Police are questioning two people who were detained on Tuesday on Jl. Matraman, East Jakarta, for allegedly distributing flyers spreading messages of racial hatred.
Pandapotan Lubis and Joki Simbolon were caught on Tuesday allegedly distributing flyers containing racial remarks and calling on people not to vote for gubernatorial candidate Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his ethnically Chinese running mate Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama.
“The city police are currently questioning Lubis and Simbolon about where the flyers were printed and who ordered them to distribute the flyers,” Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said.
He added that the police had yet to find any indication that the distribution of flyers was related to a particular political campaign.
Rikwanto said the two would likely be charged under Articles 156 and 157 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) for exhibiting and disseminating hatred toward certain groups, ethnicities or religions in public, which carries a maximum sentence of four years and a Rp 450,000 (US$47) fine.
Issues related to ethnicity, religion, race and intergroup relations, locally referred to as SARA, have been on the rise prior to the runoff election on Sept. 20, which will see incumbent governor Fauzi Bowo challenged by Surakarta Mayor Jokowi.
On Jl. Puri Indah in Kembangan, West Jakarta, graffiti featuring anti-Chinese sentiments were found written on residents’ houses on Tuesday. Residents said that the graffiti was probably done on Monday night.
Rikwanto said that the police had cleared the graffiti and had coordinated with the district’s elections supervisory committee (Panwaslu) regarding the matter.
“West Jakarta Police are currently looking for the suspects and have contacted Kembangan’s Panwaslu to investigate the case,” Rikwanto said. (aml/iwa)