Nude offer 'causes havoc' in Indonesia

Indonesian sexpot singer sparks protests after reports she would pose nude for Playboy

By Sheela Narayanan
April 23, 2006


Singer Inul Daratista 
While Indonesia is facing the possibility of a volcanic eruption in Java, anger seems to have erupted against dangdut queen Inul Daratista.

The protests were sparked off by Indonesian media reports that the 27-year-old singer, famously known for her bump and grind dance moves, was ready to pose nude for Playboy Indonesia.

She allegedly said last Thursday: 'This is for art and I should have been in the first edition (of the magazine).'

Four days on, Inul is in hiding and denying that she said she would pose nude.

'It has caused havoc in my life now,' she said of the controversy after The New Paper tracked her down for an exclusive telephone interview.

Apart from the protests, she said, her family was also upset with her. She also claimed her movements were being monitored by certain groups.

All because of a misunderstanding, she said.

'Yes, I did say that I wanted to pose for Playboy Indonesia but not in the nude.

'I would have posed in my usual outfits,' said Inul, who is known for her extremely tight and revealing stage costumes.

Last Friday afternoon, a group of demonstrators showed up at her home in Pondoh Indah in south Jakarta.

They held placards which said 'Ngebur aja Nul, jangan bogel', which translated from Bahasa Indonesia meant: 'Just shake it Nul, don't strip.'

She reportedly apologised to the crowd out of panic.

She told The New Paper that she apologised to the protestors to calm them down.

'They are, after all, my fans. The media reports were greatly exaggerated and sensationalised.

'I am very traumatised and shocked by this whole event,' she added.

After the demonstrations outside her home, she is scared to venture out without security.

When The New Paper spoke with her, she was rehearsing for a TV appearance at a secret location.

She has had to change her telephone number several times, while her manager and husband, Mr Adam Suseno, has been avoiding calls from the media.

When The New Paper contacted Mr Adam, he immediately turned off his handphone.

He, however, told Indonesian newspaper Pos Kota on Friday that his wife had made those remarks in jest.

'I will certainly not agree to my wife posing in the nude,' he said.

Inul said that the controversy has also affected her family.

Family Angry

She comes from a conservative Muslim family in East Java.

'I come from a fanatical family, so this controversy has affected them too,' she said.

'They are very angry with me.'

She also lashed out at organisations such as the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), which is one of her biggest critics.

'Being a personality, I know my every movement is being monitored.

'The FPI is very extreme. They need to know that Indonesia is not just a Muslim country.

'It is a democratic country with Hindus and Christians as well,' she said.

So was it a publicity stunt?

After all, Inul does have a new dangdut album out and Playboy Indonesia is in the news after protests against its launch last Thursday.

Protestors vandalised the offices of the magazine, a much tamer version of the American one.

The publication has since moved out of the office but has not been shut down.

Coincidentally, it was the same time that Inul reportedly made her remarks.

'Would I want this much havoc for publicity? I don't need it,' she said.

Inul is indeed a beacon for controversy since she emerged on the dangdut scene in 2003.

Dangdut is a blend of Indian, Arab and Indonesian folk-pop music, popular in the 1950s and 1960s in Indonesia and Malaysia.

It has a reputation of being the music of the working class with bawdy lyrics and suggestive dance moves.

She enjoys such popularity that Indonesian political parties tried to make her endorse them in the 2004 elections.

But she is very sure of the influence she has on her fans.

'My image with the people is still strong. They know I won't do such things,' she said.

Fans in Singapore believed that Inul will never pose in the nude.

She performed here in 2004 drawing more than 700 fans to her concert at the Marine Parade Community Centre.

Indonesian domestic helper Nurifah Rafidi, 36, said: 'I don't believe that she will strip for a magazine.

'Her performances are very sexy but she still has morals.'


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