Idham Azis attends a hearing with the House of Representatives for his nomination as the national police chief at the national legislature building in South Jakarta on Wednesday. (SP Photo/Ruht Semiyono)

House Approves Idham Azis as New National Police Chief


OCTOBER 30, 2019

Jakarta. A House of Representatives commission unanimously approved the appointment of Comr. Gen. Idham Azis as the new National Police Chief replacing Tito Karnavian during a hearing on Wednesday.

The approval will be brought to a plenary session for validation on Thursday.

"Today's decision has been submitted to the House leaders so that it can be included in the agenda for tomorrow's plenary session," Herman Hery, chairman of Commission III overseeing legal affairs, told the hearing.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo nominated Idham as a sole candidate for the police chief post after he appointed Tito as home affairs minister.

The decision was taken after commission members were given a chance to interview Idham on a wide range of issues from terrorism to the attack on a senior Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator.

Idham vowed to continue the fight against terrorism and radicalism, which he said had nothing do with Islamic teachings.

"Radicalism is not identical to Islam, it involves [only] certain people or groups," Idham said in the hearing.

"We must tell all [police] personnel and the public that the law enforcement is against the perpetrators, not the religion," he said.

He also promised to conclude investigation into the April 2017 acid attack on KPK investigator Novel Baswedan.

"After my inauguration, I will appoint a new head of the Criminal Investigation Agency, and I will ask him to conclude the case immediately," Idham said.

The attack damaged Novel's eyes although he remains active as an anti-graft investigator. More than two years after the incident, not a single suspect has been arrested.

The Criminal Investigation Agency (Bareskrim) is currently led by Idham himself.

Idham, 56, graduated from the National Police Academy in 1988 and has been involved in many major counterterrorism operations, including those that led to the killings of Azahari Husin in 2005 and Noordin M. Top in 2009. The slain militants were key figures in Jemaah Islamiyah, the terror group responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings and several attacks in Jakarta since then.

Idham was Tito's deputy between 2008 and 2010 when the latter led Detachment 88, the National Police's elite counterterrorism squad.

Idham has only 14 months left in duty until he reaches retirement age in January 2021.