Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" struck an optimistic note during his fourth state-of-the-nation address on Thursday (16/08) when he expressed confidence that next year's legislative and presidential elections would be peaceful in view of Indonesia's increasing democratic maturity.
"We have freed ourselves from fear of instability and political violence in every leadership change, whether at the national or district level," Jokowi said in the House of Representatives in Jakarta.
"I am sure, with our long experience in democracy, that by the grace of God, the 2019 simultaneous legislative and presidential elections will be secure, peaceful and democratic," he added.
The president also highlighted the role of state ideology of Pancasila in upholding the national motto, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) amid the threat of terrorism.
More than 30 people died in a series of terrorist attacks in East Java in May. This saw the adoption of stronger antiterrorism legislation in support of the police's efforts to curb homegrown militancy.
National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said nearly 300 terror suspects have been arrested since the attacks.
To tackle terrorism at its roots, Jokowi emphasized the role of the ulema, academia, civil society and family to counter radical teachings targeting the youth.
"The government will continue to maintain security, including through the acquisition of more modern defense equipment and increasing capacity and professionalism in the military and police," Jokowi said.
The president also highlighted his administration's efforts to eradicate corruption, uphold human rights and prevent terrorism.
Human Rights and Corruption
Jokowi said the government would continue to support the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in its mission to root out corruption. He said his administration's ongoing efforts to eradicate graft also include prevention and that this is reflected in a 2018 presidential regulation on a national corruption-prevention strategy.
The KPK is perceived as a robust antigraft agency, with one of its most recent successes being the prosecution of former House Speaker Setya Novanto, who was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment for his role in one of Indonesia's largest corruption cases.
Turning to human rights, Jokowi said his administration seeks to speed up resolution of past rights abuses.
"The government will continue with its efforts to resolve past human rights violations while also improving the protection of human rights to avoid similar incidents from occurring again in the future," he said.
However, in a report published in February, Amnesty International Indonesia said the Jokowi administration has failed to address past human rights violations, despite promises and commitments by the country's top officials, including the president himself.
Ongoing discussions in the national legislature on revisions to the country's criminal code are further adding to concerns over impunity for perpetrators of past human rights abuses in the country.