Jakarta – Security authorities have deployed 18,000 personnel to beef up security amid the continuing protests against the controversial Job Creation Law by university students in Central Jakarta on Friday.
A total of 8,000 police, Indonesian Military (TNI) and Jakarta Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) personnel have been deployed to guard the State Palace while around 10,000 Jakarta Police personnel are standing guard in the National Monument (Monas) area to anticipate an escalation of the protests.
"A joint military force has also been deployed to secure the rally," Jakarta Police spokesperson Sr.comr. Yusri Yunus said on Friday, as quoted by kompas.com.
The National Association of University Student Executive Bodies (BEM SI) staged another protest against the jobs law on Friday. The protest started at 1 p.m. across from the State Palace, BEM SI coordinator Remy Hastian said.
Remy said the students would urge President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to issue a regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to revoke the highly contentious jobs law, which has been criticized by both the public and experts as legally flawed, an infringement on human rights and for putting the environment at risk.
To prevent protestors from entering the palace, the police erected a barrier and blocked access along Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat and at the Arjunan Wiwaha statue.
The Jakarta Police's Traffic Directorate has also closed traffic access around Jl. Merdeka Barat, Harmoni, Veteran 3 and Gambir since Thursday evening. It has also diverted the flow of vehicles around the State Palace to reduce traffic congestion during the protest.
While students continued to carry out a protest near the State Palace in Jakarta, President Jokowi was at Bogor Palace in West Java to receive guests and ministers on Friday.
He is at [Bogor] palace to attend an internal meeting, receiving guests and ministers," Presidential Secretariat head Heru Budi Hartono told kompas.com on Friday.
During the protests on Oct. 8 that escalated into violent clashes, the President was in Central Kalimantan on a working trip. A day later Jokowi made his first public comment on the passage of the jobs law, saying criticism against the law was based on "disinformation and hoaxes spread on social media". (aly)