National Legal Team threatens Democracy, Freedom, and Press

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Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Wiranto at the National Legal Team press conference. (photo: kaskus.co.id)

IO – The Coordinating Minister for Pol­itics, Law and Security, Wiranto said the government would form a nation­al legal team. The team was tasked with reviewing actions or statements of prominent figures who could be considered as violating the law. The team is tasked with reviewing the words, actions, thoughts of certain figures. “Whoever he is, which clear­ly violates and is against the law,” Wiranto said in Jakarta on Tuesday (05/05/2019).

The team contained experts, such as constitutional law experts, profes­sors, doctors of various universities. The former ABRI Commander also claimed to have communicated with these experts. Wiranto stressed that this team is formed so that those who spread incitement or hate speech are given strict sanctions, including in­vective concerning the President as head of state. “Insult, invective of the President who is still in office until later this year, there is already a law, there are sanctions,” he added.

The team is formed by Menkopol­hukam because he feels upset with certain parties including figures both inside and outside the country who are heating up the community every day. “There are foreign figures who talk to the public every day, incite the public to take unconstitutional steps. It is not justified, we must discuss what legal actions we must take,” said Wiranto in his remarks during a cross-agency limited coordination meeting and Ministry in his office, Monday (05/06/2019).

Wiranto said, things like that damage people’s confidence either before or after the election, as they become disturbed. He said the viola­tions referred to are not only limited to incidents in the real world but also on social media. “There is no need to hesitate anymore, so that later it will be a warning point for certain parties not to arbitrarily in a country that has a legal basis,” he said.

In the meeting, Wiranto also dis­cussed certain parties who tried to fight police or military soldiers. “It is said that 70 percent of the TNI can be influenced to take sides with uncon­stitutional measures. As it must be legally proven, it cannot be allowed to say whatever they want,” he added.

In the meeting, Wiranto invited the Minister of Communication and In­formation, Rudiantara. According to him, the Ministry of Communication and Information has indeed taken de­cisive steps on social media. However, Wiranto wanted more concrete steps. “Which media really violates the law, if necessary, we will shut it down, we stop it. We close it for national securi­ty,” he concluded.

The University of Indonesia’s Po­litical Observer, Syahrul Hidayat, said that the community now under­stands the concerns of the leaders in terms of opinion. But the government must also be wise that the communi­ty is now very mature so that it does not have to be regulated by institu­tions so that the community is never a subject. “Democracy is essential­ly the final determinant of society and everyone is free to speak,” he stressed.

Regarding the government, angry at the opinion of those that criticize the government, Syahrul stressed that if the person spoke erroneous­ly, after all the people who would punish him, one would not vote if he participated in political contests such as elections, legislative elec­tions or regional elections. Indeed, the government also has the right, if the person is truly proven to be making trouble, inciting public disturbanc­es, disrupting public law. But how many officials, the government, the public understands the Public Order as it applies in developed countries. “I think that many people don’t un­derstand, but if the government po­sitions it as a Public Order monitor, who monitors it? In developed coun­tries like the UK, for example, people are free to talk, but if they have insti­gated hoaxes; if the election progress­es, surely the people will not choose (social sanctions) after which the law will act,” he explained.

Regarding the help of the national legal team, Syahrul said that if it was only limited to ideas; discourse would not be a problem, but if it had legal implications, this would threaten de­mocracy. (D. Ramdani)