TheJakartaPost

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

Ma’ruf Amin says he regrets testifying against Ahok

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, January 6, 2019   /   12:39 pm
Ma’ruf Amin says he regrets testifying against Ahok Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) chairman Ma'ruf Amin (center) attends Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama's blasphemy trial in January 2017. (Sindo/POOL/Isra Triansyah)

A video of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo’s running mate, Ma'ruf Amin, saying he regretted taking part in former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama being jailed for blasphemy went viral, sparking various public responses.

"Yes, of course [I regret it]. I was forced to do it. I didn’t want to imprison someone. I don't want it. But I have to. At that time, I was in the process of enforcing the law. I couldn’t do anything even with sympathetic feelings toward him. I apologized right after that because I also didn’t want to bother people, " Amin said in the 48-second interview with the IDN Times.

His statement, on a touchy topic that is still controversial years after the fact, sparked a public debate on social media.

Commenting on the video, historian JJ Rizal said Amin’s confession showed how dangerous the political play in Indonesia was.

“I’m sad and devastated watching this. This is an example of a loss of integrity, a failure to defend what is right, and the loss of dignity and moral honesty. It’s a very clear confession of how dangerous our political world is,” he said in a tweet, which got 1,600 retweets and 1,200 likes since it was posted on Wednesday.

However, some people disagreed.

“He said he was sorry. It was a law enforcement process and he had to do it. The analogy is the same as an executor who regrets killing people, but because it is law enforcement process, it still had to be done,” Twitter user @Budipr4y1tn0 tweeted.

Amin’s son, Ahmad Syauqi, said his father's confession was to make his position clear as chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) when he testified at Ahok’s blasphemy trial.

"The essence of his statement is that it was not his personal desire but a part of law enforcement, and he does not personally oppose Ahok. At the time, the law had to be enforced because of the violations, not Ahok as an individual,” he said as quoted by tempo.co.

A member of Jokowi's coalition, Hasto Kristiyanto, said Amin’s statement was to make his position as MUI chairman and as a cleric clear.

"His statement really showed that he is a cleric who always answers journalists' questions, while [the Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno pair] has always been suspicious of reporters," he added. (ggq)