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2 influencers face deportation from Bali over painted-on face mask prank

​BALI — Two foreigners are facing possible deportation from Bali after they posted a video of one of them flouting the Indonesian island’s Covid-19 mask mandate by entering a store with a painted-on face mask.

In a video posted on social media, US-based Taiwanese Josh Paler Lin painted a “mask” on Russian Leia Se’s face so that they would be allowed into a supermarket in Bali, Indonesia.

In a video posted on social media, US-based Taiwanese Josh Paler Lin painted a “mask” on Russian Leia Se’s face so that they would be allowed into a supermarket in Bali, Indonesia.

BALI — Two foreigners are facing possible deportation from Bali after they posted a video of one of them flouting the Indonesian island’s Covid-19 mask mandate by entering a store with a painted-on face mask.

The pair of social media influencers, United States-based Taiwanese Josh Paler Lin and Russian Leia Se, have since had their passports confiscated by the Indonesian government, local reports said.

In the video posted on Facebook by Lin on April 16, Se tried to enter a supermarket without wearing a face mask, but was turned away.

Lin then painted a mask on her face using makeup and she was then allowed into the mart.

Under Bali’s mask mandate, foreigners may be fined a maximum of 1 million Indonesian rupiah (S$90) on the first violation, while a second offence may lead to deportation.

Last Thursday (April 22), the Indonesian government said that the immigration office in Bali had confiscated their passports, Coconuts Bali website reported.

“They will be examined together with immigration to take the decision on whether or not to deport them”, Mr I Putu Surya Dharma, a representative from the regional office for the ministry of law and human rights, was quoted as saying. 

Separately, the Bali Provincial Civil Service Police Unit told detikcom that it will also issue a deportation recommendation letter for the two foreigners. 

The unit’s head of police, Mr Dewa Nyoman Rai Dharmadi, said that they “violated and deliberately provoked” others in public.

“It is only proper to sanction them more severely, not just with a fine but also deportation,” he added.

The video received much backlash on social media, with online users criticising their actions and many Indonesians telling Lin and Se to leave their country.

It also caught the attention of Balinese designer and politician Niluh Djelantik who posted about the incident on Instagram, saying the duo had no empathy and calling on Immigration to take action. 

The original video by Lin has been taken down.

On Saturday, Lin posted a “clarification statement” on Instagram featuring himself, Se and their legal team.

In the video, both Lin and Se apologised, with Lin adding that the prank was not intended “to disrespect or invite others to not wear a face mask”.

He said he made the video to entertain people because, being a content creator, it was his job to do so.

“I did not realise that what I did would bring a lot of negative comments from netizens, and that it raised a lot of concerns,” he added.

“I would like to invite everyone in Indonesia and Bali to always wear masks for our own safety and health.”

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influencer Bali Indonesia deportation face paint face mask prank

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