISE FOR INDONESIA," reads the title of this YouTube video, which has been viewed more than 11,000 times since it was posted on May 16, 2023.

The Indonesian-language text on the video's thumbnail translates to English as: "LATEST NEWS: INSTALLED AS NEW KPK CHAIRMAN, AHOK HAS AMBITIOUS OATH AND PROMISE FOR INDONESIA."

The eight-minute clip has a thumbnail that features Ahok -- wearing a white suit -- in a large room facing Indonesian President Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, who is dressed in a dark-coloured jacket.

Screenshot of the misleading post, taken on May 25, 2023

KPK refers to Indonesia's Commission to Eradicate Corruption.

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, a Chinese-Indonesian politician popularly known as Ahok, was Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's deputy governor of Jakarta when the latter served as governor from 2012 to 2014 (archived link).

Ahok became the Jakarta governor after Jokowi won the presidential election in 2014 (archived link).

Ahok was released from prison in January 2019 after serving a two-year sentence for insulting Islam and has been serving as the president commissioner of Indonesia's state oil firm Pertamina since November 2019 (archived links here and here)

At the video's six-second mark, Ahok can be heard saying, "As state officials, we can set an example for all citizens. That's my wish. I firmly believe that corruption is the root of problems in this republic. By uprooting corruption and embracing transparency and good governance, everything can be managed effectively."

An unidentified person can be heard making a political commentary about Ahok at the clip's 26-second mark: "Putting Ahok in the wrong position would cause a commotion, but if he is placed in the right position, he could become a guiding light."

Then, at the two-minute 59-second mark, another person provides a similar commentary, saying, "If I may express my opinion, I would like Ahok to become the KPK chairman."

The video has been viewed more than a million times after being shared with a similar claim on Facebook here and here, and on TikTok here.

In response to the posts, Ahok's aide Sakti Budiono told AFP by WhatsApp on May 24, 2023 that the claim was a "hoax".

As of May 26, 2023, the KPK has not made any official announcement regarding Ahok's appointment as the chairman and the body's website still listed Firli Bahuri as its chairman (archived link).

As of May 24, the Indonesian media continued to quote Firli as the body's chairman, including here and here (archived links here and here).

Video's thumbnail

Using a Google reverse image search, AFP found the photo used in the misleading video's thumbnail actually depicts an event from 2014 when Ahok was sworn in as Jakarta governor at the state palace.

The original photo was published by the Indonesian news outlet in this report, published on November 19, 2014 (archived link). It was headlined: "Ahok sworn in without Jokowi’s speech".

Below is a screenshot comparison of the false video's thumbnail (left) and the genuine photo published by (right):

Screenshot comparison of the false video's thumbnail (left) and the genuine photo published by (right)

Misleading audio

The audio extract of Ahok's voice was taken from a December 2019 interview in which he shared his thoughts on corruption in Indonesia.

The statement can be heard at the 21-second mark of this YouTube video from Indonesian broadcaster Kompas TV (archived link).

It was titled "Ahok: Corruption Is the Root of All Problems" and posted on December 10, 2019.

The commentary heard at the 26-second mark of the false video has been extracted from the two-minute 32-second mark of this video from the YouTube channel Cokro TV (archived link).

In the video, posted in March 2020, political commentator Denny Siregar says Ahok is suitable to lead Nusantara, the planned new Indonesian capital currently under construction in the East Kalimantan province (archived link).

The political commentary heard at the two-minute 59-second mark of the false video was taken from an essay titled "Ahok KPK Chief?" published by the Indonesian-language opinion website Seword on May 1, 2019 (archived link).

The essay argued Ahok would make a good KPK chairman given his experience as a reformist government official.