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Basuki Tjahaja Purnama Asks Supporters to Call Him BTP Instead of Ahok After Prison Release


Former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama has asked his supporters to refer to him as BTP instead of Ahok after he is released from prison on January 24.

In a handwritten letter, he asked his supporters to refer to him as BTP, the initials of his full name. Ahok is the Hakka Chinese name his father gave him, and is widely used to refer to him. He apologised to those who may have been hurt by his remarks while in office.

In the letter dated Thursday (Jan 17), Basuki said his time in prison had allowed him “to learn to take full control of myself for the rest of my life”, something that he would have been denied had he retained the Jakarta governorship in the April 2017 election against challenger Anies Baswedan.

Known for his blunt remarks while in office, Basuki said he wrote the letter to express his gratitude and to apologise for the turn of events that he had been facing over the last three years.

His legal team uploaded pictures of his two-page, handwritten letter to his official Instagram account on Jan 17.

Basuki asked his supporters not to wait at Mako Brimob for his release, so as not to bother people during a working day.

He also encouraged them to vote in the April 17 presidential election.

Basuki apologised to the Jakarta civil service corps and even his haters for “all (my) words and actions, whether incidentally or not, that have hurt their feelings”.

He is scheduled to be released on Jan 24, three months and 15 days shy of his two-year sentence that he began serving on May 9, 2017, due to remission of the sentence.

The former governor was sentenced for blasphemy following a speech he made in Thousand Islands regency in September 2016 that referred to a verse from Quran. He had said that the verse had been used to deceive people into voting against him.

Source: Jakarta Post

Photo: Instagram @basukibtp Tribunnews

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