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Jakarta Post

Minister vows 'firm action' against protest violence

  • Dyaning Pangestika
    Dyaning Pangestika

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, October 9, 2020   /   12:33 pm
Minister vows 'firm action' against protest violence The Hotel Indonesia traffic circle Transjakarta bus stop on Jl. MH Thamrin in Jakarta burns during a protest against the Job Creation Law on Thursday. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

The government has reiterated its stance on the Job Creation Law, defended its endorsement of the legislation and warned that it will take stern action against protest violence amid ongoing demonstrations throughout the country.

In response to nationwide protests on Thursday, some of which saw clashes between police personnel and protesters, Coordinating Legal, Political and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD said the law sought to help the government improve people’s welfare through the creation of employment opportunities, labor protections and a streamlined bureaucracy for business purposes.

He said the government respected residents’ rights to express their opinions about the law as long as it was done so peacefully and in an orderly manner.

“We regret the violence conducted by masses by damaging public facilities, setting fires, injuring officers and looting. Such actions are crimes that cannot be tolerated and must be stopped,” he said in a press conference on Thursday evening.

Read also: Cities flare up as jobs law protesters clash with police

Mahfud claimed the violence was insensitive to the struggles caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“For the sake of order and security, the government will take firm action against the violent acts aiming to trigger riots and fear among the public,” he said, adding that the government would take legal action against those who took part in the violence.

He asked people to protest in an orderly manner that did not violate the law and to take their opposition to the jobs law to the Constitutional Court through a petition for judicial review.

A number of facilities were set ablaze and destroyed during clashes between the police and protesters in several regions, including Jakarta, East Java, North Sumatra and Bali.