Symphony of Tong Fang

(originally published on Facebook on 16 August 2012)

“Once, I used to have snubby nose. After getting treated in Tong Fang, now my nose turns out like this. Thank you so much, Tong Fang!”

It has had all what the public appeases and disdains. And now, thanks to the endless play-on in Twitter, the ‘Tong Fang’, known for its satirized testimonies, has managed itself as the main national trend, at least until last week.

I’m not sure whether it is being scrutinized, but with all the parodies overwhelming on both social media and Internet (and most recently, through Blackberry broadcast messages), though intended only to make use of it colloquially, I’m so sure that the bosses must have felt so outraged a few days prior that I received one broadcast message from one of my friends, Alex. Exactly on Saturday weekend. Not a good news for all Indonesian lawyers, though.

The content of the message was written as follows (Bahasa Indonesia):

“Perhatian, kepada semua pengguna BB, FB, dan twitter, bahwasanya terhitung dari jam 7 pagi pihak kepolisian akan mencari seluruh status atau catatan yang menghina klinik TONG FANG dikarenakan direktur utama klinik tersebut tidak terima dengan segala hinaan oleh pengguna status jejaring sosial…bagi semua yang merasa membuat status penghinaan itu akan langsung menjadi tersangka dan dikenai hukuman penjara minimal 5 tahun..untuk itu selagi ada waktu lebih baik Anda semua menghapus status atau catatan tentang penghinaan klinik TONG FANG dari akun Anda..BERITA SUDAH DISIARKAN DI TV. Sekian trims #SFTBC”

Translated version:

Announcement to all Blackberry, Facebook, and Twitter members, it is to be forewarned that commencing at 7 am, police are going to examine either the entire status updates or posts which obviously offend TONG FANG clinic due to the resentment of the clinic’s main director who has nothing of the posts updated by the social media users to be ethically accepted. Anybody who feels to have made such unjustly updates are automatically charged as suspects and sentenced behind bars for 5 years. Thus, as long as there is time it is to be reminded that you had better remove all the posts regarding TONG FANG you have published from your accounts. The news has been broadcast in TV stations. Yours sincerely. Sorry for the broadcast.”

If this were to come true, hence Indonesia must have had its name erected in Guinness Book of World Records for the largest number of people legally sued: almost 40 million Facebook users from Indonesia, more than 30 million Twitter accounts, and millions of Blackberry users. And plus, up to 100 thousand civil advocates needed to speak up for their clients. Plus, regarding the statement ‘anybody who feels….automatically charged as suspects….’, I have an increasing sense of fear that the police do increasingly possess psychic powers. Only because we feel we once posted the tweets we were directly teleported into the prisons? It’s no longer terrifying; it’s all imaginary! Democracy and freedom of expression become malignant under the hands of the inscrutable!

Instead, now numerous TV stations face en masse criticism by Indonesian Broadcasting Committee (Komisi Penyiaran Indonesia, abbreviated as KPI), a regulatory body of national television broadcasting, as they perpetually continue to air the Tong Fang ads, complete with the ‘seemingly’ fabricated testimonies (those of which are later parodied) and the full-discount packages offered (a bit disconnected, I guess?).

Rather than take it seriously, just make it a Saturday-night joke. Imagine the bosses had to tirelessly debate with the 100,000 lawyers (hint: the bosses even care nothing about the ridicule! Read this post (Bahasa indonesia):

Want more ridicule? One picture is not enough!

Go to:…0.0…1ac.dAf75iO1my0

Note: it’s all only in Bahasa Indonesia. Use Google Translate as your most (un)reliable intrepreter.