Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The Indonesian Military (TNI) is prepared for any potential social unrest stemming from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced businesses to shut their operations and put millions out of work.
TNI spokesman Maj. Gen. Sisriadi said the military was preparing a security contingency plan to face the worst-case scenario.
"We've prepared troops to face the impact of social unrest that could lead to violence. So that we can minimize any security problems," he said in an online discussion held by Jakarta Defense Studies on Tuesday as reported by kompas.com.
He further said that the outbreak was not only a health issue as it was also related to other aspects, such as social, political and economic, of peoples' lives.
The TNI has also proposed a budget to support its contingency plans through the Defense Ministry that was presented during a meeting with House of Representatives Commission I, which oversees defense affairs, Sisriadi told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
He did not elaborate further on the budget, but said the TNI would have enough funding to face the potential security turmoil for five months if the budget proposal was approved, including collaborating with the National Police in security, public order and law enforcement operations.
"The TNI is organized as a 'war organization that can function well [during] peacetime and emergencies' [...], so it is understandable that the military leaders on all levels will always respond to the latest situations and prepare to face the worst situation," he said.
Sisriadi explained that the force would also prepare medical assistance to mitigate the outbreak, including preparing 109 of its health facilities to be used as referral hospitals in the regions and dispatching its medical and paramedical units in the field.
"New cases are still emerging in some areas and there are still no signs that we are reaching the peak of the outbreak," he said.
The Executive Office of the President has also braced itself for potential social and security conflicts caused by the increase in unemployment, with the National Police's Security Intelligence Agency (Baintelkam) confirming the risk of riots and crimes in a time of crisis.
The government has estimated that up to 3.78 million Indonesians will fall into poverty and 5.2 million will lose their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.