Straight-talking Ahok a YouTube hit

Screen grab from a 46-minute video of Mr Basuki's meeting with public works officials. It has drawn over a million views since it was posted a week ago.

JAKARTA - One month into the job, Jakarta's deputy governor, Mr Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, has become a YouTube sensation for the brutally direct style in which he deals with errant public servants.

He has chided note-takers for using pen and paper instead of issued laptops, criticised a school principal who protested against funding cuts, and asked public works officials unhappy with a 25 per cent across-the- board cut in costs to resign.

Mr Basuki has also uploaded videos of these meetings on the city budget in a bid to raise transparency.

A 46-minute video of his meeting with the capital's public works department earlier this month drew more than 1.1 million views as of Saturday. This comes as public anger mounts over such officials widely known for marking up project costs.

"I'm sorry, but I am mad at the stealing of people's money in this manner," says Mr Basuki, who is popularly known as Ahok.

Many support his straight-talking push. Film-maker Joko Anwar says on Twitter: "Never boring watching Ahok whacking the Public Works Department. Fierce like in a movie!"

But observers fear that Mr Basuki's playing the role of "bad cop" to Governor Joko Widodo's more refined manner could set the stage for more battles between the pair and officials.

Mr Basuki's tone is unprecedented in a culture where public reprimands are almost unheard of.

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