Indonesians, outraged by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s request that the country “reciprocate” Aceh aid, have started a campaign to pay back Australia for its assistance after the 2004 tsunami. Abbott’s comments were part of a plea to stop Indonesia’s upcoming execution of two Australians who led the so-called “Bali 9” drug smuggling ring.
“Let’s not forget that a few years ago when Indonesia was struck by the Indian ocean tsunami, Australia sent a billion dollars worth of assistance,” the prime minister told reporters last week. “I would say to the Indonesian people and to the Indonesian government, we in Australia are always there to help you and we hope that you might reciprocate in this way at this time”.
The remarks angered Indonesians, who have started collecting coins to repay Australia for its tsunami assistance. #KoinUntukAustralia, or “coins for Australia”, has been used more than 52,000 times over the past week as Indonesians discuss their coin collection efforts.