Indonesia: Moonlighting politician told to stop acting

Promotional image for the Indonesian TV soap God Seekers Image copyright SCTV
Image caption Politician Deddy Mizwar (right) takes a leading role in SCTV's God Seekers soap

An actor-turned-politician has been told to stop appearing in soap operas and concentrate on his job, it appears.

Deddy Mizwar was one of Indonesia's most recognisable actors before trying his hand at politics and becoming deputy governor of West Java representing the Islamist Prosperous Justice Party. However, the country's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has told him to stop appearing in a soap opera and "concentrate on serving his constituents", Indonesian news website Kompas reports.

According to the Jakarta Globe, Deddy has been appearing in popular Ramadan series "Para Pencari Tuhan" (God Seekers) for the last eight years on the SCTV channel, playing the role of a pious father figure, and the anti-corruption body is asking him to declare any income and advertising endorsements he's received from his acting work. "We will determine whether or not it is corruption," KPK chief Giri Suprapdiono is quoted as saying.

The moonlighting politician has the backing of his boss, West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan, who defended the right of his deputy to hold down two jobs. Ahmad said that he's earned additional income as a conference speaker while holding office, with his own second income split between himself and charity. "There is no prohibition to act in a soap opera," he said.

Wondering what all the fuss is about, Deddy told told Kompas that he's ready to declare any money he's earned outside political office. "I always report every year," he said, "And I'm ready to report if the KPK really needs me to."

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