Muslim groups demonstrate in front of Parliament House in Jakarta on Tuesday (21/02), demanding the suspension of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama who is currently standing trial on blasphemy charges. (Antara Photo/Wahyu Putro A.)

Home Affairs Minister Undaunted by Lawsuit From Muslim Group


FEBRUARY 21, 2017

Jakarta. Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo said he will have no problem facing a lawsuit from an organization called the Advocates of Patriotism, or ACTA — a close affiliate of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI — at the State Administrative Court, or PTUN, in Jakarta.

ACTA filed the lawsuit against President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and the Home Affairs Minister for not suspending Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, who is currently standing trial on blasphemy charges.

"No problem, I will go to the PTUN if summoned," Tjahjo said in Jakarta on Tuesday (21/02).

Tjahjo said he will take full responsibility for his decision not to suspend Ahok, adding that President Jokowi was fully briefed on it.

"My decision was based on article 83 of the Law No. 23/2014 on regional administration. I stand fully behind it," Tjahjo said.

The Supreme Court earlier said it will not issue a legal opinion on Ahok's status as governor and will leave the decision whether or not to suspend him to the Home Affairs Ministry.

Another organization called the Indonesian Muslim Brotherhood, or Parmusi, has also filed a lawsuit against President Jokowi for letting Ahok continue on his job despite the ongoing trial.

Ahok attended another session in his blasphemy trial on Tuesday (21/02), when the court heard testimonies from expert witnesses including prominent Nahdlatul Ulama, or NU, cleric Miftahul Akhyar and another cleric from Muhammadiyah and also the deputy chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Yanuhar Ilyas.