Communities helping keep Indonesian election peaceful

Local leaders collaborate with security officials to deter possible terrorist attacks.

By Alisha Nurhayati for Khabar Southeast Asia in Jakarta

July 04, 2014
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The National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) established ten regional Co-ordination Forums for the Prevention of Terrorism (Forum Koordinasi Penanggulangan Terrorisme/FKPT) to deter attacks in the run-up to the presidential election.

  • Presidential and vice presidential candidates (front, left to right) Jusuf Kalla, Joko Widodo, Prabowo Subianto and Hatta Rajasa sing the national anthem at a July 1st event in Jakarta. They were there to report their wealth, as required ahead of the July 9th presidential election. [Bay Ismoyo/AFP]

    Presidential and vice presidential candidates (front, left to right) Jusuf Kalla, Joko Widodo, Prabowo Subianto and Hatta Rajasa sing the national anthem at a July 1st event in Jakarta. They were there to report their wealth, as required ahead of the July 9th presidential election. [Bay Ismoyo/AFP]

BNPT Deputy Chief of Prevention, Protection and Deradicalisation Agus Surya Bakti said the forums were established because of indications radicals may launch attacks as the July 9th election nears.

"Democracy is one of terrorists' enemies. Therefore, we want to ensure that the election and Ramadan will run smoothly," he told Khabar Southeast Asia.

Indonesian officials will work diligently to ensure everyone's safety, Agus added. "If we conducted the legislative election safely, we hope that the upcoming presidential election will also run peacefully," he said.

FKPT are community groups whose members monitor their surroundings and report any suspicious, grassroots-level activity to security officials.

Agus emphasised the role of local knowledge in preventing terrorism.

"We have involved community leaders, religious leaders, academicians and local authorities in observing and being aware of their surroundings. All of these elements are part of the local wisdom that we need to tap into. We have chosen ten provinces that are most prone to terrorism and violence," he said.

The provinces committed to FKPT include South Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, North Sulawesi, DKI Jakarta, West Java, Lampung, North Sumatra, Aceh, West Nusa Tenggara and Maluku.

Jakarta resident Dewi Ashari said BNPT's collaboration with FKPT is a brilliant idea.

"Indeed, community is the key. They are the closest eyes to the situation on the ground," she told Khabar. "I am confident that with this effort, the election and Ramadan this year will be safe.

"This is our responsibility too," she continued. "I think each community has the potential to aid in security efforts and to use its resources wisely in helping the government prevent terrorism."

Tangerang Islamic cleric Muhammad Wahyudi wants a peaceful election.

"Let's put our hope together. This is the time we all need to be united regardless of our religious beliefs. The election is from us and for us," he said.

Wahyudi also mentioned if communities are able to successfully secure the region, it will demonstrate Indonesia's commitment to improving tolerance and pursuing democracy.

"It will be a victory for Muslims to conduct a peaceful Ramadan and for all Indonesians to have a successful election," he told Khabar. "Also, we hope to have a good leader who will embrace tolerance in Indonesia."

Reader Comments
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    • edi
      August 3, 2014 @ 02:08:04AM
    • Whoever the president is, we wish them the best for the advancement of Indonesia, to lead with honesty and wisdom.
    • nDeboost
      July 26, 2014 @ 11:07:42PM
    • Focused mainly on Muslims. What of the insults by the Christian newspaper TJP? Does it not incite acts of "revenge"?
    • syamsu arjuan
      July 25, 2014 @ 11:07:08AM
    • I am very certain that the people of Indonesia are intelligent and would not easily become entangled in issues that would divide the Indonesian people.
    • Frank J.C.wattimena
      July 24, 2014 @ 10:07:09PM
    • Congratulations to the 2014 -2019 president elect. We hope that Mr. President will be able to distinguish between affairs of state, religion and politics. Appoint capable, non-political ministers and carry out a Five Year Development Plan so that we the people will be able to monitor the president's performance. Good luck.
    • Dododth
      July 24, 2014 @ 09:07:09PM
    • The country must be led by a religious person with a good character for the country to progress.
    • jimmi simanjuntak
      July 23, 2014 @ 09:07:22AM
    • A three finger salute for Indonesia. Mr. Jokowi, always be yourself because the burden on your back is great. Our prayers are with you.
    • miin ahady martys
      July 23, 2014 @ 04:07:40AM
    • And thus will We make some of the wrongdoers leaders for other wrongdoers for all the depravities they have done (Qs: Al - An'am 129). Hopefully the president elect is not one of the wrongdoers even though he's elected by a party that is against Islamic sharia and is therefore in the wrong.
    • dodi
      July 23, 2014 @ 12:07:13AM
    • Assalamualaikum Wr.Wb Whatever happens in this world, there is always wisdom in all things. Remember the 3 Bs: 1. Building the body 2. Building the spirit 3. Building the mind Let's prove that we live by the Five Principles. Mr. Prabowo, Mr. Hatta Rajasa, Mr. Jokowi and Mr. Jusuf Kalla are my brothers, long live the great Indonesia. Wassalamualaikum W.Wb
    • Ahmad Jumadi
      July 19, 2014 @ 07:07:30PM
    • Indonesia needs a leader who is assertive and has authority, not a feeble one. Long live Prabowo-Hatta!
    • dedy
      July 24, 2014 @ 05:07:13PM
    • Even though they are dishonest and justify all means? How tiresome.
    • denmas
      August 3, 2014 @ 08:08:06AM
    • Sir, being assertive is not talking tough, being formidable is not puffing up one's chest. Being assertive means making decisions and sticking to them. Being formidable is to be gracious and respecting the opinions of others. The assertiveness you are talking about is called arrogance, if he were elected leader he would be authoritarian.
    • Vance
      July 18, 2014 @ 01:07:04PM
    • Whoever the leader will be, we have an obligation to keep the country safe and peaceful. May my Indonesia be glorious always. Please visit
    • rahmatwiwaha
      July 17, 2014 @ 01:07:23AM
    • Good.
    • sudjarwo
      July 14, 2014 @ 09:07:48AM
    • Create peace, peace is beautiful.
    • rahmatwiwaha
      July 17, 2014 @ 01:07:00AM
    • New horizons.
    • untung tampubolon
      July 12, 2014 @ 11:07:03AM
    • Let us build togetherness. This article enhances our horizons and are always up-to-date. Thanks.
    • budiman sitorus
      July 12, 2014 @ 02:07:43AM
    • Matters of state and religion must be separated.
    • nDeboost
      July 27, 2014 @ 12:07:16AM
    • : The Islamic (religious) party groups are apparently able to support the nationalist Mr. Prabowo without mobilizing large numbers. However they were met by a response from bogus groups who were out to provoke.
    • noko
      July 11, 2014 @ 08:07:32AM
    • In this fasting month let us improve our faith and observance.
    • yonathan
      July 11, 2014 @ 01:07:06AM
    • Thank goodness the Indonesian people are now more mature. Hopefully this serves as a lesson for other countries in the world that in the process of a democracy, differences does not mean division but rather it should serve as a means of uniting a nation.
    • Antonius
      July 10, 2014 @ 10:07:13PM
    • General elections, Ramadan, Christmas and New Years are a series of noble events that we will experience later, therefore, we need to keep this within the framework of Unity in Diversity. I read this media everyday.
    • Adolfus Noning
      July 10, 2014 @ 09:07:29PM
    • I agree with this article. The people of Indonesia need to live peacefully in all their walks of life including the presidential election. I am an ordinary citizen who needs peace and quiet in carrying out my daily activities. It is for that reason that I need a leader like Mr. Prabowo. I need an Indonesia that is united, sovereign and strong. I don't want the sovereignty of my country to be taken away by foreigners. A leader who is assertive and has the courage to defend the integrity of the Republic of Indonesia and Pancasila. The Great Indonesia must accompany my every breath. I am an elementary school teacher in an isolated region who needs Mr. Prabowo. Let us support Mr. Prabowo-Hatta to become the leader of Indonesia. 081332954167.
    • koes sudiarto
      July 8, 2014 @ 08:07:37PM
    • peace is so beautifu. I like your article much. I read it any time. Thank you

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