PETALING JAYA : Two foreigners are facing deportation from Bali after they filmed themselves pulling a painted mask “prank” at a local supermarket.
CNN reported yesterday that Taiwanese national Josh Paler Lin and Russian citizen Leia Se, who goes by Lisha, have had their passports seized by the authorities and risk getting kicked out of Indonesia over the video.
The now-deleted clip was first posted on April 16 to Lin’s Facebook page, where he has over 2.4 million followers.
Lin and Lisha filmed themselves approaching a grocery store only to be turned away by a security guard as Lisha was not wearing a mask.
The pair then retreats to a vehicle where Lin uses face paint to recreate the look of a surgical mask on Lisha’s face.
They were allowed into the store and the duo strolled through the aisles as Lin gushed over their success.
“No one noticed, even the security. I can’t believe this worked,” said Lin in the video, which went viral shortly after it was posted.
Indonesians on social media expressed outrage over Lin and Lisha’s antics and berated them for flouting Covid-19 safety precautions.
Bali enforces strict mask mandates and foreigners can be deported if they are caught going around without a face covering more than once.
Although this is Lin and Lisha’s first offence, the national scrutiny surrounding the video led the Balinese authorities to confiscate their documents while they conduct an investigation.
“They will be examined together with Immigration to take the decision on whether or not to deport them,” government spokesman I Putu Surya Dharma was quoted as saying by Indonesian news portal Detikcom.
Lin removed the offending video from his social media pages following the backlash from the Indonesian public.
He and Lisha issued an official apology in a video posted on his Instagram on April 24.
Backed by a legal team, Lin said he was sorry for the prank and that there was no intention to disrespect anyone or discourage people from wearing masks.
“I make this video to entertain people because I am a content creator and it is my job to entertain people.
“We promise not to do it again,” said Lin.
Bali remains a popular destination for foreigners with many opting to ride out the pandemic on the island instead of their home countries.
Some of them have made headlines for slacking on Covid-19 safety precautions, leading many Indonesians to accuse them of jeopardising the country’s efforts to contain the pandemic.
According to a report in January by Coconuts Bali, local police have resorted to making stubborn foreigners do push-ups if they are caught in public without a mask.
That same month, a group of Eastern European tourists were filmed getting into a 30-minute long debate with the police after they refused to leave a restaurant and adhere to a Covid-19 curfew.
By : TAN MEI ZI – MALAY MAIL