Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has ordered the National Police to strengthen its focus on combating terrorism, the narcotics trade and weapon smuggling schemes in the country.
Speaking at the National Police's 71st anniversary ceremony in Jakarta on Monday (10/07), the president condemned illegal crimes as threats to national security and said the rise of technology and globalization have served to benefit the activities of terrorists, who can now more easily disseminate propaganda online.
"Globalization, democratization and technology advances all affect national security. The increase in transnational crime, especially terrorism, has become a parasite to our national unity," Jokowi said.
"Terror acts have taken many innocent lives, including a child's, a toddler named Intan in Samarinda [East Kalimantan]. Acts of terror have also taken the lives of National Police personnel, in the bombings in Sarinah and Kampung Melayu [Jakarta]."
Jokowi said the freedom allowed under democracy is being corrupted by radical ideologies, capable of threatening the nation's future.
The president also warned the public about the ease in which groups can manipulate race, religion and ethnicity to stir up conflict in the country.
"The National Police will need to conduct early anticipation methods to maintain security in order to avoid our energies being spent to counter unproductive issues, such as hate speech and provocations," Jokowi said.
The police, according to the president, also need to prepare to secure the 2018 regional elections, as well as the 2019 general election.
"This is to prevent the development of such potential conflicts."
Watch Indonesia Highlights at 8 p.m. tonight on the Jakarta Globe News Channel to find out more.