The Jakarta Post
A day after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced the latest government measure to address the COVID-19 crisis in the country, netizens took to social media to voice their concerns and objections over “civil emergency policies”.
Hashtag #TolakDaruratSipil (reject civil emergency) topped the trending topic on Twitter on Tuesday morning, with more than 135,000 tweets as of 10.30 a.m.
The President ordered his Cabinet on Monday to impose stricter rules on physical distancing coupled with "civil emergency policies" to contain COVID-19.
“I ask that large-scale social restrictions and physical distancing policies be heightened and implemented more effectively, which is why I said they should be coupled with civil emergency policies," Jokowi said in his statement to a limited Cabinet meeting on Monday.
Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician Mardani Ali Sera was among those who voiced his concerns over the planned policy.
“Pak Jokowi should instead impose lockdowns or regional quarantines. It could be partial in some regions. He chose to impose a civil emergency policy that requires greater authority without the responsibility to provide basic food and health care for the people. We [should] #TolakDaruratSipil [reject the civil emergency policy]. Let’s choose quarantine or lockdown,” Mardani wrote on his Twitter account @MardaniAliSera.
Pak #Jokowi mestinya melaksanakan Karantina Wilayah/ Lockdown. Bisa parsial di bbrp daerah. Tapi justru ingin terapkan Darurat Sipil yg meminta Otoritas Besar tanpa kewajiban menyediakan pangan & kesehatan warga. Kita #TolakDaruratSipil. Ayo kedepankan Karantina Wilayah/Lockdown.— Mardani Ali Sera (@MardaniAliSera) March 30, 2020
“Declaring a civil emergency can disrupt the government’s focus as the greater authority can potentially become uncontrolled,” he added.
Read also: Jokowi refuses to impose lockdown on Jakarta
Meanwhile, Twitter user @RachlanNashidik wrote “the President should not issue a bare-minimum policy to address the pandemic but do whatever is needed to ease the people's frustrations. #TolakDaruratSipil,” the user tweeted.
Presiden jangan mengambil kebijakan paling minimal untuk mengatasi pandemi; tapi menyiapkan kebijakan paling maksimal untuk mengatasi frustrasi rakyat. #tolakdaruratsipil— Rachland Nashidik (@RachlanNashidik) March 30, 2020
Twitter user @zalfa_slsbl wrote: “Meanwhile, [Indonesians] will be dead by the time [the government] finished studying the impact of #Covid_19 on the nation's economy. Let me just get this clear 'HUMANITY IS ABOVE [NATIONALISM]'. Can they just make the right decision? #Indonesia_LockdownPlease #TolakDaruratSipil."
Meanwhile the whole citizens will be dead by the time they finished studying the impact of #Covid_19 on the nation's economy. Let me just get this clear "HUMANITY IS ABOVE NATIONALITY". Can they just make the right decision. #Indonesia_LockdownPlease #TolakDaruratSipil pic.twitter.com/kpIrqFacWE— Zalfa Salsabila 🌻 (@zalfa_slsbl) March 31, 2020
Some netizens also criticized the legal instruments used as a reference for the government to implement such a measure.
“I am confused, or is it me that is less-informed? As far as I know, the legal instrument usually used in containing a pandemic is the law on health quarantine or disaster, so what is the civil emergency for? #TolakDaruratSipil,” wrote @Hilmi28 in the tweet.
a sy yg kurang belajar yaa ? Setau saya menghadapi pandemi itu Instrumen UU yg digunakan diantaranya UU Karantina Kesehatan atau UU bencana, emang darurat sipil utk apa ? #TolakDaruratSipil— Hilmi Firdausi (@Hilmi28) March 30, 2020
Despite the outcry, National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) head Doni Monardo, who is also Indonesia's COVID-19 task force chief, has confirmed that the policies announced by Jokowi on Monday referred to three existing pieces of legislation.
They are the 2007 Disaster Management Law and the 2018 Health Quarantine Law — which stipulates large-scale social restrictions and regional quarantines — and Government Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) No.23/1959 on a state of emergency, which particularly regulates civil emergencies.