Turnbull mobbed by locals in Jakarta

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s first visit to Jakarta seems to have been well received by locals, including Indonesian media.

After engaging in the usual formal talks, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo took Mr Turnbull for a along surprise visit to the bustling Tanah Abang garment markets.

Thousands of Jakarta locals gave the leader they call Jokowi a spirited welcome, and although most didn’t recognise Mr Turnbull, they didn’t miss the photo opportunity.


The prime minister shook hands, posed for photos and got right into the spirit by snapping a selfie with Jokowi.

PHOTO: Malcolm Turnbull / Facebook

The “Turnbull-Jokowi selfie action” made a headline on website Detik.com, which quoted the president’s secretariat saying Mr Turnbull had requested the market visit “to see the new style leadership”.

“Turnbull’s wish came true,” the website reported. “He saw with his own eyes how thousands of Tanah Abang market visitors cheered the arrival of Jokowi-Turnbull.”

Mr Turnbull also experienced the famous Jakarta humidity, and was heavily sweating by the time he reached waiting reporters on the market’s second floor.

Kompas.com reported a member of the presidential guard was bolting between stalls to fetch one of the VIP guests a tissue.

“Ma’am? Please? A good tissue, please?” he said, panicking, according to the website.

At the end of the visit, both leaders simultaneously took off their suit jackets and ties and left the marketplace high-fiving well wishers.

The PM is the first foreign leader to accompany the president on blusukan, although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg joined him at the same market last year.

Mr Turnbull departed Jakarta on Thursday night, with his overseas tour taking him next to Germany, before Turkey, the Philippines and Malaysia.