Minister Warns Against 'Intervention' if House Enacts Stricter Regulation on Mass Organizations

Members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) demonstrate in front of the National Police headquarters in Jakarta in January. (Antara Photo/Reno Esnir)

By : Alin Almanar | on 9:41 AM October 24, 2017
Category : News, Featured

Jakarta. Chief Security Minister Wiranto warned on Monday (23/10) against any "intervention" after the country enacts a stricter regulation on mass organizations amid Islamist protests.

A lawmakers' plenary meeting on Tuesday is expected to turn that regulation into law, which will simplify the disbanding of organizations deemed to contradict the country's state ideology, known as Pancasila.

But the regulation is currently subject to Constitutional Court reviews filed by several hardline Islamist groups, who have staged protests in recent months to denounce the forthcoming change.

"Let the legal process take its course. There is no need to intervene physically or by any other means," Wiranto said in Jakarta.

Islamist groups, including the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), accuse the government of discrediting them with the regulation. Several human rights groups also criticize the regulation as jeopardizing Indonesia's hard-won democratic system after the fall of former President Suharto and his New Order regime in 1998.

"I hereby remind that the government regulation's objective is not to create uproar but to safeguard our state ideology," Wiranto said.

The regulation's issuance led the government to immediately disband the non-violent Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), which the government accused of threatening national unity by advocating for an Islamic caliphate.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in July signed the regulation, which received backing from several moderate Islamic organizations in the world's largest Muslim-majority country.

The regulation revokes an earlier requirement under a law on mass organizations enacted in 2013 to bring those groups to trial before being able to disband them.

"We will resolve everything legally," Wiranto said, citing the judicial reviews at the Constitutional Court. "There is no arbitrariness."

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