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Minister warns civil servants they're not allowed to criticise government

Tempo - October 15, 2019

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Syafruddin has emphasised that state civil servants or ASN are not allowed to criticise the government in public. If they do, he assured them that they will have to be prepared to face criminal charges.

"Yes the legislation is like that. Their role is not as a critic. Giving input and suggestions which are progressive is okay. But not in public", said Syafruddin when speaking to journalists at the Vice Presidential Palace in Central Jakarta on October 15.

Moreover, Syafruddin said that if the criticism creates uproar, he warned that ASN, law enforcement officials, the media and the public are subject to respective and binding regulations.

For ASN such as the Indonesian police, they are subject to civil crimes and the code of ethics. Meanwhile for the TNI (Indonesian military) they are subject to military crimes and military discipline. Meanwhile for civilian ASN, they are subject to general crimes.

"There are regulations, right. Just follow the regulations, and the country will be fine", he said.

Recently, several state civil servants have been summoned by the police as a consequence of their posts on social media. The most recent being a state civil servant in Kampar, Riau Islands, who was questioned by local police in relation to a negative comment on Facebook about the recent stabbing of Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Wiranto.

Syafruddin said that he has repeatedly warned state civil servants to be careful in uploading things on social media. "We've [warned them] until we're blue in the face", said the former police officer.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Menpan RB: ASN Tak Boleh Kritik Pemerintah di Ruang Publik".]

Source: https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1260125/menpan-rb-asn-tak-boleh-kritik-pemerintah-di-ruang-publik