The Jakarta Post
Research, Technology and Higher Education Minister Mohamad Nasir has said that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo ordered him to muffle the student protests against controversial bills.
Nasir said the government wanted the students to get off the streets and go back to school.
“I have ordered the learning director general to tell all rectors in Indonesia not to encourage the students to protest on the streets. Ask them to engage nicely in a dialogue,” he told the press at the State Palace on Thursday, after a meeting with Jokowi.
He said lecturers should not permit or encourage students to rally. The rectors should warn the lecturers, he said.
Rectors might be disciplined by the ministry if they were found to be encouraging students to engage in street protests.
“Later, we will consider sanctions. [If] they encourage [the students to rally], they can be sanctioned hard, such as with a first warning letter (SP1) or SP2 if it causes losses for the state, and they can even be subject to legal action,” he said.
“If it causes chaos, they will face the police and military. We only appeal to them; they are academics, intellectuals, people with education. If educated people hit the streets to the extent that they cannot be controlled anymore, what’s the difference to the uneducated?” he said.
Nasir added that he had scheduled to meet with rectors regarding the issue this week.