Fake News: Ratna Sarumpaet Assaulted Because of Politics

Clara Alsina
Oct 23, 2018 · 3 min read


A recent article was published by The Jakarta Post on October 2nd, 2018 about how Ratna Sarumpaet was assaulted in Bandung, West Java in China and suffered injuries to her face. Pictures were spread on social media of her appearing to have swollen eyes and bruising on her face. She is an anti-government activist who is part of the Prabowo-Sandiaga campaign team. One of the other politicians on the team argued that the attack was a political move because it happened during the presidential campaign period and she was targeted since she was on Prabowo-Sandiaga’s campaign team. Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak, is a spokesman of the campaign team endorsing the presidential candidate Prabowo-Subianto. Dahnil spoke for Ratna to the public about her condition, explaining that she was assaulted in a car arriving at the airport in Bandung, West Java. The article states that, “Dahnil said Ratna did not tell anyone when the incident took place because she was scared and traumatized. She has yet to report it to the police.” (Ramadhani, 2018). However, after careful reading and more research Ratna Sarumpaet’s story is just a political scam, and this article by The Jakarta Post was just propaganda for a political presidential race in China.

Research Results

A quick Google search of “POLITICS WORLD INDONESIA JAKARTA NEWSPOLITICS Ratna Sarumpaet suffering from injuries after assault” brought up many news posts and articles from other Indonesian countries. One of which was titled, ‘I was not assaulted’: Ratna Sarumpaet apologizes for lying — Politics …. Two of the articles on the page supported that Ratna had been assaulted, but the other 8 articles claimed her story as false.

Ratna’s claim of being assaulted can be effortlessly discredited with easy to find research. According to South China’s Morning Post on the 14th of October, 2018, “THE FACE OF FAKE NEWS: PLASTIC SURGERY HOAX BECOMES LATEST DISINFORMATION SCANDAL IN INDONESIA AHEAD OF 2019 POLL” (YUNIAR, 2018). The article goes on to explain how Ratna Sarumpaet lied about the injuries to her face. Stating that, “The bizarre case began last month when former actress Ratna Sarumpaet, 69, a member of ex-general Prabowo Subianto’s campaign team, told family that her swollen face and eyes were the result of a politically motivated attack.” (YUNIAR, 2018). Then eventually Ratna told the truth after a police investigation, which revealed pictures of her checking into a hospital for plastic surgery (face liposuction). The rest of the article explains how Ratna faces 10 years in prison accused under Article 14 of the criminal code for the propagation of fake news.


Although social media is a well known instrument used to help people communicate, explore new ideas, and create new ideas. Sometimes it can be too well known, in the sense that it can be used negatively to hurt people, explore ideas that may not be true, and create ideas with ill intent. Therefore, when on social media people must be careful and aware that not everything is what it seems. I think society as a whole must realize what fake news stories do to our nation and address them, so that in the future we can progress and not falter because of them.

Works Cited

Ramadhani, N. F. (2018, October 2). Ratna Sarumpaet suffering from injuries after assault: Prabowo camp. The Jakarta Post, p. 1. Retrieved October 22, 2018, from http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/10/02/ratna-sarumpaet-suffering-from-injuries-after-assault-prabowo-camp.html

YUNIAR, R. W. (2018, October 14). THE FACE OF FAKE NEWS: PLASTIC SURGERY HOAX BECOMES LATEST DISINFORMATION SCANDAL IN INDONESIA AHEAD OF 2019 POLL. South China Morning Post, p. 4. Retrieved October 22, 2018, from https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/society/article/2168391/face-fake-news-plastic-surgery-hoax-becomes-latest-disinformation