5-speed listening (Level 5)

Indonesia leader flies economy class






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Indonesian President Joko Widodo has connected with the people by flying economy class. Many people are tightening their belts because of government cuts and taxes. Indonesia's leader has set an example to other world leaders that presidents are not exempt from economising. He and his wife flew economy class to Singapore to attend his son's school graduation ceremony. They opted not to use the official presidential airplane because his trip was personal. The couple paid for their own air tickets but the taxpayers paid the bill for the bodyguards who flew with the president.

The Widodos are known for their down-to-earth living and modest lifestyle. His wife Iriana is never seen in designer dresses and shops in a Jakarta clothes market. There was mixed reaction on social media to the couple flying economy. Some thought it was little more than a publicity stunt. One man tweeted: "Living a fake life is difficult. Widodo went to Singapore flying economy but slept in an expensive hotel." A woman praised him, tweeting: "Widodo sets a good example by flying economy. Hopefully other officials can follow in his footsteps."

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