Jakarta. The government will soon issue an integrated regulation on the purchase and use of weapons, a senior minister said on Friday (13/10), after a shipment of weapons for Indonesia's police force was held up at customs since the Indonesian military refused to issue a clearance for it, triggering a public controversy.
The police said the purchase of 280 stand-alone grenade launchers and nearly 6,000 ammunition late last month had followed proper procedures, a claim dismissed by the military.
Chief Security Minister Wiranto, who was quick to issue a statement saying the incident was only a matter of miscommunication, said the whole controversy was a result of many crisscrossing regulations on weapons that have been in place for decades.
He said the government has now agreed to simplify the regulations into a "sole, comprehensive regulation on the safe, fair and clear use of weapons" by all institutions involved in national security and defense.
"There will be no more misunderstanding," Wiranto told reporters at his office in Jakarta.
Indonesia currently has four weapon laws: one government regulation in lieu of law, one presidential instruction and four ministerial regulations on the purchase and use of weapons, Wiranto explained.
"If every institution follows a different law, there will always be confusion," Wiranto said.
The military (TNI) said the 6,000 ammunition that arrived with the grenade launchers — apparently purchased for the police's Mobile Brigade (Brimob) — are "lethal," countering police claims.
The ammunition is currently being kept at a military warehouse, while the launchers will soon be handed over to the police.