Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo told security forces and regional heads not to underestimate signs of public discontent in a speech to members of the Regional Leadership Communication Forum (Forkopimda) at the Sentul International Convention Center, Bogor, West Java, on Wednesday.
"Be careful in handling even the smallest incident, especially the TNI [Indonesian Military] and the National Police," Jokowi said. "In Hong Kong there have been demonstrations five days a week for five months, leading to a recession, even though the economy was very good before."
He also mentioned the protests in Chile and Bolivia as examples of what could happen if seemingly minor incidents were not handled correctly.
"In Chile, just because of a transport fee hike of 4 percent, the APEC [Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation] summit that was supposed to be held there this month has been canceled," he said. "In Bolivia, because of an election dispute that was not addressed well, [President] Evo Morales was forced to resign [...] Be careful in handling even small matters, because if we are not sensitive, [discontent] can spread everywhere."
Jokowi added that it was important for governors to communicate well with regional police chiefs, military commanders, head prosecutors and judges so that any tensions or problems could be addressed.
"If there is a legal problem, conduct preventive [actions] first," he said. "Don't wait for [a bigger problem] to occur later before addressing it." (kmt)