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Jakarta Post

Rectors encouraging students to protest will be sanctioned: Minister

  • Gisela Swaragita
    Gisela Swaragita

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, September 26, 2019   /   04:55 pm
Rectors encouraging students to protest will be sanctioned: Minister Research, Technology and Higher Education Minister Mohamad Nasir (Courtesy of Research, Technology, and Higher Education Ministry via kompas.com/-)

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.