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Retired military general gives intriguing analysis over attack on Ciracas police

Tempo - August 31, 2020

M Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – The National Resilience Institute (Lemhannas) Governor, retired military general Agus Widjojo, argues that the attack that targeted East Jakarta's Ciracas Police headquarters is the byproduct of a long-standing bitterness between the National Armed Forces (TNI) and National Police (Polri).

According to his observation, the rogue attempt by a group of people to achieve "justice" is driven by a number of reasons, one of them is the psychological condition due to the transition of authority in the state agencies.

"Leaders [of the two government agencies] has yet trusted each other and has not ordered clear cut instructions and there is also a problem about the psychology of the transition period," said the governor of the military think-tank to Tempo on Saturday.

Agus Widjojo explains that on one hand, the TNI has yet to succeed in drawing the line regarding its authority to defend the country.

"Soldiers are never meant to be law enforcers as the constitution does not mandate soldiers to enforce the law. That is the police's domain," said the Lemhanas governor.

A critical transition period

Agus persists that it is the job of its leaders to convince soldiers to respect and place their belief in police law enforcement. He believes that commissioned officers must be able to instruct their subordinates to abide and trust the country's law enforcement process.

"The soldiers in the lower ranks will have nothing to hold on to if the leaders themselves have not placed their trust [to the system]," Agus asserted.

However, Agus Widjojo also believes that the police institution must enforce an internal reform and show they are able to showcase accountability in enforcing the law.

He believes the Indonesian government should avert from introducing policies and rules that may spark grudges between the TNI and Polri, one of the examples he mentioned is the plethora of police officers who currently lead civil positions.

"This must be understood by political authorities as there remain many discrepancies that can spark jealousies among the state-instances," said the Lemhanas Governor. "We are in the transition from an authoritarian to a democratic system. We have yet reached the latter."

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1381054/retired-military-general-gives-intriguing-analysis-over-attack-on-ciracas-police