Robertus Wardi & Nur Yasmin, Jakarta – A study by Indonesia's Defense Ministry has revealed that 23.3 percent of high school and university students in the country agree with the idea of an Islamic state or a caliphate.
"Pancasila [the official state ideology] is fading away. This might not be a big problem now, but will be in the next 20-30 years, if we do nothing. It will spell the end of this nation," Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said at the Indonesian Military (TNI) headquarters in East Jakarta on Wednesday.
The study also shows that 19 percent of civil servants and 18 percent of employees in private companies disagree with the Pancasila ideology.
Nine percent of staff in state-owned companies also say they do not agree with Pancasila and 3 percent of TNI personnel also disapprove of the state ideology.
"This is very worrying. We must overcome this together," the former Army commander said.
Bonar Tigor Naipospos, the deputy chairman of Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace, said it is particularly worrying that some in the TNI support the establishment of a caliphate.
"This is a serious threat. They are trained soldiers. If they sympathize with a terror group, the impact would be unimaginable," Bonar said in Jakarta on Thursday.
Bonar also said the data need to be checked for accuracy. "The data came from a study conducted by a government institution. We need comparable data from independent and academic institutions to validate them," Bonar said.