Gibran apologises for event promoting his young son on book cover


President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo lifts grandson Jan Ethes while First Lady Iriana holds granddaughter Sedah Mirah, as their daughter Kahiyang Ayu looks in this photo from Dec 8, 2018. - The Jakarta Post/ANN

JAKARTA: Vice president-elect Gibran Rakabuming Raka has apologised following controversy over the distribution of free books with a cover bearing the face of his son and President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo's grandson, four-year-old Jan Ethes Srinarendra.

Gibran, who currently serves as mayor of Surakarta, Central Java, said the distribution of the book had been going on for the past four years, long before he ran as vice president in the Feb 14 presidential election.

"I apologise if the activity has created problems. But the book has been in print for the past four years," Gibran was quoted by Kompas as saying.

Late last week, Gibran made a stop at a primary school in Surabaya, East java, to hand out free milk, books and key chains to students attending the school. He made the stop after holding a meeting with East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa at her private residence. Khofifah is expected to seek a second term in this year's regional head election.

Gibran's visit to the school made headlines, particularly after local media outlets pointed out that the books and key chains distributed during the event bore his son's face.

Jan Ethes, Gibran's first son from his marriage to Selvi Ananda, has been deemed as Jokowi's favourite grandchild and has prominently featured in the President's social media campaign in the past few years. - The Jakarta Post/ANN

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