The Jakarta Post
Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo downplayed the uproar caused by his recent controversial statement about weapons procurement by non-military institutions.
He maintained his innocence and brushed off claims that he was moving into the realm of politics by making the statement.
"Soccer spectators may differ over whether it is an offside or not. I can’t be angry when those spectators think it is an offside, [while I believe it is not an offside], because they see it from a different perspective. People can have [different] perceptions and I appreciate that," Gatot said at the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
Amid a mounting controversy, the Coordinating Political, Security and Legal Affairs Minister Wiranto clarified Gatot’s statement, saying that the TNI commander was "misinformed" about the plan by the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) to purchase about 500 weapons from state-owned weapons manufacturer PT Pindad for training purposes.
Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu also echoed Wiranto's statement.
"If the ministers consider it as miscommunication, I accept it,” Gatot said.
He added that it was only President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo who could say whether there was miscommunication or not
“I only give all [intelligence] information to the President, not to the Coordinating Political, Security and Legal Affairs Minister nor the Defense Ministry,” Gatot said.
The controversy erupted when Gatot delivered a speech in front of retired military personnel on Friday. He said he had received information that a number of non-military institutions had ordered 5,000 illegal firearms from abroad and that Jokowi had not been briefed about it. (bbs)