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Terrorism prevention law that urges public participation faces scrutiny

Tempo - January 21, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko has asked members of the public to back the President's Regulation No. 7/2021 on 'the national prevention against violence-based extremism leading to terrorism' valid until 2024.

One of the public involvement aspect lies on how radicalism and terrorism is handled. Moeldoko explained that the regulation was introduced due to the unbalanced ratio of Indonesia's population to the number of police forces.

"We have 470,000 police personnel while our population is roughly 270 million," said the former military commander. "This means that one policeman must manage roughly 500 people. Even in Japan the ratio is 1:50."

He believes that public involvement can efficiently improve the nation's vigilance towards potential emergence of extremism and terrorism "This acts as an empowerment. I think that is part of democracy."

However, responding to the regulation on extremism and terrorism, democracy advocacy research group Setara Institute argues that the law does indeed have integration in its nature but warns that the public participation aspect of the law must not be justification of persecution by community groups.

Setara's executive director Ismail Hasani reminded the government to ensure the limits and borders of the law's concept towards public participation and not spark new problems regarding law enforcement and how the law can be misinterpreted or misused.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1425239/terrorism-prevention-law-that-urges-public-participation-faces-scrutin