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Lip-synching Indonesia cop fired amid YouTube fame
JAKARTA, INDONESIA (AP) - First, Indonesian police were angry about a young cop’s YouTube lip-synching antics. Then, they championed him for softening the image of an unloved force. Now, after he put stardom over police duty, Norman Kamaru has been fired.
“Who does he think he is?” a clearly frustrated police spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Lisma Dunggio, said Wednesday from his hometown. “What made him famous was his uniform.”
But the 26-year-old Kamaru told reporters he wanted to give singing a real shot. And he wasn’t afraid of failure.
The video of Kamaru trying to lift the spirits of a heartbroken colleague by shimmying and lip-synching to the Bollywood hit “Chaiyya Chaiyya” went viral in April.
Initially, the top brass was furious.
But that changed when the public rallied to support the charismatic young officer.
As a new, unexpected asset to the force _ widely considered one of the country’s most corrupt institutions _ Kamaru started appearing regularly on TV talk shows in full uniform.
As it turned out, he had a voice.
With a $100,000 record deal in his pocket, Kamaru told his bosses he wanted out. They said no. And he stopped coming to work.
Saud Usman Nasution, spokesman for the national police, said Kamaru was dishonorably discharged on Tuesday.
“He hasn’t shown up for two months.”
Kamaru, who has a pierced tongue, said it was a relief to be rid of his crisp, khaki uniform.
“I always had to behave,” he told the English-language Jakarta Post, dressed casually in jeans, a T-shirt and a jacket, while waiting to appear on a TV talk show.
“I feel free dressing like this. I feel comfortable.”
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