Jakarta – Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Adm. Yudo Margono has ordered his troops to take the President's order to combat forest fires seriously, even if it involved asking the help of local dukun, or shamans.
In his speech at the TNI-National Police leadership meeting on Thursday, the commander also warned that all soldiers needed to work hard in tackling forest fires or they could lose their jobs.
"If necessary, you can find dukun to make it possible for constant rain, so we don't have forest fires in the area," Yudo was quoted by Antara as saying.
Later in his speech, Yudo called for greater cooperation among local commanders from both the TNI and the police in working together to prevent forest fires.
"Local military commanders, together with local police chiefs [...] should all join together to fight forest fires. Don't deal with this alone," said Yudo, who has entered his second month as TNI commander since his inauguration on Dec. 19.
Earlier this week, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo reiterated a cautionary statement he made eight years ago, that the country's military and police force should prevent forest fires, especially now when it was due to enter a drier dry season driven by the El Nino phenomenon.
"I repeat my promise from seven years ago that is still valid now. If there is a big fire in a province, the regional commander, regional police chiefs [...] are responsible," Jokowi said.
"Be careful. I'm just saying be careful, the agreement is still valid," he added.