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Leaders and top officials of five mass organizations in Greater Jakarta — the Betawi Brotherhood Forum (FBR), Pemuda Pancasila (PP), Pemuda Panca Marga (PPM), the Betawi People’s Forum (Forkabi) and Badan Pembina Provinsi Keluarga Banten (BPPKB) — agreed to put aside their differences and resort to dialogue to resolve any clashes between them.
“We do not have to be muscle men, but we have to be smart,” said Edwan Hamidi from the FBR, who was present at a gathering of top officials from mass organizations across Greater Jakarta held by the Jakarta Police on Friday evening.
Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Untung S Radjab said that police would serve as a frequent medium to facilitate dialogue between members of mass organizations at the grass roots levels.
“The dialogue will be held once a month at least,” Untung said before dozens of mass organization members attending the event.
Mass organizations at the event agreed to forget the past and look forward to the future.
“We meet here not to discuss past events. We are here to talk about what may come in the future. We PP members hold no grudges against anyone,” said PP Jakarta chapter coordinator Tagor Manahan Nero.
Arch rivals FBR and PP were involved in a clash that led to the death of a leading FBR member on Wednesday evening.
“It is such a pity to see that clashes between mass organizations are increasing,” said Nung Sutisna, the chief of BPPKB Bogor, who also attended the Friday gathering.
Mass organizations such as FBR and PP are notorious for their rivalries and are often involved in gang-style brawls.
Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said that the police had often worked as mediators between numerous mass organizations when they were involved in clashes.
“Whenever we have dialogues, the top officials of mass organizations always agree on peace. They also need to tell their members at the grass root levels, however, to always respect each other,” Rikwanto said.
Therefore, if they are involved in future brawls, the police, as usual, will not hesitate to take firm action against them.
“We urge the Jakarta administration to be strict with them [mass organizations] because it has the authority to disband mass organizations involved in violence. We, the police, are ready if the administration needs backup,” Rikwanto said.
Police reports showed that various mass organizations are often involved in clashes. Often, Rikwanto said, the clashes were triggered by trivial matters, such as competition to show presence by placing paraphernalia or setting up security posts in several places.
However, according to the spokesman, they could also vie for economic factors.
“They compete to provide security services for vendors in several markets — their financial resources,” he said.
The police on Friday named five PP members as suspects in the murder of FBR member, Muhidin. They are still currently being detained by the Tangerang Police. Rikwanto said the police had determined that there were 14 men involved in the killing.
Clashes between FBR and PP
• July 31, 2010
A brawl broke out between members of FBR, PP, Forkabi and Kembang Latar in Tangerang and South Jakarta. Police detained 23 people.
• July 30, 2011
Members of the FBR attacked PP in Depok, West Java, reportedly in retaliation for a PP-led assault on a FBR security post in a shopping mall in Depok. Three PP members were hospitalized.
• Jan. 2, 2012
A brawl broke out between FBR and PP in Sudimara, Ciputat, in South Tangerang, injuring one FBR and one PP member. Police arrested 13 people.
• Jan. 2, 2012
FBR members attacked PP’s organizational posts in Kebayoran Lama, South Jakarta.
• Jan. 20, 2012
FBR members clashed with PP on Jl. Percetakan Negara in Johar Baru, Central Jakarta. The clash reportedly broke out over protection of a durian stall.
• Jan. 28, 2012
FBR members clashed with PP in Mampang, South Jakarta. The clash was said to be over a flag dispute.
• Feb. 13, 2012
FBR members attacked PP’s organizational posts in Tanah Kusir, South Jakarta. Police arrested 8 people.
• May 5, 2012
A brawl broke out between FBR and PP members in Larangan, Tangerang. Three people were stabbed.
• May 7, 2012
FBR members clashed with PP in Joglo, Kembangan, West Jakarta, injuring one.