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Jakarta Post

Democracy will never go too far, lawmaker suggests

  • Nurul Fitri Ramadhani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, February 23, 2017   /  08:06 pm
Democracy will never go too far, lawmaker suggests House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Fahri Hamzah attends an event at the State Palace. He has rejected President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's recent statement that Indonesia's democracy has gone too far. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)

House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Fahri Hamzah has slammed President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo over the latter’s recent statement that Indonesia’s democracy had gone too far.

He said terminologically, the President’s statement was imprecise.

“It’s not the democracy that has gone too far. It’s the country’s freedom or the law [that has gone too far],” Fahri said on Thursday. The lawmaker was referring to Jokowi’s strong statement during a speech at a Hanura Party event in Bogor, West Java, on Wednesday.

Jokowi said Indonesian democracy had gone too far and had opened the door to extreme political practices, such as liberalism, sectarianism, fundamentalism, radicalism and terrorism. He said the situation was real and was proven by a series of events related to religious and ethnic issues and the spread of hate speech and fake news.

Theoretically, Fahri said, there were two sides of the coin in terms of democracy, namely freedom and the law. If it was Indonesia’s law that had gone too far, it could be concluded that the country was overregulated. “It is a situation where the country locks up the freedom and creativity of its people, taking it back to the authoritarian era,” the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician said.

He said having freedom that had gone too far was better than having such a situation in the country’s law. “If freedom has gone too far, it may lead to anarchy; but it’s still better than having a country in an authoritarian situation,” Fahri said.

“Freedom can always correct itself although it has gone too far and that's what makes a country more mature. But an authoritarian situation is clearly way more dangerous.” (ebf)

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